The Long Windy Road

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“But all along this hazardous, twisted road that doesn’t let you see very far ahead there are frequent signs that say, ‘the best is yet to come.’ And at the bottom right corner written with an unmistakable hand are the words, ‘as I live, says the Lord!’ ” John Piper

We will overcome, because He has overcome!!!

Blessings & Love,

Aish

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10 Crazy Things I Do Because of Lyme

I was thinking the other day how coo coo this illness has made me, and I couldn’t help but chuckle.

I don’t know if you all can relate or not, but here are some things I realized I have been doing since being ill with Lyme and Co’s … please don’t judge haha!

1- I carry a tick/mosquito repellent with me EVERYWHERE I go.

2- During spring and summer, I vacuum everyday, sometimes twice.

3- I am pretty sure I know how many moles I have on my body.

4- If my husband is anywhere near a woodsy area, I have him take his clothes off in the entry way and put his clothes in a bag so I can wash them, and he goes straight to the shower …. bless him 🙂

5- I write Lyme instead of lime on my grocery list.

6- I’m sorry, but Julia Roberts and all those actresses have nothing on Lyme patients. I could feel completely awful but still attend a family function and force myself to look and act as if I have nothing wrong with me … all with a smile on my face. We deserve an Oscar.

7- If I am conversing with someone and you hear me saying “that’s crazy” a lot … it is most likely because I am not a 100% listening to what they are are saying, because I am thinking about the 100 crazy symptoms that are going in my body, like “O crap, was that my heart that just skipped a beat? am I having a heart attack?” “Did my eye and face just twitch uncontrollably? Am I going to have bells palsy?”  … and trying my best not to fall off the chair!

8- I have a box of surgical masks in my cupboard for when I clean, because I can’t handle the smell of cleaning products. My husband and I live in an apartment and we have hard water which makes it harder to clean things. Well, one night we both tried to tackle the tub and we used almost every cleaning product we had. I had the mask on the entire time. I kept it on a little while longer and watched some TV with it, waiting for the smell to go away …  my husband could not stop laughing and he, of course, had to take a photo of me. I would post it on here, but it is kind of embarrassing!

9- I mix up my words soo much. I am not sure if it is funny or scary. For example, I was trying to explain where a store was to my husband and I said “It is next to Good Sporting Dick’s” instead of Dick’s Sporting Goods.

10- Once I have a yard. I will be that crazy neighbor walking in my backyard with stilts on … I think I need prayers haha!

I am sure there is more … but my Lyme brain froze! I am sure some of you can relate to these … I would love to hear some of the coo coo things you guys do because of this illness!! 🙂

 

Blessings & Love,

Aish

 

A Season of Trials (4)

I opened the email.

And there it was. Names of six doctors that specialize in this illness and that can treat me!

Thank you, Father.

I wanted answers so bad and after a very long six months of suffering and over a 100 crazy symptoms, I was finally going to get it. Waiting one week for that appointment felt like a lifetime!

In the meantime, my sweet mother and sister came to help me with chores around the house and drive me to my appointment. While Marc was at work during the day, I would lay on the couch and just cry most days. So, having them around for that one week helped my mental state quite a bit.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012, the day of my appointment. We parked the car and as soon as the car was turned off, I breathed a sigh of relief. I opened the car door and looked up at the gray gloomy sky and I said nothing but smile at God. I didn’t need a clear blue sky and a bright shining sun to feel His presence … there’s a different kind of peace that comes from Him in the midst of grayness and gloominess!

While walking towards the door, I remember looking at my shaky weak legs and in my mind I said “this is the last time you ugly things (the bacteria) can have fun in my body, because I am coming after you!” yes, my mental state was declining and I was talking to the bacteria in my body … don’t judge :p

I wanted to give my doctor a huge hug when I first met her! We sat down and she had me fill out a symptom check list, no joke, I checked off almost everything on that page! And there were symptoms I had a hard time explaining to others, and sure enough it was on there … I wanted to do the happy dance. We talked for an hour and a half and she affirmed that I do have it. Since the testing is so inaccurate, they treat based on symptoms. This is what it says right below the test results “A negative result does not exclude the possibility of infection” …. really?! so then what? unfortunately, most people suffer with a spew of symptoms for the rest of their lives and some die, because most doctors don’t do anything past that point. This has to change.

