Saturday, May 30, 2009

Lazarus and Betting with God

Since my miraculous 'recovery', my week has consisted of the following:

Cleaning house like a madwoman. Mad, as in, obsessed.

Errand running and shopping.

Attending worship for the first time in six weeks.

Traveling to Crystal River to see my parents.

Designing a new master bedroom suite.

Moving furniture and packing/unpacking closets to prepare for demolition of said new master suite.


Volunteering two hours at church to fold bulletins.

Purging hand me downs and packing eight huge garbage bags for the thrift store.

Enduring the NBA conference finals (trust me, this is most definitely an endurance test if you are married to my husband).

Buying groceries for our church food pantry.

Trying to eliminate the inches of drywall dust that cover every inch of our house due to the remodeling project.

Building a pirate ship.

It is important for me to note all of these things I have done in the past week, because I kinda made a bet with God.

When I thought I was going to die, even if it were at my own hands, I promised God I would never take another day for granted. That my idea of feeling 'okay', would someday mean I was feeling 'great'. If HE would just make me better than I was.


HE did.

And I am keeping my promise.

We had a bet, after all.

When I was at church the other day, folding away, Pastor C. saw me and had a huge smile on her face.

She said, "Heather! You are back! It's like you have risen from the dead!"

Amen, sister.

Just call me Lazarus.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Slow Fade

As difficult as it is for me, I need to write this post. It is a testimony, and as your Christian sister, I am obligated to share those.

Thirty days ago, I thought I had lymphoma.

Two weeks ago, I thought I had a bowel obstruction and was going to need emergency surgery.

One week ago today, I thought I was going to die at my own hands. It was the only way I knew to stop the pain.

It is true. Much as I hate to say it, write it, think it, remember it. I thought about it. I cannot lie.

But God saved me.

Like always.

And here's how He did it.

One week ago today.

I was wandering through the house, a zombie, in horrible, intractable pain.

Popping pills every few minutes. Lots of pills. Any kind of pill. Anything to kill the pain.

Nothing worked.

Nothing took the pain away.


Nothing took the pain away.

I could not eat.

I could not sleep.

I could not think.

I could not talk.

I could not sit.

I could not lie down.

I can't even tell you what I COULD do.

I watched my dear, sweet husband watch me suffer. That provided even more angst.

I started to seriously worry about his mental state. How strong was he? Could we get through this?

At some point, the song "Slow Fade" from Casting Crowns crept into my head and stayed there.

For hours upon hours.

This is what pounded in my head, over and over and over and over again:

Daddies don't just crumble overnight.
It's a slow fade.
Families don't just crumble overnight.
It's a slow fade.

Finally, I grabbed my bible.

"Slow Fade" still pounding in my head

I read the entire book of Job.

I prayed through the entire book of Job

As I read, and prayed, and "Slow Fade" kept pounding, God spoke to me through it all.

I had to trust Him.

He had always been there before.

And He would be there again.

Somehow, this was all part of HIS plan.

It wasn't up to me to know how or why, it just WAS.

The "Slow Fade" pounding stopped.

And 48 hours later, I was pain free.

Be Still and Know That I Am God - Psalm 46:10

Thursday, May 21, 2009


Hello again, friends.

It is high time for me to thank all of you for your love, support, prayers, karma, uplifting words....we have felt them all, I promise you.

And for those of you who are getting tired of hearing the tribulations of Heather J., well, I am sorry.

I am getting tired of talking about them.

I am way too tired of living it.

Nobody wants it to go away more than I do.

But alas, it won't.

And more are wanting an update than telling me to shut my piehole, so here it goes.

Today we have hope.

We haven't had it in a very long time.

I have duodenal Crohn's Disease.

I knew that.

Not only do I have duodenal Crohn's Disease, but I have fistulizing Crohn's Disease.

Don't know what that is?

Look it up, or just trust me, it sucks.

I am in the .05% of a disease population of 1,000,000.

I have an incurable, chronic, debilitating illness that is extremely difficult to manage, to control, to diagnose, to maintain, to explain.

But I have a new team of doctors that is expanding by the day.

A fresh approach.

An out of the box way of thinking.

I have to regroup and accept some harsh realities, but I do not have to give up.

I will never be healthy.

I will never run a marathon.

But the reality I have today will not be my only reality.

I will never surrender.

To God be the glory.

And to Team Fallon - can't imagine three stronger warriors to be on my side.

No matter what the battle.



