The Importance of Telling Both Sides
Being a professional patient, you’d think I’d know better… I geared myself up for the surgery when the surgery is the easy part; it’s the recovery that kicks your butt! But this has been one recovery that I couldn’t have prepared for. While thankfully those severe headaches seem to be behind me (probably from the epidural), I have continued to battle headaches and stomachaches with no answers. Day after day they have sucked life out of me. The beginning of last week I began to take myself off the pain meds (one being a narcotic) in hopes of helping with the sickness; which overall is better than it was, yet still an issue. Of course, coming off the pain meds has caused the pain in my hip to increase significantly, but overall, that has been okay with me! I’d much rather the hip pain than feeling sick all of the time. At least, that was my perspective until this morning when I woke up with a pinched nerve above the back of my hip shooting extreme pain with any movement. On top of everything, sleeping has been very challenging over this past month. I am a stomach sleeper, but I am not allowed near my stomach for at least 2 months. Due to my anatomy and 2 cervical fusions, my tailbone and neck cannot handle the hours in one position. I have woken up more than once in tears, just so beside myself in misery.
While those are the facts of where I’ve been and am at right now, that is only half of the story. In the heart of this time of healing I have felt incredibly blessed. After most of my surgeries I have been put in a full body cast for months at a time while I heal, unable to sit or walk. I would stay flat on my back or stomach for months. My point: Relatively speaking, 6 weeks in a wheelchair is NOTHING! Because I am not allowed to bear any weight right now, I am fully dependent on my parents…once again. I wake them anywhere from 1 – 4 times every night to help me out of bed or simply to help reposition me and relieve whatever part of my body that is screaming the loudest. Not only do they not complain at all, but they both encourage me to call them any time. They go out of their way to make my days as special as possible. God has given us some great laughs in the midst of it all. If not for my parents, I would have to be in a rehab facility for these 6 weeks…and I would NOT be getting the care there that I am getting here!!! Then there are my family and friends who have overwhelmed me with their love. “Blessed” does not begin to express how I have felt by the countless prayers, visits, calls, texts, cards, emails, gifts, flowers, delicious meals, and words that have melted my heart. I feel FAR from a victim. And last, but far from least, in the heat of my most awful moments God’s presence has remained in and all around me, sustaining me.
I was emailing back and forth with my friend in Atlanta last week and she shared how it was raining there that day, had rained all week and was to rain until today. I wrote back saying, “Sorry for all your rainy days…but the flowers are coming as a result!” Then I thought, “Isn’t that true for me”! In two weeks, I will be allowed to finally begin bearing partial weight on my new hip and Lord willing, move forward once again! The flowers ARE coming and truth be told, there are flowers around me even as the rain still falls. So, the next time you think about or share your story, I encourage you to be sure to reflect on the WHOLE story. God’s fingerprints surround us in all seasons when we walk with Him. We just might have to look a little harder.