Monday, October 28, 2013


We’d all agree we need it. We’d all agree it’s something to strive for in life.

I wasn’t born for balance. I am wired for extremes it seems.  Swinging from one end of the pendulum to the next is something very familiar to me no matter the context. But, I am making concerted effort at finding balance in my life. The irony of that statement is not lost on me. Note: “concerted effort” connotes extreme.  Even in my trying to find balance, I operate from my tendency toward extremism. I find this comical at best, frustrating, defeating and hopeless at worst.

Since July, the same month we moved into our new home, I have been experiencing a physical hardship that is perplexing to many.  The skin on my eyelids, lips and a small orbital spot on my inner elbow has all been red, itchy, burning at times, flaky at other times, inflamed, swollen and mildly to wildly painful.

I have seen the dermatologist twice, optometrist once, read online forums, and consulted friends and family. I have tried various creams, facial washes along with washing regimens and leaving it alone. I began taking a probiotic and even have applied a stinky oil, called “Neem Oil”. It smells like garlic! I haven’t made out with my husband in months!  L

Could it be allergies? Maybe.  Could it be autoimmune? I think it might. Could it be something in our home and/or property that I’m responding adversely to? Yes, yes it could. Could it be stress manifesting itself in a rather painful, ugly form, declaring to all who set eyes on me, “This woman is way over her head in life and needs H.E.L.P.?” Probably is.

These are all the things I have heard as I've polled the field. And, here's where my mind goes...
I could see an allergist who would likely set up an appointment to do allergy testing. What if that's not conclusive? He may ask me to try elimination diets. What food would I eliminate first and how many do I eliminate before I conclude it's not a food allergy?

I could see an infectious disease doctor or an immunologist who would prescribe his own battery of tests. More appointments. More wait and see.  And, what if it is autoimmune?  I'm not going to hop on prescription medicine before I try a more natural approach via diet and lifestyle changes. And, what might that entail? How long would that take before I would be willing to try prescriptions?

What if it is something in my home that I'm allergic to?  What then? Air purification? Water treatment? Mold remediation? Sell our dream home and move?

My mind is spinning at this point and balance is NOWHERE to be found.
So, stress then is a very likely candidate. Nullifying all the other possibilities? No, but certainly compounding the problem.

Oh, this vicious cycle I can find myself in whenever dealing with unknown health issues or any unknown really.

God has been kind and persevering with me over the years, though, and I think there's been some movement toward a more godly, balanced response to unknowns. It is probably still not my "knee jerk" response, but I'm moving closer.  I push the "stop" button on the thoughts with which I can barely keep up, take a deep breath, and  pray. I affirm that God is in control and I am not, that He loves me and will not withhold His good from me.  I ask Him to reveal JUST the next step to me and provide what I need to take it.

And, then I do all that over again. and again. and again.

**I began pecking out this post a week ago, at a “breaking point” with my eyes. I was hurting so much physically and really having a difficult time persevering with it in my soul. I needed to get typing. It’s a catharsis for me.  I did see my general practitioner this week who thinks what I have going on with my skin is not a systemic issue because it’s so localized and specific. So, he suggested I try one of the creams that had worked temporarily for me before, along with taking fish oil by capsule and using vitamin E oil topically.  After 5 days of this regimen, my skin is feeling and looking much, much better. I’m grateful.