Give me a moment

This was composed while I waited today for the doctor during my 6 week post-op from my hysterectomy -a day after Father’s day. My surgery was 3 days before Mother’s day. I can hear them checking for an unborn baby’s heartbeat next door. A week after my surgery, my first post-op, I heard the same. It’s a beautiful sound. It’s breath taking moment that I am unexpectedly forced to participate in.  

If you love someone in my shoes or who struggles with infertility or the horrible sorrow that comes with miscarriages– love them enough to give them a moment. I know they want to be excited for you, but emotions tend to rear their heads at odd moments. 

Ladies, and gentlemen, who also struggle with this grief, love yourself enough to give yourself that moment. 

(A letter to a friend)

(Internet search for ultrasound heartbeat)

Give Me A Moment (RKG 6/2017)

Please, just give me a moment. 

Just a few to catch my breath. 

Just a few to stop the tears.

Please, my friend, just give me a moment to grieve. 

Give me a chance to package up these emotions and store them in a safe place. 

I’ll be happy for you in just a moment, but this is still so new. 

No matter how many years go by, knee jerk reactions might still bring tears to my eyes.

It’s not against you, please don’t ever think that.

But, you see, grief is this weird thing. It ebbs and flows and sometimes attempts to drown you like a sneaker wave.

Even if I had known this was needed, so that I can have a better life, grief is waiting for those moments when I think I’m past the pain. 

The what ifs and the could have beens, are annoying little mosquitos waiting to suck the joy out of your moment.

So please. Just give me a moment to spare you unwarranted pain. 

You deserve your joy and your excitement. Please, help me not to tarnish it.

I am so happy for you, my dear sweet friend. I’ll be the first to plan your shower of joy, if you just give me a moment to wipe the unexpected tears from my eyes. 

My joy for you will overshadow these feelings of sadness for a future left unwritten, if you but give me a moment to acknowledge the pain it carries. 

I have such plans to spoil your beloved little joy, books to read, games to play. If you would just sit a moment with me under my little rain cloud. 

Just hold my hand for a moment, please.

I’ll dry off these tears and force my smile until it’s real. I’ll hold that little sweet bundle and count the toes. 

I’ll wait until I’m home, before I think of the no longer possible. 

Don’t give me platitudes because you can’t think of what to say. Just promise me to chew on your words a little before you say them to me.

I don’t want to be bitter, so please just give me a moment. 

I’ll be happy for you. I’ll be so excited for you, if you just know that I need a moment.

A moment to shake hands with my grief. 

A moment to acknowledge the empty space in me. 

A moment to remind myself, that grief is okay, but so is joy. 

Give me a moment to move pass this sorrow so I can be with you in your joy.

Please, give me just a moment.

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This is connected to my post Fight For Your Health if you are curious to what lead to this letter. 

I also encourage you dear reader, that if you find either post encouraging or enlightening, to please like it on this blog so others might be able to find it. In this world of blogs, billions of posts are published every day. Help a writer out and put a star on one that helps you! 

Fight for your health 

Featured

This blog post has to do with women’s health. It may be considered graphic to some. This is my story. In no way am I an expert, but this is my fight for my health.

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I’ve debated about writing such an intimate post for months. Then after finally having surgery three weeks ago, I really started praying about it.

I am not an expert. I did not explore all avenues, but I did commit to a very life changing surgery in the attempt to live better.

I realized that knowledge is power. That doctors don’t know everything. That second, third, fourth, and eighth opinions are worth it because it is my health.

I realized that if I didn’t have my mom, my own age friends, and the multiple years of experience found in the older ladies in my life, I could have very well kept living with the pain. I had three or four doctors tell me it is normal.

It is not normal.

If you are living with similar pain–or any unexplainable pain, you have the right to fight for your health. You have the right to demand the doctors listen to you. If they won’t, find a doctor who will.

You are the one who has to live in your body. No one else. The doctors don’t, your friends and family don’t either.

Your body is telling you something is wrong. Pain is your body’s way of telling you to help it. Those who are use to pain too often accept it until the pain gets so bad you can no longer function.

I was quickly getting to that point.

Every single day I lived with pain as my constant companion.

Every day my lower back felt like someome had my spine in a vice as they twisted and pulled it. Occasionally every few hours, I’d get a hot poker stabbing me in the middle of that vice. The feeling of hot lightening would flare through my legs followed by wobbly knee numbness.