Besides the medications she prescribed, she told me all the foods I had to avoid to reduce inflammation in my body and all the supplements I had to take. She warned me about this thing called a Herxheimer reaction, it sounds scary doesn’t it? well, it is!! A Herxheimer reaction is when the immune system reacts to toxins that are released when large amounts of bacteria are being killed off, and the body doesn’t get rid of the toxins quickly enough. So, when I take the antibiotics, it kills the bacteria, and therefore it releases toxins in my body which makes me REALLY sick. I honestly can’t even count how many times I’ve been to the ER just because of this Herxheimer reaction. Best way to describe it, I literally feel like I am dying. That is why detoxing is so crucial with this illness!

I was excited about my treatment plan, but at the same time I was very overwhelmed.

I had to change my diet completely, take medications (I wasn’t one to ever take medications, unless I really had to), take supplements, detox and so much more! But, it had to be done.

That first week of starting my treatment plan, I noticed a little boost of energy. I knew then I was on the right track, but it wasn’t a fast and an easy fix. The first few months of being on medication I had more bad days than good days, and it was very very tough.  My balance was really bad the first 4 months, if I had to go get a few things from the grocery store I had to use a cart as a “walker” because I felt like I was going to fall. I actually cried once in the grocery store and had to leave, because I would just watch how fast people were walking and envied how they didn’t need a cart for balance.

In the middle of July, 2012 I went into target and I was confident enough to walk without my “walker” and sure enough, I did it! I can’t even begin to tell you how good it felt to just simply walk. I walked around the entire store and went down every isle … It felt great. I will never ever take anything for granted again, and that includes little and big things in life!

So, friends, that is my story in a nut shell!

I am slowly but surely improving, however, I still have bad days where it is tough to get off the couch, but that is part of the illness and I am okay with that now!

As much as I hate this illness, I am thankful for it, because really good things came out of it and I believe there are still good things that are going to come out of it. I am much much closer with The Lord, I actually have a relationship with Him compared to before being sick. There is nothing that makes my heart more content and joyful than bathing in Gods Word, and what a privilege I have that I get to do that everyday! I have an amazing relationship with my mother compared to before I was ill. Marc and I had a very difficult year and a half and it was and still is far from perfect in many ways, but it was always centered on The One who is, and that brought us so much closer to each other. My heart and mind are forever changed … I feel the Lord’s gentle hands molding and shaping me into the woman He wants me to be … what an honor that is!

I used to get angry and dwell at the fact that I had to drop out of school because of this illness. I may not be in nursing school right now but I am in God’s school, and let me tell you, it is harder than any school I will ever attend and harder than any test I will ever take.

The only diploma I need in life is one from The Lord saying “You did well, my child, you did well.”

His Light

[Quick random post]

I had a tough day today. Earlier in the day I was able to get out for a bit and run some errands, which was nice, because I’ve been so dizzy the past 4 days and I haven’t been able to drive anywhere! Shortly after I got home, I felt pretty rotten. This illness truly baffles me. One second I feel good, and the next I just feel awful … REALLY weird!! I was putting the groceries away while the kitchen room was spinning, my head pounding, vertigo like no other, shaky legs, fatigue and an icky stomach. I felt discouraged and upset . Of course, when you are upset little things like an apple falling out of your grocery bag makes you want to smash it … it was one of those days! When I am upset, I need to do something that keeps me busy … like cleaning. I was doing the dishes (by the way, I love doing dishes … weird, I know!) and guess who creeps his way into my mind? … you guessed it! Thoughts like “I am never going to get better” “is this what life is going to be like for me?” “what did I do to deserve this?” were consuming my mind. I close my eyes and ask God to help me.

