Meet Rattler and Lucy.
Yes, they are snakes. My two littles loves bugs, snakes, lizards, frogs, and all the other creepy-crawlies in the world. There was a time in my life when I was terrified of all the small, slithery creatures, but having bug-lovers for children has helped me be able to overcome much of the fears.
Fisher especially loves snakes (actually he especially loves *all* the creatures, but seems to be some sort of snake whisperer). He finds them fairly frequently and makes each of them his new best friend. Now Annesley is following suit.
They found these two garter snakes at our friend, Jen’s, house yesterday. Rattler spent the whole day in Fisher’s pocket enjoying the warmth and seclusion. Lucy’s favorite spot is wrapping herself around Annesley’s neck and laying her head on Annes’ shoulder to spy on the happenings around her. Full of rainbows in Annesley’s mind.
They brought their snakes to gym today and most of the children had a great time watching, touching, or holding them. There were a few kids who were terrified, but most of them enjoyed the experience.
I don’t know how long Rattler and Lucy will be part of our gang, but for now they sure are spreading smiles and we all need more of those, don’t we?
We are fourteen weeks out from the knee injury and while it is not hurting nearly as much as it used to hurt – it hardly ever takes my breath away with pain and I can stand on it for quite a while without it throbbing – it is still super-duper loose and not able to function well without my brace. So, I guess leggings and knee-length yoga skirts will continue to be my wardrobe of choice (force?) for awhile longer.
Unfortunately, the top half of my body is a different story. We are almost seven weeks out from the car accident and oh, my stinkin’ heck, the pain! The agony. The sleepless nights. The headaches, face aches, jaw aches, neck aches, ARRRRRRGGGGH. The rib pain as they shift in and out of place ALL DAY LONG with nearly every breath I take. The sternum torture from the bone that is visibly out place and poking out all skeewampus out of my chest. My back has been taped into military posture for the past two weeks and while it is GREATLY helping, it does not take away all the sternum pain. It also makes it really hard for me to do my hair, use my arms for the simplest of things, or get myself undressed. My sacrum feels like a hot ball of fire that is approximately the size and weight of an 8 lb. therapy ball. I cannot believe the amount of pain this teensy weensy accident has caused.
And the passing out/shaking/tachycardia episodes have returned with a vengeance.
Seriously. This is enough.
We are basically ignoring my knee, hip, and feet issues because there is not time or energy to even attend to them right now. All my emotional stamina can handle focusing on is getting better from this car accident.
I have given in to the world of modern medicine and am taking a muscle relaxant at night and Ibuprofen throughout the day to reduce the global inflammation this accident has caused. After not taking over-the-counter or prescription drugs for twenty years, this is a big deal. It shows just how willing I am to do what it takes.
Today I tried out a tens unit…and all the angels sang! I must get me one of these miniature miracle workers. The muscles in my back felt relaxed and warm and gushy and I nearly shouted with relief!
Speaking of angels, have you seen this painting? It is my favorite thing ever and thanks to my friend, Jodie, it will soon be hanging in my room, infusing me with hope and faith every day.
Living with a genetic disorder is hard. I don’t care what the condition is or how life-altering it is, it is hard to face the reality that one’s genes are messed up.
It is even more difficult to realize and then go on living with the reality staring me in the face that I have passed this on to my children.
On Sunday we had a family council and explained hypermobility and what it looks like and what it means. Our children have always known they were more flexible than their peers and that I was super flexible and, of course, they have lived through the past three years of my nearly constant injuries, but amazingly enough, they didn’t really know they were at risk for these same type of injuries. We tried to present the information in a “Let’s all work together and get super strong and take care of our bodies” sort of way, but that message only goes so far with children who have their brains turned on to evaluate the message and can see right through the rah-rahs to the grim prognosis. Responses varied to our rousing cry of “We are going to start an exercise plan to build super strong muscles! When people are flexible like we are, they need more muscles to hold them together. Does anyone have any suggestions to build our muscles?”
Fisher: Are you saying my hips are going to break like moms? (For the record, my hips are NOT broken – the labrum on the right side is torn.)
