If you are visiting from the blog hop, welcome & if you are not from the blog hop, this post is part of an online Bible study called, Stressed Less Living, though Melissa Taylor of Proverb's 31 ministries.
This is my 1st blog post for the study & it is the actually the easiest chapter for me to comment on because I can actually relate to Tracie in the fact that stress can take it's physical toll on the body.
To briefly share, I had my gallbladder removed back in 2008 & during my recovery, I ended up going through a really stressful time. I found out the church I was attending was teaching some some unbiblical doctrines that I just couldn't handle & I spent the next 7-8 months praying, seeking God's will & gaining enough courage to leave the church.
Fast forward 3 years, in February of 2011 I ended up quitting smoking after being a smoker for about 17 years. I had been wanting to quit several times before that, but I'd quit for several months and then I start back up again because of stress or other problems. However, this time what changed is that I ended up with bronchitis & then pneumonia, which made it virtually impossible to smoke. So I decided this would be a good time as any. I tried using the patches & gum for the 1st couple weeks, but basically quit cold turkey after that because I was having a bad reaction to both. Overall, it wasn't too bad, but let's just say that it's only by the grace of God that I didn't harm anyone in the process. LOL!!
By May, I noticed that I started having bad digestive issues. At first I thought it was because of having my gallbladder removed, so I was watching my diet more closely for anything that I may be eating that is either high in fat or spicy, but it didn't seem to help. Then I thought that it may be a food intolerance, so at 1st I started with dairy products, but it only helped some. But after doing some research, I thought it may be a gluten/wheat sensitivity. So, I made an appointment with my doctor & had a blood panel done & it came back with a "possible" wheat intolerance. She wanted me to go on a gluten free diet for several months to see how it would affect me, but after going on it for several weeks I decided it wasn't for me. It was getting to be expensive on a low budget & having to check every label. Plus I DON'T COOK!! Talk about stressful. I talked to my doctor & asked to be scheduled to test for celiac disease. I just wanted to be sure before completely eliminating it & committing to something I didn't have to. So that October I had a small intestinal biopsy to check for celiac, but the test came back negative. I was then diagnosed with IBS, just like Tracie (see p 54). BTW, add on some more stress from doctor visits. YAY!!
Well, my symptoms over the next year just kept getting worse & by October of 2012, I was becoming a social recluse because of my digestive issues. I was missing several days of work each month. Plus, I also had to take a break from being a choir member at church because I was missing practices and oversleeping on Sunday mornings. After finally having had enough, I went back to my doctor because I noticed that I had slowly developed anxiety, which also lead to mild depression. I had been doing some research and finally came to the conclusion that stress was the culprit & my health was suffering for it. Since there really isn't any kind of official test that the doctor's can do to check for stress related illness, you basically have to rule out the "symptoms" to find the cause. I did, however, have my doctor test my thyroid to make sure there wasn't any issues with it because a couple of the symptoms I had been experiencing matched the diagnosis. But all my blood work came back negative.
So, just 2 months ago, my doctor put me on an low dose anti-depressant for the anxiety & by the grace of God, it actually has been helping me. I really didn't want to have to go on an anti-anxiety/depressant medication, but I was desperate & I submitted the situation to God before seeing the doctor. So I believe that He can use anything that we submit to Him for His good and perfect will for our lives. I'm not 100% yet, but for the 1st time in a long time I'm getting my hope back & I'm able to spend more time in the Word without being tired, fatigued or too frazzled to concentrate.
I also believe that God's timing is soo perfect - if I could just remember that & trust in it - because the fact that this study coincided with me starting this medication 2 months ago is only proof that all things work together for good and I am determined to see this study through. :)