I’m glad you stopped by my blog.  Make yourself at home.  Start meandering by scrolling down…and you can peek into all my cupboards and closets by clicking the side bar.  I know you’ll find some strengthening articles, encouraging resources, fabulous-but-forgotten hymn texts, and perhaps a heartening smile or two.  Most importantly, I hope you’ll be strengthened in your walk with the Lord for the time you spend here with me.  If you do not yet know Him, please click here for a beautiful invitation.  To learn about how He changed my life, click here, and by clicking here you can find out a few more fun and forgettable snippets about me. 🙂

If I can do anything to be a further blessing to you, in prayer, or by improving my site, please let me know…or just write to say “Hi”!  Please click here for an email form.

Blessings ~Diane

“You’re So Sickly”

It’s been a little over a year since I last posted here on the blog. Writing has taken a back seat with other pressing needs pushing it into a corner. Today I feel compelled to take the time, even if I have to work on this in stages to get it posted.

I want to post this especially on behalf of those who have “invisible illness” and don’t feel they have a voice.

The longer I live, the more hindsight I have with regard to connections genetically to these types of conditions. My mother had a thyroid condition and osteoarthritis. I believe she also had SPD and fibromyalgia, remembering discussions we’d had and symptoms/behavior she’d manifested. She just didn’t know what to call it. None of us did back then. My aunts (both of my mothers sisters) had debilitating rheumatoid arthritis and Parkinson’s disease.

My personal journey with invisible illness began around 1997. Some physical trauma kick-started a series of events ranging from migraines to severe cold intolerance to joint and muscle pain and fatigue. That’s one way that autoimmune conditions begin–physical or emotional trauma.

Fast forward twenty-some-odd years. Since that kick-start, I’ve seen GPs, chiropractors, physical therapists, and naturopaths. I’ve been told I have fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, and chronic Epstein Barr. I’ve been given prescriptions–all of which have either been discarded or were ineffectual. Doctors wrote scripts for everything from big gun pain killers to heart medications to antidepressants. Modern medicine usually seeks to put a bandaid on things rather than get to the root of the problem.

I understand invisible illness. I understand “but you don’t look sick”.

Unfortunately, our kids have inherited some propensity toward autoimmune illness. In a very in-your-face way, we’ve seen it in our youngest being diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in 2016. I believe she also manifests Aspergers, which some research indicates to have a connection to immune system health. All three kids have manifested Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) on various levels. Some believe this also has autoimmune connections. Here’s a helpful video:

It was suggested to me back around 1998 by an occupational therapist that SPD might be a part of my autoimmune smorgasbord. I dismissed it. I was already weary of being told I was “sickly”(someone used that term)…I didn’t need to embrace another label to add weight to that burden. The more I study, the more affirmation I see. SPD is not obvious to others, except that it may be observed that I cannot tolerate noise levels others find normal, what is hot to others is scorching to me–and what is “chilly” is intolerably cold, certain kinds of lighting (especially halogen and fluorescent) can drive me up a wall. The “itchy sweater you can’t wait to tear off” kind of feeling. And don’t get me started about labels, waistbands, and inseams. IYKYK (“if you know, you know”) This all has to do with the way my brain reads stimuli. People especially in Christian circles seem to balk at discussions about conditions affecting the brain, forgetting that the brain is an organ just as the heart, lungs or pancreas are. It is tragic, because the repercussions of avoiding this dialogue can have devastating results.

An important book dealing with mental illness from a Christian perspective

What does this look like in real life? Sometimes I spend all day in jammies. Sometimes I have to leave events that are far too loud, even if I wear earplugs (which are now always in my purse). Sometimes I know I can’t go at all. Sometimes the shades are pulled in the house. I rarely drive at night. Super long drives usually don’t have great results. There are coping mechanisms, but they don’t always work. And perhaps they’ll work one day and not the next. It’s all very fluid. You just do what you can do.

Needless to say, I’ve learned how to research. I’ve learned the wisdom of staying off forums for the most part where people have largely allowed themselves to be defined as victims by their conditions. It is depressing and not healthful to join in that kind of conversation that is just full of venting and listing symptoms and complaints. I prefer to make lemonade with my lemons. It may not seem so by outward observers, but there are courageous, unseen, uncelebrated decisions made every day by those with “invisible illness”. You decide what you are able to do, and what you cannot do. You triage the voices, and sometimes you mute them.

