August 9, 2008

Coming Out – Asking for Prayer

Posted in Prayer Request, Update at 4:53 am by Sarah Bosse


I had not originally intended to share this recent struggle publicly, but because it wears on me daily and my church friends have been family to me (and have supported me and directed me to Christ during these difficult months), I want to share with you a portion of the issue I’m facing. In this way, you can be better informed and know how to pray regarding this situation. I know that there may come times when you simply don’t know “what to say” or you feel like there is nothing you “can do,” but I assure you that just listening or giving a caring smile or a pat on the back and then lifting me up in prayer is more than I ask or expect. Reminding me of the truth when I’m too weak to speak it to myself is of great value! Anyhow, let me get on with what I want to say…

I recently saw a foot and ankle specialist about a number of symptoms I’ve been experiencing, which I had believed were orthopedic in nature (i.e. pain caused by birth defects or misaligned joints, etc). I also believed that some of the metal hardware inside both of my legs was working its way out (that’s what it has felt like to me). This specialist, who was aware of the type of physical condition and deformities I’ve had, explained that it was not (in her opinion) the hardware which was the issue and causing pain, but that “There is some missing piece here that I cannot explain – why she has been so debilitated since such a young age….I would recommend evaluation with a neurologist or rehab doctor…” She suggested that much of my pain might be associated with a neurological birth defect which has been overlooked and basically said the only thing she could do to help me is send me to a hospital to have cortisone injections in both ankles (not the kind of treatment I was expecting) to help decrease some of the pain in bilateral subtalar joints. I was hoping for answers, but ended up leaving this surgeon’s office with more unanswered questions than I originally had going into the appointment. In some ways, I feel like I’m back to square one with no solid diagnosis that explains my chronic pain or the physical decline I’ve been experiencing for several years.

So I am now pursuing appointments to see a neurologist and rehab doctor, though I don’t have health insurance (or income) and I’m working with state and county programs to help get this medical care.

I have felt distressed over two issues related to the above news:
* EMPLOYMENT: I have been “employed” through a few temp agencies in the last several months, but I need steady employment. God has always provided thus far, and I’m very grateful. But it is my responsibility to obtain and maintain employment. The fatigue and pain I experience, especially when working (and by that I mean all types of jobs including desk-type jobs) is greatly increased and leaves me totally exhausted and often unable to do even simple and necessary self-care tasks when I get home after a full day of work. I feel very lost, as I’m not even sure what I can “handle” now in terms of employment. It’s a very complex issue. I think I need to know more about my health and what is happening before I can apply for jobs that push me to the edge physically (which seems like 90% of the jobs out there). I wonder if I’ve wasted the last few years getting my degree, perhaps now being unable to use it. Does God want me to work a job that leaves me so physically exhausted each day that I can barely care for myself, much less serve others and my church?

* CHRONIC POSSIBILITIES: For a while, I’ve had this small poof-cloud in the back of my mind that told me “there might be something bigger, something neurologically based going on here” but I was able to ignore it. Denial? Possibly. My case has been treated as a physical disability with an orthopedic cause for many years. It was about three years ago that a therapist first suggested there were serious neurological implications, but at that time I was a student and busy with so many things that it was easy enough to shrug off her concerns and “put it on the back burner”. But now that daily life tasks are becoming more difficult, and as the issue comes up more frequently, it’s becoming harder to ignore. So I’m jumping from the place where I was entirely unwilling to consider the possibility that my chronic pain is neurologically based to the place where I must consider this a real possibility and be ready to handle whatever diagnosis comes my way. As an Occupational Therapy Assistant, I have enough medical knowledge to put some of the pieces together – I know my symptoms, I know the symptoms of common neurological disorders, and I know that my symptoms match up rather closely with a small number of disorders.

What’s the big deal? you might ask. With orthopedic problems (think problems with bones, muscles, tendons and the like), surgery is common and often successful treatment (and if it’s not, they can often just do more surgery!). With neurological problems, surgery may or may not be an option, but many neurological disorders are not curable and have the potential to be lifelong. The idea of living with pain and fatigue for the rest of my life (and losing the ability to do things I have dreams of doing) is not something I consider frequently. But I feel that I must slowly accustom myself to that possibility, and that’s not an easy road to walk.

At the moment, I’m glad that I’m just talking about “possibilities” and not “facts.” But sooner or later, the facts will come out. I suppose I’m hoping for the best but expecting what seems (to me) to be “likely” (i.e. not the worst, but what feels close to it).

* Quick & Thorough Answers – I’m asking God to provide the needed medical appointments and tests/labwork quickly, but I’m also praying that it will be a very thorough examination so that I can get credible answers.
* Increased Faith / Decreased Fear – I recognize that I am fearful, and I’m praying that God will help me speak truth to myself and that I will be freshly reminded of God’s character through His Word. He loves me more than anyone else ever could, and I need to remind myself that His ways are always best.
* Employment / Financial Provision – A continuing need with no clear or obvious solution in sight. I’m asking God to give me wisdom as I continue my job search and to help me find a job that fits well with both my personal strengths and physical weaknesses.

Thank you all for your prayers and encouragement. I’m so grateful!



1 Comment »

  1. […] ServiceDog wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptMy case has been treated as a physical disability with an orthopedic cause for many years. It was about three years ago that a therapist first suggested there were serious neurological implications, but at that time I was a student and … […]

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