July 30, 2017 – Methotrexate Days
Earlier this Spring I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. It took several months and a lot of my own research to find out that I had it. They keep diagnosing me with other problems like gout and turf toe until I did the research and told them what blood work to run.
I have to travel about 30 miles away to go the rheumatologists in Appleton City. Rich’s mom has been taking me because the car needs some work and we don’t want to risk taking it out of town right now. My doctor out there is very knowledgeable about the disease, he even teaches on it at different colleges.
He put me on low dose steroids, anti-inflammatory meds and methotrexate. At first I was afraid to take the methotrexate because it is also used as a chemotherapy drug for cancer treatment, but at much higher dose. I don’t like to the fact that I have to put chemical compounds in my body to treat my illnesses but unfortunately there is no natural cure for most of them.
While I know that the steroids are not good for me, I am on such a low dose that the side effects have not been that hard to handle. I get the heart flutters once in awhile, it sometimes disrupts my sleep, I get a little edgy sometimes but for the most part I have gotten pretty used to it. I’m praying that eventually that will be one of the medications they will eliminate.
The methotrexate is another whole matter. It takes three days to get past the side effects. The first day is the nausea and general yuckiness. The second day is the overwhelming fatigue and headache and the third day is the mouth ulcers, tenderness and jaw pain. But I make it through. I know no exactly what is going to happen and when and can prepare for the outcome. Today I am thankful that the Lord allows me to make it through these days now without much hassle.
July 31, 2017 – Lower Bills
Living on a fixed income has never been an easy thing to do. At first I thought it would be easy, knowing exactly what you had coming in each month and knowing what you needed to spend on what bills. There would no longer be any worry about whether I had any sick or personal days left. I no longer needed to worry about getting my work in on time or whether I would need to ask for overtime.
While the amount I get each month is way below what is considered poverty levels, I have learned a lot about budgeting and stretching that income. I have changed the way I use power in the house, turning off every little thing I can if it isn’t being used, but still the bills climb higher when the air is used or when the furnace is used. I’ve changed the way I buy groceries and I have learned to recycle and reuse many things. All in all, it hasn’t been that bad.
This summer was an odd one. The end of June and the whole month of July seemed hotter than August usually is, so we ended up having to use the air conditioner more often, even at night which was something we rarely did in the past. I was expecting a huge climb in rates and was regretting opening the next bill when it arrived. I was pleasantly surprised to see that not only did it not climb higher, but it was lower than the month before. Today I am thankful for lower bills.
Christ of the Ozarks, Eureka Springs, Arkansas
August 1, 2017 – Deliverance
I am so surprised at myself, in fact I am disappointed in myself, extremely so. This subject should have been the very first one that I wrote on when I started my “thanksgiving” articles. Besides saving me, allowing me to become one of his children, it is the next most important thing that the Lord has ever done for me.
When I think about the word deliverance, a whole list pops into my mind, because there are so many different times that he delivered me from something, some are small but there are some major ones that I cannot claim to have done myself.
Before I even accepted Jesus, truly accepted him because I don’t count the altar call I went up to in fourth grade as being the day I was born again. It was just an emotional response to everyone else in the church crying, praising and going up to the altar. I just followed the crowd, he delivered me from an almost twenty year abusive situation.
Then he sent a small child to invite me to church and it was shortly after that I became a born again child of God. Immediately after the first time I went with that child to church, before I asked him into my heart, he delivered me from drugs, cocaine in fact and alcohol. I can remember the day. It was New Years Day 1993.
I had gone to the bar with friends as I normally did. I was offered the drugs but refused, and I didn’t drink much. It just didn’t seem to have an appeal to me anymore. I never did drugs or alcohol after that day. Those were huge episodes of deliverance and they were of God, not of my own doing. Not only that, I never suffered any withdrawal symptoms from the drugs or alcohol. It was the next weekend that I accepted Christ.
He has delivered me from a dead end job by sending one of my sisters from church to ask me if I would come to work for them. He delivered me from injury or death on several occasions by urging me to stay home from my on the road job and I would see later that there had been a horrible accident right where I would have been at that time.
He delivered me from uterine cancer by allowing the doctors to find it early and remove it all in one operation. I can’t even count the times he has delivered me and I know there will probably be many more. I can even think of times when I am sure that he delivered me from different forms of evil. Today I am thankful, most thankful for his deliverance from all of this and more.
August 2, 2017 – Doubts
I don’t know of any person, alive or gone, in my life, that hasn’t had doubts in their life. Many people, including myself experience doubts every day. It can be small doubts “I doubt if the weather will cooperate” or it can me much bigger doubts like “I don’t think they will last the night”. We doubt the news, we doubt the weather reports, and we even have our doubts about certain people.
Our world is not a perfect world. If it were we would never be filled with doubts. We would know that everything would work like it needs to, people would act and respond like they should, everything would fall into place and all things would work perfectly together. No, we will eventually live in a world with out doubt after Jesus returns, but until then we have to live with our daily doubts.
I’ve learned over the years that allowing too many doubt to clutter your thoughts can bring your mood down, fill you with dread, worry and stress that is unnecessary. It can take over your whole day, all of your thoughts and cause such unbelievable anxiety if you allow it to.
I have my doubts, I won’t claim not to because I would be lying, but when a doubt comes to mind I try to push it out or I try to look at it logically to see if there is a legitimate reason for it to eat up my thoughts for the whole day. More often than not, I realize that in this world, things don’t always work the way you want them to. I’ve also learned that the doubts that enter my mind are usually not worth worrying about so I try not to let them linger.
Today I am thankful that there is one I don’t ever have any doubts about, Jesus