Time itself seems to stand still. I feel daily challenges and experiences lead to two things: they can either hurt you or help you. My journey in life in chronic illness started eight years ago. Sometimes I wonder how I ever kept my sanity through the cycle. During this past month, especially this past week, I have been talking to God and realize I’m not in a good place. I need to cleanup somethings in my past and in my present. I lead a stressful life already and there were somethings very stressful interfering with my life. Things I didn’t want or need in my life, but I didn’t feel I had the strength or readiness to deal with them until now.
But I give no excuses, they were things I did to myself. I had “road blockers” that distracted me from doing what I was meant to be doing, what I was purposely supposed to be doing. I haven’t worked on my latest manuscript for a couple of months or wrote. It is time to put worldly “mundane” things to the curb and get on with life. Today, I attempted to get rid of some of those “stressors” and say “Amen” to that.
For the first time over the last few months, I feel I need to do what’s right in my heart, not my mind. God has really been working on me. He wants a relationship, but he is a jealous God. He wants me to concentrate on Him, not external forces. I failed to put my concentration on Him. But He is a loving God too.
And, yet, I have come to understand that what has been delaying me and blinding me is fear itself – it’s my own fears and insecurities that blocked me from moving forward in my own life. I have periods of darkness, of depression from chronic illness, of denial from disappointment or rejection over the years. It sounds like a broken record, but I was at my wit’s ends. I was to the point of succumbing to the disease handed me. It seemed nothing was working. The treatments were making me ill and feeling worse. I was over-medicated and home bound. My quality of life had the beginning of being very poor. I was almost bed-ridden, couldn’t get out of bed some days and felt awful. My hands shook badly often. I was a walking time bomb, about to explode!
We are all fearful of failure to some degree. But mine were deeply rooted as a child. Born with muscular weakness in both legs and feet, I had multiple painful surgeries as a child. I struggled to walk as normal healthy children did. I spent many summers hospitalized in leg casts and pain. Some would describe it as bone deformities at birth, while some describe it as hip dysplasia, where the hips dislocate from their sockets. Others describe it sort of like cerebral palsy, a permanent birth injury that penetrated the neuromuscular regions of the body. In actuality, my parents told me that the doctor that treated me at infancy through childhood and adolescence, said I had no signs and symptoms of one actual disease. Yet, the walking and mobility problems remained.
I did get better and I continued to improve until I walked fine (well, almost normally). But, in the back of my mind, other children laughed and made fun of me, as I walked. Until I was eight years old, I wore big white orthopaedic shoes, which I was ashamed to wear out in public. They looked like big baby shoes. Coming home from public school, crying to my parents that others were looking at my feet strange, I had surgery on my right foot (ankle extension) in June, the month before my eighth birthday. Again, another surgery on both feet (this time) in June, before my tenth birthday. Surgery had to be done when I was out of school for the summer and when the surgeon was available.
When I was a freshman in high school at 14, I fell somehow and broke a bone in my left knee. I had to stay out of physical education all during my sophomore year of high school. At 15, I had surgery again in June. I also had ankle surgery on my right foot. Don’t get me wrong; it was all painful. I had to wear a splint on my left leg for nearly two months and a cast on my right foot at the same time.
Last week, I got away for nearly a week. I desperately needed a break; a break from ordinary life and to reconnect with God. I was in a safe getaway, a place where I found comfort and safety for a while. During that time, I fell and broke four ribs on my left side. Now, I’m in constant pain. I’m more irritable and moody due to pain and inflammation. It has been very painful, at the least.
The positive side of this story is that I’m starting to make progress in the disease. Receiving botox treatments on my feet and ankles next month, looking into possible surgery for feet and seeing a surgeon next month also. The wheels are spinning in motion. I’m also going to a specialist next month for the fractured ribs.
Please note that I’m not asking for sympathy or prayers. It saddens me that people can only say that they will “pray” for me. I need more than that. I want to get my story out to others, to let them know there is hope and that God is a great Healer. Pity, especially self-pity, doesn’t help anyone, especially me. If you want to pray for me, please say in unspoken words. I would feel better and more comfortable with that. I have remained strong emotionally and mentally over the years. You have to be strong to be a survivor. I’m proud to say I am one. I survived breast cancer eight years ago and I will survive this. And, yes, I do have faith. Faith to be healed and well someday….