It was time to move. We loved our house in the woods. My husband had just finished a years-long decking project around the pool, which may be capable of withstanding the apocalypse.
But it had become clear we needed a home that could serve our needs as well as provide first-floor living for my in-laws. So, we embarked on a house-hunting quest.
With our needs on a checklist, we waded through the online listings and picked several homes to visit. It was about the tenth house we looked at when we realized our quest was about to end.
We opened the door and took in the high ceilings, the impressive staircase, the room colors (no need to paint, yes!), the first-floor bedroom, the chef’s kitchen. I remember thinking, “this is it.” It not only met our needs but was really pretty too.
My only disappointment was the master bath. It seemed unnecessarily large and out of proportion. A huge soaker tub dominated the space, next to a small shower. It seemed wrong to me.
I am a shower person, not a bath person. There was a lot of unused space that would have been better utilized by shrinking the tub and enlarging the master closet. My shoes were going to feel cramped.
But the huge tub, that would never be used, wasn’t a reason to reject this otherwise great house. We made an offer, and it was accepted. It was time to pack up our house and jump through all the hoops of buying and selling real estate.
I felt like a circus poodle by the end of the process. There were many times we thought everything was going to fall through.
The deal breaker was our septic system needed to be repaired or replaced. Our buyer withdrew his offer. We thought it was over.
There was no way we could replace the septic system and find another buyer within the timeframe set to buy the new house.
Each obstacle that popped up, though, crashed down just as quickly. The seller of the house we were buying said to take all the time we needed. It gave us the sense that God cared about us moving into this house.
Then we got an offer on our house that waived the need to replace the septic system. That never happens. We signed the contract quickly before anyone changed their minds.
The big move came at the end of May. The next weekend, I became ill. Very ill. For the next two months, I struggled with GI symptoms.
Finally, the answer was found – Campylobacter, the most common food poisoning there is.
For some reason, my body couldn’t fight off the buggers. The doctor put me on Levaquin, a powerful antibiotic. I was relieved to have an answer and to know in a few days I would feel better.
But on day three, I woke up with horrific pain in all my tendons. My Achilles felt like they would snap. I wasn’t sure how I would even get out of bed to call someone.
The doctor said to stop the antibiotic. I knew there was a black box warning about tendon ruptures, but I didn’t realize how damaging it could be.
My reaction to Levaquin is called Fluoroquinolone Toxicity (FQ). Over the next four months, my pain grew worse, becoming unbearable.
I would lie on the sofa with ice packs everywhere, watching the clock for the next time I could take more painkillers.
We searched for answers but found none. Every doctor we talked to said they knew it could happen, but they didn’t know what to do when it did happen.
I found one online book that offered help, mostly through diet and supplements. While at the health food store picking up supplements, I asked the owner if he knew anything about FQ.
I was stunned. He said the most important thing was to get as much magnesium as possible: take it orally, use mag gel, and soak in Epsom Salts.
Desperate for anything that would lessen the pain, I bought all the Magnesium products I could find. That night, after vacuuming out the previously unused soaker tub, I took my first Epsom Salt bath.
It could have been my imagination, but I seemed to have less pain after that bath.
Every day, I soaked in the tub and marveled that God had taken care of my need before I knew I had one. That tub became my place of healing.
During the thirty minutes of soaking, I took online classes. (It’s good the video only works one way!) My daily soaks increased my faith and knowledge of God while decreasing my pain.
Two years later, I continue to take Epsom Salt baths, although not as frequently. My pain level is manageable, but the effects of FQ for me will be permanent. When the pain gets bad or I just need some quiet time, the tub is there waiting.
Walking or running in the woods used to be my favorite quiet time. The ability to do that is gone, but again, God provided another way. I thought I knew exactly what we needed in a new house. I thought the soaker tub was a waste of space. God knew my need.
And as far as the closet – I can’t wear heels anymore, so my shoes aren’t nearly as cramped as I thought they would be.