my hand is a mess

Apr 4, 2016 by

So my hand is hurt. Not a little hurt, really hurt. It has taken me some time to come to that realization, but this weekend I finally let the truth enter my mind.

At each of my put-my-hand-back-together appointments, Jeremy has told me it is a big, fat mess and is going to take months to heal. I heard his words, but kept thinking it couldn’t be THAT bad and we would just keep putting it back together for a few weeks and then it would be all better.

(I know. I know. I am delusional.)

At times the pain has been intense, at other times, just a throbbing ache. When it is a throbbing ache, I am able to convince myself that this is not a big deal and will be over soon. When it is a shooting pain that brings tears to my eyes, I seriously wonder if I will ever be able to use my hand again. Well, the past few days there has been a lot of the shooting, help-me-not-scream pain and it has got me remembering when my foot had 13 bones dislocated in February 2014. I read all of the posts about that injury and remembered the pain. Remembered the hopelessness. Remembered the sheer courage it took to get through that injury. Remembered how incredibly long it took for those bones to stay in place again.

And then I realized, this hand injury is just like that foot injury. It IS going to take a long time to heal. It might not ever be back to 100%. It is a big deal and I need to face that so I can muster up the courage and skills to give my hand the best shot at healing. It is time for daily BF&C applications, using my Patches essential oil, resting it as much as possible, and clinging to hope.

I really don’t know how to not use my hand. My wrist has been injured since October 30 and I had to start learning how to not use it back then, but this is far worse and I haven’t figured out how to adjust to its new needs. Maybe I need to put it in a sling? Maybe it needs a different type of brace? Maybe I need a new brain, haha!

There are moments when I nearly think amputation would be better than dealing with the pain. Then there are moments I think it isn’t really a big deal at all. I’m pretty sure somewhere in the middle would be the better choice.

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stem cells

Feb 28, 2016 by

I am chock-full of courage! It probably sounds ridiculous for me to be shouting about my courage from the rooftops, but I am so grateful to God for filling me with courage and so stinkin’ proud of myself for accepting His gift that I have to shout it far and wide.

The story starts over a year ago when I went to a medical clinic in Mexico with the hope of getting stem cell injections in my knee (and other joints as well, but especially my injured knee). At that time I was told my body wasn’t ready for injections and that my nervous system needed to calm down before they could do anything in the clinic. I came home with oral stem cells to help my nervous system and a lot of disappointment that my quick “miracle cure” (HAHA!) wasn’t going to happen.

I went back in April and my nervous system had calmed down a little, so after much pleading, the doctor consented to try one stem cell injection in my knee. The results were fabulous and within a few short weeks I was in significantly less pain and had more stability in my knee. But I still wasn’t able to receive the other treatments the clinic offers and came home somewhat disappointed.

This past week was once again spent in Mexico. Before I left I was a pile of convoluted emotions: so excited to go, hopeful that perhaps I could receive stem cell injections, terrified of the pain of the injections, and scared to allow myself to get my hopes up at all. The roller coaster ride of going back and forth from one emotion to another wore me out and I spent significant time meditating and praying for several days before I left to get centered on peace and truth. It took lots of courage to choose to get off the roller coaster and go deep inside to the messages God was trying to send me.

Then when I got to the clinic, I was told I could have an IV and if it went well and I didn’t have a seizure, we would do an injection in my knee. Oh my, the excitement! And also a bit of worry about the pain. Last year’s injection into my knee was excruciating and I didn’t know if I could face the pain again. I spent over four hours receiving the IV on a very slow, careful drip in an effort to be as gentle as possible to my nervous system and I used that time to pray and ask God to be with me and take the pain from me.

HE DID! He filled me with courage and He totally made the shot doable. It was a gazillion times better than last April’s injection. Many people were praying for me back in Idaho and I could feel the power of their faith carrying me.

Since my body did so well the first day, we planned more injections for the rest of the week. In addition to the initial shot in the knee capsule, I ended up having both ankles, right wrist, LCL, my hip labrum (twice!), and both shoulders injected with stem cells as well. Before each injection I would feel some fear of the pain come into my being and I would turn to God and plead for courage. Each time I could feel Him giving it to me. It was amazing!

Injections into joint capsules without local anesthetic is painful and the hours afterward are a sore, stiff, barely moving time. But I did it. God did it. He helped me show up with enough courage to get through each injection and to get up again the next day for another round. I could feel heavenly angels attending me and am so grateful for the earthly angels that were with me holding my hand.