Blythe: But we aren’t as bad as you are, right? Right? We won’t end up like you, right?
Keziah: I AM NOT EXERCISING WITH THE FAMILY!
Annesley: When can we start? Do I get to do DDP Yoga with Papa? I am so strong and now I will be EVEN stronger!
Fisher: Am I going to start passing out like mom?
Fisher: Why did this happen?
Blythe: Just because we are so flexible, that doesn’t mean we have to end up like you, right? You were more flexible than us, weren’t you?
Keziah: I am FINE.
Annesley: I will get super strong. Look at my backbend, look, look, I can almost touch my feet with my hands. LOOK!
Fisher: Are you saying my ligaments are like mom’s?
We tried to be reassuring. We tried to calm fears and give hope and help them understand, but they couldn’t. All they could see was the string of injuries their mother has become and see themselves on the same path. Some of them tried to reject the whole thing, insisting they are “fine,” some of them got scared, some of them tried to solve it logically, some of them just aren’t willing to look it square in the face yet.
I understand all of that, having felt all those same emotions myself. It will take some time for them to figure out how to deal with it. It is going to take lots of encouraging words from us as parents and lots of real, deep, heart-to-heart listening.
At the same time, we do not want it to be a focus of their lives – we want them to run and play and laugh and live without a constant worry hanging over their heads that they will end up like me.
And that is what I don’t know how to do. They see me everyday. They see me shaking, passing out, crying in pain, taking piles of supplements. They see me unable to lift my arms up to drive, unable to carry things, sitting in my special chair, and going to endless physical therapy appointments. They see it up close and personal. They have helped dress me, cleaned up my vomit, pushed me in wheelchairs, called out for someone to help me, taken my heartrate and so much more. We have tried to protect them and I often put on my very bravest face when they are around, but our talk on Sunday took off the last of their blinders and they started to really internalize that this is not just about me. It is about them and their children and their children’s children. It is real. It is not something we can just wish away or grow out of.
How do I help them balance out the plain facts in front of them with a huge dose of hope and optimism and free spiritedness? How do I help them build muscles without it being done in a spirit of fear of what could happen if they don’t? How do I lead them in developing habits that will lead to a lifetime of strengthening activities when I cannot participate myself? How do I look in their eyes and see their fear without it breaking my heart?
It is time for courage.
Against all odds, God gave me these precious children and He expects me to teach them how to deal with the life they have been given, not the one they wish they had. None of us wishes to have something wrong with our bodies, but the reality is something IS wrong and it is time to learn how to thrive.
On top of the exercising they are doing, I think they need a host of stories planted deep in their souls of people doing hard things. I want them to know they are part of a plucky family so we are going to be sharing more family history stories. They need to hear and hold in their hearts more stories of bravery, sacrifice, service, compassion, duty, and love. I plan to fill them up with stories of American patriots, fellow Christians serving God with full-purpose of heart, and stalwart men and women from all over the globe. They need to know that even though their collagen may be made of weak materials, they are made of tough stuff that can and will do hard things.
I have learned that while the physical challenges of this disorder are great, the emotional, spiritual, and mental battles are far more critical to my well-being. If I can stay in a place of mental toughness, open-heartedness, gratitude, commitment, and peace, I can function well, regardless of what state my body is in at the moment. When I give in to hopelessness, fear, anger, self-pity, or try to close myself off from the world, that is when I am really in trouble.
So, building their muscles is essential. Absolutely. But far more important is building their spirits to know who they are, what they are made of, and the nature of their God.
Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for The Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest. – Joshua 1:9
Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them. – 2 Kings 6:16
Therefore now let your hands be strengthened, and be ye valiant. – 2 Samuel 2:7
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. – 2 Timothy 1:7
And they were all young men and they were exceedingly valiant for courage and also for strength and activity; but behold, this was not all – they were men who were true at all times in whatsover thing they were entrusted. Yea, they were men of truth and sobernes, for they had been taught to keep the commandments of God and to walk uprightly before Him. – Alma 53:20
They need to know that when hard days (and weeks and months and years) come, for we all have them in various ways, they can and must turn to the Lord and He will strengthen them. He will infuse them with power to keep trying and courage to choose to do so. He will pour down healing that cannot be explained by medicine and He will wrap them in His arms of love during the pain. He will love them with a love that is pure and precious and sanctifying.
And as this knowledge grows within them, they will be able to face EDS and all the other challenges that this life will give them.
I guess that is my answer…rely on The Lord, courageously fight my battles, share stories with my children of brave men and women and children doing hard things, and trust that they will turn to Him.
Small marching orders, eh?
I have known I was hypermobile my whole life…not in a diagnosable sort of way, but in a “look, how cool I am, I can bend in half” sort of way. I knew my ankles rolled really easily and were sprained more often than not. I knew that to play a compete in gymnastics or play volleyball or basketball, I needed my ankles to be taped. I knew when I had shoulder surgery 20 years ago that the surgeon had to cut off 90% of the ligament before it would hold my shoulder joint in place properly. I knew he said I would never be able to have children because of my unstable, hypermobile pelvis. I knew he diagnosed me with Mixed Connective Tissue Disease with Ligamentous Laxity. But I didn’t really know what a big challenge hypermobility was until the past three years.
And maybe I still don’t.
Even though I am living this experience of constant sprains, tears, broken bones, nervous system dysfunction, and pain, I still don’t really know what is coming or what this really means for me or my hypermobile children.
A few days ago, I had to drive myself to PT because Blythe was at work and I didn’t feel like I should
bother ask any of my friends to take me, so I decided to take Fisher with me and have a little date with him (big mistake…driving still hurts a whole bunch…but it was lovely to spend some on-on-one time with my boy). While we were there, I asked Fisher to sit in butterfly position so Jeremy could see how flexible his hip joints are. Then Jeremy asked him to W-sit and upon seeing Fisher’s legs flop flat on the floor without pushing or straining in any way, he agreed with me that he is extremely hypermobile as well. I already knew that – I have eyeballs and can see my children walking with their toes folded underneath their feet and their hands and feet touching during backbends – but it was interesting to hear it pronounced from a medical professional.
While I know that my super-strong-gymnast muscles were my strongest defense in preventing injuries and the only reason my body was able to carry and birth our four beautiful babies and make it to 37 years of age before I started falling apart, I didn’t really know deep down in my little toes ENOUGH to do something about it. I have certainly thought about it a lot and hoped my children were getting enough exercise at gymnastics and riding bikes and running around in the yard and going to Irish Dance classes, but I didn’t think about it enough to make a plan to build their muscles.
But now I know and we are making a plan to give them the best shot at holding together for long past 37.
Jeremy said “Tracy, from what I have seen of your children, they all have it and they all need muscles. Lots of muscles. Way more muscles than they currently have. You need to start a family exercise regimen to build their cores with lots of stability exercises, muscle control, and muscle building.”
His words have been playing in my mind for the past few days. I can’t stop thinking about them and what we need to do. When I think about how many sit-ups and push-ups I did as a gymnast and how much good those thousands of exercises did for me, my eyes well up with tears. I am positive that the crunches, laps, sports, running, biking, and hiking that I used to participate in are what gave me the last twenty fairly injury-free years of my life. My children need at least as much muscle strength as I had so they have a good shot at life as well.
Now that I know, really know, deep down in my toes, I am brainstorming ways to build their muscles on a daily basis. Today Kez finished her two trimesters of seminary for the year, so our daily schedule is about to change again and I am working on a great plan to use that early morning time to build muscles.
We will be utilizing our awesome Elliptigo and our DDP Yoga videos as well as my balance pads and resistance bands. I am still on a no-exercise protocol until the inflammation from the car accident calms down some more (How on earth has it not calmed down????? I have even given in and am taking 2400 mg. of ibuprofen every day!) so I cannot exercise with them, but I am hoping Richard will be able to or they will be able to do it with one of the big girls directing them.
Jeremy strong recommended martial arts, so I am thinking about that, and also considering a weekly swimming trip, trying to figure out family bike rides (again, I can’t ride), and trying some exercise videos from the library.
I don’t know why it has taken me three years to think about this enough to actually do something about it, but it has. If you have some kid-friendly muscle-building tips, send them my way!
I remember the snow lightly falling on my nose as I warmed up my body with lunge walks, butt kicks, and grapevines. I remember feeling strong, capable of doing anything I set my mind to, and full of excitement for a summer full of races with my girlie. I remember running on Friday, the 17th, down at the greenbelt, with the sun shining – I ran further and faster and could actually see myself as a runner instead of just a mother of a runner.
I remember the take-my-breath-away pain deep in my groin as I brought my right leg forward. I remember feeling like an at-the-hip amputation would be better than the pain I was feeling. I remember hobbling back to the Suburban bringing my leg forward with my hands. I remember Richard carrying me to bed that night when I couldn’t put any weight on my leg at all.
I remember the weeks spent in bed covered in ice packs and the neverending pain of both body and spirit. My children fighting, crying, whining, unable to cope with mom spending day after day in bed. I remember sobbing myself to sleep many a night and being completely frustrated at my body, my situation, and my children.
I remember the first Priesthood blessing and how the heavens opened and poured love, light, and power into every fiber of my being. I remember the beginning of my family history journey and how insatiable my desire was to find each member of my family.
I remember the army of friends who brought in meals, cleaned my house, drove my children to activities, sent me cheer-up notes, prayed for me, and surrounded me with love.
I remember Kat, Jenn, and Jess taking care of me – gently helping me see reality, laughing, driving me to appointments with doctors, holding my hand as needles were inserted, holding my whole body as I sobbed all the pain and frustration out into a pile of snot. Kat and Jess went the extra mile and cleaned up my very stinky, post-MRA pee.
I remember the patient, calm, nurturing of my husband. I remember spending my days alone in my bed feeling completely broken and like a burden and failure. And then he would come home and give me that look. And my heart would fill up with a little bit of hope and a pile of love for this man who loves me more than life itself.
So many memories of those first few months, I want to remember forever – those were hard, hard days – too precious to forget.
Now it has been three years since that first day of pain and injury. Three years full of hundreds of little injuries and lots of big injuries. Three years full of more pain than I can describe. Three years of our children learning to be self-sufficient, run a household, take care of each other, and take care of me. Three years of learning to rely on God and submit to His will for my life. Three years full of the miracles of God, prayers answered, blessings poured out upon us. As hard as it has been, I am grateful for this experience – the pain, despair, and agony of soul AND the love, service, and joy. It has all been a powerful blessing for our whole family and many others as well.
Last night I showed this movie to Richard and with tears in my eyes, thanked him for all the work he does both behind the scenes and in full view that allows me to stil have a somewhat independent life. Tonight we are celebrating by watching Unbroken…for that is what we are, unbroken, full of faith, and determined to make it through.
I sent this thank you not to hundreds of people this morning. I share it here so that all my blog readers can know how grateful I am for you as well. Thank you for walking this journey with me and sending me so many words of encouragement. They have lifted me more than you know.
Dear Loved Ones,
Today, February 20, marks the 3-year anniversary of my original hip injury. I could spend today mourning all the freedom and body functions I have lost, but instead I want to celebrate and focus on the many blessings that have come from that injury. I want to pay tribute and give thanks to each of you – the many family members and friends whose support has meant so much during the last three years. We are surrounded by an army of goodness!
As our family has been called upon to make significant changes to our life, we have been held in God’s keeping. We could not have made it through these past 36 months without you.
You have truly been God’s hands and you have spread His light.
Some of you have given generously of your time. Some of you have driven me to appointments or taken me shopping. Some of you have given us money or paid for therapy, equipment, and medical appointments. Some have given food, cleaning, and other acts of service. Some of you have held my hands through painful treatments. Some of you have held me during seizures. Some of you have prayed for me and with me. Some of you have given smiles and hugs. Some of you have written notes full of faith and encouragement. Some of you have cried with me. Some of you have given Priesthood blessings. Some of you have helped me with my family history work. Some of you have listened. Some of you have carried my zero-gravity chair all over Timbuktu. Some of you have taken care of our children. Some of you have repaired our home. Some of you have been the support team for Richard and our children. Some of you have worked in our yard. Some of you have put my body back together again. Some of you have picked me up off the floor and carried me. All of you have lifted burdens. All of you have loved.
