Look Out Autoimmune Arthritis...

Yesterday marked the beginning of my journey on a new, self-injectable medication called Enbrel. It took phone call after phone call, appointment after appointment, and even some weight gaining to get me approved by our insurance. The first stage of the journey was a long, exhausting one... But I'm still remaining hopeful it will be the medication that puts my arthritis into REMISSION!

The medication showed up on the doorstep on Tuesday. My mom and I had already spoken with my new home nurse and set up an appointment for Thursday right afterschool. At this point, I pretty much started to freak out.

Suddenly, I wasn't so hopeful. The pamphlets laying on the counter listing complications and side effects like you wouldn't believe began to scare me. The thought of my hair falling out or my skin getting flaky suddenly seemed to matter even though I'd disregarded them so many times before. Even though I know what Jesus says about my self-worth, those things worried me. Even though I know He created me with a wonderful plan in mind and that He bought me with a high price, some silly reason made me ignore those truths and begin overthinking all the things that could go wrong.

On Wednesday night, I literally hyperventilated myself to sleep. I was crying hysterically and my pain levels were through the roof. I started believing the lies of the enemy, of course, until I remembered all the times I'd been through something similar. 

I tried to remember all the times I'd been that anxious and overwhelmed. All the times I'd cried myself to sleep. All the times I'd felt that level of pain. I reminded myself that each time, God saw me through. No matter how difficult things had been up to that point, I reminded myself that I'd done much more than survived. I remembered that the struggle is always part of the process. I reminded myself that HE will always strengthen, hold, and carry me  through no matter what the circumstance.

I repeated those things in my mind over and over again while silent tears fell and my body went into a deep sleep. I woke up yesterday morning and I still worried throughout the day because I knew giving myself that first injection would be hard, but I also knew (and KNOW) that God has not carried me this far to forget about me now.

When I got home from school yesterday afternoon, my home nurse was sitting at the table talking to my mom. We got right down to things and before I knew it, I was holding a syringe in one hand and squeezing my skin together with the other. Suddenly it hit me.

I didn't cry right away. In fact, I laughed. My home nurse said she'd never seen anything like it. But after staring at that needle some more, my hands started to shake and the tears seemed to come out of nowhere. There I was, standing in my kitchen in a sports bra recalling all the times this disease has tried to ruin me.

I looked back to before my diagnosis when I dealt with depression and anxiety.

I looked back to the kidney stones I battled with for an entire summer.

I looked back to the nights I laid motionless and exhausted on the bathroom floor after puking my guts out from medications I was allergic to.

I looked back to the months I spent in physical and occupational therapy to normalize my life.

I looked back to every talk I'd ever had with my psychologist about how angry my pain made me.

I looked back on the ER trips, MRI's, x-rays, and CAT scans that always terrified me.

I looked back to being told I would never run again.

So many moments flashed through my mind and the tears wouldn't stop falling. I felt robbed of my childhood. I felt hurt. I felt worthless, used up, and exhausted. Any negative feeling one can think of, I felt.

Those feelings were the momentum behind that syringe yesterday. They were the reason I was able to look past all my fears and recognize that this medication just may be the answer and solution I've been searching for since day one. The hurt and the fear motivated me to do what I needed to do... And I can also apply that to my faith life.

Truth be told, I would have taken my life a long time ago had I not known that God has a divine purpose for my pain. Whether He uses me to inspire someone or simply keep it real, I know that I've been given this disease because I am strong enough to overcome it with the help of an awesome, awesome God. A God who is more than able to heal.

I feel like I got punched in the stomach today... But I made it through the first step in this new journey and that's a reminder of the warrior spirit God has given me. All I'm gonna say is look out autoimmune arthritis... Kenzie's coming for you... ;)

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Alan Brewington said...

It's to bad we can't bottle your positive attitude and smile, it would sell better than crack :)

Alan Brewington said...

It's to bad we can't bottle your positive attitude and smile, it would sell better than crack :)

MommyMandy Musings said...

You CAN do this!! And we're all here to cheer you on!!

Lisa @ Two Martinis said...

You totally have this!! Good luck!!!

Amanda aka Manda said...

I'm sitting here sobbing as I read this! I have had so many similar feelings. Lately my symptoms/pain have gone completely out of control. I feel like after 7 years, I'm back at square one with everything. You have inspired me more than you will ever know! You are so right, God gave us the strength to overcome this! And we will overcome this bc we have an awesome God!!!

Jamie Vespa said...

I am so so so proud of you & I will be praying that this new journey is the one that will help get rid of your pain!!

Jen K said...

I've said it before and I'll say it again. You are a true inspiration!! You are one of the strongest people I know. And to hold onto your faith through all of this. You are awesome my friend! As my favorite verse says "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." You are the proof of the authenticity of this verse!

Amanda - Voyage of the MeeMee said...

I hope this brings you some relief, sweet girl! :)

The Rachael Way said...

Praying for you!!!

Laura @ The Everyday Joys said...

I adore you and I adore this post. You have already overcome so much, and you'll overcome this as well!

Samantha said...

The first one is always the hardest, but it gets easier every time. I remember my first time injecting enbrel. I cried too. I was so shaky I could barely do it! But if all goes well, it will change your life. Good luck with it!! xxx

Jodi Tivey said...

So super proud of you dear girl. As always, you are so wise beyond your years, but yet I am so proud of you for writing down your thoughts, fears, anger, etc and sharing with all of us. You continue to inspire us all daily, Kenzie...we are all here for you...to help catch you when you fall and to lift you up in prayer!!