I’ve learned there are some people who simply will never understand. They define normal according to their own personal experience and if others don’t match that experience they are misjudged, ridiculed, or disregarded. Once someone ridiculed the reaction I was having due to a CEBV flare, saying they’d “had mono” and got over it. Not everyone reacts to viruses and pathogens in the same manner. Not everyone is resilient in the same way. That can be one of the hardest things to reconcile yourself to…being misunderstood by others. Eventually you’ll have to decide to take a step away mentally. Those who care will make the effort to understand instead of judge.

We are fearfully and wonderfully made. Each of us is a distinct entity, with our own set of traits, propensities, strengths, and vulnerabilities. We all have a different set of life experiences that we bring to the table. Personally, I think this is one of the reasons Jesus healed blind people in several different ways. Some were healed by His word alone. Some by a touch. Others were healed after clay was applied. Still others were healed partway and then fully. I believe He knew the kind of healing that would be the best fit for each person’s life experience, mental state, and physical circumstances. My two cents.

For lots of what is going on with my health, I just muddle through. I use NSAIDs, rice socks, heating pads. The fine print alone on most prescriptions makes me not want to dip a toe in. Some nutritional measures (supplements, teas, etc.) can help. Stretches and activating certain pressure points can provide relief. Using blue light blocking options on tech is useful. White noise at night is imperative as well as room darkening drapes. I try to get sleep (with melatonin or Benadryl helping often). Now I’m learning about anti-inflammatory diet. And the most important thing of all? Taking all of it to the One who made me and has a purpose in everything He does. He never wastes time.

The “invisible illness” club is growing in membership at an alarming rate. So I felt it was important enough to take the risk and put this “out there”. Sometimes it helps just to know someone else gets it.

And, be encouraged. The person who called me “sickly” back in the 90’s? Just a couple years later, she took the time to understand and ended up being a champion for me in a situation where I was too overwhelmed to advocate for myself. Take heart. Be as patient and understanding toward others as you wish them to be toward you. Take the great days when you have them. Celebrate but don’t overdo (I speak from experience…it’s a real temptation…balance is everything).

If you’ve stayed this long, I thank you. And anyone currently in your life or in your future who suffers from “invisible illness” I feel certain will be thankful as well. Let me know how I can pray for you. And come visit me at The Quiet Rest Podcast.

“Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.

And of some have compassion, making a difference”

Jude 21-22

List of Podcasts Available

There are various episodes of the podcast already available for your encouragement. Click on the links to listen (download the free Anchor app), or you can just visit the general Anchor home page for my podcast here: https://anchor.fm/diane-heeney

Two-Minute Resets

Theme: Worry https://anchor.fm/diane-heeney/episodes/Two-Minute-Reset-Worry-e1067sj
Theme: Thoughts and the Mind https://anchor.fm/diane-heeney/episodes/Two-Minute-Reset-Thoughts-and-the-Mind-e1068dp
Theme: God’s Sovereignty https://anchor.fm/diane-heeney/episodes/Two-Minute-Reset-Gods-Sovereignty-e10674b
Theme: Forgiveness https://anchor.fm/diane-heeney/episodes/Two-Minute-Reset-Forgiveness-e1068vo
Theme: Security https://anchor.fm/diane-heeney/episodes/Two-Minute-Reset-Security-e1068o1
Theme: Peace https://anchor.fm/diane-heeney/episodes/Two-Minute-Reset-Peace-ev423i
Theme: God’s Presence https://anchor.fm/diane-heeney/episodes/Two-Minute-Reset-Gods-Presence-ev780t
Theme: Scripture Prayers (5 minutes) https://anchor.fm/diane-heeney/episodes/Five-Minute-Reset-Scripture-Prayers-ev78s0
Theme: Joy https://anchor.fm/diane-heeney/episodes/Two-Minute-Reset-Joy-ev79md
Theme: Patience https://anchor.fm/diane-heeney/episodes/Two-Minute-Reset-Patience-ev7a0o
Theme: Trials https://anchor.fm/diane-heeney/episodes/Two-Minute-Reset-Trials-ev7f2d
Theme: God’s Love https://anchor.fm/diane-heeney/episodes/Two-Minute-Reset-Gods-Love-ev7fns
Theme: Longsuffering https://anchor.fm/diane-heeney/episodes/Two-Minute-Reset-Longsuffering-ev7gjs
Theme: Faith https://anchor.fm/diane-heeney/episodes/Two-Minute-Reset-Faith-ev7h0e
Theme: Rest https://anchor.fm/diane-heeney/episodes/Two-Minute-Reset-Rest-ev7hfj
Theme: Comfort: https://anchor.fm/diane-heeney/episodes/Two-Minute-Reset-Comfort-ev7hq1
Theme: Fear https://anchor.fm/diane-heeney/episodes/Two-Minute-Reset-Fear-ev9fd4

