Depending on God in Hard Times

This is the third and final post about my experience with Guillian Barre Syndrome. Well, for the most part. What I would like to focus on with this post is my faith. While Guillian Barre Syndrome is bad, it would have been impossible to make it through it all without my faith in God. I have no doubt that I am still here because of God.

While having the diagnosis of any type of illness can and does cause fear. Fear of the unknown has a way of paralyzing a person more than any disease like Guillian Barre Syndrome could. When we allow fear to control our lives it makes us a prisoner to whatever fear we may have.

Andy Griffith
I firmly believe that in every situation, no matter how difficult, God extends grace greater than the hardship, and strength and peace of mind that can lead us to a place higher then where we were before.                                                                                                                                        Andy Griffith 

Today during church, I was talking to a friend and we got talking about Gillian Barre Syndrome and about a gentleman who most know by watching his shows. Andy Griffith, played Andy on The Andy Griffith Show and Matlock, developed Guillain–Barré in 1983. Andy Griffith was a trooper and never let it control his life.  Andy Griffith was hit by GBS in 1983 while his wife was recuperating from minor surgery in Los Angeles. He caught a bad case of the flu, whose symptoms were replaced by pain throughout his body. One day he stood up and tried to walk, only to fall flat on his face… Read His Story from Guidepost;

One of the most asked questions I receive is, “how do you deal with everything?” That is a pretty easy answer for the most part. All, I can say is that it is a “God thing.” Because of Guillian Barre Syndrome and other circumstances beyond my control, I am able to use those experiences to share with others what God has done in my life. When we praise Him in all things and through all circumstances, we experience His grace and love.

Then I have people ask me about healing. They don’t understand how I can trust God in all things since I still have an abundance of medical issues. Honestly, it isn’t always easy, but I know that while I may not be healed in this world,  I will have a complete healing one day. When I put my faith in Him, I am looking for His guidance and letting Him know that I need him and I trust Him in all things. Anything I do as a Christian, I have tried to make it a point to allow God to use my circumstances for His glory, not mine.

As I look at what others deal with each and every day,  I know that things could be much worse. I don’t understand how some people can go through life without God. In my opinion, my difficult moments necessitate trusting God. If I didn’t have a personal relationship with Christ and I didn’t trust in God, I would think life would be disastrous. Whatever happens, it is a good idea to not give into fear and to seek God first.  In Luke 18:27- “The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.”

The Bible has a great deal when it comes to not being afraid.

  • Deuteronomy 31:8, Moses said, “And the Lord, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.
  • Isaiah 35:4; 41:13 – “Say to those who are fearful-hearted, “Be strong, do not fear! Behold, your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God; He will come and save you. For I, the Lord your God, will hold your right hand, saying to you, ‘Fear not, I will help you.’”
  • James 1:2 -“Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him”.

Throughout my experience, I have learned many lessons and most of those lessons have to do with depending on Jesus Christ and having faith in God.

I would say is the most important lesson is the power of prayer. When you have nothing else, you can always go to God in prayer. No matter what the situation you are going through, God is there.  When you talk to God, it can improve your life in many ways. Not always does God answer in the way you would expect, but He always answers. Prayer is a special connection between you and God.

  • Romans 8:26 – Likewise the Spirit also helps our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself makes intercession for us with groaning which cannot be uttered
  • 1 Chronicles 16:11 Seek the LORD and his strength, seek his face continually

Ask your friends to pray for your needs. Family and friends are one of Gods ways to helping you and strengthening you during your struggles and difficult times.

Even when you feel like you are weak and small, God is loving, powerful and is always there. He will speak to your heart and soul. He will help you enter into prayer and to fully experience God’s loving presence. One of the most powerful ways I have felt His presence is through music and prayer. Some of my favorite worship singers are Mercy Me,Danny Gokey,  Casting Crowns and Mandisa. There are really so many, but these singers/groups have a special place in my heart.

Favorite Music to Help You make it through your life difficulties. These are my go to songs when I’m down and getting stressed over my health and emotions.

  1. Mandisa- Stronger
  2. Casting Crowns- Praise You In This Storm
  3. Danny Gokey – Tell Your Heart to Beat Again
  4. Mercy Me – Finally Home

The other day when I was at the hospital, one of the nurses was saying how they had the first case of Guillian Barre Syndrome locally that she ever seen. She was saying how she didn’t think he would get to where he would be able to walk again. He was paralyzed from the waist on down. I told her that I was paralyzed from the forehead to my feet, she was surprised by that. She never said who he was or any details, but I am thankful that I have been given the chance to share with those who deal with this or other life altering events that God is there in during the darkest moments.

When people say to me that it was God who could have prevented this from happening to me and they are right. But, God always has a higher purpose in my life and in everyone’s life. God sent His Son Jesus because He loves me and He loves you. Because of my experiences, I have able to share with others that there is hope. A diagnosis doesn’t change that purpose. I have talked to many who have had GBS and other debilitating illnesses and they can make it if they trust God. If it wasn’t for having the experiences I have had, I wouldn’t have had the opportunities to get to know others who have similar health issues.

