Patience Is a Virtue


My plan was to update my blog every Tuesday. But it's Thursday.

This week has been rough ... or rougher than I would have preferred. After hearing how "strong" I was from many people after sharing my blog, I thought that if I just waited one more day, that I would feel "strong" again and not disappoint anyone.

But like I said, it's Thursday now. Saying that I feel "weak" would be an accurate assessment.

When I started this blog, it was meant to serve as a reminder of my journey. Years from now, I want to be able to look back on this and remember how hard it was. I never want to take my health or my physical strength for granted again. I want to recall the pain and the triumph. And I want to remember the feelings and what it took to make it through. I want to be reminded of just how deep I needed to dig.

For some reason, Avascular Necrosis has taken over my bones in my shoulder and hips and made things ... well, difficult. I had core decompression surgery on one hip and one shoulder. I will have surgery on my other hip in about a month.

The most common treatment for Avascular Necrosis or AVN, is a total replacement. But my doctor advised me to try core decompression surgery first. Since I'm so "young," he thinks it will allow my bones to heal themselves, without needing a replacement. The surgery, he says, has more than a 70 percent percent success rate.

Still, my mind has wondered from the positivity a bit this week. I can't help but think back to last summer, less than a year ago, when I could run, help my daughter in gymnastics, dance, exercise -- I was without limitation. But within a matter of months, everything changed. My body was literally falling apart and no one knows why.

In addition to the surgery, I started taking a new pill that is supposed to harden my bones. If you read my last post, then you know that my bone in my shoulder was soft. Unfortunately, the pill makes me miserable. I have to take it first thing in the morning and it makes me feel horrible and sick. I've had a hard time just getting out of bed. I stopped taking it two days ago and have asked my doctor for a substitute pill, if there is one.

I have always hated medication. I don't even like taking Tylenol for a headache. But lately it seems I have no choice if I want my bones to heal.

All I can think about is getting better. My left hip is starting to feel a little better. It's hard to tell when I'm in a wheelchair, but I do think it's improving. My right shoulder is not improving and sometimes I wonder if it is getting worse.

It's like having a broken shoulder. I know, because I broke my left shoulder when I was younger -- the price a cheerleader pays for being the "tiny" one. I never minded being in the air, loved it actually, and my broken shoulder healed quickly. But I remember not being able to lift my arm when it was broken.

My right shoulder is beyond broken. I can't put a hair tie in or lift my elbow above my shoulder. I can't brush my teeth with my right arm or really do much of anything with it. I always knew my right arm was important, but I don't think I really knew until now. Each day, there are new things that I realize I can't do. And other days, I realize I can do things I that I thought I couldn't.

Patience is definitely a virtue.

I can't wait to walk again. I can't wait to use my arm again. I can't wait to shake hands again and to hug my family and pick up my children. That's the problem ... I can't wait.

Earlier this week, I had some steam taken out of me when I went to a doctor who was supposed to help me find out the cause. He really didn't even understand why I was in his office. I want someone to want answers as badly as I do. But then again, I guess that would be in a perfect world. We all want answers, don't we?

I have asked myself a lot of unproductive questions this week. Why is this happening? Why couldn't it have waited until my children were older? Will this happen to my children, too? Will I ever be "normal" again?

I'd like to believe it's a rut. And that I've still got steam left. And I won't give up hope. But it's been a bad week. And though I like to be perceived as "strong," the fact is that I need to remind myself that it's OK to be weak, too.

I've been physically weak for months, but this week in particular, my mind had a chance to be brought down by my pain and my doubts.

Before the pain got bad, I was volunteering with the first graders at my church. It was something I thoroughly enjoyed, because as I was teaching them, I taught myself also. Not too long ago, I helped them to memorize this verse:

"But those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint." Isaiah 40:31

I will wait on the Lord to renew my strength. And I pray that I am able to wait more patiently. He has certainly had plenty of patience with me.

I started working from home this week. I am a writer and I love my job. I had the chance to interview a lady who had survived leukemia, a heart attack and a stroke. She was wonderful, kind and insightful. She was a survivor.

She shared a quote with me that she discovered along her journey: "The task ahead of us is never as great as the power behind us."

Repeat: "The task ahead of us is never as great as the power behind us."

Repeat: "The task ahead of us is never as great as the power behind us."

Repeat: "The task ahead of us is never as great as the power behind us."

Pray. (repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat ... )

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