Ever heard of this syndrome? Yeah, me neither until I found out I probably have it. I wanted to wait and post this until I was 100% sure I had this syndrome but in talking with my wonderful doctor in Abilene the past few weeks and two doctors here, they are pretty sure that no matter what the results are in two weeks, I still have the syndrome.
Let me explain: After Levi died we were suppose to go get a battery of test run around 4 weeks after the miscarriage. Well as much as I enjoyed going to the hospital here and getting my blood drawn I put it off until 3 weeks ago. My tests came back two days later and as I sat across from the doctor, I had the same feeling I did right before we went in for Levi's sonogram that told us he was gone. I felt nervous and a little sick to my stomach. He told us everything looked good except for two things. My thyroid was WAY off (I've had thyroid disease for 6 years so I wasn't too alarmed by this) and that I showed signs of a disorder called antiphospholipid syndrome. Because I'm not the best at medical jargon I just copied the definition straight from the web.
Here it is:
Antiphospholipid syndrome (APS or APLS) or antiphospholipid antibody syndrome is a disorder of coagulation, which causes blood clots (thrombosis) in both arteries and veins, as well as pregnancy-related complications such as miscarriage, preterm delivery, or severe preeclampsia. The syndrome occurs due to the autoimmune production of antibodies against phospholipid (aPL), a cell membrane substance. In particular, the disease is characterised by antibodies against cardiolipin (anti-cardiolipin antibodies) and β2 glycoprotein I.
As I started reading about this syndrome, I realized there were a few other side effects like early strokes and heart attacks before the age of 50. I was thinking to myself "you have got to be kidding me!" I called my doctor yesterday and he told me not to ever worry about that and that I should quit reading the info on the internet, I think I will take his advice.
As of this week my thyroid is back to normal with some adjustments to my meds (that was just FYI, in case you were interested.) The main problem here is that this syndrome causes me to miscarry babies. When we get pregnant again I will have to inject myself with Heparin everyday throughout my pregnancy and take baby aspirin. My chances then to carry a baby are still not 100% (which I guess they never are.) That's really all I know right now but this has definitely placed a burden on my heart.
Yesterday I had a pretty hard day with all of this. I left school early and today I "skipped" school to have some "me" time. I just got home from my outing and decided I should probably share what is going on. My heart has been so heavy for a lot of reasons. I decided to read all of the cards we had received after Levi and read the precious book that my sister-in-law made for my birthday with all of the emails we received after Levi. It was so encouraging to read some of the scriptures that people had written
"The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms..." Deut. 33:27
"In all things God works for the good of those who love Him." Rom.8:28
"'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord,, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'" Jeremiah 29:11
There were so many more but I read over them and just clung to those words of hope. I thought about the fact that even though we had lost a son in Costa Rica we had gained faith, love from complete strangers, new friendships with other students that will last a lifetime, new perspective on how short life can really be, a deeper love and appreciation for our team, family, friends back home, our supporting churches and individual supporters and lastly a deeper sense of complete and utter dependence on God. All that in three months here in Costa Rica.
It's nice to know that on days like today when my heart seems worn, my eyes burn from tears, my body is tired and my faith seems weak that God is right there reminding me of what I've gained and that he will carry me as long as I need him too.
Thanks for reading. My hope is that this will explain more to some of you that might be wondering what happened (I was wondering myself) and to know what is going on in my heart at this moment. Blessings...