My abdominal muscles were equally tyrannical in their doling out of pain. I did not know a day without cramps. Cramps. Such a tame word for something so encompassing.

These muscle “spasms,” would knock the breath out of me and more than once had me running to the bathroom to throw up. Imagine a water balloon. When you tap it, the whole balloon shakes with the contact. That is how these cramps were like for me. I felt it throughout my whole body.

My back pain would multiply during my cramping sessions. Though moments without cramping were few and far between, and as the years went by, even more fleeting.

I had constant headaches that no medication would touch. Two doctors gave me muscle relaxants to calm the spasms to help relieve the headaches, not the cramps or the back pain. One other doctor told me to take a different relaxant during the worse of my cycle to ease the pain. They wanted to throw pills at the problem rather than find the cause.

I bled every day of the month. I have no clue what a “regular” period looks like. I bought 4 months worth of heavy overnight pads that would usually not last me a complete month.

I was always fatigued, from the pain and the bleeding. I battled nausea throughout the month as well as painful gas and other digestion issues.

There was no relief.

I sought after an chiropractor who at least helped to keep me moving despite the back pain and gave me a few hours to a few miraculous days of less pain.

An acupuncturist who helped me at least manage my digestion issues so it wasn’t too consuming, and she also helped take the sharpest edge off of some of my headaches.

And also a Structural Integrationist, whose knowledge helped me to keep breathing despite the pain. Her work on my muscles helped me keep a range of motion that I think would have disappeared if she hadn’t loosened up my joints.

Despite all of these wonderful practioners who truly know their trade and the human body, I didn’t find lasting relief. I just found temporary bandages that last for too fleeting of a moment.

While I had other damage done to my joints, muscles, and bones due to various injuries, that pain was nothing compared to this.

There is a family history of menstrual cycle problems. Some of the women had hysterectomies after having their children because of the pain and bleeding. At least one of the women had endometriosis and tumors.

Every time I brought up the possibility of endometriosis to the doctors, they told me I was too young or there was no proof that I had it.

They instead prescribed numerous hormone treatments that all made me very sick from the age of 17 to 21. Every time I would complain about a horrible side affect, they’d try another. At least three of those treatments are now featured on ads for medical lawsuits. I eventually gave up on them. They didn’t help anything–no lessening of blood or pain. Didn’t even help with my acne! All I got from them was severe nausea, joint pain, and a crabby attitude.

The only truly conclusive way to prove endometriosis was through exploratory surgery. It would take me nearly nine years of doctor searching to find one who was willing to do that exploratory.

Only for her to do lack luster job of it. She told me that my surgery would last a minimum of an hour and half, but probably be two hours. I would have a minimum of four incisions but will probably have five.

I was praying as I signed the release form, that maybe her scalpel would slip, so I would have to have an emergency hysterectomy. That should tell you how exhausted I was physically and emotionally facing that surgery.

I was under anesthesia for a total of 30 minutes and only had 2 incisions. She found polyps, scrapped my uterus, and was done. That was it. At post-op when I couldn’t handle the disappointment and started crying, she told me that I’d have to get used to my “supposed” pain. And offered me another muscle relaxant.

Her bedside manner sucked.

And my pain became even worse. My bleeding was so excessive after the polyp removal and scrapping, I was changing pads every two hours if I was lucky. My cramping was making me vomit, and no matter how I laid, I couldn’t stop my back from hurting. I’d wake multiple times during the night because it was hurting so badly.

I was becoming bitter. I had trusted my doctors to help me, and they weren’t. My emotional health was finally starting to cave under the pressure of the chronic pain. I was becoming angry at the drop of the hat and my patience was in short supply. I wasn’t me.

The masks that I wore to hide the pain were starting to fray.

It was affecting my ability to care for my client. It was affecting my spiritual life as well.

Three years later, the back pain was so intense I was getting ready to attempt to find a new doctor. I was talking to multiple ladies I trusted and asking for prayer. I was trying to get my nerve up to talk to another doctor.

I had nearly 10 years worth of charts, mapping out the different symptoms and the durations. The first surgeon had barely looked at them. But I knew that I had to be ready, because many doctors had told me to go home for six months and chart before they’d do anything. My mom kept that fresh in my mind, so I constantly updated those charts.

