The skies were impressive while Alberto blew through. We sat on the porch a few nights and just listened to the rain. It was really nice, quite relaxing.

Today  is Wednesday, June 6, 2018, and it’s been two absolutely beautiful days here in East TN! Clear skies, a little breezy in the evening… what a lovely time to rock on the porch and listen to the frogs and crickets at night. We had lots of rain, cloudy skies, and some pretty impressive winds that blew for several days but after sub-tropical storm Alberto blew through, the weather has been really nice. Except for a summer cold that’s prevented us from getting outside to enjoy this amazing weather, there’s not a whole lot I’d change about the week so far.

In my last update, I posted about starting infusion therapy and I’m happy to report that the on-boarding phase is complete. The nursing team at my infusion clinic is so nice. Besides being crazy good at what they do, they are really nice ladies who care about their patients. I continue to reap the blessing of a great team of providers. I’m so fortunate to know these people, even if it is from being sick.

The first week I felt pretty good, even had some extra energy, but the next two infusions kind of knocked me back for several days. Nothing I didn’t expect, though I didn’t really know what to expect, but all in all, it was okay. I’ve been through worse. Next step is a monthly schedule on the infusions, in a watch and wait phase. Other meds will have to be added back in the mix and over time, and we’ll try to hit a new stride that will keep things quiet on the RA and Sjogren’s front. I’m expecting that this next step will last a while before we have any real answers.

Oddly enough, the biggest takeaway from this phase really wasn’t the meds, or the infusions, or the schedule, or any of that. It was more of a spiritual nature.

The infusion nurses absolutely rock. Not sure if you can tell it, but this infusion was just below the thumb. Not a super easy place to put an IV, and I’m not a super easy stick, especially if the BP is down. But these gals are the best. For my nursing friends … we RA peeps thank you for being good stickers!!

I’ve learned a lot over the last couple of months about spiritual warfare and how the enemy will attack in the area of health – my health, that of my family, that of my friends. I’ve never been a scholar on spiritual warfare and there are probably those who’d say I actually know very little about it. Perhaps that’s true. But I can tell you this… the enemy will try whatever tactic he can deploy to stop all progress towards growing deeper, loving wider, and helping others more freely. I’m telling you, anything. If it’s good, if it’s positive, if it’s to help others and bring glory to Christ, you can expect things to be hard. 

Hear me screaming… he will try A-N-Y-T-H-I-N-G.

There have been several calls over the last few weeks, some new ministry opportunities, new avenues in music, and various other fun new adventures. For now, I’ve decided to stay focused on trying to get well and continue the (oh, so exhausting) fight with insurance errors, so I’ve not accepted any new commitments. But boy, oh boy, the enemy will do anything he can to interfere. And I don’t think he even cares about convincing me that I’m wrong about God, the price of sin, or my home called Heaven. I think he’s satisfied to simply render me ineffective. Unable. Benign. So he chooses my health. After all, when you’re flat on your back or in an infusion chair, who can get anything done anyway??? Here’s the short list of non-infusion things thrown at me in the last 5 or 6 weeks. I’d say that ole’ devil has been busy….

Neck ultrasound

Thyroid biopsies

Rule out broken ankle (thankfully, no bone breaks!)

Death in the family – totally unexpected

Nasty summer cold (affected the whole family)

No joke – this stuff doesn’t even have much to do with RA or Sjogren’s, so this list is in addition to the junk that auto-immune throws my way. But when these things come at you, everything else on your plate is stopped. Right then and there. You cancel lunch with friends, cancel the class you were going to each, whatever was on your plate, all of a sudden – isn’t. It’s so frustrating. You feel like you can’t really commit to anything. Once again, a little bit of stubborn has been a good thing. I just hop up, dust myself off, and keep on keeping on. That lil’ bit of stubborn and “oh-yes-I-aah-uummm” keeps me going. I’m sure I got this from my parents, but which one gave it to me… well, I’ll leave that for another discussion at another time.

Friends, keep those prayers coming! There’s work to be done for those living with chronic illness like Rheumatoid Disease and other auto-immunes. Here are a few specifics you can pray for:

Continued health improvements, for me and for those I try to lead.

An extra infusion of grit and grace for the long, arduous administrative chapter of being sick. I’m really weary in the insurance battles. It’s beyond maddening and oh, so stressful, which just keeps auto-immune disorders all stirred up.

A big kick-up in ministry efforts to best capitalize on the momentum that’s been demonstrated by chronic illness warriors all over the globe. So many people are hurting and are overwhelmed on the admin side of chronic. My heart is to help them.

Thanks for dropping in to read the update! Please leave me a note and let me know you stopped by, and be sure to subscribe for updates, I’ll start sending those out soon.

Keep on keepin’ on, y’all – I love you BIG !

Blessings,