Do you know how hard it is to keep the good news to yourself? SO difficult, my friends. I did let some people know ahead of time and those closest to me knew what was going on as things happened but I wanted to wait before I publicly talked about this. Intrigued yet? lol.
First, let me say, happy (belated) feast of my beloved Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati. *insert fangirl squeals, confetti, noisemakers, and cake* The reason why I bring him up is that all of this happened either during the annual feast day novena (June 25 - July 3). I do it every year but this year... well, you'll see... ;)
The first big (and only non-health) related news is that I am officially a contributing writer for Verily Magazine. Do some of you remember how I asked for prayers (via Twitter) about a dream writing opportunity that came up a few weeks ago? It was for Verily. They're restructuring the magazine, adding new content, new writers, etc. and they were looking for new writers. I submitted three possible topics and they accepted two of them!
I don't know if I'll write for them beyond the two articles but it's a good start! This is my dream writing gig because I've been a regular Verily reader since the beginning so I hope it's the start of more work for them.
As much as I love writing for Catholic publications, it's hard to find writing work in this particular field/topic. There are so many great apologists and writers who are more established and, well, better writers than I am, so getting paid for writing gigs in the Catholic world is hard. If it wasn't for my friend (and fellow epicPew writer) Theresa, I wouldn't even have my EP writing gig.
I've been praying for more writing work because, as y'all know, Mom and I have been in a financially difficult situation for months. This was one of the two novena intentions I had for this year's Bl. Pier Giorgio novena; more work (because I actually like to work) that I can do while I recover from the chronic fatigue and health stuff.
Oh, the health stuff! I have a ton of stuff to share about that... and answers to years and years of prayers. To start, I was diagnosed with a severe vitamin D deficiency during an urgent care visit (more on the UC visit later). The number supposed to be over 30 (between 30-100)... and I'm at a 4.9. Yes, you read that right. A four point nine. The doctor who gave me the results said he'd never seen a vitamin D test result that low... and he's an older gentleman. It's pretty bad. Thankfully, he prescribed a round of supplements (need to take one per week for 8 weeks) that should get my levels back to normal.
Oh, but there's more! So, remember the fibromyalgia diagnosis for a couple of weeks ago? Remember how I said that both my mom and I (and a friend) had a gut feeling it wasn't FM? Well, it turns out we might've been right. There's a very, very strong possibility that it's a misdiagnosis because early stage FM and a severe vitamin D deficiency have the same symptoms. In fact, it's possible that the chronic fatigue I've felt for the past almost 2 years is just that -- a severe deficiency.
For some reason, they never tested my levels before and all (and I do mean ALL) my symptoms point to my need for vitamin D. It makes sense because my fatigue always gets worse during the winter months and I always feel better when I can get outside for a while. I used to think it was possibly mold or mildew allergies in the house that made me fatigued because I would feel much better when I went outside but it's looking like it's the sun I was getting.
Possible root cause and answer to all my health issues? It's looking very likely. We won't for sure until I get my levels up again but I think we've finally got the answer.
Next, y'all know how I talk about food allergies and intolerance and sometimes need prayers when I have a reaction? You know how I've been asking (and practically begging) for a food allergy test for years? Guess who finally got one! This gal! What is this miracle?! My insurance and my doctors have fought me on this for at least half a decade now. This new doctor (that I'm sure I found through St. Giuseppe Moscati's intercession) didn't hesitate when I told her why I went to UC and how restricted my diet currently is.
What do I eat every day? Chicken, lettuce, tortillas, potatoes and occasionally white rice. And water. That's it. That's all I can eat that won't make me sick... and it's not always guaranteed. Due to these food limitations -- plus an abdominal pain I've had for several months -- my doctor didn't hesitate to order and approve a food allergy test. But wait... there's more! She also ordered and approved a second Celiac test because they botched up my first test. I hadn't eaten any gluten in 9 months when they took the blood test... and I had to have been eating gluten for at least 8 weeks prior to the test. That's why it came back negative; I had no gluten for them to test in my system. Now I can add wheat and all that carb deliciousness back into my diet (at least for 2 months) which is going to expand my restricted diet AND make it easier (financially and otherwise) for me to eat. Now I won't go hungry when I run out of the 4-5 things I can eat. Cue the angel choir! lol.
There is one more thing that is up in the air and that's the reason why I went to Urgent Care. For months -- since late January -- I've had a terrible stomach pain, only it's not exactly in my stomach. It comes and goes and gets worse when I eat. The stomach ultrasound from April was normal but because of the location, they're going to have to do a CAT scan. Basically, it's in the area of my small intense and colon... and since my father had (and died from) colon cancer, they just want to be sure that it's something as simple of swelling/bloating from something that's food related and nothing more serious. My doctor thinks it's something I've been eating but it's better to be safe than sorry. I don't know when it's going to happen -- my insurance has to approve it first -- but prayers that it's nothing serious would be appreciated.
I actually didn't tell anyone except my mother of this pain up until a few weeks ago. I didn't want to worry anyone (or, really, myself) but it's lasted so long and it's gotten worse lately so I humbly ask for your prayers.
So, all of this happened either during or immediately after Bl. PGF's novena so... guess who gets the credit for his intercession. Someone canonize him STAT! lol. Seriously, though, I know he -- and Mama Mary and so many other saints -- interceded for me. I'm just giving him credit because of the timing and the novena intentions.
Thank you ALL for your prayers. It wasn't just Bl. PGF and my heavenly pals. It was a collective prayer effort and I'm eternally grateful to all of you who've never ceased praying for me. May this be the light at the end of the tunnel for my health issues because I'm physically, emotionally, and mentally exhausted from carrying this heavy cross. Oh no... here come the tears... lol.
All of this has been really difficult for me... so much more than I've been able to express. It's caused depression at times -- especially when the fatigue and physical symptoms make it impossible for me to get to confession and Mass for weeks at a time (going on 3 weeks at the moment). I know that everyone praying for me has helped lighten the load.
I also know that all of this has been for my own good. I've learned to take better care of myself. I've learned to trust God. It's helped cure me of some of my worst scrupulous ideas. I'm sure some of it has been penance for some dumb things I've done (which I fully get and accept). I feel stronger in every sense... except physically. I hope and pray that I get a little break from the health stuff. Please? God? Please?
That's it for now. I've shared what I can. There may be more news I haven't even hinted about coming up but we shall see what happens. Y'all know by now that I know until I'm absolutely sure before I share anything. lol. ;)
Anyway, I hope you're all having a lovely week thus far and that you have a cool weekend... and I say "cool" in the "not melting" sense because it's going to be a scorcher across the States and many other countries.
As always, thank you for reading and God bless. :D