As you already know, my name is Phoebe. I’m a 19 year old young woman, working as a freelance editor from home. I’m happily engaged and have been with my fiance for two years now. I live at home with my Mother, my Father, and my fiance who rents a room in our home. We have plans of getting our own place shortly after the wedding (08.04.17).
When I was 9 years old my health started deteriorating. On a daily basis I struggled with pain, extreme nausea to the point of puking without cause, blood pressure that dropped so low my life was in danger, muscle spasms, severe dehydration, organ failure and more. If you based your judgement of me off of my appearance, you wouldn’t think I had health issues. For years my friends and family never understood what I was going through, and to this day… they still don’t. People who struggle with autoimmune diseases, often times, don’t look sick. It is an invisible disease attacking, most often, the inside of your body. Unfortunately, most human’s only have a capacity for compassion when they can physically see the pain you’re experiencing. Most people function with the subconscious ideology that “If it doesn’t look like it hurts, then it must not hurt that bad.” How wrong they are…
Trying to balance school, work, and family is far from an easy task when you’re healthy, but it is that much harder when you’re not. I have always had a lot of responsibility on my shoulders, and have never had a lot of energy to work with. I’ve been told many discouraging things by doctors about my quality of life, and life expectancy in the past. I, however, didn’t let this stop me. Where there is God, there is a way. I respect everyone’s right to believe differently, but in my own life the only one who has EVER made a difference in my pain, is Jesus. I rely solely on Him for comfort and saving.
Towards the end of 2016 I made a private declaration between myself and God, not making anyone aware of my decision. I asked that God either heal me, or that He allow me to die in peace and come home. A bold request, I know… I proceeded to, in faith, stop taking all 18 of my medications at once. I would later be made aware that I should not have survived this transition… stopping the medications alone, especially “cold-turkey” should have killed me. I knew I would experience withdrawals, and I knew that it was unwise, but I trusted God’s Will would be done. I had become desperate. Over the following four months I began to see drastic changes in my health. Though there were a few things that concerned me (like my hair falling out) I was radically healthier.
Stop. I know what you’re thinking, “Well of course you got better, anyone taking 18 medications would be sick, just from the medicine alone,” so let me put those thoughts to bed. In my lifetime I have been prescribed over 40 medications, of which we have kindly declined the use of over half. We have always been very wary of the medications I took, and only did so when blood test began to show that my body was failing and I no longer had a choice. (When your lung function is down to 28% and you can’t finish a sentence without gasping, you’re left with little argument to refuse medication.)
Since then it has been documented that the Rheumatoid Arthritis has gone into remission, the inflammatory markers that indicated my body was dying have gone from astronomically high (high enough to be concerned about death and heart failure) to normal healthy numbers (of which they’ve never been in my entire life,) the cataracts that were affecting my eyesight have healed, and the Celiac’s Disease that was causing anaphylaxis when even being too close to flour, or gluten, has disappeared. I had accumulated over 15 diagnosis’ by the time I was 16, and had even been flown to Cleveland Clinic as a last stitch effort to determine why my body was attacking itself.
I am now a living breathing testimony to God’s strength, love, and undying faithfulness. I take three medications that I was instructed by God to continue taking, and have made an effort to live in harmony with the body I’ve been blessed with. I’m the proud owner of a life I never thought possible, thanks to a God who’s in the business of doing the impossible.
No matter how difficult life may get, I will always hold out hope.
“I’ve given my life to the only one who makes the moon reflect the sun. Every starry night was His design. I’ve given my life to the only one who gave me hope when I had none, so let His praise ring, He is everything.”
I will continue fighting the good fight and in the meantime, I will travel through the portals of the uniquely portable magic we call books.
The Reading Phoenix