I go and lay down on the couch, with an ice pack on my head and I start crying. My hubby walks in the door from work and asks me how I am feeling. My voice was shaky and I just say “fine”. He knows me too well, so he gets closer, kisses me on the forehead and sits down next to me. I told him it is so hard being sick almost everyday for a year and a half now. He held my hand and he was trying his best to comfort me (I am so blessed for this man), which he did, but I was still somewhat sad and discouraged. My eyes were closed while tears were going down my cheeks. I turn my head and I look out the window, and I notice the sky was pretty gloomy but I could see the shape of the sun behind the gloomy clouds … it caught my eye. I turn my head away from the window, I close my eyes and cry some more. When I physically feel very ill, like today, it is hard for me to take some time out and read scripture because my mind cannot retain anything (Lyme affects the brain in many ways) … but I can pray, and that’s what I did. I laid on the couch, with my eyes closed and simply just said “O, Father, I need You now.” That was all I could say … and that was all He needed.

A few minutes later, I feel this comforting warmth on my cheek and my tears slowly drying. I turn my head and look out the window, and I see the sun behind the gloomy clouds trying to shine brighter through the darkness. Bigger and brighter by the second. I couldn’t look away. I have seen the sun shine a gazillion times, but this was different … I felt Him. I close my eyes … His light shining on my face … I feel His peace … and all my tears are gone.

“I will wipe every tear from your eyes … I am here, my child, I’m here” He whispers.

“The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims His handiwork. Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words, whose voice is not heard. Their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them he has set a tent for the sun.” Psalm 19:1-4

“Love One Another, As I Have Loved You”

I went to mosques.

I celebrated every Muslim holiday.

And

I prayed to Allah.

I was born and raised as an American/Arab Muslim.

In the past few years, I’ve converted to Christianity. NOT because I was fearful of Islam in any way, but because Jesus is our Lord and Savior.

At a very young age we were taught to love, respect, be kind and generous and embrace everyone. Never ever were we taught to hate or disrespect other religions or cultures. Not by our parents, not by our family members, not by friends, not by school and not by Islamic classes. It was never brought up.

I grew up among 8 aunts and uncles and forty some cousins; a very large family. We are all very close. My grandma, my aunts and most of my female cousins wear the hijab (head cover). They are the funniest, most loving and caring women I will ever encounter in my life. Same goes for the men in my family. Every Thursday we would get together(yes, the entire family) at my grandma’s house. We would eat dinner, drink coffee and tea, laugh, play Arabic music and dance together. These are my fondest memories.

My mother is an American. When she moved to Jordan, my grandparents, my aunts, uncles and cousins welcomed her with open arms and a hundred kisses on her cheeks. My mother felt right at home.

My sister is a devoted Muslim. She has the kindest most gentle soul I’ve ever met and I am certain I will never meet anyone like her in my lifetime.

Do any of these traits depict a terrorist at all?

Since 9/11 American Muslims and Arabs have been fighting stereotypes and a very negative image, it has left a lasting and damaging image for us. I have spoken to some American Muslims and Arabs who have shared some discriminative stories that ranged from beatings, nasty comments and harassment’s at work, etc. It breaks my heart.

This past week I have read and heard some awful comments made towards Arabs and American Muslims. Comments like “All Middle Easterners and Muslims need to be swiped off this planet” and “he looks like a terrorist.” This last one really gets to me. I would like to know, what does a terrorist look like? Dark skinned, dark hair, a large nose and a beard?

Scripture says “He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to Him, nothing in His appearance that we should desire Him.” Isaiah 53:2

None of us know what Jesus looks like, But he could have very well had Middle Eastern features.

Would you call Him a terrorist?

The media has done an impeccable job at breaking people apart … and, we, as a society allow it to happen.

Let’s change this.

Jesus wants us to.

“Love one another, as I have loved you”. He said

Let’s bring God back to this country. Let’s bring His Word back. Let’s stand together as one nation under God.


Father, we need you. May you be present in all of our lives from this day forward. We pray for the victims, the injured and the families of the victims in the Boston bombings, Syria, Israel, Africa, Palestine, Iraq and other countries where this is a regular occurrence. Cover us all under your wings. Father, we pray that you would bind Satan and all evil from destroying us. We pray this, in Jesus’ mighty, powerful name. Amen.