Wednesday, May 20, 2009


We are headed to a general surgeon consult in Clermont tomorrow at 830 am.

Praise God....

Dr T. was awesome.

Not ruling anything out....pancreas/liver/heart/PID/Crohn's.....apologized profusely that he didn't have an immediate answer for us.

Said the stainless steel coils could be plausible.

Said that all the imaging tests I have had may not show the whole picture.

Did not dismiss my pain as imaginary.

Treated me like a real person.

Wrote a script for some Valium so hopefully I can rest.

Still waiting for OB GYN to call me back....

Onward we trudge.

Just Maybe

I have an idea.

I think I know what it could be.

Could my body be rejecting the stainless steel coils that were implanted in my tubes in March?


If so......

Could be such an easy fix........

Calling Dr. Ashley right now..............

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Daktir Oknahd and the Descent Into Indian Madness


Everyone is already painfully aware of my painful circumstance.

All I have been trying to do is put out the fire in my stomach. Nothing seems to be working. I might get an hour or two of respite, but that's it.

I am headed to Doctor Primary in the morning. I will not be denied an answer, another option.

In the meantime, I had to go for my independent observation by a psychiatrist for my disability application.

So there I go.

To Daktir Oknahd.

(Please note that this is my blog, and I reserve the right to be stereotypical or offensive. If you don't like it, go the hell away.)

So Daktir Oknahd says to me: "Aaaaah... You ha brane inyuree?"

GIRL WITH FIRE IN HER GUT: "No. I do not have brain injury."

Daktir Oknahd: "Aaaahh.....No?"

GIRL WITH FIRE IN HER GUT: "No. I have Crohn's Disease."

Daktir Oknahd: "Aaaahh......ehhhhh????? You ha brane inyuree?"

GIRL WITH FIRE IN HER GUT ABOUT TO PUMMEL HER FISTS INTO THE FACE OF DAKTIR OKNAHD: "Hello? I have Crohn's Disease. Intestines? Inflammatory Bowel Disease? Hello? Are you a doctor? Or did you just stay at the Islamabad Holiday Inn Express last night?"

Daktir Oknahd: "Aaaahh......" (and then she wrote down the following)

brain injury? corns disease?

We proceeded with this "Aaaaaaaaaaaaahhhh.....ehhhh????" nonsense for 15 minutes or so.

She asked me if I ever wanted to harm anyone. I lied. Since yes, I wanted to harm HER....but I told her No.

She asked me if I ever wanted to hurt myself. I told her of course not, I just wanted to feel BETTER. Why would I want to hurt MORE?

She insisted that she had to ask these questions of everyone, that she was only doing her job.

When I told her about my condition, my surgeries, my treatments, she had absolutely no idea what I was talking about.

When I said I was on a medication that HAD TO BE INFUSED....she made me write the words down.

I pointed to my veins in my arm, and said, "Hello???? I....V....?????"

Daktir Oknahd said, "I....V.....M.....?"





I don't think this "MD" had ever heard of Crohn's Disease.

Since people in Dubai don't get it. Duh.

Is this my life?


Is this my life?

Is this a bad television episode?

Monday, May 18, 2009

One Month

I was just re-reading my blog.

It is difficult to grasp that I have had this pain for thirty days.

How much longer must I suffer?

And all I can do is look at my poor, sweet husband, who has been watching me wither away. He loves me so much. And he wants so desperately to fix me. And he is as scared as I am, if not more so. I fear that I am dragging him down with me into a pit of agonizing despair. It is so difficult for him to remain strong for the children. I am supposed to be the strong one. It has always been me who has carried the emotional load. Everyone tells me so. Everyone. Heather, you are the strongest person I have ever known.....

Not now.

Not today.

Not in awhile.

The doctors have told me there is nothing they can do for me. I cannot eat anything. Nothing kills the pain. What am I supposed to do? Just sit here and cry and moan and shrivel into NOTHING?


And I'm not even dying or anything. Or so they tell me. They believe I have the pain, but they don't know why. That they've done all that they can do. Why is this so hard for me to accept?

I want to lie in my bed, with my husband, and my children, and just hug. And just be loved on. Like a puppy. I just want them to pet me like they would a new puppy.


I think I know what dying feels like.

Lord, I pray that I am wrong.

Honestly, this is a pain like no other.

The only thing that takes away the raging pain in my stomach is images of the faces of the three most precious to me. I cannot bear the thought of being without them, them without me. I am so madly, deeply, passionately in love with my husband, my daughter, my son. They have given me the life once thought not possible. A life filled with laughter and joy. A happiness fulfilled. They are who I am. I am who they are. We are one. We wouldn't be the same if we were only three.

