One focus of this blog is supposed to be on health. I haven’t really addressed that in awhile partly because it has been so back-burnered in my life.
Lupus and other auto-immune disorders run in my family. My paternal Grandma, Margaret Terrell, had parents that fled the hardships of the potato famine in Ireland. Then she went through extreme hardship enduring the Great Depression as a girl. She had 14 children and succumbed to lupus and cancer at the relatively young age of 64.
All of my aunts have auto-immune issues. My older sister has lupus and R.A. My aunt has done a lot of research and believes that the hardships endured in our family caused a genetic mutation and predisposition to auto-immune disease.
A few years back I was feeling awful and had a lupus test done. The results showed elevated nuclear antibody activity, evidence my body was attacking itself, but not high enough to be in the “lupus” category.
So this thing is just simmering away in my DNA. I feel so strongly that I have a responsibility in determining how this is going to play out. I’ve made many lifestyle changes in order to feel better. When I take care of myself and minimize inflammation in my body by avoiding gluten, carrageenan, soy lecithin, and preservatives, I feel really good.
But in my role as a caregiver there has been much stress and exhaustion. My son often can’t sleep at night so I am up frequently with him.
I’ve gone back to drinking way too much coffee and eating stuff I shouldn’t. Snickers and Reeses cups have become a major staple in my daily diet.
And I feel flipping awful.
The past few days I’ve been feeling like an extra from the Walking Dead, and looking like one. I’ve had an autoimmune-feverish feeling. Not good.
I was lying in bed a couple night ago just stressing about all of this. Thinking I needed some huge game plan to save myself from this awful state I’ve gotten into. But the Holy Spirit spoke to me about just going back to common sense things to take care of myself. Yes, I need the Holy Spirit because adulting is hard and common sense at times eludes me.
I don’t need 5 cups of coffee a day. I need more nourishing meals and less Halloween candy. I need to rest. Just basic stuff. I feel 100% that if I treat my body well I will pull out of this.
I also give myself grace because it isn’t all “my fault”. Being a caretaker is just tough. When you’re exhausted and stressed it makes more sense (in your fatigued mind) to wash down a snickers bar with espresso so you can power through the day than taking the time to eat a proper meal.
And you can do that occasionally but when it becomes a daily lifestyle, it’s only a matter of time before the crash and burn becomes inevitable.
Our bodies are amazing instruments that God has given us. We need to treat them accordingly and honor them in a way that is befitting the living, breathing temple of the Holy Spirit.
“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.” Cor. 6:19-20
We all face hard things. Sometimes it’s written in your DNA and you feel like it’s a life sentence. But the human body is truly an amazing creation. We are wired to heal. Whatever you’re facing, don’t give up. Take care of yourself. Do your best and God will honor those efforts.