ailments, maladies and anomalies

Do you suppose there is any living man so unreasonable that if he found himself
stricken with a dangerous ailment he would not anxiously desire to regain
the blessing of health?

Petrarch

Ailments–illness, typically minor.
Maladies– a disease or ailment.
Anomalies–a deviation from the expected or standard

If we live, we will live to experience all three…
be it an ailment, a malady or even an anomaly…
Perhaps we will experience all three.

Some of us will have more than others.
And if fortunate, some of us will have them less and very few.

Ailments are more or less just aggravating…
a sore shoulder, a bruised knee, a cut, a slight headache…
things that don’t bring us to our knees but rather just slow us down.

Maladies, however, usually show up at some point or other, unannounced and
tend to be a bit fierce.

They may sneak up on us in the middle of the night or while on vacation.

They most often cause a disruption to our life’s flow and rhythm…
They come in as a cold, the chickenpox, a sore throat, a broken bone, the flu, a stomach bug…
They are annoyances to health and our time but they are things that are usually
rectified with some attention, a few meds and rest.

At other times, maladies can become a full-blown crisis…

They can come on quickly and out of the blue…
be it something like the physical results from an accident, a case of acute appendicitis,
a heart attack or some ruptured or blocked this or that or the dreaded “C” word…

Perhaps it’s a spiked and dangerously high fever for no apparent reason.
A signal from within that something is terribly wrong.

We tend to worry most when these things happen to children.
Often times their systems just aren’t old enough, immune enough, or tough enough
to fight for themselves.

We tend to go into crisis mode when the malady is within a child.

Yet maladies, be they minute or major, more times than not, happen to all of us
and most need our immediate attention…
or either we may suffer from the consequences of the ‘or elses’ in life.

Some maladies are things we have to learn to live with as it seems that our bodies
and/ or our systems are just the lucky bodies and systems that have inherited something
via DNA or just because we’ve become the lucky recipient of whatever has come our way.

Various long term maladies come to mind such as diabetes, chronic pain issues,
glaucoma, arthritis, and even some cancers…

They are annoying, somewhat debilitating, but we learn to carry on.
That is when many of these issues move from being a malady to the
category of an anomaly.

I know about all of these issues…but no more so than that of anomalies.

I have written before about having to live with IBS…
Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
When I was young, they told my mom I had a nervous stomach.

Today it’s more of a case that I hate my guts because my guts hate me.
It’s a great relationship.

I’ve also written about living with a bum thyroid as I have Hashimoto’s disease–
It steals your eyebrows along with your energy and gives you weight,
whether you wanted the weight or not…
and just as suddenly, it takes that weight away but it will not give back eyebrows.
It is a living yo-yo.

I’ve also written about living with hemochromatosis—living with a body
and a liver that absorbs iron and seems to store it as if the Apocolypse is coming…
as in holding on to it till it builds up to a dangerous level and then
you become known as Ironman or Ironwoman—not so bad if you’re into Marvel comics.

All of which are maladies, but if the truth be told, they are seemingly more like odd
anomalies…deviations from the expected and venturing off into the surreal.

Yet be they maladies or anomalies, they are most often things one learns to live with—
because as we age, we seem to acquire more and more anomalies—
anomalies that we just learn to live with.
Aggravating but we know the only choice is to carry on.

Remember what Churchill said…”If you’re going through hell, keep going!!!”

Yet within the recent past year, my anomalies have spiked.
I was left feeling simply bad, all the time.
Achy, tired and just almost flu-like constantly.
But who had time for such?
If you looked at me, you knew no difference…but I did…hence the anomaly.

I am the type of person who likes to have definitive answers in my neat and
tidy little world.
I like to know why certain things are and if I don’t like those certain things,
I want to know what can I do, on my end, to fix them or at least alleviate them.
I’m a doer and a fixer.
I was simply prewired as such.

It seems that my general practitioner, internal med doctor, feels much the same.

Let’s get all the answers and then determine what we need to do.
What is our plan of attack?
I like that, it’s like a good general in battle.

