6 Chronic Illness Warriors I Admire

Dear Younger Me When I Was Healthy…

July 21, 2016 | Posted in: Chronic Illness and body image, Chronic Illness and Diagnosis, chronic illness; support, Chronic Life, Faith

Dear Kelly,

This is me, your future self.

You are about to embark on a journey that you never planned and life is going to get very hard. I want you to stop focusing on yourself and living as the world tells you to live. I want you to make sure that you pray to G-d every day for everything because you are going to need to hear His voice.

You have already been through a lot. Yes, we lost our babies and the devastation of their loss will soon weigh on our body. You are going to get sick, really sick. To the point that death will breathe in your face.

You have given birth to four beautiful children and you need to stop looking in the mirror and calling yourself fat because soon you will be hungry all of the time. You will long for the days of having a muffin top and thick thighs.

In fact, the weight will melt off so fast that you will barely be able to stand or walk on your own. You will have to surrender your pride and become dependent on everyone around you to do the simplest of tasks.

Do you see all of that delicious food you are eating by the handfuls? It will soon seem like a mirage. You will long to taste the succulent food, but not dare take a bite for the nausea and pain that will envelop with each crumb.

In fact, baby food and water will even be too hard to digest due to a diagnosis you have never heard of, Gastroparesis. It means your stomach will be paralyzed. While some people have mild issues, yours will be severe. The nausea, pain, and chronic fatigue will leave you a shell of a woman.

Yes, you think you have faith but it is about to be tested in ways you never dreamed. As you go from doctor to doctor, in and out of the hospital, your faith in the medical community will dwindle. You will begin to humbly realize they don’t know everything and that G-d truly is your only hope.

Here is what I want you to know:

You can do this.

Focus on every moment that is good, and when things aren’t, keep looking for reasons to praise G-d.

Let go of the anger, jealousy, and judgment of yourself. Click To Tweet Stop looking at others and comparing yourself to their journey, it will only hurt you more.

Trust in G-d, seriously this sounds easy before the storm hits, but so hard to believe in the middle of it. He loves you and has not abandoned you! Put your hope in Him. He is a G-d that does miraculous things and He will bless you in many ways.

Prepare yourself that when people give you well-meaning advice, they are only trying to help. They don’t mean to hurt you, they can’t understand your pain.

Be kind to yourself.

You are not a loser who is lazy. You got sick.

You are not being punished. Our body just cracked under a lifetime of stress. Keep fighting and believe that you are worth every dollar that is being spent on your medical care. Click To Tweet

You will feel like a burden and worthless sitting in bed all day missing out on your children that you  prayed for, keep loving on them. They need you, even if you aren’t the mother you wish we could be.

While it feels like you can’t make it one more day, keep pushing.

While you feel nauseous and are in tremendous pain from the lack of nutrition and hunger, it’s okay to cry. This wasn’t what you expected in life and it hurts. Give yourself grace.

When you sit in the chair at the doctor’s office and they tell you to plan your funeral, don’t give up.

You will learn that G-d is above all of this and in your hunger and pain, you will find in these ashes that beauty will rise. You will find that through this experience you will feel horrible, but on the good days, you will experience joy and gratitude in ways you hadn’t felt before.

Love your husband, children, family, and friends well. I know it hurts to see them living life without you, but that doesn’t mean that is what they want. They hate this too.

Love them as best you can each day. It won’t be just the good times they will remember, this is affecting them too. Love them as if each moment might be your last so that there isn’t a doubt in their mind what they mean to you.

You will grow more compassionate, empathetic, and truly understand what mercy means. This is a fruit rarely cultivated but by experience. It is a gift and you will touch many lives when you show others these rare gems in your actions.

As for Gastroparesis, it sucks.

There is no pretty way to put this. But I will tell you that you are not your diagnosis. You are Kelly, a child of G-d. A wife, mother, daughter, friend, and a fighter and Gastroparesis can’t take that.

So eat up that food and enjoy that layer of fat, but most of all, enjoy your health and those around you. When we were on death’s door money, status, and things didn’t mean a thing. All that I wanted was to be with the ones we love and to feel healthy again.

As Grandma says, “If you have your health, you have everything.”