I have bragged in the past that I don't cry.

I am crying now.

I don't want to write my funeral instructions.

I don't want to hurt.

I don't want to see the pain of the faces who are watching me suffer.

I don't know how to bear this.

Heal me God.


Saturday, May 16, 2009


Hello, friends.

I am home.

As I write this I am shaking like a leaf.

After 10 days in the hospital, I feel like an astronaut touching the earth for the first time since orbit.
Shaky, indeed.

I don't have much to say, really.

I can tell you what the doctors told me, and did.

I have a stricture (narrowing) in the area between my stomach and small intestine.

This causes me great pain, and my food takes eons to completely digest.

They cannot, or will not operate on this area.

I am not a surgeon.

But I was told by one that if I had this surgery, I would die.

Just like that.

That's what he said.

I think it is because of the risk of infection, and my already warped immune system that doesn't know how to behave.

That being said, I wasn't really given any choices.

I am now back on Remicade.

A drug that is infused into your body over a period of time, like chemotherapy.

A drug that consists of mouse antibodies.

A drug that my body chooses to attack and reject each and every time it is administered.

A drug that may ultimately kill me.

A drug that potentially may elongate my life.

So those are the facts.

Please don't ask me how I feel.

I haven't quite figured that out yet.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

And God Said HA!

Hello friends.

All of you have been praying for me recently as I enter unchartered waters with my Crohn's Disease.

I am writing to let you know the latest information, as well as to ask you to continue to pray for me, Billy, Reilly, and Jake.

As most of you know, I have been experiencing a heightened state of disease the past 30 days, with symptoms that now include lymph node involvement, and a 'mass' on my kidney.

Today I had a digital capsule study, which was supposed to entail a 360 degree picture of my entire digestive tract.

My doctor phoned me an hour ago to inform me that in addition to having a significant exacerbation of my disease, I have an obstruction between my stomach and small intestine, and that the digital capsule got 'stuck'.

I will be having an abdominal x-ray in the morning to determine the extent of the blockage.

An emergency surgery to correct the obstruction is probable.

As you can imagine, we are obviously concerned and leery, but comforted in our faith, family, church, and friends.

We know that God is at the helm, and He will ultimately be glorified.

Thank you for your love, and the armor of protection that you have shielded us with.

Either Billy or myself, or someone from church will continue to keep you updated.




This morning I swallowed Martin Short.


Remember the movie "Innerspace"?

Well, I swallowed a pill the size of Lichenstien today. It had flashing blue lights.

Allegedly, this pill will transmit photos of my guts over the next 8 hours.

I made the mistake of asking the nurse if she wanted the capusle 'back'.

She was horrified.

I told her I wasn't sure what I was supposed to do with it - it looked expensive! And like a piece of modern art. And I really wasn't convinced that Martin Short WASN'T in there.

She told me I was more than welcome to keep it as a souvenir if I wanted.

I assured her that yes, I am a crazy scrapbooker who saves some pretty weird items, but NO, I was not going to dig through my own poop to rescue Martin Short.

Now if it were Christian Bale, that would be another story entirely.

Alas.....stay tuned for digital capsule study results coming to a blog near you!

Friday, May 1, 2009



Hello friends.

Not much 'news' to report.

Just waiting.

Waiting for them to figure out what the heck is attacking my body.

Waiting for test results and two more tests to happen.

Waiting for a surgeon to be selected.

Waiting for God to tell me what the heck he is trying to tell me.

But oh so very thankful for the literally thousands of people who have prayed for me this week.

In addition to my phones ringing off the hook with people calling to me/us how much they love us and how much they are praying for us and if there is anything they can do all we have to do is ask.....

In addition to ALL of those miraculous blessings.....

My family was honored with a healing prayer service at our wonderfully prayerful church last night. Billy and I sat in chairs, each with a bambino on our laps, while a mulititude of our church family laid hands on us and prayed for me, for us, for the doctors, for God to cast out the evil that Satan is raging in my body. All four of us were bawling. Jake kept hugging my neck tighter and tighter. I can remember somebody stroking my hair while they prayed - I have no idea who it was, but I was touched beyond words.

So today, God has worked a miracle. I still have all of the same symptoms I had yesterday, but today I am peaceful. That in itself is truly a Godsend.

Onward we trudge.

By the Grace of God, I am.