This post was written right when I received my diagnosis and knew very little about my condition. Since then, I have discovered that the outlook isn’t as great as it originally seemed. You can read about that here. Yet, the truth found in this blog post remains unchanging: God is so faithful. He always will be.
If you’ve known me very long, you probably know I have battled chronic stomach pain and illness for nearly my entire life. At times, the pain is so intense it’s hard to breathe. I’m often in the bathroom for hours. Some nights, I’m awake all night from the pain. I deal with intense bloating every day. I thought I would never find an answer. I thought I’d be sick until glory. I was slowly learning to be okay with that. I never dreamed I would find out what I did last week.
When I was 14, I was taken to my doctor where, instead of looking into my symptoms, I was prescribed what I later found out was a placebo. They thought it was all in my head. But I was still sick.
My whole life, I’ve been what others liked to call “too skinny” or my personal favorite “anorexic.” Though I love to eat, I struggle to keep weight on. At times, I’ve even looked malnourished. It’s because I’m sick.
When I was 22, I sought help from my first GI doctor. After doing a colonoscopy which showed nothing abnormal, he declared a title over me: IBS. He believed once I figured out what I could eat, I’d be okay. He was wrong. I was still sick.
A few years later I saw a functional medicine doctor who sought to help me figure out what was wrong with me. I started supplements and a new limited diet. I was still sick.
I’ve had blood work, stool tests, ultrasounds, a colonoscopy. I’ve taken the supplements, tried the diets, done all the things. I am still sick.
I have searched for a diagnosis for going on 20 years. Until just a few days ago, when a CT scan revealed something life-changing: the reason I’ve been so sick.
After my last pregnancy, things felt…not right. Even more than normal. The bloating and distention became extreme. It wasn’t normal baby weight or from having a “mom pooch.” In my gut (literally) I felt I needed to pursue answers again. I saw a new GI doctor who gave the all too familiar diagnosis “IBS” at first, but later finally ordered a CT scan “for peace of mind.” I believe he was as surprised by what was found as I was.
I discovered last week that I have what’s called intestinal malrotation, a congenital anomaly that is extremely rare to discover in adults. Basically, my intestines are not where they should be. They’ve been hanging out in limbo since around 9 weeks gestation. And it’s truly a miracle from God that I have not had a bowel obstruction to this point. He is the Sustainer of life. He has been so so good to me, even when I felt abandoned in my illness.
I’m being referred to a surgeon as typically a surgery is done to untwist the intestines and put them in a better place. It may seem odd, but I am incredibly relieved. I finally know what’s wrong with me. And praise God, it can be fixed!
I have felt so many emotions over the last few days regarding this diagnosis. But the one that stands out most is gratitude. I am so thankful to God for this answer to the prayer for a diagnosis I was scared to pray. For his faithfulness in my unbelief that healing would ever be possible. And even for the suffering I’ve walked through that has drawn me nearer to him.
I’d appreciate prayer as we meet with a surgeon and that we’d be able to meet with one in a timely manner. I’d also appreciate prayer for peace as I walk around with a ticking time bomb of sorts in my abdomen.
Life is crazy sometimes. God is so faithful.