Dec 31, 2016

2016 was a hard year.  The hardest yet.  But as I think back on these last 12 months, I can’t help but see the Lord’s hand through all of it.  There were so many changes and times of discouragement, but Jesus Christ in His unfailing love went before me every single day and gave me courage to push through.


This year alone, I had:

6 hospital stays

4 ER visits

2 ambulance rides

95 doctor appointments (I had 51 last year)

5 weeks of IV iron infusions

41 physical therapy appointments (I had 21 last year)

51 home health nurse visits and 51 central line dressing site changes

2 trips to Seattle in February and June to see my pain dr. at the University of Washington

1 trip to San Diego in February to see my mitochondrial disease specialist

Sepsis (my blood grew coagulase-negative Staphylococcus Capitis) in March

1 central line removal procedure

2 CT scans (head and chest)

1 heart echocardiogram, 1 venous duplex study, and 1 kidney/bladder ultrasound

3 MRIs (spine, hip, and brain)

2 pulmonary function tests

1 feeding tube replacement

2 feeding tube infections which required “incision and drainage” both times

1 central line replacement surgery

7 IV and oral antibiotics given throughout the year for the different infections (Cephalexin, Cipro, Vancomycin, Cefazolin, Ceftriaxone, Augmentin, and Amoxicillin)

1 muscle biopsy which caused a very large hematoma that lasted more than 5 weeks

1 hip surgery (labral tear repair)

4 urinary catheterizations in the hospital

2 ultrasound-guided hip steroid injections

1 hearing test

1 metabolic cart test

6 chest and hip x-rays

2 bilateral lumbar sympathetic nerve blocks and 1 femoral nerve block

Countless blood draws for blood cultures and labs at home each week and with each hospital stay


The picture above reminds me of this past year.  There were numerous days when life seemed so blurry and hard to understand………but if I looked at it all in light of eternity, everything came into focus.  I have learned that putting Christ first in life makes things more clear.


I hope 2017 is easier with fewer appointments and hospital stays and surgeries and tests……..  But even if it isn’t, I know this for sure—the Lord is faithful and always gives me hope and strength to face the unimaginable, the constant pain, the challenges, the health battles, and much more.


I recently read this verse in the book of Psalms: “But I will sing of Your strength; I will sing aloud of Your steadfast love in the morning.  For You have been to me a fortress and a refuge in the day of my distress” (Ps. 59:16).  That’s what I want to keep doing in 2017—tell others what the Lord means to me and how mighty and loving He is. 🙂


To my dear family and friends, thank you for continuing to walk alongside me on this journey that seems to never end.  I couldn’t do this without you.  Abundant blessings to you in the new year! 🙂


Love, Kerissa

Post written byKerissa

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This post has 4 comments

  • Cynthia Soohoo

    So beautifully said, Kerissa!

  • Rosalie Baugh

    Kerissa, Recounting your year almost required advanced math skills 🙂 I’m hoping along with you that this year’s tallies are much smaller, and that the constant pain you endure also diminishes. Your comment about wishing that all this physical distress would diminish but that the Lord is strong in His care for you either way reminds me of some other courageous young people described in the Old Testament. Your daily life is a furnace of sorts, and your writing reflects the refining work that is being accomplished. Being timid toward pain, I have to honestly say that I wouldn’t trade places with you willingly, but I do yearn for the maturity gained. Why does “growing up” have to hurt so much? God’s plan is the best plan, just not the easiest or most comfortable. Your example encourages me to walk toward the harder/better way instead of the more comfortable, not as challenging way that doesn’t yield the results God wants to see. You are an awesome lighthouse!

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