Mayo Clinic | September Self Portrait

This past Monday with the help of my mom I took my husband to the world-renowned Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN.  My man has been a weird kind of sick since  4 1/2 years ago when he unexpectedly passed out after a church meeting.  We’ve seen a lot of doctors, done tests and tried a lot of things. We’ve spent thousands on insurance deductibles and thousands more on independent doctors. After a difficult winter, he got a referral this past June to Mayo Clinic. Even though insurance hasn’t been cooperative, we decided to still go through with the visit and we’re glad we did!  We were so impressed with every single doctor, nurse and receptionist we spoke with. They were professional, incredible listeners and extremely accommodating.  And they were able to give us some helpful information that we had never heard before. They gave my husband’s situation a name (look up Visceral Hypersensitivity if you’re curious – a condition relating to the GI tract) and told us it’s becoming increasingly common for patients like him to arrive at Mayo. It is not life threatening, just debilitating. There is currently no known cause and no known cure. But they have some methods of treating symptoms and provided hope of my husband “getting his life back”,  enabling him to drive again, get out of the house and work.

He doesn’t look sick. He looks the same as ever, besides losing about 10 lbs after we changed out diet for the better. In between dealing with the symptoms and extreme energy loss, he wrote and published a book and has continued to use every single moment he has to be as productive as possible. He has been primarily home bound the last three years and occasionally bed ridden. But when he feels well, he’s up and around the house helping me with anything he can. And he has come alongside me in expanding and growing this photography business that I love.  I so admire his spirit, resourcefulness and resolve. He’s an amazing man and I’m so lucky to be loved by him.

Mayo Clinic Self Portrait Post

I’m sharing this because I’m committed to keeping my self portrait posts an honest reflection of the happenings in my life.  Even though this has been a hard season of life, and an especially difficult year for him health wise, we’re looking forward and hopeful for things to come!

Every time I photograph a wedding I hear vows promising to love each other in sickness and in health, and it makes me remember that God has done miracles for us.  A couple years into our marriage He gave us a gift of unconditional love for each other that has been a shock-absorbing presence through all the changes. There are many things that have been hard, but our love has not been one of them. We are ever so grateful for our blessings: that we are not dealing with life-threatening ailments, and that we can continue to live, love and work together as a team – come what may! Someday I hope to write a post about dressing up for dinner and going out on a date with my husband to a real restaurant for the first time in years. Someday I hope to post pictures of my husband being able to go to Dad’s Day at school with his little girls. But in the meantime, we are grateful for doing life together and this is just the latest chapter!

This is the continuation of my monthly self portrait series.
See other posts from the series here!


  1. Shelly Bill says:

    That’s beautiful. Thanks for sharing the blog. God is good.

  2. Donna Hemingsen Kleppe says:

    Gave me goosebumps! What a blessing of what love is for your girls and the rest of us!

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