Now, it is time to let the stem cells do their job and get to work repairing the torn cartilage and stretched-out ligaments. I am trying to hold my hope of real, tangible healing and dreams of riding my bike in one hand while in the other facing the long, slow rebuilding of tissue and eventually muscles. My doctor told me to take things one step at a time and trust the process. I am committed to doing just that.

My heart is full to bursting with the love of so many people and my Father above who carried me through this week. If you would like to join me in prayer that these stem cells will work in repairing my connective tissue, I would be so, so grateful!

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hip, hip, hooray, it’s four years today!

Feb 20, 2016 by

February 20 is the 4-year anniversary of my initial hip injury. I need to both honor and celebrate this day. My heart is SO full of gratitude for the heaps of service, love, sacrifice, and true friendship I have been blessed with over the past four years. You, my dear friends and family members, have carried me, filled me with courage, helped me see hope, and have stayed WITH me in this fight. You have not abandoned me. You have not given up. You have prayed and smiled and hugged and cried and laughed and loved more than I ever knew was possible. Your words of encouragement, acts of service, and downright awesomeness have made all the difference in my ability to keep going with a smile on my face. Thank YOU for helping me stay strong!

Please join in this celebration by doing these four things:

1. Share a hilarious/interesting/touching moment from this hip/ankle/shoulder/ribs/feet/knees/seizing/passing out/peeing journey.

2. Share something you have learned from this journey of mine.

3. Share a message of courage with me and all my friends!

4. Do something kind and loving for someone else today. It will make me SO happy to have hundreds of acts of kindness done in honor of my Hip, Hip, Hooray Party!

If you can’t do all four, choose your favorite…just share something to commemorate this day.

I love you all! Thank you for joining my celebration!

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farewell 2015

Dec 31, 2015 by

Today is the last day of 2015. Wowsers, it is hard to believe this year of growth and change and pain and joy is gone. We have all learned a lot about doing hard things, giving and receiving, finding hope, enduring, and most of all, deep-down-in-your-little-toes joy.

The biggest change for our family has been Blythe leaving on her mission. She started the process of filling out papers in January, submitted them in April, received her call on May 4th to the California Irvine Mission, received her endowment in August, entered the Missionary Training Center on September 16, and arrived in California on September 29th. What an experience it is to get a missionary out the door! So much time and money and effort and heartache and happiness and precious moments all wrapped up in the same package. The two days we were able to spend with her in the temple before she left are among the most sacred and glorious of my life. I will always treasure seeing her dressed in white as she made covenants with God. And now, 3 1/2 months after she walked out our door into her new life, all I feel is peace and radiant joy. It has been a huge blessing to have my whole being wrapped up in a blanket of God’s love as my baby girl has gone out into the world to share His message of love and redemption.

We have had so many blessings this year: medical treatments and tests, working vehicles (and rescuing when vehicles broke down!), spending time with family, Annesley’s baptism, our long, bumpy driveway covered in gravel, an unexpected change in Richard’s job that gave him the hours he needed, many, many angels both on earth and in heaven who have taken care of me while I have episodes, Keziah’s job, gifts from the heart, magical days at the lake, camping in my mountains, donations to Blythe’s mission fund, and most of all, love. Heaps and heaps of love have been poured out upon us. My heart is full to bursting with the love I am surrounded with.

There is much I didn’t accomplish this year. I didn’t lose weight. I didn’t grow muscles. I didn’t keep a spotless house. I didn’t find a cure for connective tissue disorders (I mean that somewhat seriously…my brain is continually trying to solve the issue of defective collagen.) I didn’t read as many books as I normally do. I didn’t put on a big fundraising event. I didn’t clean out my closet. I cancelled my book discussion group more than half the months of the year. I didn’t write the book I wanted to. I didn’t figure out how to cook on a regular basis. I didn’t figure out how to make our budget work to save more money. I didn’t excel at personal scripture study (or family study either!). I didn’t finish my chalkboard project…or the skateboard swing project. Or stain the deck. Or clean out the garage. Or clean out under the stairs. Or finish the clothing purging project. Or burn the garbage pile. Or remodel the camper. Or defrost the freezer. Or plant a flower. Or beautify my yard in any way. I didn’t create a fabulous training program for the Primary Music Leaders of my stake like I wanted to. I didn’t make it home to my mom’s house even once. I didn’t start a business to bring in more money. I didn’t clean out Blythe’s room. I didn’t blog about Swim Camp, our GRL camping trip, Blythe’s endowment, her farewell, or hundreds of other important and wonderful things that happened. I didn’t do a lot of things.

