December 1, 2008


Night-time for me is often a difficult and dreaded encounter to endure. My Babesia infection causes severe night-time hallucinations. Most are terrifying and I am jarred awake by my own screaming. Once in a blue moon, I have some hallucinations that are somewhat enjoyably entertaining. Like the night Todd Bertuzzi (former Vancouver Canuck) showed up in my curtains. I found that more exciting than scary as I have had a 'crush' on Bertuzzi forever. Unfortunately, he's only shown up the one time. Occasionally my hallucinations are more strange than scary - like the night I had a visit from DR H - except he looked like "Weird Al" (Yankovich) and sat by my bed singing about Lyme Disease.

Yes, I definitely have some strange night-time encounters. When I am not busy hallucinating, I dream. However, even that is impaired - both literally and figuratively. I am always sick in my dreams. I no longer dream about being well. It's as if even subconsciously I have forgotten what it feels like to be well anymore.

Sometimes I fear that my ability to dream is on the brink of extinction.

A year ago this week, I read the following verse in my morning devotions:

"God can do anything you know...
far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams"
- Ephesians 3:20
(The Message)

As I read it, I wept. I just remember praying and pleading with God to just restore my health. I couldn't even think beyond that. Dreaming was not even on my radar. Restoration of my health was the only hope, only wish, only dream I had for myself.

Later that day, a dear family friend, Heather, dropped by with some meals for us.
I had just come off of a very tough several weeks of herxing (what I do best) and was feeling pretty discouraged.

Alright, discouraged is putting it mildly. I was a sobbing, snotty mess.

She kept hugging me and saying, "Hang in. Good things are coming."
All I could do was nod through my tears. After a short visit, which mostly consisted of her 'cheer leading' and me blowing my nose and hiccuping, she was getting up to leave when she suddenly blurted out, "Jimmy and I have a surprise for your family. We wanted to tell you all at the same time but
I can't stand to see you like this. You NEED a reason to smile today. I NEED to see you smile."

She went on to tell me that her and her husband had decided to send our family to Hawaii for spring break. I was stunned. And I began to sob uncontrollably. She stood their grinning like a Cheshire cat and kept saying, "Smile! Dreams do come true!"

It is hard to say who was more excited about our trip; us or Heather and Jimmy. We were truly stunned by the absolute delight they had in giving this extraordinary gift to our family. Of course, we all hoped that by the time we went to Hawaii I would be well. Our hope was that Hawaii would be our symbolic "light at the end of the tunnel". Obviously that was not the case. At the time of our trip, I was about 8 weeks into my first round of IV treatment. At that time, the IV treatment had quelled the worst of my symptoms and we were seeing steady improvement in my condition. I was blessed with amazing strength during our trip. Pretty much the only time that my Lyme became a glaringly obvious problem was on our flight home...umm, I should say we actually MISSED our flight home because of it. No, not because I was too sick to fly. We missed our flight because I messed up the departure time. Lyme has made me dyslexic with numbers. We all know this but for some mysterious reason, I was left in charge of the flight itinerary...we're still scratching our heads over that erroneous decision.

This massive lapse in judgement certainly gave a most memorable vacation an incredibly dramatic end. Very fitting, if you ask me.

Hawaii 2008...Dreams do come true!

And now, here I am today.
One year later.
A year ago this week I read that verse.
A year ago this week I was sent a miracle.

This week that verse popped up in my devotions again.
This week I was sent another miracle.

The miracle this week has not been the gift of another dream vacation nor has my health been miraculously restored.

This miracle arrived in the mail.
It was a letter telling us that my application for disability benefits has finally been approved.

We have had to wait a really long time for this.
I had no benefits through my employer and as a result have had no paycheck or income since I stopped working in April 2007. Since I had no benefits through work, my only option for disability benefits was through CPP. We started the application process last January. We were finally able to complete and send in my application in April (2008). We were told it would take about 4 months to learn if I my application had been approved. We were also forewarned by many folks, that most people are turned down on their first application and are forced to go through a lengthy appeal process. We are so grateful to God that my application was accepted on our first try. That is a miracle in and of itself.

Yet to me, the bigger miracle in all of this is the timing of it all.

My disability benefits will help to at least supplement our ever increasing medical expenses. In the last couple of months, the agony of this journey has nearly destroyed all my hopes and my dreams. In the last week or so, I finally felt like God was lifting me out from under the despair I have been ensnared in. He has been infusing me with the strength, the courage, and even the desire to start fighting again. However, I have been struggling with the decision to resume treatment because it carries such a hefty price tag. One that comes at the expense and sacrifice of our family. In fact, it is only by the grace of God and because of generous help from our church, family and friends that we have made it to this point. In the last little while, I have spent a lot of time wondering and worrying if it was even possible for us to keep moving forward with treatment. And now God has provided a way for us to keep fighting to restore my health.

The arrival of my disability benefits reminds me that I can Trust God with all aspects of this fight.

With God, nothing is impossible.

I will keep dreaming of the day my health will be restored.
I will keep trusting, keep praising, keep fighting til that day arrives

I will dare to dream the impossible!

No comments: