a little peek into my heart

Jan 17, 2015

The depths of despair have not hit me. I am okay emotionally and spiritually and am in a pretty good place of both gratitude for this experience and acceptance of what is currently my life.

But I am sad for the things I am missing and today my heart is hurting a bit. There have been a lot of things missed over the course of these injuries. We have just passed the two year mark of the shaking/passing out episodes and in February it will be three years since the initial hip injury. Even though it feels like an entire lifetime ago, I still remember so clearly lying on the floor of Jessica’s parents home and trying to convince everyone that even though I hadn’t walked for 5 weeks, I was FINE and did not need an MRI and it would get better with time. Well, my friends insisted on me seeing an orthopedic surgeon who subsequently found I have severe hypermobility in all my joints and arranged for an MRI that found the labral tear in my hip socket.

And while my labral tear was helped greatly by the Prolozone injections, the havoc played on my body from that injury, bedrest, and muscle weakening has been challenging. It seems every few months there is a new orthopedic injury that takes about sixteen to twenty weeks to overcome and during those weeks of recovery time the rest of my body gets weaker and more prone to injury. The current injuries we are dealing with are a torn LCL and torn meniscus, sensitive vagus nerve, impinged left shoulder, and severe pubic bone instability causing quite a bit of pain throughout my pelvis.

Each of these injuries cause me to miss out on things that are really important to me. Like chasing my children, going on walks, riding my beloved bike, hiking in the woods, having the freedom to go where I want to go, teaching gymnastics, and holding my Annesley in my arms. This month I was scheduled to speak at a huge homeschool conference down in Utah about two of my favorite subjects, teaching math in fun ways and How To Talk To Kids So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk. I was over the moon excited about this opportunity to share my passions with hundreds of people. A few weeks ago, I decided I simply cannot present. My knee will not allow me to stand for more than about five minutes and my vagus nerve is acting so unpredictably that I was concerned that even if I taught from my wheelchair there was a good chance I would pass out, throw up, or have an episode of tachycardia right in the middle of my presentations.

So I bowed out. And I am super sad. Sad for the growth it would give me as a speaker. Sad for the missed connections with people. Sad for the missed influence I could have on other’s lives. Sad for the impact they could have on my life.

One of the hardest things for me is the limitations I have in connecting with others. Connection with people is something I live for – it energizes me and brings happiness to my soul to talk with other people and learn from them, laugh with them, and love them. And I miss that. I still get it, but it is so much less than it used to be. Many times I do not have the ability to go and talk to someone across the room. I have to wait until a person comes to me to visit. Often, the person I want to give a hug to or thank or compliment or share something funny with does not come. Sometimes I ask Richard to go get that person and bring him or her to me, but it often feels a bit too awkward…because that fluid, light, happy conversation that happens naturally when you are nearby and start talking with a person has now been turned into a formal event requiring an invitation to come and speak with me.

The other uncomfortable aspect with this whole connection thing is that the topic of conversation with almost everyone in my life is my body. I do need to talk about it and share, but often I want to shout, “I am not my body! I have a mind and a heart and interests that have nothing to do with bones and cartilage and ligaments. Let’s talk about fabric or books or ideas or something else besides my body.” At the same time, it is really important to me for people to understand what is going on in my body. I want people to know so they can be praying for me or know when I need extra help or know to rejoice with me about some milestone being reached, but I don’t really want to talk about it. I just want them to magically know so I feel we are in the same place of understanding about my body’s needs and then we can laugh and have fun and talk about something else.

A bit of a high expectation there, eh? Yes, I know. I want to type out my physical and emotional and spiritual journey on here and get it all out. And then I don’t really want to talk about it. Having to rehash it over and over and over is exhausting and a tad depressing. In addition, when there isn’t good news to share, it is really hard for me to want to share anything at all…the last thing I want to be is the depressing, negative nincompoop everyone avoids. Can’t all the people in my life just read my blog if they want to know what is going on??????? I know. I know. It isn’t that interesting and who has time to read my rantings anyway? But, oh, how it would help me when I have to answer all the questions from the wonderful people who care about me.

Anyway, just read this as a Saturday morning brain dump of zillions of thoughts swirling around inside me as I lie here in bed on a cold, snowy day thinking about the conference I won’t get to speak at, the sledding I can’t do with my children today, the grocery shopping I won’t get to do (and yes, I know not doing the shopping sounds lovely when you have to do it, but not being able to select the food for my family is a challenge all its own), the inability to just hop in my car and go visit a loved one, and the many other things I am no longer able to do. Life could be a zillion times worse and I am both grateful for this powerful learning experience and overwhelmingly grateful for the bounteous blessings that are and have been poured out upon our family to help us get through it. I know all of this and I really, truly still am in a place of gratitude. But I am also sad that one of the prices I have to pay for this dear and tender experience is one of missing out on other dear and tender experiences.

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  1. I know it took a lot out of you to write those words and to see them in black and white. I know the enormity and the reality of what you are facing sometimes comes crashing down and crushes hope and faith and makes it hard to even take a deep breath. I can’t even express how much I love and adore and cherish you! I think back to when you were conceived and born and how many wonderful memories I have of you — even in your cute little glasses and corrective shoes and the green outfit that said NOEL on it. And your perm. And gymnastics and cheerleading, and tests and grades and student government and prom . . . everything. I remember so many tender, amazing, wonderful things and have to conclude that life does have a purpose even though I struggle to understand what is happening right now. Good luck tomorrow and remember what I said about a telescoping walking stick. I love you!!!!!!

  2. Wow, I just bawled my head off while writing a big old comment. I am so emotionally drained, I don’t think I can write it again. It just went POOF when I hit the submit button! Arg!

    • tracy

      Found your comment in my spam folder. I love you mama. SO STINKIN’ MUCH!

  3. Kate Anderson

    I just wanted to tell you how much I love you! I really, truly love reading your blog and hearing about your experiences and growth and I learn so much every time! Thank you for being such an inspiration to me and being one of my mentors. I am eternally grateful for the friendship that we have and thank you for all the countless ways you have reached out to me. Once again, I love you!

    • tracy

      Kate, I love you too! So stinkin’ much! Thank you for your kind words and your bright spirit. I am so grateful to play a part in your education and am excited for Worldviews to start again. We are going to have a blast digging deep and working hard this semester.