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Molly Stroud
I am a 34 year old wife to Joel and mom to four sweet kids. Anna-13, Julia-11, Olivia-9, and Will-7. I lived a fairy tale life until the summer of 2008. My health came crashing down around me, and for the next three years I endured mountains of complications due to a hysterectomy. I've lost my sanity and am now a diagnosed manic depressive.. aka "Bipolar". I hope in sharing my experiences that I may encourage others not to lose hope... and to remind them that sanity is overrated.
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Monday, June 1, 2009

And now...on to Mayo

I just got back from my appointment with the infectious disease specialist. He had run a panel of tests three weeks ago, and I went in for the results. I had a lupus test that came back negative. Whew! What a relief and a praise to God! I did have some abnormal cells he could not quite explain, but he felt certain they would go away on their own. After he looked at all the evidence, he concluded that he still didn't know what to diagnose me with. He recommended further testing, but I declined in order to go to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester to search for an answer there. He approved whole-heartedly and is willing to help me in any way. I was so relieved to have such a supportive doctor!

The Lord has been guiding me through the whole "Mayo" process. I had originally talked with my insurance co. about which Mayo clinic they covered. The first time I called, they said they would ONLY cover the one in Jacksonville, FL. I was perparing to make the call for an appt. when "mysteriously" I received a message from a friend of mine. I had not spoken to this friend in over a year. She reported that she had to go to the Mayo in Rochester, MN, and that she loved it and highly recommended it. In a sidenote she commented that she had the same insurance I did. I had this nagging thought in the back of my mind that Jacksonville was not the right choice for me. I decided to call my insurance again and double check for coverage in Minnesota. After only a few minutes they confirmed that I was indeed covered there! I felt relief and made my appointment for June 15th. During my visit today, after I told Dr. Hennigan of my plans for Rochester, and he said, "Good! I'm glad you're not going to Jacksonville because I've had many patients experience problems there." That was when I knew right away that The Lord had been quietly guiding me along.

I am so thankful for all the wonderful friends who have been praying for Joel and I! My sister, Shannon, gave me the book by Corrie Ten Boom called, "The Hiding Place". It is such a powerful testimony about God's grace and love for us. He is speaking all the time. It is us who must listen and give thanks in EVERY situation!! It has truly opened my eyes to God's gentle hand. I can plainly see how He is with me EVERY MINUTE! I fear not any diagnosis, or lack of one. I know that perfect health is not a requirement to serve Him. All I need to be is willing.

This next chapter in our lives will bring more of the unknown. But, I am ready to meet it with wide eyes and an open heart. For I have confidence that God is my Hiding Place, He is the Rock cleft for me, and He will give to me what I need to be refined and made ready for His work.
Friday, May 29, 2009

Have I mentioned how much I love Wild Olive's tees???

Just another quick note to remind everyone that my sweetie-pie sister's business, Wild Olive, has the best christian tee shirts around! I own five, and all of them are super comfy, and modern. I love to wear tees, so having these cool, comfortable, Jesus lovin' shirts really hits the spot for me! There is a charity shirt on sale right now to help benefit an adorable family with a sick child. And I must say, that the shirt is the best one yet!! Come check it out: http://www.wildolivetees.com/
Monday, May 11, 2009
Well, my surgery was unsuccessful. I'm all healed up now, and the pain is even worse than it was before! I was feeling optomistic for a time, but then I plummeted into a dark valley. The feelings of doubt that I'll ever be well again are hovering over me like a rain cloud.

I am having to fight through the pain to try to bring some normalcy back to the kids' lives. This morning I'm taking them to school. It's probably been three months since I've done that. Last night I put them all to bed. I don't even remember the last time I did that. Joel is encouraging me to treat this as if it's never going to get well. He wants me to make small efforts here and there for the kids' sake. I have to say that it's really hard. I want to be myself again, and be the mother I was, but my muscles and energy have deteriorated, so now any minor task is a huge task. I'm always on pain pills, so my mind is not always clear. Sometimes no amount of pain pills I have can overcome my discomfort, and yet I have to push on.

I don't know why the Lord is asking this of me. I know He has a reason. I must bathe myself in His Word for comfort and regeneration. I trust Him and His wisdom, so I will do my best to keep going when it hurts. Thank you all for the prayers...I have needed them, and will continue to need them.
Thursday, April 16, 2009

Could this be the end?

Visited with my doctor today, and we've scheduled what I hope is my final surgery. He believes that I may have some adhesions from my hysterectomy in November. It's sort of an exploratory surgery, but if it's more serious than they originally thought, then it will turn into a BIG surgery. I'm nervous that they won't find anything and I will return empty-handed. I'm so afraid that it won't reveal anything, just like my cystoscopy, and my family will continue to suffer. I'm being constantly reminded to wait on the Lord, and trust Him in all situations. So, I guess if I'm worrying, I haven't released it to God. Please continue to pray for peace and strength for Joel and my family. Surgery date is next Wednesday. I fear to hope.
I AM MARRIED TO THE KING OF SURPRISES RUINED!! Buying gifts for Joel is actually a hard task. Although he's generally very easy to please, most times he somehow figures
out what gift he's getting from me. He has either requested it,
or it's something he desperately needs...like clothes or shoes.

This year for his birthday (May 5) I came up with the perfect gift that he would NEVER guess! The moms and I went in together and bought him a flying lesson! He actually gets to fly the plane himself (with a pilot present, of course ). This is something he's wanted to do for years.
So, the man who's NEVER home during the day, just happened to be home today. He walked out, got the mail, and guess what was in it? A white envelope with MY name on it. He thought to himself, "this is probably another bill for Molly's medical stuff." So, in a flash he opened it. He came into the bedroom with a sheepish smile on his face and handed me the opened envelope. I scolded him something fierce, slapped his arm, and cried just like any hormonal woman in America. He truly didn't mean to ruin his own birthday surprise, but somehow it turned out just like every other gift giving occasion. I guess I'll just have to accept this unfortunate phenomenon about our relationship, and not take it personally.
Men....can't live with 'em, can't kill 'em.
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
I am privelaged enough to be the sister to Colleen, one of the founders of Wild Olive. I own two shirts, and am building up toward the whole collection. The shirts are comfy, cute and modern, and most of all they share the gospel and invoke questions from those who see you wear it! I have always been proud of my sister, but this has been such a blessing in my life. She's already my hero, a wonderful mom, sister, and Christian woman.
My health issues persist, and right now we're waiting on biopsy results from my bladder procedure. My family and I have grown so weary of this past year of sicknesses. Please pray that a solution and treatment will be found.
Monday, March 23, 2009

Here's Haiti from above. As Joel and I would say, it's beautiful land surrounded by garbage. There were thousands of beautiful mountains, and mounds and mounds of garbage.

I worked on the dental team with the Haitian doctor, Renald Pierre. He did not practice sanitary dentistry. He didn't change his gloves very often, and had little to no compassion for his patients. It was a disturbing and eye opening experience. I prayed for the patients each time they sat in the chair. The health of their teeth is deplorable, and I pity them for the pain they go through each day.

My wonderful contractor man helped build the roof on the medical clinic on the Mission to Haiti campgrounds. They worked really hard and completed it in six days. They also built all the trusses for a church in a neighboring town that was completed in March. He said he loved being with these great Christian men, working outside, and no cell phone!

Joel worked with a team of Americans and a few Haitians. This one is Markenson. He is twenty-one and has a wife and little baby. The baby has a medical need that could be fixed with simple over-the-counter medication. We are working on getting that for her.

We visited a local orphanage run by a man who was an orphan in the streets. He became a sponsored child through Mission to Haiti and was able to go to school and have a home. His American sponsors brought him over to attend seminary. He then returned to Haiti to start an orphanage to give other children the same chance he had. Currently he has 10 children. Here are a couple of the girls. The facility is very clean and well run. It was such a blessing to see!

Alain Desarmes was my favorite medical translator. He taught himself to speak, read, and write in English. He is extremely gifted in art. He has found a new family since joining the Mission to Haiti translator team. His biological family is scattered all over the world, but he came to know the Lord last year through a man on the mission team, and has life-long friends through several Americans who visit. During the ten days we were in Haiti, Jean and I saw him go from solemn and emotional, to relaxed and happy. He just needed a break from his tough life, and real friends. I pray for him all the time!

This sad story is Madamme Dorlean. She has five children and her husband died last year of stomach ulcers. She is slowly dying of the same condition. She came to the clinic to get viamins and protein for her and her children. She was also able to receive medicine for her ulcers.
The happy ending is that Joel and I, and another couple from church have sponsored all the children. That means they can all attend school and receive at least one meal per day. My good friend Jean was able to receive antibiotics donated by a local doctor for the mother's ulcers. She returns in April to give them to her. I pray that she is still alive.

This sweetheart is Medjina. She lost her mother last year, and her father cannot support her and her siblings, so they stay here and there with people who use them as slaves. Thankfully they are able to attend school. Medjina came to the camp covered in staph infection. You can see that her eye is swollen and she has an angry sore on her arm. The second picture is three days later after being on some very inexpensive antibiotics. If she had not been treated, she would have died. I'm so thankful the Lord worked this out for her!

Isn't this adorable?? Joel was holding her for a patient while she was having her tooth pulled. This is my favorite picture.