Cindy is Sick
She suffers from a rare and incurable illness which if not treated quickly and aggressively could cause life-altering side-effects.
Until last month Cindy had never been admitted to a hospital except to give birth to our three sons. That’s why when her shoulders and hips began to hurt we weren’t concerned. She had worked out multiple times a week for thirty years and we figured it was muscle cramps. Morning and night, I messaged her hurting shoulders. Yet she worsened. It reached a point where it took her three hours to get out of bed and move freely in the morning. In May her doctor diagnosed her with polymyalgia rheumatica and put her on 20 milligrams of prednisone a day. Forty-eight hours later she was symptom free.
A week later she saw her rheumatologist, Dr. Shah. This physician placed an index finger on Cindy’s left temple and asked it felt sensitive. It did. She then asked if her scalp was tender. It was. “The problem in your shoulders,” Dr. Shah said, “is the little brother. You also have giant cell arteritis. It’s an inflammation of the blood vessels of your cranium. Left untreated you could wake up irreversibly blind, or die from a stroke. This disease is the big brother. The two often go together. The treatment for the little brother is not strong enough for the big brother. For him you must daily use 60 mg of prednisone for six weeks, and then 40 for six weeks and then taper off for a year-and-a-half.” A few days later Cindy was admitted to the hospital for a biopsy of a blood vessel in her temple–it came back negative–good news but not proof she doesn’t have the disease.
Last week she finished the first six-week treatment and has reduced her dosage to 40 mg. Among prednisone’s side-effects is increased assertiveness. Cindy has now taken over the house and will soon take over the world. We are having fun and laughing a lot. The good news is for most people after the 1.5 year prednisone treatment the symptoms are gone and never return.
The Keto Diet
In order to moderate another side-effect of prednisone, weight gain, we went on the Keto diet. If you don’t know about it, check it out here KETO. You may also want to watch the Netflix documentary, The Magic Pill. Cindy now weighs 111 pounds—same as high school. I weigh 144—same as high school. Difference is she looks great and if I’m standing sideways you can’t see me. Two unexpected benefits of getting off sugar have been an absence of arthritis and psoriasis symptoms–within a week. My psoriasis was so severe I had been applying an ointment to the affected area twice a day for almost a decade. If I missed a single treatment it resulted in intense pain. Now it’s gone. Amazing.
While all of this took place, we moved into our new home. The second night we were there the sewer backed up. After saturating every towel and paper towel in the house we finally had a poop-free floor. Five minutes later the overflow started again. Stuff happens, right?
Since then, the sewer main was cleared, the floor ripped up, the walls cut open, the air cleaned with a massive HEPA filter, the bathroom, hall and a closet dried with four jet-engine-sounding dryers that ran for five days. When the dryers were turned off I looked around and said, “What’s that?” The silence startled me.
Now the floors and sheetrock have been replaced, the walls textured and painted, the sink and toilet returned and today the trim is being replaced. Tomorrow the painter will finish the restoration.
We Need a Car
During all this we spent $2500 to repair the Honda, a gift to the ministry 100,000 miles ago. It was running great until the head gasket blew. Our mechanic said, “I bet you could get $3200 for it. It’s s six cylinder and you’ve had the transmission replaced plus the $2500 you spent last week and the way you’ve maintained it. Only thing wrong is the blown head gasket.”
I can’t wait to explain that to a buyer. Do you need a car?
Over the last 25 years every time our car died–and we drive them till they die–the Lord provided one. So we’re praying and waiting. If you’ve got a car you were thinking of selling or trading in please pray about this ministry need. It will be a provision for us and a tax write-off for you.
Why I Haven’t Been Posting
All of these distractions are why for the first time in fifteen years I’ve failed to post a weekly blog. Thankfully, the Lord has blessed us with a good sense of humor, loving family and friends and a strong faith. We are joyful as we see his provision in the middle of all this. After reading this you know how to pray for us. Please do so now and later when we come to mind.
I’ll be posting again this Thursday.