Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Suffering Sucks

For those of you who don’t already know…I am not well. 
I have been suffering on and off from chronic nausea for the last couple of years, but on July 4th…on a fateful drive back from a fun weekend in Dallas…the acute, debilitating nausea took hold of my body and has not let go. 
This means a lot of things.  It means I am not longer able to work.  It means I had to temporarily relocate to my parents so that my mom can be my constant caretaker.  It means I rarely eat…and only when my mom puts it in my hand.  It means my hair has started to fall out from malnutrition.  It means I no longer fit into my favorite polar bear pj bottoms.  It means I’m now taking copious amounts of drugs…some to help me sleep, some to help the nausea, and some to help me cope with being an invalid.  It means I watch WAY too much HGTV.  It means test…after test…designed to make me more miserable.  It means a four day stay in the hospital.  And most recently…it means a trip to Dallas (tomorrow)…to get what I hope will be a diagnosis with a sub-specialist. 
The question that I’ve gotten above all in the last month has been…”how are you doing/feeling?”   I have, for the most part, remained silent on this subject.  Many lovely voice mails and text messages have gone unanswered…because I find “how are you doing/feeling?’ to be an exhausting question.  But I keenly feel the love and concern from my friends and family…so, I feel compelled to crawl outside of myself for a moment…and answer.
This is how I’m doing:
1.       I am not a good invalid.  I’ve read books and watched movies of inspiring invalids.  I am not one of those people.   I have emotionally and mentally crawled into a cocoon.  This isn’t a bad thing…it’s just humbling to realize no one’s going to write a book about my method of coping.
2.       Nausea has to be the single most miserable feeling in the world.  You know that feeling right before you throw up?  When your head starts to tingle?  I feel that every day with little relief.  Some days I just cry it out.  Sometimes the crying helps. 
3.       When I feel well…people are my absolute favorite thing in life.  When I’m hanging on to my last shred of energy…people stress me the heck out. 
4.       I have read more books in the last month than I have in the last 3 years.  I finally broke down and treated myself to a Kindle.  It’s my “get well soon” gift to myself.
5.       I think a lot about the woman in the Bible who bled for twelve years.  She’s my new hero.  Seriously…12 years.  And she had enough faith to reach for the corner of Jesus’ cloak.  My prayers these days sound more like whimpers.
6.       My great sadness is that big events are happening all around me…and I’m good for nothing.  Becky, Jen, Anna, my co-workers, and my SYTYCD club…someday I will once again join the land of the living.  Please save me a seat?
7.       Most days look like this: sleep, take drugs, read, lay on the couch, watch HGTV, take drugs, sleep.
8.       I feel your prayers.  Please, please, don’t stop.  I need them desperately.  Please pray for my trip to Dallas tomorrow.  My appointment is on Friday, August 12 at 3:00.  Please pray that the doctor is urgently aggressive about finding a diagnosis.  And pray that I make it to Dallas without breaking into a million pieces…riding in cars is not my favorite thing to do these days. 
Suffering is an ugly beast.  For all those out there who are also suffering…it sucks, doesn’t it?  Maybe someday I’ll be able to expound on all the lessons I’ve learned during my convalescence.  But when my body is wracking with dry heaving…and I’m sobbing from utter misery…all I think about is how wonderful it will be to no longer be in this body.  Please don’t misread that sentence…I’m certainly not suicidal.  But I do think a lot about paradise…and how my suffering is only temporary.   I’m clinging to the hope that this season in my life will soon reveal God’s good and perfect plan for my life.  But until then…here’s what gets me through the day:
When Jesus got the message, he said, "This sickness is not fatal. It will become an occasion to show God's glory by glorifying God's Son."   John 11:4 (The Message)
Thank you for caring, friends...I had to "up" my text message package because of your concern.  That makes my days less rock.  I like you.


  1. Oh girl...I will be praying.. I mean serious praying. I'm so sorry you've had to endure this. Praying for you right NOW...

  2. Alissa, You're on our church prayer list. I pray that you will begin to feel some relief from this horrible condition you've described. I can't imagine! Hang in there.....

  3. Thanks for the update, Alissa. I completely understand your inability to respond to texts and voicemail, but also did not want you to feel forgotten. We're saving a seat for you. And praying your skinny butt will be in it soon.

  4. i'll be praying for you Alissa, you're a strong woman who will overcome this sickness with God's help. I hope your appointment goes well, and leads to an answer!

  5. Oh Alissa, our whole family is praying for you & for wisdom for your doctors. If there is anything we can do for you while you are here in Dallas know we'd love to do it.

  6. Sending you a big hug and know I am here for you and to you my dear journey mate!


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