“Usually patients with a chronic illness become mental illness patients,” my doctor commended. “I’m in awe as to how well you tolerate your disease.” Are you kidding, I think to myself. I’m in awe that I’m still alive. But don’t you think for a minute doc that I don’t get the insanity slump.
I have hepatitis C and in 2002 at the end stage of liver disease I was blessed with a liver transplant. Therefore, I understand how chronically sick people can become mentally ill. A chronic disease is a daily burden on the physical, emotional, and mental self. The daily routine of surviving can drag you down. Staying in bed, not leaving the house or staying away from projects that can help you forget your suffering is easier than striving for a “normal” life. Through my adversity I have discovered a concept that makes me more than a mere survivor. It’s the ability to thrive. I don’t allow my illness to dominate me. Instead I saturate my mind with positive thoughts. I surround myself with positive and faith-filled people. Faith counteracts the debilitating effects of sickness, fear or worry.
I have this in “your face” relationship with God that makes all the above doable. I constantly remind him of all the promises he has made to me through scripture. My expectations are always that he will act on them.
Right before Thanksgiving an MRI revealed tumors on my liver. Immediately I rebuked the growth of tumors and reminded God of the promise in Mark. 11:24 that anything I believed and asked for in prayer I would receive. It turns out that the duct that carries out the bile from the liver had collapsed. I had a pocket of bile (toxins) that wasn’t draining. I’ve had a procedure to correct the collapsed bile duct.
I make my way through the “normal” world by making positive and optimistic choices.
I keep my hands full of cooking, cleaning and holding babies.
I keep my mind busy praising God, writing poetry and listening.
I keep my body strong volunteering in my community.
I keep my soul fed with living, loving and laughing.
Can’t wait on time for flesh to heal, mind to spin and soul to thrill.