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when west meets east…

SO…my rheumatologist was able to give me a diagnosis today!

According to western (I say western because I totally dig eastern, more natural doctors with an eastern approach) medicine and blood work lined up with symptoms–I was diagnosed with Sjogren’s syndrome. Never heard of it?? Well, if you are a tennis fan–then maybe you have because of Venus Williams. You can read about her journey with it here. And just for kicks and for your growing education;), you can also read about it on the Sjogren’s Syndrome Foundation here. There isn’t a cure…so it’ll be a journey of figuring out the ins and outs of this auto-immune disease–so my rheumatologist said we’d be good friends:).

I’ll still have to get our doctor to write a letter to our adoption agency–and it’ll still have to get cleared by them and China…but if it’s His will–then it will all work out when the time is right.

Praise–it’s not lupus! Bummer–that it IS something. It’s okay though–I know have a good excuse for memory loss and fatigue BESIDES being a busy momma!

And then…there’s the east. My homeopathic doctor and the blood tests he ordered line up with Lyme’s disease (scored a 50 when it needs to be 200 on CD-57). The treatment is all natural supplements–so I guess it’s worth a go, and he might be on to something.

BUT because I’ve had Sjogren’s symptoms much longer than that tick bite last year—I’m guessing I could have Lyme’s on top of Sjogren’s. Not discrediting either. And totally will listen to both sides–because I’m open minded like that.

(Word on the street is medical doctors don’t like to diagnose or test you for Lyme’s for political reasons. I don’t believe everything I’m fed–even if we do live in a free country folk. I believe we are to question everything–no matter how smart it sounds. SOOO…even if something that is completely unknown or different or might even sound nuts to me–like foreign eastern medicine because I grew up in a western country–I don’t think it should just quickly be tossed out the window. SO…why would I even listen to him…besides the fact that eastern medicine has been around for so much longer than western?? Aside from that–GET THIS. Full on NUTS! When we brought Isaac home the western doctors–the pediatrician, urologist, GI doctor, pediatric pulmonologist…ALL were diagnosing our sweet boy left and right. He was on steroids and meds GALORE…to help him with kidney problems, severe asthma, x-rays every week…the list goes on. I went to this AMAZING homeopathic doctor who is also a strong believer and he said, “STOP giving him all this! The boy has giardia!!!” He had tested negative at the labs my pediatrician had done–but my homeopathic doctor explained how HARD they are to catch and you can test negative 10x for parasites before you get a sample that would test positive. He ran some of his tests–and said he was simply a little boy overtaken with a parasite that was hard to catch and treat with strong meds. I took a step of faith and took his advice and gave him the natural stuff–and in TWO WEEKS my sweet boy was a DIFFERENT baby!!! I was jaw-dropped and SO THANKFUL! We had seen THE “best” pulmonogist in our area, and he was jaw dropped at how his severe asthma was now GONE! My pediatrician couldn’t believe it either and although it didn’t make sense to him–he told me to please keep doing whatever it was we had been doing because he had NEVER seen a child make such a miraculous turn around! He scratched his said and said MAYBE it WAS parasites after all! Our visits to EVERY doctor…the best of the best…quickly came to an end ALL AT ONCE! It was AMAZING!) SOOO…all that being said–I could have Lyme’s (I guess) and I’ll do his natural treatment and it can’t hurt:) I’ve been on the homeopathic treatment for Lyme’s for 2 weeks–and I already feel a difference in my joints–so it’s all good either way!

So the funny part is today when I told my rheumatologist that my naturalist doctor thought I had Lyme’s. He told me I have Sjogren’s–and NOT Lyme’s…because he has never heard of CD-57 and you can’t get Lyme’s in Georgia. I thought that statement was funny:). (Everything else he said sounded so intelligent–but that conclusion made me bite my lip to keep from snickering!) I’m so bad because I did say, “Um doctor, have you heard of cases in North Carolina? You have? Well, do you think deer and ticks don’t cross borders?? Alright–so I’m not in denial that I have Sjogren’s…I just think it’s funny that deer and ticks can’t cross borders and he didn’t even want to test me for Lyme’s. He said my blood markers line up with Lupus and Sjogren’s–and because I miss some clear, key Lupus symptoms and all my symptoms and blood tests line up with Sjogren’s–Sjogren’s is today’s lucky winner. And that was that.