But I did learn more about love. I did learn more about sacrifice. I did learn more about receiving and giving. I did learn more about grace. I did grow to love my Savior more. I did enjoy lots of snuggles with my children. I did deepen my relationship with my husband. I did serve and love and give my heart more fully to the people who have needed me. I have missed my friends who have moved away fiercely and have learned that love is worth the pain of loss. I have learned, more fully, that the power of God is real. I have connected more fully with my ancestors. I have learned more about forgiveness. I have chosen kindness more often than anger. I have chosen to feel more and build walls less. Somehow, through the grace of God, I have made peace with my body and its challenges. We did spend many days kayaking at the lake. We did have lots of family game nights. We did read beautiful books together. We did spend seventeen days in the mountains. We did float the river in Island Park. We did attend our family reunion at our favorite location. We did have family pictures taken. We did get our daughter on a mission. We did throw a fabulous ice cream fest at our home before she left. We did pray together. We did laugh and we did cry. We lived, in spite of injuries and episodes and pain and heartache, we chose to live. With hope and faith, we lived. What an amazing year!

God has given me thousands of opportunities to learn needed character lessons and while I am certain He has much more to teach me and I have much more to learn, I am grateful for the lessons I have been given and received this year. I failed many times and I hope I learned from the failures to love and give and serve just as much as from the successes. There have been many days of sorrow and loneliness and hopelessness and fear and despair and He has been here with me, teaching me, comforting me, and helping me to choose love over all else.

There is a lot of pain and heartache in this world. Right now, among many of my dear friends and family, there is gut-wrenching, soul-splitting pain. I cannot solve the myriad of challenges they are facing. I have no magic wand to end the suffering being experienced by those I love. But I can take them into my heart and pray and listen and serve and lift. I am reading For The Love by Jen Hatmaker and it is a balm to my soul. In the introduction, she shares her mission. I wish I had written it, for it is my mission as well.

After a friend of hers asks her child what she does for a living and the child doesn’t really have a good answer and says, “Yeah, but she doesn’t have a job where knows about something. Jen decides to write down exactly what it is she spends her life doing.

Besides being obviously esteemed in my own home, maybe I ought to clarify what exactly I specialize in, since is appears very, very unclear to my own child. Certain foks love numbers and columns and reconciled accounts. (I barely even know what this means.) Some of my good friends love organizing and administrating; they are weirdly good at it. I have family members who excel at web design and creative technology and others who are craftsman and builders. Educators, chefs, sports medicine specialists, realtors; all people people in my circle who obviously know about something.

A little closer to my space, some of my girlfriends are true theologians and love the ins and outs of sticky hermeneutics. Others are preachers with fire in their bellies. Some are academics working on graduate degrees in God. Some are social entrepreneurs doing great good with their companies and organizations. Still others give their lives to justice in hard places. This is how they are gifted and this is what they love.

I love people.

It’s what I know.

God has always made the most sense to me through people, His image bearers. I crave dignity and healing and purpose and freedom for me and mine, you and yours, them and theirs. I want us to live well and love well. The substance of life isn’t stuff or success or work or accomplishments or possessions. It really isn’t, although we devote enormous energy to those goals. The fullest parts of my life, the best memories, the most satisfying pieces of my story have always involved people. Conversely, nothing hurts worse or steals more joy than broken relationships. We can heal and hurt each other, and we do.

I’m hoping to help lead a tribe that does more healing and less hurting.

I consider that my job.

Oh my, isn’t that breathtakingly beautiful? I love her words and my goal for 2016 is to more fully live them – to heal more and hurt less.

We can do this. Will you join me?

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back into the knee brace

Dec 20, 2015 by

Soooo, I am back in my knee brace. I don’t know what I did to reinjure my knee, but it is pretty darn sore. It got hurt a little bit and became more unstable back on October 30 when I faceplanted on my front cement and tore the cartilage in my wrist, but it didn’t really hurt tons just a little bit. So we have been taping it to give it some suppport, but it wasn’t bothering me a whole lot and I wasn’t worried about it.

