This guy, Dan, is pretty amazing. For the first month, everything was amazing - he is funny and interesting and crazy and not at all what I expected myself to be falling for. But then, about a month into things - his autoimmune condition flares up. He has ulcerative colitis, and was only diagnosed with it about a year and a half ago. This was his first really bad flare of the disease, and landed him in the hospital for 2 1/2 weeks. He had lost about 50 pounds in a month! I was the one who drove him to the hospital and checked him in, and the whole time I was praying and taking deep breaths because the last time I was in the hospital here in York was the last time Isaac was in the hospital.
So, here I was again - the hospital girlfriend. It's a routine I know far too well, and while I am pretty good at it - it's not a role I wanted again. I fell back into being the caregiver version of myself again. It was not a place I wanted to be. The caregiver doesn't care for herself well. She eats crummy food and cuts workouts short and doesn't get enough sleep. The 10 pounds I gained? They were because of her. But I am not her.
I am redeemed.
I can't tell you how many nights I drove home from the hospital and spent the drive talking to God and asking Him why. Why this again? Why do I have to be the caregiver again? When does someone take care of me for a change?
But here's the thing - I was totally prepared to deal with Dan's illness. Being the nutrition nerd that I am, I know a ton of information about the effects nutrition has on autoimmune disease. I always wondered why I found that stuff so fascinating when it's not something I struggle with in my own health.Also, the sickness and the hospitalization and the messy stuff - well, after 2 1/2 years with Isaac - this was not a huge deal for me. Sure, it was unpleasant - but it wasn't unfamiliar. It didn't freak me out. And, I knew that it was temporary. Colitis is not cancer. Colitis is manageable.
Anyway, I've rambled a lot here. Dan is now doing better. He's back to work (and kicking butt at it, by the way), has gained 30 pounds back, and is easing his way back into exercising regularly.
That whole "When does someone take care of me for a change?" thing - well, that was a silly worry. In my last blog, I shared how well he took care of me with my car accident. He's a good one.
It's been amazing to look back at my journey and be able to see so many clear places where God has prepared me for things. It's beautiful to watch Him unveil things piece by piece, and watch the puzzle all come together and start to make a little more sense. I feel like I've spent 5 years wandering the desert, and now I'm entering the Promised Land. And it's a GOOD land!