One friend spoke to a nurse friend of her’s about my history and she urged me to get an appointment with the doctor she worked for.

It took that one visit with one of the first doctors I had seen, to get the ball rolling. She remembered my history and how badly I reacted to hormone treatments. And I was bawling. I was at my wits end. She offered other possibilities such as a IUD, new hormone treatments, another scraping, or an ablation, but said that there’s the strong possibility of having to come back in in less than 6 months.

I was done. I had prayed about it for over 12 years. I was mentally prepared for the hard decision. I could not handle the pain any more. If it was just the horrid bleeding and cramping, I could do it. I’ve done it for 20 years. But the back pain. I couldn’t handle that anymore.

The day after my birthday I met with her, and we started getting the blood tests and ultrasound tests out of the way. I was having a hysterectomy. A month and a day later, I got it.

I think I also got to the magical age when they listened to me. Maybe finally at 32 I knew my own mind.

My back pain has basically disappeared. Once my chiropractor gets the surgery kinks out, I think it’ll be great. That twisting vice is gone. It’s only been 3 weeks, but I noticed it in the hospital hours after the surgery. I was laying down and my back wasn’t killing me.

My doctor found clear endometriosis on both fallopian tubes, the left ovary, and on my uterus. There were multiple cysts in both tubes as well as the ovary. She sent my uterus in for a biopsy and they found extensive adenomyosis that was nearly through the uterine wall. The only way to diagnose adenomyosis is through a hysterectomy biopsy according to my research. 

The possibility of me getting pregnant would have been very slim, and being able to carry a baby to term was even less.

My doctor told me that women with endometriosis tend towards bad periods. Women with adenomyosis have hellacious periods, with excruciating back pain.

And 95% of women after a hysterectomy no longer have back pain.

I have to remind myself to still take it slow because my surgery pain from the removal of an organ and a half is nothing in comparison to the pain I’ve been living with.

Do you know that on average it takes women anywhere between 7 and 10 years to get a diagnoses for endometriosis?

It’s considered a low estimate that 1 in 10 women are dealing with horrible pain that can cause miscarriages and infertility. Depending on where the endometriosis spreads to, it also can cause bowl and bladder issues. Some types of endometriosis are even hemorrhagic, which causes bleeding within the belly cavity. 

Both endometriosis and adenomyosis are also notorious for causing problems in a woman’s sex life. The diseases can attach to the pelvic wall and the cervix, which then can become inflamed which leads to infections, torn skin, and horrible pain. All of these added pressures can eventually break down some of the most solid relationships between partners. 

(The following three charts were the most beneficial for me. Because I could say, yes! This is what I’m feeling!)

Dr. Axe’s chart- he promotes all natural treatments

Endo-resolved, a website that offers information & support

A blog about an artist living with Endometriosis 

The emotional toll that these diseases have on a woman are immeasurable. 

We look to other women–mothers, sisters, and friends– for support and encouragement. We want to compare and contrast what we are feeling to know if we should seek medical help. But too often, we either don’t speak up about our own problems, or we mock the other woman’s pain, telling them that they’re being weak and a period isn’t that bad. 

Endometriosis is not just a period. It is a disease that is extremely painful to live with. 

Then when we do get up our gumption to go to the doctor, we find someone who won’t even contemplate the possibility. I’ve been told by various female doctors that painful periods are normal. That heavy bleeding and back pain are normal. That I need to toughen up because I’m going to be living with it for years. 

It is not normal

The emotional toll can be more devastating than the physical sometimes. 

I choose the most drastic step in fixing my pain. I removed any chance of giving birth to my babies. 

No matter how much I wanted an end to my pain, that is still a bitter pill to swallow. I choose the ending of a possibility of a dream of a biological child, for the chance of less pain. When/If I ever have the opportunity of a relationship, that pill may very well feel like it’s choking me. I just pray that the man can love me for more than my uterus. 

I had the chance to not go through with the surgery. I had the opportunity to really pray over it for 12 years. Numerous women don’t get that chance.

I’ve had people tell me that “I never realized you were in so much pain.” Or they would rather mourn over the discarded organ instead of asking how I am doing. 

I can’t Velcro it back in. Nor would I want to.