Then on December 10th I held our Closing Social for my Liberty Girls group and something, though I have no idea what, happened. As I was straightening up the house that morning, a sharp, take my breath away pain began to shoot through my knee. It felt like a serrated edge of a glass crowbar was prying my patella off. Oh my goodness, the pain. It took everything I had to get through the Liberty Girls tea party and then I laid down for the rest of the day trying to rest it.

The next day, I was told it looked like the meniscus was torn. A few days later when I saw Jeremy he said the meniscus had a new tear and the LCL was retorn as well and I needed to go back into my knee brace that I wore from December to the end of June. We talked about surgery and he said (once again!) that I am not a good candidate for surgical repair because it will just happen again and again due to my hypermobility. He explained how the menisci work and that in a normal person, they sit in between the tibia and femur helping them fit together and providing cushioning between the two bones. They generally move 6-12 mm during various movements. Instead of moving this small amount, Jeremy says my menisci are bobsledding within my knee joint, sliding all over the place and often getting trapped in places they shouldn’t be and subsequently being torn. So, unless we can fix the hypermobility, it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to surgically repair it.

His explanation makes sense and I am super duper grateful for his honest and thorough assessments. But, boy howdy, it is hard to hear that the last resort of surgery isn’t a last resort at all. It is no resort at all as it isn’t an option. The options are to live with it or to figure out a way to have Prolozone injections to try to tighten up the ligaments and heal the cartilage like I did with my hip. Unfortunately, my nervous system is so hypersensitive now, there is a pretty big question as to whether my body can handle the injections.

My body didn’t like any of the nine series of Prolozone injections I received back in 2012. It became more and more sensitive to the ingredients until my nervous system was so damaged that at the final injection in January 2013, I collapsed in the office and began walking the road of passing out/seizures/autonomic dysfunction which is probably my biggest challenge now as eating and breathing challenges, temperature control, vomiting, shaking and passing out are such a pain to deal with. So even though the injections worked by helping the labrum heal and bring more stability to my hip, I am left damaged in other ways. Part of me thinks the risk is worth it and part of me is terrified at the very thought of trying the injections again.

Back in April, I received a stem cell injection in my knee and it made an immediate, dramatic improvement. We did it without any of the local anesthetics my body has so many problems with (hurt like CRAZY!) and only injected my own cells, spun and separated, back into me. That was at a specialty clinic in Mexico and if I could do that again, I absolutely would, but at this time it isn’t really an option. If I could find someone in my area that would do stem cell injections that would be lovely, but as far as I know, there isn’t. Plus the cost of stem cell stuff is exorbitant in the U.S. and fairly cheap in Mexico, so I don’t even know if I did find someone in the Rocky Mountain area if we could afford it. I’m not really sure of exact prices, but I was told the same injections I had in Mexico that cost about $100 would be $2000 here in the States, ARGH.

On top of the knee issues, my wrist is in a brace, my arm aches due to both the wrist injury and some entrapped nerves which are causing all sorts of pain and electrical activity. It is called Thoracic Outlet Syndrome and I am hoping all the nerve gliding work Jeremy is doing will fix it quickly. Also, I am having lots of episodes…this week, Tuesday and Wednesday had full episodes and Saturday night and Sunday during church I had some shaking, so we really need to be focused on figuring out how to calm down my nervous system so I can stop having episodes. That most likely means meeting with Dr. Fraser Henderson in Maryland so we can figure out if my brain stem is being compressed and causing all the crazy nervous system dysfunction or not, but in order to schedule an appointment I have to submit a geneticist’s report and the current wait on a genetics appointment at the University of Utah is 14 months…soooo, it is all up in the air and I don’t really know what is the right path to pursue.

In spite of all this, I am doing well. I am spiritually and emotionally in good places. We are having a lovely Christmas season with lots of reading of Christmas books and snuggles in our Christmas quilts from last year. We are trying to spread joy in little ways and not spending lots of time out and about as my knee and the rest of me just can’t take it. Each night we share a story from Jesus’s life, read one of our Christmas books aloud and then listen to about fifteen minutes of The Christmas Carol (if you want it on audio, this version is fantastic!). So, I am not posting this because anything is really wrong or because I am ready to throw in the towel, just as an update and a record so I can remember how I was doing in December 2015, haha!

