By Kayla Gilmore

It’s been a rough month for Joel as he was fighting an upper respiratory infection – I say “was” because we hope it is gone after two rounds of antibiotics. Unfortunately because he was on the verge of pneumonia, they took him off some of his other meds to try to kick the infection, which caused him to have more pain. Thankfully, he’s now back on his regular medicine.

Some of Joel’s pain is from nerve damage from two bouts of viral meningitis, most pain is from his two autoimmune diseases and some pain is from a bulging disc sitting on his sciatic nerve. The doctors first option is to pump him full of steroids, which as we know, causes all sorts of organ damage and would likely end his life sooner rather than later. We have told the doctors we’ll only do steroids again when it is a life-threatening situation. So the doctors are recommending an invasive surgery to shave the bulging disc. They’ve told us before they won’t do any non life-threatening surgery on Joel because of the risk of infection, but they know he’s been struggling with this hip pain for years and believe it will help. So, Joel is scheduled to see a neurosurgeon at CU in Denver in July to schedule surgery. I’ll keep you up to date on what happens with this. Other than that, he’s been maintaining his regular doctor visits and blood work. He sees his primary doctor, rheumatologist, neurologist and hepatologist quite often.

Next month marks the 3rd anniversary of Joel being sick. It’s been a LONG battle and we grow weary at times, but God is good and blesses us with so many things, including our very supportive friends and family. I plan to do some sort of Winning the Battle party at our house for him to celebrate his battle for the last three years in July. If you don’t live near us and can’t come to the party, here are some ways you can participate.

1. PRAY. As always, we covet your prayers. Specific requests can be for his upcoming disc surgery, fatigue, joint pain and swelling, constant rash on his body, hip pain, infections to stay away and liver function. It’s also very difficult for him emotionally – as he wants so bad to do regular things healthy people can do but he just can’t. And the days when the pain is overwhelming and he can’t do anything are the days he feels worthless – and who can blame him? We also ask that you pray for our financial situation with all the medical bills and that social security disability comes soon, very soon.

2. ENCOURAGE. Feel free to send Joel a supportive card, email or text. He would love to hear from you! Here’s his info:
Joel Gilmore
232 Sugarbin Court
Longmont, CO 80501

3. DONATE. Our friends and family have been so supportive the last three years, from doing a benefit bike ride to us receiving blessings in the mail, that I have not had to do a blanket ask for help with our medical bills. We are incredibly thankful for this. But as time goes on, the bills continue to accrue and we’re at a point now where even the minimum payments on medical bills are difficult to pay. So should you feel led, please click on the Donate tab on this page to get info on how you can help. Thank you so much for your support!

As our pastor said in a staff meeting this last week, things can always be better and things can always be worse. Perspective can be everything sometimes. Also, we know so many of our other friends and family who are struggling through chronic illness, divorce, addiction, etc. If we can pray for or do anything for you, please send me your request at kaylajogilmore@hotmail.com.


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