The surgery isn’t fool proof. There is always a chance that the endometriosis had spread. Though my doctor did look at my bowls, bladder, and surrounding muscles to hopefully make sure it hadn’t, there is always a chance that it was hiding. Some women continue to have problems with the disease even after a complete hysterectomy. 

There is a possibility at a later date that I will have to go back under the knife to remove my remaining ovary if it is painful. We left it in hopes of keeping my hormones in balance. It wasn’t encased in endometriosis like my other one was. 

Endometriosis is not spoken about much. Not nearly enough doctors know about it, or know the symptoms well enough to suspect it. 

Women are speaking about it more. Younger women are seeking help for it. It’s not an older lady problem only. Doctors have to become aware of it so they can help. If you suspect you have it–research it! Gather intel so you can show your doctor how your symptoms match up with women who had it.

Fight for your health. No one else will fight has hard as you do. 

This is my story. It’s still being written. I’m only 3 weeks out from the surgery. But I wanted to share it with you before my memories fade because I don’t necessarily remember the sharpness of the pain i lived with every day. 

This story is very intimate. But it is true. If I can help one woman fight for her health or one man understand a small bit of what their loved one is dealing with, then baring my soul and my underwear drawer for public consumption is worth it. 

I am not ashamed of the choice I made. Everyone deals with pain differently. I figured there was enough pain I have to deal with every day, why keep battling something that can be taken care of?

This is me. Looking forward to being healed and facing the future.

~~For more information about endometriosis and adenomyosis these are a few websites that were helpful for me:

 Hystersisters-This website is dedicated to helping women who are facing a hysterectomy and have already had one. It has forums and articles to help you.

>>It also has information to help the men in a woman’s life understand what this surgery and the recovery entails. Mister Hystersisters

medicinenet.com— a list of symptoms and medical information

Endometriosis Foundation –a resource to help spread awareness and provides valuable information.

Adenomyosis Advice –similar to the Endometriosis Foundation.

Gyn Care –learn the difference. While endometriosis and adenomyosis can happen together, they are two different diseases that can cause different symptoms.

When health lets you down

Health is a very elusive thing to quite a few people in this world. Those who are blessed to be truly healthy from birth to death, don’t always understand how draining it is to have a nagging, chronic illness.

Perhaps it’s a physical pain that never goes away. Or perhaps it’s a true disease that drains your mental health and physical body.

Pain, is in a way, a gift. It allows your body to realize that something is wrong. It means that the body is attempting to fix it, either internally or making sure you get external help. Pain is supposed to be good. It helps the mind recognize that the body is still alive and functioning. It’s a survival instinct.

It’s not an evolutionary instinct, but truly a God given gift. He gives us the ability to be able heal ourselves as well as the knowledge to remove ourselves from the very thing that hurts us.

The human mind and the human body are amazing for what they can put up with. But it is equally amazing what they can’t handle. Emotional anguish can affect the body just as much as an actual wound can, sometimes even more. Sometimes a simple little prick to the skin can equal death, while another person can survive falling on a steel bar that goes all the way through the body.

It’s the chronic pain though that is the hardest to deal with. It doesn’t allow the body to rest. It doesn’t allow the mind to find a solution. It can literally drive a person insane because the pain never ends. There isn’t a way to stop it. It can also drive us to do some truly drastic measures just to find a tad bit of relief. Cautious people throw their money at quacks just for the slim chance that their snake oil might take the edge off. Others try to numb themselves with drugs and alcohol. Still others spend months in the hospital trying to medically treat it with anything a doctor suggests.

We learn how to attempt to harness the pain enough that we can still have a life. But, we have to chose what is going to hurt the less, rather than what would be the most fun. We crave the oblivion of sleep, which is elusive, rather than just having fun with friends. We try to map out every little thing in our lives to attempt to figure what causes the pain to worsen so we might be able to steer away from it.

Chronic pain is so draining. Is it any surprise that many sufferers become chronically depressed as well? It affects every aspect of your life, your attitude from the pain can strain your relationships with loved ones. Sleep is elusive because there isn’t a lot of positions that will keep the pain manageable. So exhaustion makes our attitude just as bad because of that pain.

For me personally, chronic pain makes me not like myself too much. My sarcasm, which to begin with is never the sweetest, gets a sharper edge to it. Sometimes, it slips and can do some damage. It’s bad when you can’t stand yourself, because of something you can’t control.

