I had my rheumatology appointment this past Monday. You know, the one I had that was supposed to tell me what my abnormal lupus panel meant; the one that I was sort of dreading due to the possible lupus diagnosis. I'm relieved to say that the lupus/ANA test came back negative. Insert huge sigh of relief here. I don't show any signs of any serious illness (including rheumatoid arthritis) so the rheumatologist is going to check in on me in 3 months and if things stay as is he'll close my "case" with him.
This doctor said that what came back abnormal was most likely due to the low platelet count I've had for years and believes, like my primary doctor, that it could be depression (and/or low platelets) that have caused the fatigue lately. He did refer me to a new hematologist. I have my first appointment with them on the 20th (in a week and a half). They drew about 12 or so vials of blood for further testing and hope to get those results on that date.
I was so relieved and overjoyed to hear that (so far) there is nothing serious detected. I mean, there is still the possibility that I'll finally get diagnosed with ITP but that's a cross I've been preparing myself for since I first learned that my platelets were on the low side, many, many years ago (even before my father passed away, 9 years ago).
After my appointment, Mom and I went to the local parish to give thanks... and we found that they were having Eucharistic Adoration all this week. It wasn't planned. I had no idea it was going on but it seemed completely fitting that it would occur on the day we went to give thanks. We didn't stay long that day because I was hungry and thirsty. We planned on going the following day but the bad meat fiasco hit and lasted for about 3 days so we didn't go again until today.
On Wednesday, when the urge was strongest, I posted this tweet:
Have you ever been drawn to spend as much time in front of the Blessed Sacrament as possible? I would totally go and stay so long that I would fall asleep in front of it if I could. Not a new feeling for me but a strong one that's returned lately. #Catholic— Melissa Cecilia (@MelissaCeciliaG) March 7, 2018
This was my second time doing a Holy Hour... and the first my mom has ever done. We both felt a yearning to spend that hour with Him but things kept getting in the way. I had wanted to do a Holy Hour ever since I heard about it on the Terry and Jesse Show a few episodes ago. The more I read about it, the more I wanted to do it. Even though I'm still feeling tired and a bit lightheaded today, I made it a mission to spend that hour there... in His presence... giving thanks and also asking for that peace which has eluded me for the past couple of weeks.
It's been 11 weeks since I last went to Mass and confession. 11 weeks of fatigue, body aches, dizziness, physical weakness, car issues, and a number of other obstacles. The fatigue has lessened in the past 2 weeks, with yesterday (terrible relapse) and today being the only days on which fatigue has debilitated me. Again, I'm pretty sure it has to done with what I ate and that usually lasted no more than 3 days for me (yes, I know how my body works) so I hope to be well enough to attend confession and Mass tomorrow or Sunday morning, whenever the rain and cold cooperates with both my car and my own system.
You know one really good thing about not going to Mass and confession for so long, but being able to do a Holy Hour? It makes me thirst for the Eucharist, Sacraments, and Mass even more. Not being able to go adds to my depression... and adds to my frustration which makes me lose my temper... which makes it easier for me to sin. I've come to see how, the longer I go without the Eucharist and confession, the weaker I am spiritually and mentally. The longer I go without being able to go to Mass, the more I value and miss it. That's not to say that I didn't before, but it's made me so much more aware of just how necessary it is. What did St. Augustine say? "Our heart is restless until it rests in you." That's how I feel.
All of these trials -- the health issues, the lack of the Sacraments, the lack of Mass -- have been good for me. I know it sounds weird but it's done be a world of good. My relationship with God is getting stronger. I'm noticing what I need to work on to try to live a more saintly life. My trust in God is growing. I'm noticing His love and mercy more clearly and easily than before. It's been a terrible, horrible time, physically and emotionally (at times), but I cannot think of better crosses to have had the privilege to carry these past couple of weeks. Again, it sounds weird but that's how I feel.
I also wanted to thank you all, from the bottom of my heart, for covering me in so many prayers over the last couple of months. I've endured more physical pain and weakness in the past couple of months than I have all my life. I've endured more emotional pain (which I'm not comfortable sharing anytime soon; sorry) in the past 2 months than I have in years; since my father died. Nevertheless, I've felt the power of your prayers and they've given me the strength to continue to endure it all and to offer it up. I'm never going to be able to repay you all but please know that you're all in my prayers, every single day.
Anyway, I just wanted to give y'all an update on this. I hope that things slow down a bit so I can share more news (yes, there's more; non-health related) with y'all. :)
I hope you've all had a great week and that you have a lovely weekend.
As always, thanks for reading and God bless! :D