When I got really sick with C-Diff in 2008, my stomach, digestion, and lifestyle changed. I had caught a bad cold and made the mistake by going to an urgent care center. Having Lupus, I should have waited to see my doctor. So the urgent care center, gave me a general prescription to treat cold with a 14 day antibiotic.
I took it and immediately after stopping, I got sick. It depleted all the good bacteria in my intestines. C-diff kicked in my already low immune and I was sent to the ER. I had severe pain in my stomach. I couldn’t stop going to the bathroom. I was feverish. They admitted me and placed me on powerful antibiotics and morphine. I was weak and miserable. The hospital doctor said that I could’ve died. I still can’t believe that!
I was mad that I couldn’t go home by the second night and was released on the fifth day. At this time, my emotional demeanor took a bad turn.
The first night home was awful. I cried in panic over what I was feeling physically. I couldn’t sleep at all. So for days after, the routine was the same. I sweat through t-shirts at night, didn’t eat much throughout day, always woke up with anxiety, stayed in our room for the most part, and cried. When I left the hospital, they continued me on a high antibiotic. During the day, my mom or sister would take care of me. Mom made cream of wheat cereal, which was the only thing that would satisfy my hunger and go well in my stomach. I ate it for dinner too.
After a week or so, I remember having an urge to just be by myself. So I asked my mom and sister to go out for a bit. As soon as they left, I dropped down and cried. I felt suffocated. I cried in fear asking God once again to help me out of this misery.
Days ahead, I tried to start eating again. From the time I was in the hospital to about a week out, I had lost much weight. When I had a follow-up visit with the doctor I weighed in at 98 pounds. I tried to reintroduce food into my system again. But everything I ate hurt to digest. It wasn’t worth it. So then I started becoming accustomed to a new diet. A friend of mine introduced me to JuicePlus supplements and alkaline foods. I couldn’t eat any fried foods, any rich sauces, any dairy, any treats/baked goods, etc. Couldn’t drink coffee like I used to. I also started taking a daily probiotic supplement that helped with good bacteria. All started to give me some life again.
But this was only one side of the struggle.
Even though I could start eating again, my emotional battle was something else. I felt many days as if I was trying to run away from myself. Still had anxiety and panic attacks. I spent much time with my aunt who lived near the ocean. The ocean gave me relief. Some peace. For about six months, I still had been living this same way. In the midst of it all, I was prayerful, attending Church, and keeping up with life. I know that my prayer had to stay strong. I knew Our Lord was helping me even if I couldn’t see the results right away. I remember getting myself to weekday Mass not feeling good and fighting with the thoughts of just going home, staying in bed. Kneeling in the pew, feeling dizzy and weak, but always feeling better after.
It took about two years, before I could have coffee the way I liked – cappuccinos, lattes. I also started eating some fried foods and enjoying my favorite food – Italian. Much time after that, I was able to drink wine, eat rich cheeses, ice cream, salad dressing, chili/salsa which is where I am now.
I have a new profound respect for food. I also have this defense in that if a sick person wants to eat something that no one should stand in their way. Obviously, I don’t mean a diabetic. My Dad during his battle with cancer still had an appetite and I loved watching him eat. Food gives so much comfort! Now I recognize that when I do get sick if I can still eat and taste the food, I’m good! What is also strong to my senses is human suffering. My body reacts different when I find what pain and suffering someone maybe going through. A sense I didn’t have before.
I love to make food and try new recipes. I love to go out to eat, try new spots, and enjoy meals with friends and family. I even plan trips with my husband based on the food scene in those places. Food is my joy. If I can enjoy it without it causing my health to go bad, then I’m going to enjoy it and not feel bad if a pound or two latch on. I can’t only do healthy eating. We do well during the week, we balance and then on the weekends we feast!
And never once do I take my eating for granted. I give thanks to God we have the food to eat and enjoy all its flavor.
So the point is even though I had already experienced much with my faith at this time, my response to this trial was different. I had never known fear this way. I had never experienced panic attacks. My faith in action was completely new and the battle for my soul was on! But I never took the bait even after months of having to fight it! And that’s it! Your prayer is always heard. Never stop praying or speaking to Our Lord always offering up your suffering for His peace in your heart. You keep on and He will make all things new! +++
Three times I begged the Lord about this, that it might leave me, but he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.” I will rather boast most gladly of my weaknesses, in order that the power of Christ may dwell with me.Therefore, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and constraints, for the sake of Christ; for when I am weak, then I am strong.