I had hoped yesterday when I had exploratory laparoscopic surgery, I had really prayed and hoped that there was a reason for the pain. I was ready for what ever drastic measures had to have been done so I could live without pain.

It came back clear…

I was so disappointed. I still am. I hedged so much of my emotional welfare on the fact that there could be an end to the pain soon. Maybe in a few months…no such luck. It has really thrown me for a loop and having to realize that the excruciating pain in the back and front are things I’m going to have to live with for numerous more years.

Pain. It can be good for you. But like right now, it’s a monster that clings to my back and refuses to leave me alone.

God’s grace is in this though. I know that. I just have to struggle with the fact that nothing right now is going to change. And that’s really hard.

Where I am

So this last Friday was graduation for my former school. It’s already been a year since I walked across the stage to pick up my diploma and shake the hand of my dean of students.
A year.
I am so totally not where I thought I would be, but I think I am where I should be for this moment in time.
Right now as I write this, my uncle is in surgery to remove a large golf ball sized tumor from his frontal lobe. We don’t know what will happen, we don’t know how he will come out of it. Life is uncertain.
My mom is facing another surgery next month, this time to repair a hernia due to all of her other abdominal surgeries. Life is uncertain.
I’m finally in the process of trying to get to the bottom of my own health issues, which might take a bit of time. I finally will be seeing a specialist come next Monday. Life is uncertain.
I do not know where I will be when another year comes around. Right now, I do think I am where I need to be. I’m with my family. I’m working, and I am actually healthy even with all the oddities that are going on.
God is Good.
No matter what, no matter when, no matter where.
God is Good.
All the time.
And all the time, God is Good.
Life kicks us some times, sometimes it feels like we can’t get ahead no matter how hard we try. But we have to remember, Life is under no obligation to treat us well.
Life is uncertain because it is not written for us, only God has our instruction manual. He isn’t keeping us in suspense because he’s mean. We have to learn how to trust in the moment no matter what that moment might look like.
Admittedly, sometimes that’s easier said than done.
It is hard to trust God when you have no clue what is around the bend. But, for me at least, it’s easier to wait for that reveal when trusting God, than it is without him in my life.
I’ve been on both sides of the faithful/ non-faithful waiting games. I know God has it totally in control, whatever happens is by his design. My family is in his hands.
My uncle does not have a relationship with God, so I know going into the surgery early this morning had to be nerve wracking, because how do you have hope when you have nothing to hope in?
Ultimately, that is what I was worried about. My uncle, having major surgery when he doesn’t know God. This is versus my mom, having major surgery, again, who does have a relationship with God. My concern is vastly different between the two. I know exactly where if something were to happen, where I would see my mom again. I also know where my uncle could end up, and that does scare me.
But, God is good.
God gave us the freewill to choose where we wanted to end up. It is ultimately up to us where we find ourselves. We can rail against God, saying he’s evil, when he laid it out there exactly what he wanted from us.
It’s not about doing a fancy ritual with lots of sacrifice, it’s not about doing so many ‘works’ to earn our way into the gates, it’s not about following all the rules so we look perfect- all the old ways don’t get us no where. The gates will not be opened for us if we look good to other humans, it’s all about what our souls look like to God.
Are they dipped in the blood of the sacrificial King?
Do we make the conscious decision to accept that sacrifice?
That’s what we have to do, just accept the love that the sacrifice represents.
Such a simple decision that can change your life and your eternal destination.
Why don’t more of us make that decision? Why don’t we all? Because we think we know better than God.
A free gift, given to all. Accepted by few.
Make a choice. Don’t blame God for your decision, all you have to do is accept. Where you end up is up to you. Heaven or Hell? Life or Death? Accept the gift or deny the sacrifice.
What’s your choice?

Blessings of a year

Praying for a very blessed New Year!
This is the newsletter that I sent out to my family and friends. I’m not to fond of newsletters, but a lot happened this year and this is just a small update. This year has been one of growth and letting God take over my life. One thing I have learned throughout this year is exactly how good is God. So many things that could have seemed like disasters ended up becoming a blessing. God has been teaching me so much, sometimes it’s not the most comfortable lesson, but at the end if I take the time to reflect, it has always been good.

