It’s been so long since my last post that I can’t even remember what you know and what you don’t. Also, social media is the new prayer chain, but honestly there are so many modes of communication on the interwebs that I no longer know what I am saying where.
This is probably not a good thing.
We’ve had a heck of a nine days and I could rightly write a book about these last days, but I won’t. I’ll just copy and paste an update I shared on my personal Facebook page and hopefully catch you up on what’s going on here at 554 Avent Street.
Our life has come to a screeching halt and WE ARE GRATEFUL. Death gives way to new life. Brokenness leads to wholeness.
And we are living in the tension of death and life, expecting Jesus to resurrect human flesh and renew a mind.
If I were to write a manual on how to love those who are suffering, YOU guys would be the story I’d wrap around the How-To part. For the last week, you’ve been the tangible hands of Jesus and the audible voice of God reminding us of the truth tucked deep down in our bones. And we are GRATEFUL.
After 3 MRIs, 2 CT scans, 1 chest x-ray, 1 lumbar puncture, 1 nerve test, numerous weird blood tests, hours of recorded history, and nearly 12 neurological exams, one doctor delivered the team’s assessment on Thad’s condition:
He was our favorite neurologist on the team because he was uber inquisitive, super kind, methodical, and compassionate. And today, he confessed that Thad’s disorder was in his wheelhouse of passion and expertise because his expertise is psychiatry.
I could write you one sentence about what we really know about Conversion Disorder, but I could write you a book on Thad, so that’s what I’ll do.
For as long as I’ve known Thad, he’s been an over the top, dominant sorta personality, achiever who loves Jesus as much as he loves people. He’s highly driven. He can accomplish in 6 months what it takes most people 2 years to accomplish. He’s a visionary, an equipper, a communicator, a disciple maker, a fixer of broken things. He rises before dawn and often works through lunch. He fills gaps and counsels the hurting and feeds the hungry. He’s compelled by his love of Jesus to BE the hands and feet of Jesus- no matter the cost.
But Thad is also stubborn and hardheaded and not so great at resting. He’s a burden carrier and a big feeler and a crappy believer in the Gospel truth that HE is LOVED no matter what his hands accomplish. And he’s also next in line to a long line of people who suffer from manic depression. We learned this last bit five days ago.
On Tuesday, March 7, Thad came home from work, happy, energized, and eager to fix the stove. But twenty minutes after one small accident caused a flood of cortisol through his body, his entire nervous system went on strike. His brain simply took control over the body that was unable to feel the exhaustion that had been building for 20 years.
Basically, Thad’s body is not producing the right levels of certain hormones to keep his body working appropriately. His deficiencies have caused him to show psychological stress in physical ways. What began as sheer exhaustion, anxiety, and a heavy work and ministry load, slowly morphed into numerous physical problems because his body was not producing the necessary serotonin it needed to tell Thad’s body it was fatigued.
Thad’s physiological problems are REAL. He will need extensive physical therapy. He will need meds: B12, Zoloft, etc. He will need cognitive therapy to retrain his brain. He will need REST. What’s taken 40 years to master won’t be corrected in 6 weeks.
What does this mean?
Thad is going to be okay. His body can and will heal. Our lifestyle will be changing to meet the needs of our favorite man. We will experience severe valleys as we relearn how we function as a family unit planting a church in an urban context that is demanding. We will have to master the art of letting others serve and love us. And I imagine we’ll likely spend some time in a proverbial fish tank while some try to pin a spiritual weakness onto the flesh of a man whose body is wasting away because he’s HUMAN.
We covet your prayers. We covet your commitment to honoring our family’s privacy. We covet your permission to be fully human and fully redeemed.
And we ask that you hold our psychological diagnosis in the same place that you’d hold a more purely physical diagnosis.
Illnesses of the mind affect our bodies in physiological ways.
And Thad’s broken mind is breaking his body so his broken mind can be renewed.
For this, we give thanks to a Creator who wondrously formed Thad’s body to lay down long enough for his mind to get the help it needs to become whole.
Again, I thank you for giving us time to heal. This means we need some semblance of privacy without feeling the need to host visitors. And this means we need quiet space to lean into the people God has provided to help Thad heal. Thank you for understanding.
Me, one broken wife and mama to six, clinging to the truth that God is a good, good Father