It’s been four months today since God allowed my life to be shaken to its core. Quite literally. 😉
For the most part, things are settling into the semblance of something fairly predictable.
I have constant minor burning pain in my legs. The best way to explain the pain is that burning you feel when your legs get really cold outside for a long time, then you enter a warm building and everything burns for a minute while you’re acclimating to the new environment. I can’t feel pain (or temperature) from external stimuli, but I can certainly feel that. It’s very strange.
I can walk without assistance, but I struggle with neuro-muscular fatigue where, for no apparent reason, my nerves decide it’s too much work to tell my muscles what to do, and my legs stop holding me up. Sometimes it happens when I’ve been on my feet for too long, and sometimes it’s first thing in the morning. Thankfully, usually it doesn’t last long, but it’s unsettling because I can’t predict when it’ll happen.
I also struggle with muscle spasticity (like what is seen in cerebral palsy, but much less severe), which means my leg muscles are really stiff most of the time and behind my knees gets really sore and spasms when I’ve been sitting for too long and move to standing. I take medication to help with it, but it also makes me sleepy, so I can’t take too much.
One thing I haven’t talked openly about on here yet is that I also have a neurogenic bladder, which for me means I can’t empty my bladder without assistance. Before I was released from the hospital, I was trained in how to self-cath, which makes me simultaneously feel like a rock star nurse and like I’m 90. It’s pretty wild.
I know all this sounds so rough (and I certainly welcome your prayers for continued healing!), but let me share some of the sweet things:
1. I am NOT paralyzed. After getting my correct diagnosis I realized that there was a 30% chance of never walking again. After spending a month in a wheelchair I have an appreciation for mobility that only being immobile can give you. I am so thankful to be able to stand and walk freely. I can also drive now, and I’m so thankful for the independence that gives me (and for my handicap placard!).
2. I have a great physical therapist who is helping me figure out how to continue my therapy at home, as my insurance coverage is resetting and I won’t be able to go to PT as frequently. I bought a treadmill and a friend gave me a stationary bicycle, so I have some good tools to keep progressing in my stamina, strength, and balance.
3. I have gotten to spend a lot of time with my hubby over the past few months. All the time in the hospital, plus so many drives to and from physical therapy has meant lots of great conversations. I married my best friend, and times like this keep solidifying that friendship. I’m so thankful for him.
4. This is a big one – I have gotten to show my kids steadfastness and resilience, as well as faith in action, over the past few months. Sometimes I wonder if our lives have been too easy, too pampered. I wonder if my kids will be prepared to be faithful in hardship. I’m genuinely thankful for an opportunity to demonstrate faithfulness in tribulation and I pray this sticks with them for the rest of their lives.
At this point, my recovery has slowed down quite a lot. While I’m still working hard on therapy, I’m also settling into a place of contentment and peace with this life that God has given me. There are definitely days where I panic that I’ll be stuck in this broken body for the next 50 years, but I’m generally more at peace. I still happily welcome prayers for more healing, but I more than that I simply want God to use this crappy situation for His glory in whatever way He can. I’m recognizing that this life is but the blink of an eye compared to eternity, and more than anything I want to live for that.