     1) My school created a new degree this last year- the one I really needed! This means I will be graduating with a Master’s of Divinity in Chaplaincy. (It doesn’t have the language requirement- no Greek!) This one looks a lot better on the resume than the Master’s of Arts, I was originally in, and thankfully it just took a year more to finish it.

2) After six years of working and living on campus, I felt the urging to move to a new apartment. My former roommate, Mandy, and I found a wonderful place that was actually former dorms to another Christian college that is just up the hill from school. With 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and a brand new kitchen, it’s a wonderful first place.

3)  After six years of working on numerous papers on Disabilities and the Church, I ‘finished’ the main paper at 70 pages. It is still very rough and is in need of a great deal of polishing, but it has been an amazing paper to work on.

4) Because of this paper, my campus is putting on a workgroup for Spring 2013. I and the Dean of the Seminary will be leading this group to eventually make a class that will be offered in another year. It has been an amazing learning experience and to see how God is moving in this as been eye opening. It’s a topic that is needed, not only to be taught in school, but to be put to use in the church. Many of the professors have never been confronted by the need for a Scripture based theology regarding the disabled, so many of the pastors who graduate have not been given the tools to use within their congregations. Hopefully, this new class will give those tools. We are also blessed by having Joni and Friends be a supportive help in creating the class. We’re going to have the Oregon advocate be a guest speaker which is remarkable.

5) I am also going to be interviewed by the Alumni Magazine regarding this class. Kind of nervous about it, but I know this will be a great thing that will help get the conversation started on campus, about the need for learning how to biblically work with the disabled as well as how to be active ministers with them.

6) In September, while trying to be careful, I fell down the stairs to my new apartment. Since I never had a truly sprained ankle before, I figured it would take a bit of time to heal. Two months later, my foot was still swollen and had started to spasm. After meeting with a specialist and doing a month’s worth of physical therapy, it was discovered I had ruptured a ligament in my ankle. On December 11th, I had ankle surgery and the doctor was surprised by the amount of damage I had. Not only did I ‘rupture’ one ligament but I had also destroyed another. I am now recovering from having another person’s tendon drilled into my ankle bone in three areas. I cannot drive or put any weight whatsoever on my ankle for at least 2 months. Though it may be longer. God’s provisions are seen even in this! Surgery was right after my finals for Fall semester and after losing my custodial job due to new management. I was able to come home, where there are no stairs, and have help through the hardest part of recovery. I have been blessed by some wonderful people who have helped cover some of my bills. I have been absolutely blown away by the outpouring of love and support. I have no words to show my thankfulness for everyone. My roommate has also helped by asking our landlord if we can move our apartment downstairs. So I can stay at my apartment during the first months of the new semester without having to deal with those nasty stairs! What a blessing and answer to some worried prayers!

   7) I am graduating on May 10th! I finally have the classes and credits figured out and it is finally my time to graduate from Seminary! This school has been such a blessing and a wonderful tool in learning more about God. Graduating from the undergrad as well as attending the Seminary has made me so much more aware of the importance of knowing your faith and participating in that faith. God is SO good!

8) My mom had a very scary moment where she ended up having emergency abdominal surgery. Due to former surgeries she had a lot scar tissue that ended up wrapping around her intestine. Thankfully, she went to the hospital in time and they were able to keep her safe. If she hadn’t gone in when she had she could have died. Also, thankfully, her specialist from a different surgery was on call at the hospital the day (day after Christmas) that she had to have surgery. This was a true blessing. Despite being cut from stem to stern again, mom is doing well. God’s blessings are found even in this.

The most important thing I learned this year though is how very thankful I am for my family and friends. If you are part of my life, it means that God has brought you to me so I can learn something. And because of you- I have found out how amazing God is. So thank you for being part of my life. Have you taken time to count your blessings? I hope that you are shown exactly how much God loves you in this New Year. Remember, it’s not always comfortable, but it is always in the end for your good. Even in the midst of great sorrow and pain, may you feel God’s love and compassion wrapped around you. Know you are loved greatly.

  Praying that you have a New Year blessed with examples of God’s undying love for you.

“Thanks be to God for his unspeakable gift” ~2 Corinthians 9:15

The Foot Saga Continues!

