Wednesday, January 15, 2014

If Life We're Easy It Wouldn't Be Hard.

So I've made a decision to continue blogging my recovery process. I feel that this entire experience/challenge is a part of God's mission He has given to me. And I don't want to miss a thing, so that later I can look back and be grateful for these times past and for what I have learned. 

Although, working towards a full-recovery is not exactly eassssssyyyyy. 

May I just point out all of those dreaded little red tags on pretty much every medication of mine that reads, "May cause dizziness and/or drowsiness"NOT fun. I feel like I just sleep allllllllllllllllll of the time. Sleep, get up and try to eat something, sleep, eat and then sleep again. Although sometimes, if I'm lucky, I make it out to Walmart! ;)
I feel as weak as a newborn.

Just call me- "Pill-popper" :P
I hate being dependent on medication...but I guess I'm grateful for them too.
I'm also grateful for brilliant physical therapists, doctors and healing angels.

So, Diagnosis: Ummm...right. Where to begin? All I know is I've worked with like 6 specialists now (some in NM and now here) and they've all had different theories and opinions. What we've been able to basically figure out is that my L5 vertebrae is bulged (some kind of disc disease) that's also slipped in the lumbar region of my spine and that I have SI joint problems going on as well in my pelvis. My ligaments are inflamed like crazy from sitting down so much in the field on a malformed SI structure. And so we are now working on re adjusting my body back to it's normal and original "sphere". However, we have also discovered during this whole process that because it went on for so long, it has thrown my entire body structure off, meaning my ribs are at a 54/32 and so I'm getting less oxygen to one side of my body.
Back problems cause all kinds of problems.
The doctor calls me, "twisted" haha. And he's right.

I had my first round of injections last about. sore. I tried not to be a baby but I'm pretty sure I made the arthritis in my momma's sweet hand worse. It was a series of 5 different shots in my spine and I feel like it made a difference but not enough. I still can't sit down for more than 5-10 minutes without pain. It looks like we'll be back for round 2 in the near future.

As for right now we are in the middle of some intense physical therapy.
Mom came with me today to see what they've been "doing" to me the last several therapy appointments...
She discovered it's not always pain-free...(haha it looks like I'm laughing...yeah, I'm not)
But I have an awesome team of therapists who the moment I walked in their center asked me, 
"Ok, so what's the goal?" 
"To get back out."
..."Ok, let's do it!" 

They are my angels.
Learning how to re-sit all over again. 
I can't tell you how complicated the human body is, ugh! 
You have to sit juuuust exactly right or everything gets out of place.

If life we're easy, it just wouldn't be hard, now would it? 
(by the way, very much enjoying Sheri Dew's advice on this subject right now...great book.)

I wanted to share with you my first day in the field story to illustrate this very point. I never really talked about it too much before this but it was, for me quite of the hardest days I have ever had to endure (in comparison with the day I came home). Which was weird because I had never, ever imagined myself being anything but happy, happy, happy my first day arriving to my mission. But it was anything but. However I learned from that day, the privilege of wading through the trial and paying the price to become better acquainted with God.

This is the beginning of my journal entry on that loverly first day..

"Ok. sluuuurrrred day. First day went something like this: Got back to dorm room late, coughed ALL night, got 30 minutes of sleep, coughed some more, got up at 4:30 am to make it to the bus on time, dragged my heavy heavy bags all by myself all the way to the bus, no breakfast, hugged my MTC roomies goodbye one last time, boarded bus, quietly cried on bus in the dark, arrived to SLC airport, security check, desperate plea to my Father in Heaven to help me last the day, called home from airport, sobbed the moment I heard my momma's voice, cried with her for a wonderful 20 minutes, forced to hang up, boarded rickety flight, arrived feeling more than disoriented, tried to smile and pretend I was ok, tears threatening to burst, first glimpse of President and Sister Miller, too many missionaries everywhere, picture outside temple, rushed to the church, lunch, first tracting experience, training all day long, I can't remember any of what they just told me, personal interview, testimony meeting with lots of people I don't know, dinner, REALLY going to burst out sobbing by this point, taken to random stranger's house, given bed and pillow...don't remember anything after that." 

The doctors in the MTC told me after doing X-rays of my lungs that I had a bad case of bronchitis, threatening to turn into pneumonia. They got me on antibiotics but only a few short days before I was scheduled to leave. It was only because of my pleadings that they let me leave. I had been confined to my dorm room for a week it seemed and I just didn't want to have to stay longer than needed there. Plus all of my dear missionary friends were leaving. A new group was coming in. I just wanted to get to my mission. Except I couldn't breathe. I felt like I was breathing out of a straw. The doctors hesitantly signed my release form and I was on a plane the next day. However, what I was not expecting was to get the call that Grandpa had bone cancer and only had a few short weeks to live. He passed away just a few days before I flew out. The day I left to the mission field was the day of his viewing. I was myself. I was devastated. There was hope in the Atonement yes. I had an unfailing testimony of the great Plan of Salvation. But I was numb. I was hurting. My sweet Grandpa had just  stood in the circle to set me apart only weeks before! He was always so physically fit. The last of my grandparents I ever expected to go first. I felt a little shell-shocked and yet here I was throwing myself into a new culture, new way of living, new language, new everything. It was almost too much. (Actually at times it was...but I had help now that I look back). But I stretched. God stretched me. My empathy for others grew. Things are supposed to be hard! Because we grow tremendously! The Lord sent His angels to minister unto me during those first few weeks. I was surprisingly able to remain cheerful through it all. I had spiritual experience after spiritual experience it seemed. Strength came out of nowhere. I wish I could have seen "the behind the scenes" to it all. I know Grandpa checked in on me often. I was able to lose my sorrow as I concentrated on the work and truly forget about me. That's why I have grown to adore service. It forces you to think about everyone but you. I like taking a break from myself now and again, ya know?

That first day was a kicker...but I wouldn't change a thing about it.

A few weeks later, Sister Miller called me into President's office and told me that a new sister who had just arrived had just found out her grandmother had passed away that very day. I was able to go in with her and talk with her and just cry with her. It's amazing how God teaches you hard things so that you can in turn be there to listen to someone else and to actually  have the capacity to understand.
God puts you where He wants you.

I'm learning to...Be Firm in the Fire.

                                                       My heart still wants to smurf :) 

1 comment:

  1. I leave on my mission in two weeks and I just wanted you to know I've been following your blog for several months, before I even received my call to Peru. I've been so grateful for your service and willingness to share ALL of your challenges and successes with the world. Your blog has helped me prepare in more ways then I can count and I just wanted to say thank you. I know you have touched many lives and will continue to do so whether you are able to return to the field or not (but I sure hope you do!) Feel better soon!