Wednesday, October 24, 2012


Several weeks ago, I had some routine blood tests done.  I don't think much of it these days.  In fact, as I sat in the lab's waiting room, I thought about how nice it is to just go in for these tests without worrying about the results.  

Two days later, I got a voicemail.   My rheumatologist wanted me to call him back right away - on his cell phone.  

My heart sank.  I felt flush, that sensation where you don't know whether you are hot or cold.  

He told me he was concerned about some of the numbers.  

How can that be?

He was worried this was a "complication" from my medication.  

Trading one disease for another...

I had to wait a week to re-do the test, then another few days to get the results.  Oh, the waiting.   

But in that waiting - those minutes that make up hours, that make you crazy if you let it - something powerful happens.  A new sense of clarity and purpose, an urgency to live, a deep appreciation for every moment, total and complete mindfulness.

The phone rings.  I take a breath as I look down at the caller ID.   

No matter what, everything will be okay.

Your numbers are back up and looking normal.    


There's talk about medication, rethinking "treatment" and weighing risks and benefits.  We talk about some changes that need to be made and where to go from here.  He reminds me that AS is a progressive disease and that it's not going anywhere.  I remind him my goal is remission.

I spend the next day devouring dozens of books on health and healing (both the physical and spiritual kind).  I fill my head with those voices.

And it changes everything.

I don't write this simply to update you on what's going on with me.  I write this because sometimes wellness and illness aren't so black and white.

Sometimes there's a lot of gray.

Sometimes health and disease can co-exist.

It seems strange, I know, but in my case it's the truth.  Ironically, I am as healthy as I have ever been, more mindful than I have ever been.  But it has been a journey - a series of decisions, actions and changes, a resolve to keep moving forward because the alternative just isn't acceptable. While there may not be a cure - not today anyway - it doesn't mean I can't live my healthiest, best life. Somehow, if I focus on that - the rest may take care of itself.  I'm reminded that I've come a long way, that I've made more progress than I was supposed to.  And for that, I am so very thankful.

"Health is more than the absence of disease; 
it is a state in which the body, mind, and spirit thrive in balance." 
~ Institute of Complementary Medicine


1 comment:

  1. I like that quote in the end. also, the idea of co-existence is so interesting and seems to be a frequent occurrence in my life recently. Most apparent, the elections. Seems the parties have really polarized themselves recently. Democrat and republican increasingly refusing to co-exist. I have my concerns about things over the next four years, but there's not much I can do to change certain things so why not discover what I can. In the church. There is this growing divide between liberal and conservative belief. When conservative cannot co-exist, it borders fundamental. When liberal cannot co-exist it becomes radical. I see group emerging that push the importance of a Gospel centered ministry, and I fully support that. What I do not appreciate is the arms length approach that they have toward people who do not jump on their bandwagon. Blessings Kim! Please give my love to the family!