Tag Archives: specialists

In Memory

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Dedicated in memory of Charles Rubright, a brilliant, studious, and compassionate doctor, as well as a man I was proud to call a friend, knowing no stranger, nor meeting an individual he didn’t help in some way.

To find a doctor of any sort who listens, studies, and comprehends your situation is a rare find, a treasure. A doctor who knows your case and can read you like a book when you walk into the office doesn’t seem to exist anymore. When I first began my health journey, I pictured specialists from all over, pouring over books with blood-shot eyes into the late hours of the night, determined to be the one to discover this mysterious illness wreaking havoc on my body and mind. After years of travelling on this trip I never planned or expected, I realized there was no such group. There weren’t any specialists with the one and only answer, the golden ticket, or the “missing piece of this puzzle.” Many days, it was because of practitioners like Charles Rubright, a local chiropractor and friend, that I was able to push on to find the answers on my own. It was because of his assistance and knowledgeable feedback that led me to find a practitioner who correctly diagnosed me with an autoimmune disease called Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. He always expected to be able to help, listened, and treated according to what he’d heard from me, the at-times *somewhat-discouraged patient. (*Ok, I think there were a couple times I cried in that office.) He never treated me like “just a patient” and I always expected to wait past my appointment time because he never rushed anyone or any treatment. Charles never gave the impression that he was on a deadline or something else was more important than who he was with at that moment. What a rarity! To talk with him, the battle he faced was already won. He stood in faith that he would overcome. And I believe he did in a way that we may not understand on this side of heaven. The world is a bleaker place because he’s no longer in it, but he fought the good fight, shining light into places that darkness threatened to take over. His resilience, endurance, and legacy live on. Rest in beautiful peace, dear friend, the pain of the fight is over and you are victorious.

Still a Stupid Blue Recliner

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After I’d seen every specialist and “ologist” there is, in the area and out, (I was seeing multiple doctors a week…you know, the ones I pictured around a table in a conference room discussing my case in true House-like fashion, complete with dry erase boards and pointers.) The “answer” I’d been craving: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Now, for those “diagnosed” with CFS (which is Chicken-Fried Steak in my mind—remnants from my table-waiting days) they realize that it’s a, “we really don’t know-diagnosis.” It’s a “No, your body isn’t doing what it’s supposed to, we think…after all, you could be faking it-diagnosis.” I remember thinking, Really?? That’s it? Not only a blanket diagnosis due to the fact that everything else has been ruled out (Praise God, I know, I know) but a syndrome that makes me seem lazy? “Lazy” doesn’t quite describe me. I met the criteria for most of the symptoms, including fatigue that was indeed chronic, and off I went to sit in that stupid blue recliner. I sat, I hurt, I cried, I dreamed, I awoke, I cried, I sat, I hurt, I had my husband come to steady me as I walked to the bathroom to pee.

I didn’t have the strength to hold my arms up to do things like wash my hair or dry it, cook for more than 10 minutes, anything really. I would have to “recharge” for hours before I could do anything at all for even 15 minutes. I never accepted the diagnosis, maybe you could tell that from the first paragraph, and still don’t. I became very depressed and would have dreams about things like driving off cliffs or drowning. I would share that with my husband and scare him to death. I know he wanted to help me so badly it hurt him, but there were no answers to be had. We’d spent so much money and time searching, only to hear that there was no cure for this crappy diagnosis. One doctor told me that the estimated time frame for this syndrome was five years. Um, thanks. Enjoy your yacht and vacation to the Tahitian Islands.

I would walk in to the doctor’s office, sometimes I did it all by myself, and slump into the chair, having difficulty catching my breath. I reported on myself: from blood pressure to activity level to temperature to heart rate to what I ate and fluid intake. I kept the very best records for a very long time. After all, I really had nothing better to do. I remember trying to focus on some scriptures but my blood pressure was easier to comprehend. “You will live and not die” is only so comforting when you’re living in a stupid blue recliner.

Stupid Blue Recliner

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So I feel led (don’t cha love it when Christians use those kind of terms?) to share some of my back story that led me here to this place in my life, the one where I trust God whole-heartedly unless He takes more than a week and a half. Then, it’s Him reminding me to trust Him more than me trusting.

I have been dealing with symptoms, (ones that no doctor seems to have ever heard of before) other than to throw me under the “umbrella diagnosis” of chronic fatigue. There is no official diagnosis, but many of my symptoms look a whole lot like something they have read about that looked similar to something someone wrote about. *cue cheesy sarcastic grin.
I really don’t like to talk about what goes on in terms of how I feel but, as I said, I feel (hehe) the need to share what I deal with in the hopes that it may encourage someone somewhere to do something, whether it be something different or something they need to persevere in. It’s also been brought to my attention that the enemy of our souls uses a lot of different forms of chains to hold us down. God gives us freedom in all aspects of our lives, abundantly so. And for this reason, I’m gonna step out in faith.

When this journey of mine started after I graduated college, (I got to work in my field of speech pathology for almost a full year) That day in 2009, I watched as the pen fell from my hand as I was filling out paperwork. Suddenly, I couldn’t move. My face went slack and every fiber of my being was exhausted to the point where I fell to the floor. Fast forward (not too fast though) to hospital bills and pills, low, low blood pressure and blood tests, examinations and reviews, needles and scopes, pokes and prods, sniffs and sighs…every test came back negative. Hip hooray! Right? To a point. (I think anyone who’s ever been in the medical system knows how this feels.) I remember thinking, “What’s to celebrate? That I have no reason to feel like I do?” The negative results…or positive ones…didn’t keep me out of that recliner. I needed help with everything. I would get up (after thinking about getting up for hours) many times with the assistance of my husband, to go to the bathroom. Then I would come back to the chair, exhausted and spent, requiring a “battery recharge.”

I spent so much time in that stupid blue recliner, about 2 years.

I remember wishing I had something to blame all the symptoms on. I still do to an extent. I would anxiously wait for the doctors and specialists, who I pictured sweating over my file in their off-hours, much like they do on House, to have that AHA! moment. Picture it: I get a call as I sit in that chair, short of breath, pain all over, and there ya have it!! A diagnosis, complete with a quick, one-pill cure! I swallow it and before it reaches my stomach, I’m feeling better than I ever have before! Thank you Jesus!! God does care about me!! (Because you begin to doubt this at times. Just being honest.)

This is the scenario that I know isn’t going to happen and yet it still plays out in the back of my mind each time I visit a new doctor (or nurse practicioner or chiropractor or health care professional or gas station attendant.) The “One” that everyone and their dog has gotten results from…all they had to do was walk through their door and they felt better…everyone but me. (See? Right there. It’s those kinds of statements that keep me from writing too much about this. Bleck. It screams pity-party—with pity hats and pity balloons and pity noisemakers and pity cake. But I will continue on…if for nothing other than the hope that this cake I speak of may not simply be a figment of my imagination.)
To be Continued…be careful not to fall off your seat. I know you’re on the edge of it. Have a blessed day!