My Health Journey

Eight Months…A New Normal?

“A New Normal.”

I’ve had a special disdain for that phrase ever since it became popularized a few years ago. All of us probably know exactly what I’m talking about. Generally speaking, I refuse to let outside forces dictate to me what I should accept as normal in my own life. I’m pretty stubborn like that. 🙂

But lately I’ve been hearing that phrase in my head a lot.

Waking up to the burning sensation in my legs that’s my constant companion every waking moment? This is your new normal, Judy.

Standing up out of bed not sure if my legs will hold me up this time? New normal.

Accidentally forgetting to straighten my legs every few minutes while I’m sitting, to find that my knees give out when I go to stand? Yep, get used to that, girl.

Forgetting to grab a catheter when I need to use the bathroom? Shoot – this is your life now – you have to remember!

Everything in my life is so much harder than it used to be. Nothing comes easy anymore. And heaven knows it wears on me. Oh, to run once more – chasing my kids around or playing with my dog. To dance… Oh I long to dance again. Even to be able to do yard work without so much pain. I just want to feel normal. Not “new normal”, but real normal.

Because “new normal” isn’t normal at all. It’s horribly restricting and unnatural. It’s broken and seemingly not fixable. At least not by human hands.

Yesterday I read an article about temperature control in spinal cord injuries and found out that my body is incapable of shivering or sweating below my injury level (T6/mid-back). This can make being outdoors in a cold winter or hot summer kind of sketchy.

I’m trying to be strong, but I’m so tired of it all. Tired of the pain. Tired of trying not to be terrified that I will spend my next 40 years like this. Will I be able to run around and play with my grandbabies? Will I age prematurely living in a constant fear of falling because my body is so messed up? I’ve never been a fan of living with a lot of unknowns, and this just ratchets it up into another level!

I know this is likely the whiniest post I’ve written, and I’m sorry for being negative. Part of me doesn’t want to post it because I want to come across as strong and capable. And I am strong and capable. But I wish I didn’t have to be quite so much.

Today in the car I heard a song that really spoke to me. It’s called Desert Road, by Casting Crowns. I’m going to post a few of the lyrics here:

I don’t wanna write this song
I don’t want this pain to be my story
I don’t want this desert road
Are you sure this is the plan that You have for me?
Out here in the dust and clay
God, if there’s a bigger picture
It’s getting hard to see today
But I know that You won’t leave me here

I don’t know where this is going
But I know who holds my hand
It’s not the path I would’ve chosen
But I’ll follow You to the end
Lord, as long as I am breathing
I will make Your glory known
Even if it means I’m walking
On this desert road

This really does encapsulate a lot of what I’ve been feeling lately. I don’t know how people without faith in the God of the universe cope with something like this. I really don’t. I’m pretty sure I would’ve broken a long time ago if it wasn’t for the deep-down knowledge that God is going to use this challenge in my life for His glory if I let Him. And I do believe that, with everything in me.

Yeshua’s words in Gethsemane have taken on a whole new meaning to me. “Yeshua came out and went as usual to the Mount of Olives, and the disciples followed Him… And He pulled back about a stone’s throw from them, got on His knees, and began to pray, saying, “Father, if You are willing, take this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done.”

I still pray for healing, and I still welcome those prayers on my behalf. I know my loving Father has the power to work a miracle for me. But I also know He can work miracles through me even if He allows my body to remain broken. Maybe He has miracles in mind that He needs my broken body for. I don’t know. At the end of the day, I have to hold tightly to His words, Yet not my will, but Yours be done.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.