Today our hearts are full of gratitude to you and for you. Thank you for walking this journey with us. Your service has made all the difference.
In the past three years, I have had a labral tear in my hip, a broken left foot, a dislocated right foot, dislocated ribs, dislocated jaw, dislocated shoulders, nearly constant pubic bone issues, stretched MCL, torn LCL, torn meniscus, hundreds of seizures, thousands of passing out episodes, and many more injuries I am forgetting. I have been diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, a connective tissue disorder that means my collagen is defective and my ligaments do not hold me together very well. As a result of my injuries and the subsequent damage to my nervous system, I have also developed POTS, which is Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome, and Dysautonomia, which are just fancy ways of saying my body has a hard time running the automatic functions of my body, such as heart rate, blood pressure, digestion, temperature, and blood flow.
Two weeks ago I was in a minor car accident and we have yet to see the full results of these injuries as we are still in the figuring-things-out-stage – all I really know is my face, neck, shoulders, ribs, spine, and pelvis are in a world of hurt.
I have absolute faith in God and know He can heal me. While a complete blessing of healing has not come, many dear and precious blessings have been poured out upon me. At the same time, He is teaching me how to live in this oft-injured state. I never know how my body will function from day to day and am learning to be grateful for the really small things in life.
There are not sufficient words to express my gratitude for your kindness and generosity to me. Thank you for everything you have done and will do in the future.
Your presence in my life and your generous service have filled this difficult journey with light, love, laughter, and most of all, faith, hope, and peace.
I love you,
Richard, Blythe, Keziah, Fisher, and Annesley also say THANK YOU!
Oh my, the time gets away from me and before I know it, a whole week (or more!) has gone by without me posting.
Here is what I am up to:
- Paperwork and medical appointments for my oldest who is getting ready to serve a mission for our church. The process is pretty easy and quick, but, boy howdy, it is a lot of hard decisions and work for those of us who don’t have a family doctor and easy medical history. We are facing some pretty big decisions regarding medications and so far, I still don’t know what to do. These are the times I *almost* wish we could just be normal people who go along with the masses and just do what everyone else does, but since there are all sorts of immune system issues, allergies, and a firm belief in whole foods, herbs, natural medicines and alternative treatments, I simply cannot go along with masses.
- Trying my darndest to heal from this car accident. It was SUCH a small accident and yet, my body is really struggling. The pain, headaches, numbness, inflammation, and exhaustion are quite the humdinger. I actually went in and had x-rays taken last week and they showed my spine all wonkified. On the advice of the doctor I saw and Jeremy, I am giving in and taking some prescriptions to help the muscles and the generalized inflammation in my body calm down.
- Dealing with the car accident phone calls and paperwork. ARGH. It really isn’t a big deal. It is just a deal and one I don’t have time or energy for.
- Got my bangs cut when my sister met us in Utah during Blythe’s dentist appointment on Monday. We did a quick bang fixeroo in the parking lot and were laughing so hard at the looks people were giving us that my bladder had a little incident. They were almost to my upper lip…after being cut above my eyebrows just 2 1/2 months ago. I think all the collagen and other supplements I am taking are making my hair grow a wee bit too fast.
- Researching therapy pools and brainstorming HOW ON EARTH I could ever afford one and where it could go in my house so I could work my muscles everyday without fear of injury, time and expense of going to a pool that is a 20ish miles away, and having to find someone to take me since many days it would not be safe for me to go to a pool alone. It seems like a huge impossibility, but since I know it would be fabulous for my body, I am going to keep researching, thinking, and praying.
- Fisher and I have started a new geography adventure with Holling C. Holling books. We are starting with Paddle-to-the-Sea and loving it. It traces the journey of a little canoe from Canada, down through the Great Lakes, and out to the Atlantic Ocean. We have some big maps from Beautiful Feet and are using their curriculum guide to give us a bit of structure on our journey.
- Annesley and I are almost done with Little House in the Big Woods. I think we will just continue on with the series until she grows tired of it.