So with a spike in anomalies, which has only lead to exacerbating the current maladies,
I’ve had a bunch of blood work.
I’ve had a few ultrasounds as well.
And the call for a few other tests that I just let pass as time has not been on my side.

My doctor was left with more questions rather than conclusions…

So what does a doctor do when they have more questions than answers???
They send you to another doctor.

I was referred to a rheumatologist.
I was pretty certain I had Lupus.
I just knew it!
I was sure of my answer because finally, I would have some vindication.
I could look a few former doctors, who thought that I was nuts, in the face
and let then know I was not nuts after all!

I’ve thought I’ve had Lupus for most of my adult life.
Too many quirks that couldn’t be readily answered and many of those quirks were
immune-deficient related.

It made perfect sense in my non-medical practicing brain.
Heck, I was adopted, I had no history markers.
I was pulling rabbits out of hats!

It took me two months to get into see this new doctor.
She was backed up that long.
Two months of waiting and feeling like crap but living on…

Then it took almost as long to get the labs and bloodwork back…
One round would come back sketchy so she’d call for more and more vials of blood—
I was beginning to wonder if I wasn’t visiting a vampire or the good old fashion
leech loving doctor.
Heck, why don’t we just chop a hole in my head and let the bad vapors pour on out!

So Wednesday, when we finally met again face to face, she was very apologetic about the length
for which we’ve had to wait…the bloodwork was sent to both California and Michigan.
Am I sure I want to trust what conclusions come out of California and Michigan?!

“Good news,” she tells me, “it is not lupus.”

“Hummmmm” I muse in my head.

“But it is Sjögren’s,” she announces—“another type of immune disease but
the better of the two out of Lupus.”

“Yes well, at least I could pronounce Lupus” I inwardly grumble.

“Sjögren’s can accompany Lupus or stand on its own—
for now; it seems yours is standing on its own.”

“It does much the same as Lupus…it affects your joints, your muscles,
it causes fatigue, causes Reynauds in your fingers and it can affect your organs—
but it primarily attacks your salivary glands and tear ducts as in it affects
the teeth, gums, swallowing, and the eyes.
Oh, and it can lead to Lymphoma so we will need to do regular labs”

I’m going to prescribe an immunosuppressant drug that has been around since WWII.
It was a drug used to treat Malaria in soldiers but then the disease grew resistant so they
discovered that it aided in joint pain…so…

Huh???
I thought she said this was the better of the two autoimmune diseases???!!!
And so now I am a mosquito repellant…sigh.

However, she added, your liver enzymes are just way too high and your
ferritin is way too high plus your kidney functions are way off…
so…..”

And so now it’s off to the Gastrointeroligist for a liver biopsy and to the
Urologists to check on perhaps kidney stones or something else.

I’m the type of person who is a one-stop-shop kind of person.
I don’t like a hodgepodge of the unknown nor a hodgepodge of doctors.
Yet hence the life of an anomaly.

So I’ll keep you posted on this life of an anomaly, malady, and ailment.
Sorting out the three and figuring out which is what.

But in the long run of all of this random mess, I know that God
is well aware of what is what, which is which and why it all is.
It is that knowledge that helps to lead a malady to a mere anomaly…
something perhaps aggravating, yet tolerable…
because all things are used for His glory…
sometimes we don’t see or understand that glory…
but never the less, that Glory remains…

Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.
Isaiah 60:1 ESV

And today’s irony…
the Verse of the Day:
Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you,
even as your soul is getting along well.

3 John 1:2

31 comments on “ailments, maladies and anomalies

  1. Bruce says:

    Hi Julie, I really enjoyed your post, not so much what you have to contend with but definitely your sense of humor. It would appear that our dispositions are similar and I was also adopted. Anyone who can go through what you’ve been going through and still demonstrate that wit that you have is noteworthy in my book. I’m in the same corner when it comes to not understanding, had my own share of bodily ailments as of late but still mobile and able to do what needs to get done. Not nearly as funny as you are though so you have me on that one. I remind myself that God knows the number of hairs on my head (fewer to count now), when I rise and when I lay down and that indeed, I am His. Everything else is gravy. All things considered, there is still much to be thankful for. Much grace and blessings to you and yours and thank you so much for sharing! – Bruce

