Thursday, April 4, 2013


He wrote back, inquiring about my health.  I should explain, the following facebook post is what prompted him to send me a message:

if you would, please pray for my health. i'd prefer not to go into specifics, but i've had health issues for well over a year. i started to get better in december, but recently relapsed. my dreams are on hold until i can get back to being me. please pray i get better speedily. thanks!
And so I explained...  
In September I participated in a day-long Bible study in LA called Letters.  The day started at 10, and wrapped up sometime after 4.

That night I was zapped of all energy and rather than going out with friends in Manhattan Beach, I curled up on my friend’s couch.  The next day I still felt fatigued, but still went for a mid-morning jog, and then spent the latter part of the afternoon writing at a coffee shop, processing what I had learned the day before.  An hour into my writing, a migraine headache set in, and I switched from productivity to facebook browsing.
Eventually I packed up my laptop and headed up to Hollywood for evening church.  But as I drove, the migraine worsened.  In fact, the pain in my head got so bad I had to exit the freeway and find a place where I could safely vomit in case the nausea feeling in my stomach progressed to that point.  Rather than making it to church, I spent the next hour crying through the pain, as I sat hugging my knees, on some dirty LA sidewalk. 
The migraines were nothing new - I had been experiencing them since January 2012, when things got REALLY bad at work.  I thought they’d let up after I left the job, but instead my health got progressively worse over the summer and into the fall.  After my doc’s testing –an echocardiogram in the spring and an EEG in the fall – it was confirmed, my health issues stemmed from other matters.
So I started counseling in September and by session 3, we figured out I sometimes get migraine headaches when I am treated poorly.  Normal people get angry and express that anger in a variety ways, but I don’t think to get angry, so instead my body takes the hit, responding with physical pain and the claim, “This is not okay.”  After I lost nearly everything in hurricane Sandy, I was able to identify I also get physically ill in facing loss.  To identify potential causes for my physical ailment seemed like a HUGE break through.  And, after my post -Sandy major migraine episode in November, I’ve been “clean.”
Until… well, in February I participated in that all-day Bible study again.  And, once again, I was zapped of energy and felt miserable for the next 24 hours.  I wasn’t well enough to hang with friends that Saturday night or to go to church the following day, but it wasn’t anything extreme, so I didn’t think too much of it.  But then in March, St. Patty’s Day weekend, I participated in Letters for the 3rd time, live streaming from a Starbucks in Michigan.  And, once again, I was disappointed that I didn’t feel well enough to meet up with friends that night.  But the fatigue got me thinking – wait – this has happened to me all 3 times I have participated in Letters, and not only that, but in August, when I participated in Willow Creek’s Global Leadership Summit  - again, the same thing, plus migraine, happened. 
At 3 AM I couldn’t sleep, so I called my friend Amy who lives in Hawaii, and explained how I had discovered this correlation between hearing good teaching and then getting sick.  And she started talking about some of the hardships she has been facing, and then mentioned she feels like it might be spiritual warfare.
I was lying down in bed, warm and cozy under my covers. I wasn’t chilled at all, but with the mention of spiritual warfare, I felt chills go up and down through my entire body several times.  It was as if those chills confirmed Amy’s suspicion that the forces of darkness were somehow targeting us.  I don’t pray over the phone a ton, but with that freakish sensation, I told Amy I am going to pray for us.
Before it seemed I'd get migraines as a result of the bad stuff happening to me.  Now I get sick when I expose myself to what is good.  And not just with Bible studies, but even things like spending a fabulous day snowboarding with my friend Lisa.  The next day I was in bed with pain so bad I was unable to eat, and had to take occasional trips to the bathroom to vomit.   And even this week.  I had a fun evening with my friend Emily, and then was taken out with a migraine for the following 48 hours.  It’s like living life with a really bad hangover without ever getting shit faced from drinking too much alcohol.  The source of my physical ailment, at this point in time, appears to stem from my pursuit of what is good.
I’m near finished with a book that I know has the potential to make a positive impact in people’s lives.   And that’s just book 1.  And then there’s this nonprofit I am hoping to start.  And then I’m hoping to rewrite the female metanarrative… and well, there’s just a whole lot of good I’d like to do in this world that I can’t do when I am stuck in bed, or vomiting into a toilet.

No comments: