Beyond the Waterfall

Before Colitis/Crohn’s Disease, I planned to earn my Master’s at UNCW, in a field of research relating to ocean conservation; my late Uncle Ed and I planned to delve into his discovery of producing fuel from algae, pooch and I had a place to live, employment opportunities and a path. Little did I realize that years before, I had been infected with mycobacterium avium subsp. Paratuberculosis (MAP), which was probably the cause of my out of the blue symptoms (MAP incubates for years), and subsequent diagnosis of Crohn’s Disease and Colitis.

No one could foretell that it would take 6 years and 7 GI’s, post diagnosis, before I learned about MAP (which has caused me great anguish, realizing I didn’t have to suffer so much and almost die two times in the process). How many other patients and their loved ones could have been helped or saved by this information? After diagnosis and before I learned of MAP, as the months turned into years and I watched my mind and body go from over the top to barely functioning, I knew my UNCW and biofuel plans were out of the window, so I settled for doing whatever I could to pay my bills, support myself and pooch.

Those ideas, that notion of “settling” formed the solitary, unmovable rocks and boulders of my existence; they became my only resting place as deemed by conventional medical society. Being told you can no longer live or eat as previous, and that your options in life are suddenly limited is a humbling experience, and not something anyone wants to hear.

Having limited options for care is even more humbling. I was stuck and losing hope; I no longer noticed the flow of life around me, of how dammed waters well up with such force then break without notice; shallow riverbeds are overtaken in release of gravitational force in a glorious, sparkling, foaming cascade over a cliff, briefly settling into a misty basin, before being pushed further into great unknowns. No wonder people harness the power of water, it is indeed alive, an effervescent production of negative ion’s, clashing H20 atoms, water molecules and pure energy. It’s curious how, when we are out of energy, we can surround ourselves in God’s creation and notice His ever-present energy, small moments keep us moving, if only minutely.

Is it not ironic, how, in our own lives we tend to face obstacles and deal with life much the same way? Our present circumstances and perceptions of the future and the after life can become mottled if we don’t keep them in check.

As I have learned, life’s events are either covertly building under the surface like a tsunami before landfall, or are subdued and meek like a meandering stream. Now let’s focus on what’s before me, the world I see through the waterfall and beyond.

Before anti-MAP therapy – when I could not gain weight!


I know how that all feels, I am so blessed to be through that journey myself.

Indeed you are, you should consider being a guest blogger, your insight as a survivor would be invaluable.


Thinking about you girl…. all you have been through….. and I have been there to witness some of it….. makes me sad, but I feel the strength of your soul as you write your life’s story regarding your struggles with this terrible malady….. I sincerely pray for your recovery and hope that some day you will venture forth and visit us on the farm…. much love and warm thoughts……. Waldo

Thank you for your kind words, you’ve been there through thick and thin and I appreciate you.
I’d love to visit the farm, meet Mrs. Waldo, and will do so hopefully soon.

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