- I am still teaching Worldviews to my five stellar youth and am also teaching an adult class on How To Talk So Kids Will Listen and while I love both of them, I have to admit, this car accident has really impacted my effectiveness as a teacher. I simply cannot move, talk, and prepare the way I would like to. They are going well, but my heart wishes for the situation to be different and I could be standing up and be the dynamic teacher I normally am. Teaching from a reclining position is pretty tough…and boring.
- It is Ward Conference season which is an LDS term meaning a special Sunday meeting is held with each ward (generally small geographical area) in a stake (usually 7-10 wards) where instruction and training is given by stake leaders. Since I serve with the Stake Primary Presidency, I attend each of those ward conferences. This means lots and lots of meetings. Almost every Sunday, I am attending church services in other congregations than my own and then helping that ward’s Primary with any questions or concerns they might have. It is a wonderful opportunity to serve, be blessed by the many relationships I get to be a part of, and the Sunday inspiration I receive is beautiful. I love it. I also miss my own ward. Theoretically, I could attend my own ward on the weeks my other meetings are at a different time than my ward, but my body cannot barely handle the three to five hours of meetings it already has, there is no way it could handle another three hours on top of that.
- I keep setting goals of things to get done each day and for the most part, they aren’t getting done. I have gobs of paperwork to get done for my classes and my church calling, but my body hurts to much to do any of it for very long. Cleaning or cooking are not happening at all and my children are ready to rebel at how much they are doing and how little I am doing. I am focusing on the basics of our family life and homeschool: phonics, math, stories, snuggles, scriptures, art, outside play time for the kids, and lots of art projects while listening to audio books. Blythe is doing almost all my driving and running around children along with lots of errand running. All the rest is going to have to wait till body recovers from this accident.
I don’t know what the typical recovery is from whiplash, but it is looking like mine will not fit that norm since I am still in so much pain. In the meantime, my knee has taken a complete back seat to my upper body. Jeremy hasn’t even been able to work on it my last few appointments, so I don’t know how it is doing. Tonight it is more sore than it has been recently, but I am hoping that with some ice and anti-inflammatories, it will feel better tomorrow. I have to keep reminding myself that we are hastening the healing…not doing nothing as I lie around with my ice pack.
The three year anniversary of my hip injury is coming up on Friday. Yesterday marks the day of my last good run. I am thinking about how to celebrate…it will either be a day of mourning or celebration and my spirits cannot handle the mourning, so we need to find a way to celebrate somehow!
Oh my heck, I am tired. So incredibly tired. I have been exhausted for days on end. Annesley and Richard could not wake me up for scriptures this morning. When I finally opened my eyes around 7:30, she said I looked like I was dead when she tried to wake me up. Richard tried to rouse me for some snuggle time and gave up after my dead fish appearance showed no signs of changing.
I finally pulled myself together long enough to take a bath and tried to soak the soreness out of my neck, back, and shoulders, but instead my heart rate shot up to 130 and I collapsed after I got out.
Now it is an hour later and I finally feel strong enough and alert enough to start learning time with my little ones. Just for kicks, I looked up symptoms of whiplash and to my surprise (but not shock, since I am living it) fatigue is one of the symptoms. I should say it is, my goodness, I don’t think I remember ever feeling so completely and totally exhausted before (though I’m sure I am forgetting all those new baby years when exhaustion is just par for the course).
Time to get a move on it, Trace, there are two little ones ready…today we start Paddle To The Sea!.
Sometimes I am a prickly porcupine to live with, sometimes I am more like a fire-breathing dragon. Often I am cheerful and fun and loud and spontaneous and caring and all sorts of other good things, but far more than I like to admit the grumpy monster comes out of me.
One of the things that brings out the prickles is pain, which has been in abundance for the last three years, but has seemed to be all-encompassing since the car accident last week. It feels like I cannot deal with another ounce of hurt added. Last night after 6 hours of church meetings, my face and neck and ribs were DONE.
Another thing is our tinsy little budget that changes all the time based parent’s forgetting their child’s therapy appointment or their vacations or having a sick child. We never know from month to month what our income will be and since our income is small to begin with there is not a lot of room for Richard to lose money when people don’t show up for appointments.