My rheumatologist says Sjogren’s will be with me forever. SO–maybe it will. Or maybe this will be another time when east meets west. Regardless–my blood work shows I have Sjogren’s–and for sure an auto-immune disorder…so we’ll be chill in’ over here, eating healthy and slowing down. (And now I have a legit excuse for forgetfulness, being tired or cavities!)

Thank you for praying! Thankful to have a diagnosis. And totally not blowing off the eastern one either. Ultimately, I’m thankful to have a Great Physician who knows more than either–and who is the ultimate Healer for each and every one of us. Amen?

And word on the street is ALSO that Venus Williams is making a career come back. I’m diggin’ that attitude Venus. Y’all watch out. This time next year…crafts and crazy kid activities will be making a come back on my blog too.

Thankful to have some of the coolest and most amazing blog readers to pray for me, encourage me and be on this journey with me! LOVE y’all! And super thankful that this syndrome is NOT on the “can’t adopt” list for any country. Praying that if it’s His will for us to bring home a little girl–that He will pave the way in His perfect timing!


Sandi - November 14, 2011 - 5:35 pm

We’ll be praying for ultimate healing from the Almighty Physician. PS from a friendly Dietitian-with Sjongren’s all that stuff about raw fruits & veggies helping autoimmune disorders is absolutely true. Also daily exercise even though you will be so tired some days will works wonders in how you feel! God bless- praying, praying for healing!

Amy Nabors - November 14, 2011 - 5:55 pm

I wouldn’t discount either but I have a friend from high school whose daughter was misdiagnosed with lupus at the age of 10 by Children’s Hospital here in Alabama. They treated her for lupus for a year and she continued to worsen. My friend researched & pushed for Lyme testing. It was Lyme. They sought treatment all over spending hundreds of thousands raised by their community because insurance didn’t want to pay after a certain amount. They brought her home to die and then heard of an alternative treatment center in Nashville. She has a long road but she is healing finally. That long story to say if she can get Lyme from a tick in Alabama then you know you can get it from one in Georgia. I wish doctors weren’t so anti homeopathic. Thankful for our pediatrician who balances them both. Hoping you are feeling better soon.

Rory - November 14, 2011 - 6:06 pm

Just catching up with the story on the last few posts…praying for God’s COMPLETE healing. Also, you are TOTALLY right to not discount more natural remedies. While we still go to a pediatrician, my naturopath (who is a born-again Christian) has been more helpful and healing with natural remedies for my kids than anything I’ve experienced with western meds (not to say they don’t have their place, and even my naturopath says he is totally FOR some of those meds too! Keep being open minded and gathering research and we’ll keep praying! I am reminded of the passage John 16:13 where it says that the Holy Spirit will lead you into all truth. And while I know the context wasn’t about medical issues, the point is His character is still the same. He’s a truth teller and He’ll get you right where you need to be with the answers you are seeking. This creates an amazing set-up for God to get some serious GLORY! Hang in there sister!

Rory - November 14, 2011 - 6:07 pm

Okay, not sure what happened to my comment! Just here to say we’re praying and that God’s got it in hand…sorry for the cryptic message up top.

Elle J - November 14, 2011 - 6:08 pm

So true, Andrea. East, West, combo … only HE will give you the wisdom to know the direction to take during the rest of your life dealing with Auto-Immune/Sjogrens. I know about Sjogrens through my mom being diagnosed 30 yrs ago, and with RA diagnosis recently. You are a fighter and have a “don’t give up attitude” like she does ~ I have NO DOUBT you will amaze yourself in all that you will continue to do. Love ya big time and cheering for you as you move forward.

