One year ago today I was in the Emergency Room sicker than I’ve been in all of my life. The doctors where scratching their heads as to what was making me so sick. A few hours later after lots of tests, blood work, and a CT were completed they were narrowing it down. They still were waiting on one more lab to come back but they were 99% sure of what I had. They admitted me to a room for over-night observation. I got a room and was only there about an hour before they rushed me up to the ICU. Once I was there the labs came back confirming what the doctor thought…I had C. Diff.
This bacteria is hard to get rid of. It takes an enormous toll on your body. And it has become resistant to the medications they use to treat it. My body began to shut down and I became septic. I stayed in the ICU for 4 days. In hind sight, I should have stayed longer.
I had to take another round of antibiotics about a month after I was home because I was still carrying it. This round was developed to target the bacteria more precisely and effectively. And at this point it has not become resistant to it. However, the medication called Dificid was $5k for one round. Thankfully, it worked and thankfully we have health insurance.
Over this past year my body has been on a slow road to recovery. The first 3-4 months were incredibly hard. Sitting felt like too much effort. And when you have a family to take care of the burden weighs heavy on your mind that you can’t take care of them the way you wish you could but you just aren’t able. I had to rebuild my immune system, as well as my physical, mental and spiritual health. This one event has changed my life completely.
After I was cleared of the bacteria it left my body incredibly depleted and weak. I was diagnosed with adrenal fatigue and low testosterone. Both of which heavily contribute to depression and anxiety.
I’ve been diagnosed with PTSD from the trauma I experienced. Something inside my mind has been manipulated to an extent I can’t really explain. People who don’t know me or what I’ve been through would call me a germaphobe now. But that’s not really accurate nor is it helpful or kind. And yes, someone actually said that to me.
I do have a difficult time touching things that I feel aren’t clean or that other’s have touched. But I’ve been working very very hard to regain my life back. I’ve been going to counseling every week for the past 7 months. I went through several months of depression where I didn’t know if I could continue on. My faith was rocked to the core. I have anxiety that has been crippling and has made living my every day life more than challenging.
Thankfully though, I’m getting better. But only through the mercy and grace of God. A God I had to rediscover, and find my way back to. It hasn’t been an easy journey. It has come only through reaching, studying, obedience, diligence and prayer that I’ve never before exercised. It has been an effort I’ve never before been willing to give. It has required me to strip away everything I thought I knew and begin again. Really and truly from a place of humility and yearning to discover again what I believe. My faith grows everyday. It’s stronger than it’s ever been. He has planted within me something I can’t quite put into words. A faith I’ve always had since I was little. Something that always draws me to Him no matter what happens in my life. While some fall away and move away from Him, I turn to Him. Even in those darkest of days when I wasn’t even sure He existed, planted inside of me was a faith He could only have placed there. I wasn’t strong enough to have chosen Him alone. I know now He’s there. I know He’s real. I know He’s with me even though I’m still walking this difficult path.
I often hear people share their hardships and say they wouldn’t want to go through them again, but they wouldn’t trade it for what they learned and how it brought them closer to God. I guess I could be counted as one of those people now. I can’t even adequately express the depth of sickness, heartache, desperation, despair, fear, anxiety, depression, and sorrow that has been in my life this year. But I’ve also learned who I am. I’ve gained a knowledge of my Heavenly Father and my Savior that I never thought possible. I’ve had spiritual experiences that are so sacred to me and have carried me through these 12 months when nothing else seemed to make sense or felt safe. So for that, I would not want to trade what I’ve gone through for anything. Learning and really understanding that Heaven is real. That we have angels (our family members and friends) on the other side of the veil who are so close and love us and help us more than we even realize. It has been a transforming year for me. I’m not the woman I used to be. He’s changed me.
As I look back and think about all I’ve been going through I can see how far I’ve been able to come. The progress I’ve made in my spiritual life and my daily life. The PTSD is real. It’s strong. It’s different than anything I’ve ever experienced before. It’s compelling and exhausting and forces me to live outside of my comfort zone on a consistent 24/7 basis. The fear and anxiety rule over me in ways that are difficult to explain and for others to understand. I’m slowly gaining some of my “normal” life back. I have hope that through my Heavenly Father’s help and the help of my counselor, doctors, and all the work on my part I’ll find peace again. That fear won’t enslave me the way it does. I’ve seen glimpses of it. He’s allowed me to see where I can go if I continue to follow and trust Him.
In the beginning I never thought where I am today would be possible and here I am. My prayer for the year ahead is that I’ll continue to make great strides and progress. That next June I’ll be able to look back again and remember where I was today and be able to say I’ve come even farther.
I know the Savior suffered for me personally and understands all that I’m going through. I know He suffered for all of us and understands us all. I don’t know “how” He did it, but I know He did. And because of that He knows how to love us all perfectly the way we need to be loved. Perfect for us. He does that.
He promises to help us if we draw close to Him. Sometimes that drawing process takes us a very long time to close the gap. We feel we “are” close. We “are” doing it all. We “are” living how He’s asked us to, and still time passes and our trial hasn’t been removed. This has been my life the last year.
The time I needed to grow has helped me gain deeper faith in Him. It has helped me to have time to see miracles and personal spiritual experiences with heaven enter into my life. It has given me the time to really study the scriptures. To develop a habit of prayer that is genuine and heartfelt. My love and gratitude for the Temple has deepened beyond words. I’ve been attending the Temple regularly as I have never before done. The Temple has been my saving grace!!! It has been my tutor. It has been my life line to God– my ancestors–The Spirit–my Savior–my God.
It has given me time to change my nature. To put off the “natural woman” in me (she’s still there, but not so much in plain sight). It has given me time to humble myself and to repent. My pride was a bigger force in my life than I realized. (I will battle pride all my life I’m sure).
It was hard for me to repent. I felt like I wasn’t “that bad”. But this is Satan’s tool! I realized he has greater influence in my life than I ever knew or understood!!!
Discernment has become a powerful gift through this process. There is a quote that says, “How do you spell love?
Usually this refers to time with our family and children. But it’s come to new light to me to mean that the “time” He gives us while we carry our trial isn’t because He isn’t helping us. The time it takes to learn, grow in our testimonies of who God and Jesus Christ really and truly are, is how They love us.
As we learn to “let go” and trust Them we can find peace again.
I would never want to go through this trial ever again. But I am grateful for the woman it has helped me to become. My walk with my Savior and Heavenly Father continues to teach me and shape me. I still have a long ways to go on this journey. I hang on to hope that one day I will be delivered from the emotional trauma and scars that are left behind.
Philippians 4:13 – “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”
Proverbs 3:5-6 – “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thy own understanding. In all they ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct they paths.”