I had a surgery. My foot, let’s just say that my ankle had a whole lot more damage than first thought. And it has been a huge blessing. It’s strange thinking that I have had to have surgery to realize how important the Body of Christ is to me.
OK, let’s back up here.
In September, during an attempt to be careful, I fell down the stairs. (You can read that story here: Tumbling Trust) Over a two month period of icing it and keeping it wrapped, the pain got worse. I was still walking on it and working. It hurt, but I could still deal with it. But, then suddenly the pain rocketed up and my foot started spasming so badly I couldn’t sleep. That’s when I finally went to Urgent care to get it looked at. They gave me this horrible brace that did NOT work and caused more pain. But, they also sent me to a specialist.
That was the right move! It took another month though before they realized the depth of the injury. During that month, I had a new brace and physical therapy, where I met my very interesting physical therapist– for that story you can read: Breaking the Christian Bubble.
But, my ankle was slowly getting even worse as the pain got harder to handle. Ice just wasn’t cutting it anymore.
So, after an MRI, the doctor scheduled me for surgery. He said I ruptured at least one ligament but probably two. (actually the two ligaments that the arrows are pointing at)image001 When the doctor actually opened me up on December 11th, the damage was a whole lot worse than he even thought. I didn’t rupture it, I liquefied the ligaments. His exact words, “The ligaments were the consistency of snot.” So I now have someone’s donor tendon drilled into three parts of the ankle bone. Eventually, my ankle will be much stronger than ever before. But, the process is going to be a bit long.
For two weeks- which the day after Christmas will be over- I am in a split cast. This way the stitches can come out and the post-surgery swelling can eventually go down. Then for a minimum of 4 weeks I will be in a full cast from knee to toe. Then there will be an undisclosed amount of time in a walking boot. All of this with absolutely no weight bearing. If I put weight on my foot, I can split my heel which is even more surgery.
One thing I have to insert here…I am horrible on crutches! I’ve never broken anything and have no experience with crutches. I’ve nearly fallen three times- on my foot! Luckily, I have a donated knee scooter that I can get around on.
But, I digress. Let’s get back to the main reason for this post.
I am so very blessed! Because I lost my job due to new management, I was in the midst of finding a new job when the doctor said that I basically cannot do any driving or walking for about 2 months. This freaks me out! I’m a custodian and a caregiver- for those jobs you have to walk!
I was in the midst of trying to prove that I was trusting God when God showed me how amazing his church can be. My roommate and another good friend worked behind my back to have the Student Government in the Seminary use me as their student to support. That generous gift gave me enough money to cover a month of medical bills. Then the school has an “Angel Fund” that Financial Aid gives out, they gifted me with enough to cover a month and a half of more bills. Other sweet souls from undergrad, seminary, and my church also donated money, two of whom I’ve never met! I also got a wonderful casserole that helped take care of food for my family on a very busy day.
My parents brought me back home for the first month of healing so that I can have all of the help I need, while I get use to only one foot and the pain pills I’m on.
An anonymous friend gave me a gift card for Fred Myers which is a huge blessing while others gave me gift baskets to stave off boredom. A sweet couple from my church blew me away by the amount of their gift that answered so many of my worried financial prayers.
Transportation has been offered during my school days from a few sweet people- which I will be taking them up on!
And another BIG thing- my roommate asked our landlord if we can move apartments! I’ve been trying to figure out where I can stay for the 2 months of not walking- I can’t do the stairs because I barely can do 3 steps much less the number of stairs up to my apartment! She is such a blessing! My roommate is willing to move after being in our apartment for only 5 months. Just to move downstairs. This was such an answer to prayer, I can’t tell you how much this has taken away some of my worries! The major one being that I can actually stay in the place that I’m paying rent on- without having to pay another rent as well. This frees up money that I can give those who are willing to chauffeur me to my classes and doctor appointments.
This injury has opened my eyes to so much love. As a natural caregiver, it is easy to feel forgotten and under-appreciated. When you are always helping others, it makes it hard for people to help you. It’s hard to say “I need help!” when you don’t want to be a burden to others. But, the act of accepting that help has been so heartwarming and humbling. So many people have stepped out of the woodwork to just help.
I am beyond thankful for the Body of Christ. Through the sweet souls, God has answered my prayers. Through my injury, God has shown me how important the Body is to the individual- and how important the individual is to the Body.
Thank you so much for every prayer and however you have helped me. You are special to me!

Colossians 3:15-17
And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.