Ups and Downs


Again, I've slacked off posting. The past few weeks have been filled with ups and downs. No different from life before I was diagnosed with AVN, but my lows felt lower at times. Heartache, irritations, sleepiness, anger, exhaustion, schedules, missed opportunities - those have come and gone my whole life. But dealing with such a decline in who I am, how I perform, what I can and can't do for my family ... that's a tough pill to swallow.

In all honesty, I've felt normal emotions, but at certain points, they've intensified. Watching my parents become exhausted as a result of my physical incapabilities has been hard. They come to the house each morning and get my three children up and ready and take them to school. More often than not, I'm still lying in bed, because I don't have the strength to get up. The thought of going straight into a wheelchair hasn't been motivating. I feel awful for all they've had to do.

My husband has recently talked with his boss to go in later to work and give them some relief. This has helped. But again, my husband is having to go to work late and he's only been working there for about 2 months. It seems that I can't help but inconvenience anyone anymore. I know they don't see it that way. I'm sure of it. But it's tough to be a witness to the things that I, as a mom and a wife, want to do.

Some days, its almost as if I've had an outer body experience. Like the old me is looking over the new me, wondering what happened, trying to push me along. And most days, it's my faith that gets me through. I believe in a healing God and I have actually come a very long way from where I started.

From a limp, to the inability to walk, to not being able to use one of my arms -- I wondered if I would ever be the same. It's obvious now that even if I physically return to where I was, mentally, my mind works on a different level.

I want to cry when I think about how I would complain about the energy and disaster control it took toting my kids in and out of school each day, to their practices, games, activities -- as if their dependance was an inconvenience to me. I've discovered that is a blessing that I will never again take for granted. I can't believe it took all of this to make that obvious.

I was settled. I was living and doing. But was I really living? That sounds dramatic. But maybe it should.

It's not as if I have a deathly illness, at least not that the doctors can see. But I've had my abilities stripped and now, after three surgeries and almost three months in a wheelchair, they are slowly returning.

In the past few days, I've been using my crutches at times. It's as close to normal I can get on some days. If it's a short distance, I'll limp along, holding onto whatever is close by. I can pick my children up off of the floor and place them in my lap. Something I couldn't dream of doing six weeks ago. It's the best feeling in the world.

Tomorrow, I return for another physical therapy evaluation. And at the end of the month, I'll be able to start gait training, which pretty much means I'll be learning to walk again. For the first time since this began, it feels within my grasp.

If there is one thing I know about myself, it's that I'm stubborn. I try to use that in a positive way and set goals, some that might not even be achievable, but I'll certainly try. I've decided to run my first 5K in September. I haven't cleared it with my doctor, but it doesn't matter. I'm going to do it. See? Stubborn. It can be a good, and a bad thing.

I cannot lie. I've been disappointed in people and I hate admitting that. I always try to see the good in people. I just can't help but think that if one of my friends or family members were in my position, that I would do more. Or do something at least. This is not to take away from the dozens who have. We've been brought food, flowers, had offers to babysit. But some of the people I would have expected the most out of have been ... well, invisible.

I can't blame them though. I don't actually tell people how difficult this is at times. When people ask how I am doing, I almost always reply with a "good." And many have said "Let me know how I can help," but I never know how to take that. I mean, what if I really responded with, "Can you come to my house and get my children ready and take them to school?" "Can you offer to have my son over for a night?" "Can you feed my family" "Help me clean?" I'm just not going to ask people those things. Again ... stubborn.

What I can take away from that is when I know someone in need, I'll offer something specific and follow through. I'll pray for them. I'll check on them. I'll make sure they know I care. I've seen this in people who have reached out to me. Some who I haven't even known that well or for that long. Maybe they learned that lesson the hard way as well.

Even the disappointment has been replaced with an optimism that I've been able to pull out over the past week or so. And the disappointment came at my lowest of lows, so that is where it should stay.

As I said in a former post, life goes on and so, I have to go on, too. And others peoples lives won't stop, just because mine has been affected. I'm surrounded by love and all in all, my faith in God and in people has grown because of it. I can look around me and easily find so many things to be thankful for. And I've lived another day to be thankful for them.

What more could I possibly ask for?

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