    • Thanks Bruce— whereas health, and for many out there the lack thereof, can be frustrating, you’ve just got to laugh or find some sliver of humor — being adopted you know that some of this can just come weirdly out of the blue cause we have no markers as what to expect— so that in itself can leave me looking sideways at God’s sense of humor— because trust me, He has one!
      Our lives are all living blessings— through both the good and the bad— He uses us all to His glory— sometimes I’d appreciate a heads up 🤣
      Many blessings Bruce!!!

  2. atimetoshare.me says:

    The health care system is broken. The medicine of today seems to rely on referrals to specialists and often passing the buck. Both of my daughters have been tossed from doc to doc and usually wind up being diagnosed with whatever was their initial possibility which my daughter’s deduced. When there are so many maladies and no answers our brains naturally assume the worse. I’m fortunate to have a doctor who listens to me and is sincerely interested. Not to say we’re always correct, but we know our own bodies and what they tell us, I’m sorry you’re faced with this. God will help the doctors to find a solution and give you the patience to work through it. In the mean time think of all the possibilities for stories you have to write about noe😀💕

  3. hatrack4 says:

    I also love your humor. I tend to get more humorous in times of great stress. I am praying for healing and strength. As for the specialists, I finally got rid of the endocrinologist – responsible for the last fifty pounds of weight gain by saying “Let’s see what happens if I do this…” Then he left the practice, and his old partner didn’t want to change anything. At that point, I was done with the whole thing. Autoimmune disorders seem to be the thing these days. The more the doctors learn, the more they learn that they are just practicing rather than getting it right. But then again, they have a new name for this disorder that they don’t quite know how to deal with. In your case, I hope they find the answers. BUT, God is the great healer anyway.

    • I got rid of my Endocrinologist years ago as he was so arrogant— when I complained about the weight gain from the thyroid he simply told me to exercise more and that my housework and yard work didn’t count as physical exertion— back in the day, IBS was simply a spastic colon— now it has commercials— medicine is a big business of mere conjecture!
      We’ll pray for one another Mark!!!

  4. […] via ailments, maladies and anomalies — cookiecrumbstoliveby […]

  5. Melissa Zelniker-Presser says:

    Praying for you my friend. Hoping to get some answers for my little one as well. Your story reminded me of hers. She has autoimmune markers and blah blah blah and many doctors and medicines later they still have no official diagnosis. Waiting on specialty blood work as well. Praying for healing for both of you.

  6. Salvageable says:

    I’m sorry that you’ve been through so much discomfort, and I’m glad that you finally have an answer. I hope and pray that the Lord will bless your healers with wisdom and skill and they will, with his help, make life go better for you. J.

  7. Citizen Tom says:

    Good post!

    It is kind of a running joke, but we do like to share our sorrows, including our ailments, maladies, and anomalies. Know what you mean by IBS. Sigh!

    Why do we get frustrated with our doctors? They are only human, but many of us have made a god of science. So, we expect too much. Therefore, it is well that you remind us that God is still on His throne and that we must look to Him for our ultimate cure.

    IBS really isn’t a diagnosis. It is a symptom. Doctors just say you have this symptom when all they can do is treat the symptom because they don’t know what is causing it.

    I think we too often don’t understand something very basic about doctors. They usually don’t have a cure. They just give us pills to help us feel better until our bodies heal themselves.

    One of the great “succeases” of modern medicine is that we have lots of medicines designed to treat symptoms. Since treating symptoms is notoriously ineffective, there are lots of frustrated doctors and patients.

    Try listing all the pain, cold, and skin creams. Some of them work well for some people, but most just help a bit. We live in a fallen world. We cannot make it perfect. Only God can do that.

    Still, when we have a medical problem, we should do our best to ID the specific cause. Seems like you have done that with the diagnosis of Sjögren’s, whatever that is. Glad to hear it is less serious than Lupus. Hopefully, the treatment you receive in the future will be more targeted and effective.

