Spring 2004

Got Muscle?

We had a little bit of a scare over the holidays that I wanted to fill you in on. It started with a rash on Carol’s face that the Dermatologist couldn’t figure out. He said it might be the signs of something a little more serious. Our family physician, who has taken such wonderful care of our family for years now, tested the ANA in Carol’s blood. Carol’s ANA should have come back 40 or lower to be normal, but Carol’s was 640.

Our doctor said Carol needed to see a specialist. Meanwhile, aching and weakness were creeping into Carol’s arms. It got so bad that Carol quickly digressed to not being able to lift more than a loaf of bread. Going up and down the stairs took a great deal of work and then the aching began to turn into intense pain. I have never seen Carol like this before. The pain got so bad that she would just cry every day and now it was moving into her legs as well. Soon, Carol was not able to do anything around the house.

Very quickly we all learned just how much Carol had spoiled us. We had to figure out how to do all the things we took for granted. My respect for the mama in the family soared. We were now searching every day for a specialist (a rheumatologist) to see Carol. Most of the doctors that we called said it would be a month until they could see Carol. She was afraid that by then she would not be able to walk.

Then, Carol talked to one of her friends who is a nurse, who used to work for a rheumatologist. She told Carol she had a good relationship with this doctor and had never asked her for a favor. Carol’s friend called this doctor at home and she said she would see Carol on Thursday. This seemed like a miracle to us. Dr. Mulkey told Carol on Thursday that she had a rare muscle disease called Dermatomyositis. She said she could begin treating it in one week, after Carol had a muscle biopsy. That was a long week as we watched the mama continue to spiral downward. Little four-year-old Mareah would rub Carol’s arms and say, “you’re the best mommy I’ve ever had.”


After the surgery on Carol’s arm where they took a sample of her muscle, Dr. Mulkey began to treat the disease. After Carol had been on a fairly high dose of Prednisone for just a couple of days she could sit at her desk for a few minutes at a time, which was a big deal to us. Dr. Mulkey told us that Carol may have to stay on low doses of the drug for the rest of her life, we would just have to wait and see.

Today, Carol is doing great. They are gradually tapering down her dosage. I want to say thank you to all of our dear friends and family who prayed for us through this time and brought meal after meal and cookies for the holidays. We really don’t know what we would have done without your prayers and love.

We are so blessed.

If there is one thing we learned it is that God can be trusted through rough times as well as the good times. Thank you God for your unconditional love for us.

God bless you all,

Brett and Carol

Sign up today for Brett Ray’s Tuesday Tiny Tips! Good news in your Inbox once a week! New subscribers will receive a digital copy of Brett’s book as a thank you gift.
Sign Up Today!