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i guess wrists are pretty important

Nov 19, 2015 by

It looks like it’s time for some more growing – growing of me and my capacity to deal with another injury. One might think I would be a pro at this by now, but I’m not. I haven’t figured out how to accept each new injury without throwing a little fit about it first.

I fell back on October 30 – a sudden face-plant on our front cement when my pants caught on our gate. My arms were full of stuff and I went straight down to the ground like a plank. Somehow at the last millisecond, my right arm shot out and caught me just a hair before the rest of my body hit. I dislocated my shoulder, elbow, and wrist. After getting those joints kind of back in place, I was not in too terrible of shape and I actually went and taught gym for the day. The next day I had a big passing out episode at our monthly baptismal service and when I came to and found a group of men ready to help carry me to my wheelchair and then into my house, I was super concerned about them lifting up under my arm because I knew my shoulder was still super sore and I knew it would dislocate again if they touched it. What I wasn’t too concerned about was my wrist. It was a little sore, but nothing like my shoulder.

A few days later Jeremy put me all back together much better than I had done and I thought my arm was going to be fine. it was sore, but didn’t seem too serious to me.

Unfortunately, the pain is increasing. He has now worked on it three times and not only is it not improving, it seems to be getting worse. Especially with writing. And mousing (the act of using a computer mouse). And doing my hair. And stirring food.

So yesterday we had the gist of this conversation.

Me: You’ve got to work on my neck, my neck really hurts.

J: I will, but we need to check on your wrist. Tell me where the pain is. Tell me what makes it hurt more.

Me: Oh, it is just STUPID. Just a stupid, little injury. I don’t want to spend any more time on my wrist. Let’s work on my neck and ribs and knee today.

J: I will get to those things, but we need to work on your wrist.

Me: Fine. But it is stupid. How can such a small little thing be taking up this much time and be affecting so much of my life? It just needs to stop hurting so we can focus on the more important stuff.

J: Tracy, this is your hand we are talking about. Your right, very dominant, hand. I’d say it’s pretty important.

Me: Well, yes, when you put it like that, I guess my hand is important. But it just seems so stupid that we have to take time away from my neck and ribs and hip and knee to deal with this stupid injury. It’s such a distraction!

J: Tracy, let me tell you about the Stanford Tomato Study. The researchers had two greenhouses with identical tomato plants in each one. Every day they would go in one greenhouse and say, “I hate you. You are bad tomato plants. You won’t grow.” In the other greenhouse they would say, “I love you. You are beautiful plants. You will grow big tomatoes.” The tomatoes did just what they were told. You need to be telling your arm, “You are a good arm. You are hurt and we are going to help you get better. I love you. Thank you for serving me so well. You will heal and get stronger and I will help you.”

Me: Argh. I know that. And the water study and the rice study. All cool beans. But don’t you agree with me that this injury is getting in the way of more important things? I mean just a few weeks ago we were super concerned about brain stem compression and now we are spending all sorts of time on this little stupid wrist injury.

J: It is NOT stupid. This is your hand. A major part of your functioning as a human being is in your hand. It is important and we need to get it better so you can use it again.

Me finally humbled and listening with my heart instead of my head: Hmmm, okay. I will stop calling it stupid and start sending it love and do my best to give it what it needs. What is wrong and what does it need?

J: Well, I think your TFCC or Triangular Fibro-Cartilage Complex is either torn or stretched really badly. You have all the symptoms. Your radius and ulna aren’t tracking together and the TFCC is the cartilage and ligament structure that connect those two bones. You need to not use it. Don’t do things that hurt it like write and mouse and definitely no more stirring pots of soup. You need to brace it if the tape isn’t working as well as it needs to and rest it and send it love. And start juggling with your left hand to build some coordination because it needs to take over.

Me: Okay. Okay. Fine. I will do those things.

I have been trying to work this all out in my heart and mind, to really take his words in and believe them…and while I do, I am still fighting it a bit. It does seem like a silly injury! And it is super exasperating because it is a whole new body part that is injured and the last thing I need is to add another body part to the list of damaged areas…right hip, sacrum, pubic bone, left foot, right foot, right knee, spine, brainstem, vagus nerve, facial nerve, temporomandibular joint, cerebellum, ribs, clavicle, esophagus, stomach, cecum, IT band, hamstrings, left shoulder, right shoulder, and now my right elbow, wrist, and hand. Oh my goodness, what body parts are left? My left hand, hip, and knee? For heaven’s sake, I need to keep the uninjured parts of me UNINJURED. Once something is damaged on me, it doesn’t get back to its preinjured state, it is weakened and much more prone to future injury, so it is really important to not get the first injury.