Quiet Time

Get Rich in 2021 https://anchor.fm/diane-heeney/episodes/Get-Rich-in-2021-eoaknu
Quiet Time Corner Announcement https://anchor.fm/diane-heeney/episodes/Quiet-Time-Corner-Announcement-et0fu4

Fear & Faith

Coming to the Red Sea Place https://anchor.fm/diane-heeney/episodes/Coming-to-the-Red-Sea-Place-eoi88c
Fightings & Fears https://anchor.fm/diane-heeney/episodes/Fightings-and-Fears-eoquic
Never Alone

Comfort and Hope

What Do We Do Now? https://anchor.fm/diane-heeney/episodes/What-Do-We-Do-Now–PLUS-some-beautiful-new-music-from-Ben-Everson–written-for-the-Quiet-Rest-Podcast-ep99ph
TLC : Some Extra Encouragement and Peace https://anchor.fm/diane-heeney/episodes/TLC-Some-Extra-Encouragement-and-Peace-ep9atv
Why Should I Pray for the President? https://anchor.fm/diane-heeney/episodes/Why-Should-I-Pray-for-the-President-ept5kd

Gospel & Identity in Christ

Do You Know Who You Are? https://anchor.fm/diane-heeney/episodes/Do-You-Know-Who-You-Are-eqp644
My Most Important Podcast Ever https://anchor.fm/diane-heeney/episodes/My-Most-Important-Podcast-Ever-er9qo0


“Bad Kids” https://anchor.fm/diane-heeney/episodes/Bad-Kids-esrui2

Depression (a 5-part series)

Part 1-You’re Not Alone https://anchor.fm/diane-heeney/episodes/Depression-Abounding-in-Hope-Youre-Not-Alone-ep51ub
Part 2-What’s My Problem? https://anchor.fm/diane-heeney/episodes/Depression–Abounding-In-Hope-Whats-My-Problem-epr65j
Part 3-First Things First https://anchor.fm/diane-heeney/episodes/Depression-Abounding-in-Hope-First-Things-First-epra62
Part 4-Bible Examples https://anchor.fm/diane-heeney/episodes/Depression-Abounding-in-Hope-Bible-Examples-of-Paul–Hannah–Elijah–David–Naomi—Even-Jesus-eq4b18
Conclusion https://anchor.fm/diane-heeney/episodes/Depression-Abounding-in-Hope-Conclusion-eqf2sa

(I’m currently working on a related episode on suicide. Appreciate your prayers for this as I prepare. ) —

Two Minute Reset

We’ve all got our fair share of stress. Some years ago I discovered an app that would provide the listener with a couple of minutes’ worth of nature sounds–ocean waves, meadow breezes with chirping birds, rain on a metal roof. I could feel the effect as my heart rate would calm. So I decided to do one better.

I’ve begun a segment of episodes at The Quiet Rest Podcast called “Two Minute Reset“. These segments will be, as the name suggests, only two minutes long and include some calming music running behind a themed grouping of scriptures on a particular theme. Just a brief, peace-bringing respite that refocuses the heart and mind. I hope you’ll join me there. At this writing, I plan to add a new episode each weekend. If you have a theme in mind that you’d like me to include, let me know in the comments or email me at quietrestpodcast@gmail.com.