The day my world stopped, literally! One second I was enjoying an evening out with my family and the next second I opened my eyes as I was laying on the floor at a local restaurant surrounded by my family on their knees and the owner of the restaurant on the phone with emergency responders…and yes, that is my selfie from the back of the ambulance.
I was taken to the hospital and had numerous tests run on me. Medical testing continued for months as my “brain fog” and other symptoms would not leave. Doctors could not figure out what my problem was. All test came back “normal”. I was fine. It must have all been in my head. After a thorough evaluation of all of my tests and medical history, my cardiologist diagnosed me with panic attacks, mitral valve prolapse, vasovagal syncope, and PTSD. PTSD? How could I have that? I was given a prescription and high powered vitamins and sent on my way.
Fast forward to three years later, and here I am continuing to fight a battle for my health. Looking back, many of the symptoms I had three years ago have crept back into my life – actually they hit me like a ton of bricks.
Thankfully, I found a doctor who has been able to pinpoint the source of my lengthy list of annoying symptoms. I was diagnosed with chronic Lyme Disease. Looking back over the last three years and the time I have spent on the couch or curled up on a ball crying on the floor, I had MANY times I thought “Why Me?”, “I’ve got things I want to do, why can’t I get up??”. It is so hard not only physically, but a huge mental challenge when your body and mind are not able to sync up on the same page. It is frustrating when you cannot physically do the things you want to.
As hard and as frustrating at times this journey we call life has been, I am beyond thankful for these challenges. It is through these challenges that I have found my inner strength. I have found my voice. I have found a deeper desire and passion to give back and help others. I feel I can relate a tiny bit to other people facing unknown answers and medical challenges. Perhaps THE answer has always been inside me. I just needed to go through the process to find the answers for myself. God certainly has a way to direct our path and He has definitely guided me over the last few years.
As I laid on this stretcher in the picture, PawPrint Ministries was still a hope and a dream to be able to bring one comfort dog to Central Illinois. Actually this photo was snapped just days after I met Payton for the first time in California.
Fast forward to three years later, PPM is exploding with 19 comfort dogs in 5 different cities with numerous amazing volunteers who work hard to give back and help others.
Who knows what the next three years will bring, but one thing I do know, is that I will continue to trust that God’s Got This!!!!!!
….and the journey continues…