Put those two situations together and you get a giant, prickly, fire-breathing BEAST, which is what I was last night as I tried to make a budget for the month and the year and my physical therapy and Blythe’s appointments with doctors and dentists before her upcoming $400 a month mission. All of which seems like an impossibility.
And instead of continuing to pour over numbers and use my creative little brain to problem solve or think about how to bring in more money or how to cut costs or how to have more faith or how to simply give it all over to God who is endlessly showing me He is taking care of us, I opened my mouth and spewed out toxic sludge on the person I love most.
“Why was your check $600 short?” and “How on earth am I supposed to make this work?” and “Isn’t there something YOU can do to get more hours?” and on and on and on.
And he said, “I’m sorry. I’ll keep looking for a different job.” Then he went and cleaned off our bed (which was piled with my stuff) and came out and asked if there was anything he could do for me.
In my frustration at how much pain my face was in and my anger at our budget for the month, I almost spouted off that there was nothing he could do for me except earn more money, but I took a breath and let his kindness fill my heart. Then I looked in his eyes and let it all melt away.
This is why we are still married. Because he serves and loves and forgives. He shows me on a daily basis what love does. What it looks like. What it feels like. Ever so slowly I am learning to love and serve as he does. To put his needs before my own. To sincerely and actively seek to improve his life.
An article by Richard Paul Evans is circulating around the interwebs about marriage. It is excellent advice and I know first-hand how effective it is because my Richard lives that style of love every single day.
The pain may be an on-going part of my life, most likely, the budgetary challenges will be, but those things are not what really matter. Our marriage is what matters. Our treatment of one another and the love we bless each other with is what matters. The people we become as serve one another is what matters. The covenants we keep are what matters.
I totally forgot to post my good news from this week! The LCL in my knee is tightening up! The sideways stability is increasing and the pain is decreasing and my walking is improving.
We passed the eight week mark on Sunday and if prior injuries are an indicator, I have another four to eight weeks of healing to go. My outrageously expensive brace is helping a lot and I continue to ice it when it is sore, but in the past 11 days I have only needed to ice it once. Isn’t that exciting!
Not to dampen the good news, but just to document…my jaw hurts like heck and is clicking when I open my mouth very far. The bones around my eyes are super tender. I can barely move my head to the right, but to the left is pretty good. The vertebrae in my spine feel compressed and my sacrum, oh, my goodness, the sacrum is hot to the touch and feels like screws are turning in it. My right foot, which must have been hurt somehow in the accident, is pretty sore and unstable. Jeremy taped it all up on Monday, which is helping, but the bones feel like they shifted out of place yesterday with all the walking at iFamily.
I took Blythe in yesterday and she has whiplash as well. Not as bad as mine, but it is causing her neck and head pain.
Time to cover myself in some menthol-y oils and start learning time with the kiddos.
You guys don’t want to hear this. I don’t want to type it. But I can see it is going to impact my life for the next little while so I better record it for my posterity’s sake.
Saturday I finally felt good enough to go to a homeschool conference (the one I was supposed to speak at, but cancelled because of my knee injury) and didn’t pass out or even have many episodes of tachycardia. It was amazing to feel so good! Sheri and I had a lovely time and I left feeling renewed and full of ideas to implement into our routine. As we sat at the stop sign ready to leave the parking lot of the conference, we were rear-ended. YES, you read that right, REAR-ENDED.
In our new-to-us car that we got around New Year’s after Richard’s car finally bit the dust completely.
The car is okay.
I am not.
My facial bones ache.
My jaw aches.
My neck aches.
My back aches.
My ribs ache.
My hip aches.
My foot aches.
My head, which never gets headaches, aches.
Ice and therapy and more ice and sleep and more ice have been the tasks for the past several days.
I am not complaining to God, but I am asking Mr. Murphy, “Isn’t it enough that my LCL and meniscus are currently torn? Isn’t it enough that I pass out regularly? Isn’t it enough that my pelvis is so incredibly unstable that someone bumping into me can dislocate my pubic bone and femur? Isn’t it enough? Really?”