I want to add that when I read about God’s promises in the Bible, there is hope through faith. Even though I continue to have a number of residuals from Guillian Barre Syndrome I have no doubt that God allows things to happen for a reason, even when I don’t understand fully.

 I would like to leave you all with an image that shows what happens with Guillian Barre Syndrome. If anyone has these symptoms, please have them checked out. I would also like to say that no two cases of Guillian Barre Syndrome is the same. While some will completely recover, you will find those who didn’t fully recover. I’vehad GBS since 1980 and I still deal with the residuals from it.

My full diagnosis is Guillian Barre Syndrome (CIPD variant), Myasthenia Gravis, Malignant Hypertension, My blood pressure daily runs into the 260/130 range give or take. I use a cpap machine, but it isn’t for sleep apnea. I have to use it for Cheyennes Stokes respiration. By all accounts, I should not be here, but I am still. My prognosis is poor. In all honesty, when my Dr’s deliver this kind of news, it doesn’t bother me anymore.The reason I say that is that I know that God isn’t finished me either.Just like anybody else, we all will die.  People ask me all the time about if it is OK for them to pray for me and of course that is a yes. I do make sure to let them know that when praying for me to make sure they pray for what God’s will is through all of this.I pray for my health, but I focus more on the return of Christ, since that is the truest kind of healing that anyone can have.

God has blessed me beyond measure. He has put the right people in my life when I needed them most. What it is that is wrong. This is a loaded question that is difficult to answer. I will give a short description, but it may confuse ya more…

Myasthenia Gravis (MG) -What is myasthenia gravis (MG)? Myasthenia gravis (pronounced My-as-theen-ee-a Grav-us) comes from the Greek and Latin words meaning “grave muscular weakness.” The most common form of MG is a chronic autoimmune neuromuscular disorder that is characterized by fluctuating weakness of the voluntary muscle groups

  • Cheyne-Stokes Respiration, Cheyne-stokes respiration is an abnormal pattern of breathing which occurs in patients with congestive heart failure, neurological diseases, and central sleep apnea. The breathing pattern is increased and decreased gradually like tidal volume with periods of sleep apnea. Cheyne-stokes respiration is caused by the failure of the respiratory center in the brain to compensate quickly for changing serum partial pressure of carbon dioxide and oxygen. This abnormal breathing pattern can be seen in patients with head injuries, strokes, and brain tumors.
  • Malignant Hypertension:  My blood pressure is always extreme due to how my muscles work, or should I say they don’t work. They Dr’s have tried just about anything they could do, and my blood pressure is still in the 200/220 plus on a normal day. Most day’s it gets even higher than that.
  • Although it’s not common, some people with high blood pressure may have a rapid rise in blood pressure above 180/120 mm Hg. This is known as malignant hypertension. This condition is sometimes referred to as arteriolar nephrosclerosis.Malignant hypertension requires immediate medical attention. If you don’t get emergency treatment, you may develop serious health problems, such as a heart attack, stroke, or kidney failure which is a constant concern for my Dr’s and nurses.

    I also have issues with the heat. There are some who knows that I hate it when the summer time gets here. That’s because the heat does something to my muscles and reacts in a negative way from the Myasthenia Gravis. I can’t count how many times I have gone into the hospital because of a Myasthenic Crisis. Most times it’s because of the heat.

    Just last week my Dr’s and I were talking about the whole prognosis and treatment plan. They are at a lost and they have told me to tell my friends and family that if I don’t wake up one day then to let them know that the Drs tried everything and not much more can be done besides keeping me comfortable. I did make sure to tell them that. Since my blood pressure has been climbing more and more and it is getting more difficult to breathe, I’m pretty sure things aren’t looking good. But, I have chosen to not dwell on those things each and every day. Worrying about the when and where’s health wise can cause a slippery slope when it comes to when it comes to fully trusting in God.

    If you have questions that you would like me answer, feel free to ask away. Sometimes I may take a while to reply, but I will for sure.  I have posted some of the warning signs for GBS…Remember that not all people have the exact same case. But this is a good list when it comes to the warning signs for Guillian Barre Syndrome.

    Guillain-Barre syndrome often begins with tingling and weakness starting in your feet and legs and spreading to your upper body and arms. In about 10 percent of people with the disorder, symptoms begin in the arms or face. As Guillain-Barre syndrome progresses, muscle weakness can evolve into paralysis.

    Signs and symptoms of Guillain-Barre syndrome may include:

    • Prickling, “pins and needles” sensations in your fingers, toes, ankles or wrists
    • Weakness in your legs that spreads to your upper body
    • Unsteady walking or inability to walk or climb stairs
    • Difficulty with eye or facial movements, including speaking, chewing or swallowing
    • Severe pain that may feel achy or cramp-like and may be worse at night
    • Difficulty with bladder control or bowel function
    • Rapid heart rate
    • Low or high blood pressure
    • Difficulty breathing

    The last thing I want to say is that no matter what is going on in your life, God is there for you. All you have to do is ask. God loves you so much that He sent Jesus to die on the cross for our sins. If you have moments or situations going on in your life, God is there for you. Things are much easier to handle if you know you have God on your side. He won’t turn His back in you ever.