Sunday, March 22, 2015

My doctor's theory

Hi Friends,

Top o' the morning to ya. I hope yer feeling cheery and rested. I'm feeling a wee bit Irish today. Not sher if it's because I'm cravin' a bowl o' Lucky Charms (Oh what I'd give fer a bowl o' Lucky Charms), or because I forgot to celebrate St. Patrick's Day last week, or because I have Colin Farrel on the mind, but I suppose it doesn't matter, really.

While we're on the subject o' Colin Farrel, I figure I'll give you a little something special to start your day, ladies (sorry, laddies, the best I can offer you is a bowl o' Lucky Charms from the store down the street. Although it's not a bad offer if I do say so meeself):

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Oh C.F., you and your dark, handsome, intelligent, accent-y ways are a gift to big screens, medium screens, and small screens everywhere. Also, Saving Mr. Banks was a good movie, folks. Worth putting on the Friday night movie list, if you ask me.

Okay. Onto other matters. I have a medical update for all of you who have been praying for wisdom for the doctors trying to diagnose my illness.

On Friday I sat down with a specialist who went over the results of the last few months' medical tests with me. Because my test results were unusual, it's much harder to conclusively diagnose whatever is going on. But he did have some helpful thoughts.

First, he discovered I have way more allergies than I originally thought. Over the years I've gotten many allergy tests revealing scores of significant environmental and food allergies. The doctor's most recent tests revealed I have a lot more allergies than those tests originally indicated. My research indicates that it's not uncommon for people who have had a prolonged infection with the Epstein Barr virus (as I did) to develop new allergies post infection. My recent tests indicated I am allergic to all food except vegetables, turkey, pork and some fruits. So the first piece to this puzzle is knowing that not only has the environment been poisoning my body, but my food has been, too.

The doctor said he believes there is a close relationship between out-of-control-allergies and autoimmune diseases. He speculated that, given my past with the Epstein Barr virus which has been linked to many autoimmune diseases, it is quite possible that I have an inner ear autoimmune disease. Unfortunately, there is no test to confirm this, nor is there a happy little pill I can take to fix it. Some doctors think that taking chemotherapy or tumor-shrinking drugs is a helpful approach, but I have no desire to go that route, especially as we can't conclusively diagnose this. Thankfully, my doctor doesn't want to go that route either. Instead, he thinks that if I can get my allergies under control with diet changes and weekly immunotherapy then my immune system will calm down enough that any autoimmune disease will also be quieted and maybe even resolved.

This makes sense to me. I'm hopeful that he's right and we begin to see improvement with allergy shots and diet changes. I'd love your continued prayers for healing and insight for me and my doctors as we try to resolve this. Because inner ear diseases are so difficult to diagnose, this whole journey is really just a process of elimination — of seeing what treatments work and don't work and then making a diagnosis based on that information. Thank you so much for your faithful prayers and encouragement thus far. You guys are just the greatest.

In the meantime, I had a decent health night last night (two cheers for DECENT!!!!) and was able to go to my friend Laura's birthday party. It was a rip roarin' affair complete with a bonfire in the back yard, a table laden with barbecued delights, forty of my favorite people, a gut-wrenching basketball game, someone getting thrown in the pool, and back rubs to go around.

Laura is running a marathon in a few months so our friend Dan gifted her with a huge box of supplies. This was a very generous gift considering Dan usually gives us each a stick of gum for our birthdays. But I suppose when you're training for a marathon you deserve more than a stick of gum.

Look at all these folks watching the unveiling of the marathon care package:

What a crew.

Here I am with the one and only Bobby Carter. 
I used his phone for these photos. I could've taken 300 photos of me with his phone for him to find later, but I didn't. I leave that sort of thing to him.

I hope you're weekend has been full of good things, my friends.

A very jiggy (in the Irish Riverdance sort of way) Sunday to you all.

Cheering for ya, Skillets.


© by scj


  1. Whoa. Well, that's a start, and an answer to prayer. Sounds like you have a good doctor as well as a Great Physician! We'll keep on praying for your continued healing and an avoidance of any complications (including getting bored with turkey and pork...)
    My personal theory is that you are allergic to SoCal and you need to move back to the PNW where there is air you can't see and trees you can...
    Cheering for ya!

    1. Snapdragon,

      It's a start, that's for sure. A start is a good place to be. :) I do still have some nagging questions about other possibilities but I'm trusting that the Great Physician will provide clarity in the right time. Thank you for your prayers. Recipe ideas are greatly appreciated. ;)

      Mary has the same theory. ;) I sure do love the people in the PNW. And those trees. And horizons. But I tell you what, my students and the sun bring me such life and joy down here. I'm glad I can spend me days with 'em both.

      Thanks for the cheers!


  2. I love how you choose to be thankful and hopeful! To add to your positive outlook, I would like to say, I am grateful you can still have BACON!! From what you've shared, it is one of your favs. I like to roast veggies with chopped bacon. I cut up my veggies, then I use kitchen shears to cut up the bacon right on top of the veggies. Pop it in the oven and let it roast. One pan wonder. :) Blessings, Sharon