After 5 days in the hospital, the histoplasmosis (histo) was not at a dangerous level and I was released. I left with a prescription of an antifungal medication that I was required to take for an entire year. But there was a new problem. Every medication to control Crohn’s disease was immunosuppressant. When I tried these medications, my fevers would immediately return because my histo levels would rise. I will always have traces of the fungus in my lungs so I cannot be immune compromised. My infectious disease physician, Dr. Delgado, was adamant that I stop all Remicade treatments. Dr. Maisel and Dr. Delgado corresponded to try to find the best medication for me, but after a few tries of new and upcoming drugs, nothing was keeping the histo suppressed .
After 6 years, I stopped Remicade treatments and all medications for Crohn’s disease and was only taking itraconazole for the histoplasmosis. Was I worried? Most definitely. I felt like the two diseases would be against me, fighting to take over depending on which was treated. In addition, Dr. Delgado warned us greatly that if I were to get pregnant, the medication would be detrimental to the baby. So not only did I fear for my own health, but I had the fear of an unplanned pregnancy.
As always though, God had a greater plan that I could ever make up. If you’ve read Part 2, you’ll remember that this was the year 2008 and by November of 2009 I was cleared from taking itraconazole. I was now taking no medication, and I was having no symptoms of Crohn’s disease. The Spring of 2010 I received a colonoscopy since it had been 2 years since my last one. Irritable Bowel Disease patients are encouraged to get a colonoscopy every 2 years even during remission (no symptoms/flair-ups/inflammation) to screen for cancer since our cancer rate is higher than non-IBD people.
Results: no inflammation. Zilch. Zippo. None. Brett and I walked out of there praising Jesus!!! And….Brett has some stories since Dr. Maisel allowed him to sit in on the colonoscopy! Many physicians don’t let spouses because they have had their share of pass out experiences. So I can confidently say that Brett knows ALL of me…including inside of me! 😉
What then? I was in remission. And I continued my life as normal. Fast forward to February 2011 and I was pregnant with our first born, Kherington. A new fear arose. For some women, their Crohn’s symptoms worsen during pregnancy while others improve. Since I was in remission my fear was that I would struggle with symptoms throughout my pregnancy. But all praise to the Lord, my entire pregnancy was asymptomatic.
As I reflect back to that horrible experience of contracting histoplasmosis, I originally thought it was all a curse. My Crohn’s disease was a curse. My histoplasmosis was a curse and prevented me from continuing treatment for Crohn’s. But the truth is disease IS a curse. These diseases are a result of sin. No, not a specific sin that God was punishing me for, but the fact that I am a sinner.
“Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned—” Romans 5:12
Disease = death. You. Me. We are all going to die. Disease is part of the process of dying, and death is a result of sin.
“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23
Yet, the good news is that Jesus Christ has defeated sin by nailing it to the cross and has defeated death by rising from the grave 3 days later. This earthly body will continue to decompose, but HALLELUIAH some day I will live for all eternity with Jesus Christ with no disease or death!
“For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.” 1 Corinthians 15:22
Maybe you are struggling with a chronic illness. Or a loved one just died. Or you question God why there is so much suffering and death. He is not the cause. He is the SOLUTION.
Jesus is my Healer. He has currently healed me from Crohn’s disease. This past February 2015, I had another colonoscopy. The result: no inflammation.
But more importantly, Jesus has healed me from my sin. One night in September of 1991, my prayer was similar (or as much as a 5 year old could say) as David crying out,
“Have mercy on me, LORD; heal me, for I have sinned against you.” Psalm 41:4
And Christ’s response?
“He sent out his word and healed [me]; he rescued [me] from the grave.” Psalm 107:20
Maybe you have not been healed yet by your illness, disease, or thorn in the side. But have you been healed from your sin? Have you been too focused on trying to find the cure for your disease? Or maybe you don’t have an illness but you are trying every new health fad to prevent disease, yet are failing to allow Christ to heal you from the disease of your soul, which has an eternal consequence?
Choose your eternal health now. Don’t wait. Christ is able and willing to make you alive now and for all eternity:
“I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?“ John 11:25-26