I have been told that it “takes a village” my whole life. I’ve been raised to think that “the more the merrier”… As I have grown up and become a young woman I can personally account that those phrases are not enough to describe the beauty I have encountered in the recent months. I would call it a blessing.
The past 10 months have been some of the darkest moments in my entire life. I have lost so much… My ability to enjoy eating, my independence, my family’s stability, my plans for high school. It has been a battle full of desperation. But that’s only a bit of the story. The rest of it is the most beautiful story I’ve ever witnessed. And that’s all because of each and all of YOU!!!
You all are my blessing. Ever since my gastrointestinal tract began to fail in November my family and I have been enveloped by our “village”. We have witnessed each and every single day the pure goodness in people. When I came home from that fall hospital stay the signs of the compassion that was to come began to appear. Meals began stacking up inside of our home. We had countless phone calls, messages, cards, and so much more. The outreach of compassion began to fly at us and it has not faltered once since it began. I first shared my story in November to avoid any embarrassing situations with my new NJ tube. I felt fearful and humiliated to have a tube on my face coming out of my nose. The response I had to my first post was nothing short of amazing. I instantly had a whole community of people supporting me. It was in those moments I realized that I had a platform to share my story and bond with others.
After facing more defeats than victories we realized we may be in this battle for my health for the long haul. And as amazing as it is, you all seemed to join us on this journey (the long haul). After failed medications, sad Botox injections, and journeys to other hospitals, we turned around and saw the community rallying for us. As my health status constantly fluctuated the unwavering support continued. I began to decline rapidly… Soon no longer tolerating nutrition enterally (through my gut), becoming TPN and IV fluid dependent, an soon loosing the function of my colon. It continued to where I am now: dependent on my PICC line and having a swollen painful belly. Depending on nasty pain medications and needing my G tube to vent constantly… Feeling the emotional toll of everything. But even with my health declining the support increased and soured. I truly believe it is God’s way of comforting us, by sending us all of you.
Each day we receive messages, cards, meals, packages and so much more… I was so amazed to receive a care package from Neroli Aveda Salon in Milwaukee. It was full of products to pamper myself. Then I announced how my hair was thinning out and I was in desperate need of a haircut. A beautiful and compassionate lady in my sweet neighborhood searched for someone to come out to come cut my hair. Sara Ninmann is the owner of the Snips and Giggles Salon in Oconomowoc, WI. She was so kind and came out and spent all day doing my hair along with a mani and pedi two months ago.
Graphic design has always been something I have been interested in. In a perfect world I would be a graphic designer, doctor (pediatrics), and I would be involved with fashion magazines. The incredibly talented Missi Jay (@ GiggleBox) sent me a package that made my heart soar. She made me a stunning custom Tori Kelly poster. Once I settle into home for good I will have to hang it and attach a photo to the blog. Her card was so elegantly crafted and part of it is my Facebook page profile picture. She is so delightful and talented. I am so thankful to have been touched by her sparkle.
I am constantly in more awe and shock as I see even more people do things for my family and I. My precious school family has been lifting me up each step of the way. I received the most delightful card form the beautiful ladies at the front desk and health offices… Oh how dearly I miss strolling the halls of my high school. They even did the infamous Miracle Minute for my family and I this last football game.
Even more treasured and special is all of the prayers and good thoughts from everyone. It is something I can not even comprehend. Each smile, card, wave, prayer, thought, vibe, anything will forever be marked in my heart. Its so amazing to be able to witness such amazing love and consideration from humanity. We can not thank everyone enough… You are all such incredible people that we feel blessed to have met along this journey. It reminds me why God puts us through theses immense trials, so we can meet all of theses amazing people. It seems that the crazier the road the more goodness you find. We all agree with that statement! My family and I are eternally grateful.
As I finally rest at home I am continuously grateful because I know that as we continue this never ending fight I have so many people behind me… As I deal with battling this illness and all that is to come I rest peacefully knowing I have you all. Everyone provides me comfort as I realize “Isabelle’s Fight” is truly just beginning.
The moral of this journey is what a blessing you all are. Its funny to see how this journey has been presented by God, the darkest moments of my life but also moments with the most joy and light. It is so powerful I just needed a moment to thank you all. To each individual who has even thought of my family and I…. You all are my blessing. Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you.