    • Thanks Tom— yep, another one of those “whatever that is” situations— so I’ll keep you posted— we become the proverbial lab rats 😂

      • Citizen Tom says:

        @Julie

        Lab rats? Afraid so.

        Keep the number of meds you take and your food choices relatively simple. Otherwise, if you make a change, and it makes you sick, you won’t have a clue.

        Here is an example. They are now using a form of Vitamin E as a preservative in cereals. The darn stuff causes my tongue and lips to swell. Took me a while to figure out what had changed, and I have not seen anything published about it.

      • That’s crazy—-any adding of vitamins, in any form, without warning or considering the adverse effects such might have on a suceptible population is not only showing a lack of wisdom but it is dangerous and a lawsuit away from foolish.
        I’d say we should just eat lettuce but that now carriew e-coli…

        Yes, I am curious as to what this immunosuppresant drug ,former malaria drug, might have on me :/

      • Citizen Tom says:

        @Julie

        Vitamin E is in lots of things. Been hyped. People do react negatively to it. The people who were dying from vaping had a bad reaction to vitamin E in a black market product.
        https://m.dw.com/en/us-health-officials-link-vaping-deaths-to-vitamin-e-acetate/a-51175748

      • Really? Wow!— vitamin E has been such the golden child of vitamins— I use to take it years ago but read a good bit of negatives— so I quit— now it’s vitamin C, calcium when I think about it and B-12 since I was low on that last doc visit — the others are the thyroid pill, hormones that we’re working on tapering off, an acid reducer and now my malaria aka immunosuppressant 😑

      • Citizen Tom says:

        @Julie

        Well, some of the pills you are taking you might be able to do without by making dietary changes. Depends on how much effort you want to make and the problem you are dealing with.

      • I’m working on weaning off the hormones- but I’ve got to keep the thyroid meds as my thyroid doesn’t make enough on its own — the acid reduction has been for years — a hiatal hernia is the bane of indigestion

      • Citizen Tom says:

        @Julie

        I am on that thyroid med too. That we want to take.

      • Oh and I forgot the most important— I’m on Librax for the IBS — it’s an old drug- an anti spasmatic— it’s about the only thing that helps that little malady/ anomaly — not a cure at all, just helps — of course it goes through the liver but I’ve told them I won’t give that up plus I don’t take the full dose— one each evening and only double up if symptoms warrant — it was an ‘as needed’ but the doc asked if I’d be more regular taking it to see if it was more of a benefit

      • Citizen Tom says:

        @Julie

        Not a doctor. So I am trying to avoid giving advice. The best I can do is observe something you already know. We make tradeoffs. Because medicines generally create fewer problems than they create, we take medicines. When we don’t think a medicine helps more than it hurts, it ain’t medicinal. That call belongs to the patient.

      • Yep— like Kathy said— we the patient, usually knows what going on more so than our doctors— gut feelings and all— when in doubt, trust the instinct and perhaps look elsewhere — but for now I’m doing a bit of waiting and seeing

      • Citizen Tom says:

        @Julie

        I should add this. Make sure you ask your doctor and pharmacist about that drug. Probably not especially dangerous, but you still need to know the risks and possible side effects.

      • My guts may already be letting know 😖

      • Citizen Tom says:

        @Julie

        Well, don’t be fearful of asking questions of your doctor. Like as not adjusting the dosage will help.

  8. JMart says:

    I was very successful treated for Rheumatoid Arthritis with Plaquenil for many years.
    Eventually a new rheumatologist wanted a new approach.
    Wishing you better health soon.

    • Thank you so much for your words of encouragement—the doctor told me to give it a good 12 weeks before really noting any difference—my joint pain comes and goes, in and out—several months of pain and really hurting then suddenly there is barely any pain as I suppose it goes into a semi-remission—I’m just hoping for a lessening of the fatigue.

  9. Dawn Marie says:

    Wrapping you in prayers and love as you traverse through this medical maze. Fervent prayers for the Doctors who are guided your way…may they be given the wisdom and knowledge to send you the proper care.

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