Dawn Wright - November 14, 2011 - 6:34 pm

PRAYING for you and whatever treatment will help!!!!!!! God knows! And sometimes it is great to get different sides to the story!

Naomi - November 14, 2011 - 6:56 pm

I would rather go east than west anytime!!! I really believe in the natural remedies and homeopathic doctors as long as they are not tree huggers but God huggers. Still you can’t throw the baby out with the bath water! I am so not into medicine and I think that most of the stuff they give you actually covers up the real issues.

Glad to hear that it is not more serious and I would agree with you to do the natural treatment. It is wonderful that God has not closed the door for you to adopt!

Lauren - November 14, 2011 - 7:42 pm

Love the detailed update! You know I’m praying!!!! Interesting that the doctor didn’t think you could get Lyme’s disease in GA… haha

Cristie - November 14, 2011 - 8:26 pm

Been praying for you, girl!! You rest and find some delicious healthy recipes and spend extra time with Jesus! In other words, take care of yourself, and know you are loved!!

Sherrie - November 14, 2011 - 10:50 pm

I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia a few months ago, when my doctor wanted to put me on antidepressant med’s I started doing all kinds of research (on the internet mostly) and went to see an actupuncturist, my symptoms are gone!! NO MED’S at all.. I do take an auto immune vitamin which is great.. Be sure you check all your bases before taking any medication..

Best Wishes,

Joyce - November 15, 2011 - 8:36 am

I follow your blog through my daughter’s blog, and found this post very interesting! My husband has been going to a naturopathic doctor who has done WONDERS for him. He had a blood clot last fall that nearly killed him, and he suffers from Crohn’s disease. This nat. dr. has found things going on in him that the med. drs. never did, and he is a different person today because of the natural remedies he is taking. I’m all for the natural route! Hope you get along as well with this as he did! So enjoyed reading about your experience with Isaac and his medical treatment! GO HOMEOPATHIC AND NATUROPATHIC!!!! A year ago I didn’t believe in it. I DO NOW!!!

Joyce - November 15, 2011 - 8:49 am

I follow your blog through my daughter’s blog and found this post very interesting! My husband has been going to a naturopathic doctor who has done WONDERS for him. He had a blood clot last fall that nearly killed him and he suffers from Crohn’s disease. This nat. dr. has found things going on in him that the med. drs. never did and he is a different person today because of the natural remedies he is taking. I’m all for the natural route! Hope you get along as well with this as he did! So enjoyed reading about your experience with Isaac and his medical treatment! GO HOMEOPATHIC AND NATUROPATHIC DOCTORS! My daughter is bringing 3 yr. old twins home from Ethiopia, anD she wants to take them to this nat. dr. Good luck to you, and God’s blessings!

Joyce - November 15, 2011 - 9:01 am

Sorry there are 2 posts. When I tried to post the first comment I got a message that there was an error and it didn’t post. So I posted again and it went through fine, and then I saw that the first one did, too. Sorry, one should be deleted.

Alison - November 15, 2011 - 9:17 am

Praise God that you finally have a diagnosis! Was just praying for you this morning! I have an autoimmune disease too, and it was a tough few years after I was first diagnosed. But PRAISE THE LORD, that besides a medication I will take daily for the rest of my life, I am totally symptom free and feeling great! Will keep praying that God will restore your health!

Tiffany - November 17, 2011 - 9:15 am

Feel badly that you are dealing with so much stuff…but at least the news is a bit encouraging…you have been on my heart the past few days. We love the homeopathic doctor! We still do both as well…but I’d have to say, we have had much more success with Eastern medicine lately…something to be said for giving the body a chance to heal itself, rather than just treating symptoms and living with it. Way to be vigilant!

Erin Crenshaw - November 17, 2011 - 10:17 pm

I am praying for you and for God’s provision and leading of your sweet family. I am so glad you know something. I love that you are looking at it from all angle’s! 🙂 Praying for healing!!!