Super Naturally Better is an appropriate title, perhaps the only reasonable one, since there is really no other explanation. About two years ago, during a very stressful time, eczema, which had not reared its ugly head since my early teens, returned with full vengeance. What once was a rash relegated to my ankles and behind my knees now displayed itself on my entire lower body and torso. It took me many monts before I headed to the doctor for help, I am a slow learner.
After about six months of itchy discomfort I made my way to Dr. Hall who in turn sent me to Dr. Dano, a dermatologist. After testing it was determined I indeed had eczema. I spent six months being sure my skin was well moisturized and praying that it would get better. It did not.
Back to Dr. Hall. He wanted to determine if the cause was internal. Off to Dr. Just. Dr. Just does interesting procedures like EGDs and Colonoscopies. I had both. Nothing on the inside causing issues on the outside, “Come back in twenty years.” says Dr. Just. Back to Dr. Dano.
Dr. Dano does a skin biopsy. Yes, eczema. Off for “light therapy” or tanning at Waterloo Tan because it was far less expensive ($20 a month opposed to $75 per session with Dr. Dano). Mid-summer of 2011 when my skin was about 50% better it changed. From red and itchy to dry, imagine dandruff head to toe, and my skin lost elasticity, think knees of a 95 year old man. If I were 95 it would be OK. I am not. It was not.
Back to Dr. Hall because my skin hurts, it is concerning, and I want another round of Prednisone. Dr. Hall sends me back to Dr. Dano. Dr. Dano and her team is concerned because of the changes in my skin and that I had lost about 30 pounds. I lost 30 pounds because I had been tracking my food intake and took up jogging, getting in 10 to 20 miles a week. Dr. Hall was thinking I was on the cancer diet. Nice. Cancer.
Get a CT scan. CT scan shows enlarged lymph nodes. Enlarged lymph nodes can be a sign of bad things. They may be enlarged because of my skin condition or I may have the skin condition because of my enlarged lymph nodes due to Lymphoma. There are more than 15 kinds of lymphoma. Call your wife, say “Dr. Hall is concerned I have Lymphoma” and Facebook status is updated, prayers go forth, life changes. I believe, I have faith. I was worried while having faith. Lord I believe, help my unbelief.
I see Dr. Lewis. Dr. Lewis removes the lymph node. The lymph node comes back OK. Dr. Lewis is concerned because of my skin, he’s only seen about four guys over twenty years who present like I do. Nice. Dr. Hall and Dr. Lewis do not want to say I am in the clear because, it is true, you could remove the wrong lymph node, assume no cancer and yet have it. Back to Dr. Dano.
Three more skin biopsies. Eczema. Dr. Hall is still concerned it is lymphoma. See Dr. Kocs. Dr. Kocs schedules a PET scan and another CT scan. Takes 6 vials of blood, tests for everything from HIV to Hepatitis C. HIV and Hepatitis C free. Just before Thanksgiving, appropriately so, Dr. Kocs says the PET scan shows no sign of any cancer. Praise God.
My skin is still so bad that changing clothes leaves behind enough dry skin to turn a red bath mat almost white. I itch. My skin hurts. Pin pricks up and down my legs. Scratching like a dog with a bad case of fleas. I left a trail of skin behind for the last 6 months everywhere I went. I wore long sleeve shirts all summer. It has been embarrassing.
One week after Thanksgiving 80% better. What was different? Not sure. God answered my prayers. 80% better is Awesome! I was not any new medicine nor new treatment. God answered our church’s and my prayers.
Off to Dr. Sander, a new dermatologist. Prednisone. Light therapy begins next week. I believe for the remaining 20% but give God thanks for where I am at now.
- God is with us in the rough times. I cannot say how much the prayers of folks at church meant to me. When we go through the valley, He is with us. His people are with us.
- It can get worse. It did. It does get better.
- Joshua said that he and his house would serve the Lord and I understand that in a special way because I decided that should it be cancer or should I not get better I will serve Him. His goodness is not negated by my circumstances. He is Good and worthy of praise regardless of my condition.
Life happens in the most unexpected ways. I do not think that God caused my situation but I can see good that has come from it. My brother-in-law, sister, and their family was here at Thanksgiving along with my brother Kendall, and his girlfriend. Had not seen Kendall and Lisa in four or five years. Matt and April had not been down as a family in at least as long. These were blessings that may not have happened if I had not been sick. Facing serious illness brings a family together in special ways.
The good far outweighs the bad. Some day, the good will be so good that the bad, regardless of how bad, will not matter. There will come a day that I never think upon these things again.
Super Naturally Better!