 

Kelly Nickerson is a homeschooling mama with two beautiful kids under her wing and four dancing in heaven. She also lives with her amazing husband, who supports her like no other. Kelly is a firecracker prayer warrior who shares honestly about her brokenness while praising and clinging to the God who sustains her. When she isn’t hunting down germs with disinfectant, you can find her writing of her adventures at kellynickerson.com.

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Kelly Nickerson is a homeschooling mama with two beautiful kids under her wing and four dancing in heaven. She also lives with her amazing husband, who supports her like no other. Kelly is a firecracker prayer warrior who shares honestly about her brokenness while praising and clinging to the God who sustains her. When she isn’t hunting down germs with disinfectant, you can find her writing of her adventures at kellynickerson.com.

9 Comments

  1. Kelly Smith
    July 21, 2016

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    Such wise words for anyone facing the uncertainty of a diagnosis. Kelly, you have an amazing way to look at pain and find the beauty.

    • Kelly Nickerson
      July 26, 2016

      Leave a Reply

      Thank you Kelly Smith. It is by G-d’s grace only that I am able to respond in the way that I do!

  2. Robin Lee
    July 21, 2016

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    WOW. Yuck and yuck…is there any relief now? We should all remember that out tomorrows are not guaranteed, which also means the quality of tomorrows are not guaranteed.

    • Kelly Nickerson
      July 26, 2016

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      Robin, I do have some good news! I do feel that each day that G-d is healing me! It’s been a battle that G-d has graciously helped me fight. I have many more good days!!

  3. Genevieve: Ship With No Sails
    July 21, 2016

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    Understanding that you aren’t being punished is SO SO huge. Love this letter to yourself <3

    • Kelly Nickerson
      July 26, 2016

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      I agree Genevieve! It took a long time to let go of thinking I was being punished. It’s been a huge burden that needed to be lifted.

  4. Kathy
    July 22, 2016

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    Dearest Kelly, thank you,
    You have written a beautiful letter in a seemingly paralleled existence these
    words resonate in my head daily. While our diagnosis differs, mine being that of a nerve-muscle disease, there are haunting similarities to the emotional roller coaster that you so eloquently poured onto this page.

    However, I relate to every word in your letter to yourself as if God let me happen upon this to remind me of what I already know.

    Nonetheless, it has been a tough week with a recent scheduling of yet another procedure in addition to regular treatments and more expenses to keep “The “Mama Matriarch” here. Goofy thoughts, many you stated in your letter, jump into my head as Satan tries to gain a foothold.

    So Kelly, thank you for the reminders of what my husband tells me every day, what my God shares with me by the filling of His Holy Spirit as He has done once again with your letter.

    Thank you God for using Kelly to remind us all that our purpose is not our own but His, and, if we have breath in our lungs then He will use it for His glory. Thank you for having Kelly write her feelings out loud. It will bless many and already has blessed me. May God continue to bless your journey Kelly and guide your every step. God bless you in your stages and I look forward to meeting you on the other side of the clouds, one day.

  5. Kelly Nickerson
    July 26, 2016

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    Kathy, I am so thankful for your gracious words and beautiful heart. I am so sorry that you even have to identify with my feelings. Satan has no new tricks and I hate that he torments us so.

    I pray that the Lord will bless you with healing that only He can bring. What Satan doesn’t realize that as he tries to extinguish our fire, it only magnifies G-d’s presence all the more.

    Keep fighting, you are worth it!

    Sending you a big hug and prayers for relief, redemption, and restoration!

  6. Debbie Stevens
    July 28, 2016

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    Kelly,
    Loved your blog about “Dear Younger Me When I was Healthy.” And your beautiful picture! Does this mean you have regained some of your health? I hope so. I am in the process of trying to get better from 4 autoimmune disorders: Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, narcolepsy, celiac disease, and chronic fatigue syndrome. I am 61 years old and have not been well since about age 16. After many years of seeing many doctors, and trying many medicines and treatments, I’m also learning that only God can ultimately heal me and deliver me from my illnesses. Whatever the devil means for bad, God can use it for good!
    Just wondering though why you aren’t putting the “o” in God. Thanks very much for your blogs!

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