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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The new me

*This post was first written in October of 2010*

I have debated this post many times in my mind.  At times I have felt it would be totally unprofessional to be so real. At other times I have felt I needed to be completely honest with my current struggle- because that is just who I want to be. Honest. Real.  Other times I have felt that everyone has their own struggles so I should be mindful and not add to what others carry.  Please know this is hard for me to write but in the end the best decision is to be honest.  And real.  Always.

It started earlier this year.  Josh and I figured out recently the first time I was in real pain was back in February.  I received some antibiotics believing the pain was caused by an infection.   After a few days of antibiotics I felt like myself again.  Then about a month latter it happened again.  I again got antibiotics and again felt better in a few days.  Fast forward a few more weeks and again.... Another few weeks and again.  You get the idea.  Finally in August this pain and all the other symptoms were coming completely out of nowhere, now warning signs as before and the antibiotics were not helping. It has been frustrating.  Very.

The changing point came in early September when I saw a doctor that realized that I didn't need antibiotics because "this" was not an infection at all.  He couldn't tell me what "this" was- he didn't know.  He referred me to a specialist.  Oh, how do I even begin with the story of this specialist.....

This specialist diagnosed me with a chronic condition right on the spot.  He then went on to tell me how to help my symptoms and did my first treatment that same day.  Needless to say I was in information overload.  I went home and started researching this diagnosis only to find out there was no cure as I had belived.  I read about diet modifications, pain management choices and physical therapy.  I began a list of questions that I wanted to ask my specialist at my next visit.  At this next visit I brought my questions along and was horrified that this doctor didn't want to discuss my concerns. What I heard from him was that he wanted me to shut up, get treated, go home and feel better. He didn't give me resources to understand this life changing diagnosis nor did he want to discuss my condition. That was the last time I saw him.

I went home and with the help of a wonderful friend and nurse advocate who has experience with my condition I began a diet change.  A few weeks later I was able to see a new specialist at OHSU who spent time explaining my symptoms and health condition.  I trust her and know she cares for my well being.  She has referred me to a physical therapist and has advised me to start adding 'problem' foods to my diet to find what may possibly be the trigger to my condition.  The trigger is really unknown at this point.  For some with my condition food is a biggie while for others it vastly varies. 

Two weeks later I lay here on the couch uncomfortable and yes, very frustrated.  I have a wonderful husband to support in our ministry, two wonderful kids to raise, a house to maintain, and a small business to run.  I am frustrated I don't function like I used to.  I am having to come to terms with this new me when the old me was working just fine for me.

So, why did I write this today?  Why -when this is so personal?  Well, first because I want to explain that I am not myself very often these days.  Some days I cannot do what needs to be done because I need to take care of myself for my family's sake.  For myself.  It's import that I keep things in perspective and use wisdom as I prioritize.  I am learning this and coming to terms with being okay with it. 

Second, I want to remember and honor my God who supports and sustains me in every circumstance.  I want to be able to look back and see what He has done in my life.  The ways He helps me, the way He teaches me, grows me and brings me to maturity.  That is what this life is about; growing through whatever we currently face.  As I shared with a friend I am learning to let God.  When I was first diagnosed I came upon this "Worry and Faith are mutually exclusive! They're opposites. God doesn't want us to live in fear and anxiety because when we do, we are not practicing faith in his loving care and provision. What we're really saying is "God, I don't think you will come through for me on this one, so I need to concern myself with this problem."  This made me think real hard about how to handle this.  I don't want to have that attitude towards Christ. I trust Him and know He has good plans. Not always comfortable or easy but he is at work to make me more like himself and that has always been my prayer so.... this is how he is teaching me now and making me new.

10 comments:

  1. I'm glad you chose to post about this. If we isolate ourselves and don't let anyone know about our problems, how are they to understand that life has changed or want to be supportive? And how are we to be approachable when someone else feels weakness, if we never demonstrate any?

    I'm really sorry you're dealing with this.

    My favorite part of your post is this insight: "...he is at work to make me more like himself and that has always been my prayer so.... this is how he is teaching me now and making me new."

    I sincerely hope & pray that you will find a way to manage your condition so that you can live the life you want to live.

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  2. Thank you for sharing your story! God has been teaching me to come to him with ideas before I go off on my own. It's encouraging to see God at work in other's lives! I'm a fellow photographer from facebook! It's obvious by your story that God is with you!

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  3. First Off I will be praying that God will heal you, and give you peace and strength. Second, what I read above was written, I feel, just for me. I have struggled this week with choices that I have made on handing circumstanced at work. And the choices I choose were not the right ones. And I have been so busy trying to "fix" them, I have forgotten that God already has it under control. I need to let go, and let God!! Thank you Xiomara for that!! God bless you!!

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  4. Jenn, Thank you for always allowing me to be real even when the real isn't always pretty. I love you friend.

    Erin, Thank you for reading and sharing what God is doing in your life as well. It really is encouraging to see God at work in others!

    Anonymous, Thank you for praying for me and thank you for choosing to see God's message for you in these words. I am honored that God would touch your life with mine. Blessings to you!

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  5. Xio...we love you and will keep praying for you! U are such a sweet lady and I am so thankful God brought you to our area!

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  6. Thank you for praying Krista and for your sweet words.

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  7. Xio-I think that it is amazing for you to be able to share this. We are sometimes afraid to be judged when we put ourselves "out there", but I think it makes us stronger. Vulnerability is a strength that not many of us have developed, but helps others see us how we really are and love us despite of it. Thank you for the person you are and Thank you for being such an awesome example in my life!
    KaShan

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  8. KaShan,
    Thank you for your encouraging words and for standing beside me in this journey. I appreciate that more than words can explain.
    ~Xiomara

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