At the same time, I can see that it IS important and I need to stop thinking of it as stupid. I need to honor this injury and view it as something just as important as my brainstem or hip. It is harder for me to do that though because I can walk just fine with an injured wrist. I can move without wincing. I think something is wrong with my brain’s processing of things because it seems I believe that if I can still move, it must not be very serious – only injuries that completely stop me in my tracks are important. Maybe that is why the first injury did stop me in my tracks and put me in bed? Hmmm. Big things to ponder.

I ordered the new ulnar support brace along with a compression sleeve this morning and am hoping Amazon pulls a miracle and gets them here faster than the estimated delivery dates. In the meantime, I am trying to train myself not to use my right arm for anything…basically impossible, but I am giving it a valiant effort. Tell me, how am I supposed to put my contacts in with my left hand? Or do my hair? Or anything? How am I supposed to not write?

Okay. Deep breaths. Time to learn more lessons and grow.

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annes on injuries

Nov 17, 2015 by

My little Annesley has decided she is a speech writer. Keziah is in the middle of writing two speeches that she has to give this week and I guess Annes has caught the bug. Yesterday she presented her Anything Is Possible If You Have Love speech and today she gave us this speech on injuries. This is word for word what she said.

Warning: grab a tissue.

My name is Annesley and I am writing about injuries. You can fall off a skateboard. You can fall off of a tree. My mom has injuries, but even if I am sad she can’t do the stuff most mothers can, I am still happy I have a mother who takes good care of me and loves her family. I love her, too.

Injuries don’t mean it’s the end of your life. Injuries can sometimes help you to realize what is ahead of you in your life. When you have an injury or when you have a family member who has an injury, it doesn’t mean that she or he won’t take care of you. It means that you will be able to fight trials and you will have to get used to those trials because it will happen.

My mom is suffering through a tissue disorder. She has been passing out, but this week she has been doing okay. I like that I have a loving mother who takes good care of me.

My mom has an injury and I love her. She teaches a good homeschool group and she teaches gym. She doesn’t actually do all the tricks, but she has people do it for her. She has Grant and she has my sister, that is technically all.

Injuries might make you feel like you need to stay in your room all the time, but that is not true. You should try to help the people in your family who are injured. You should get used to having a family member who is hurt. Once I had an injury. I did a front flip into the pit and hurt my back. It hurt so much, but then it calmed down. But that is not what happens with my mom. When she gets hurt or passes out, she shakes for about two hours or maybe three. I do not like that, but I try to help her as much as I can.

Even when you get hurt it doesn’t mean you will never, ever be able to walk or look behind you again. It means you are hurt. Just plain hurt. It might seem like everything is aimless, but anything is possible with Jesus Christ. He will heal you.

Oh my, the tears. This precious girl doesn’t even remember me before I was injured. This has been her life. She sometimes wistfully says, “Mom, I wish you could run around the yard with me.” Or, “Mom, tell me what you were like before you were like this. Tell me about how you would ride your bike. Tell me about how you would played baseball and volleyball.” Oh, how I love her. I remember so clearly the feeling I got the first time I looked in her eyes. She told me spirit to spirit, “Mom, it’s gonna be okay.”

And now, it is time to trust her message.

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brains should stay where they belong

Oct 21, 2015 by

I have an Upright MRI today to start the process of discovering if the ligaments holding my brain in place have become so lax that my brainstem is being compressed or CSF flow is being blocked. If those things are happening, the answer is most likely brain surgery.

Oh, my goodness, this feels big. And yet I am doing quite well at staying calm and in a place of trust in God.

During the surgery, they open the skull, trim the cerebellar tonsils, cut away part of C1 and possibly C2 to make more room for the drooping brainstem – so it is not being compressed – and make some sort of covering for the dura matter. Then they fuse C1 and C2. It is a big deal with lots of risks and a big recovery period.

At this point, we don’t even know if I have this problem. Several things have pointed us in this direction, but we don’t know. And if I do, we don’t know that we would decide to do surgery or if it is even my best option. Often I have a pretty good attitude about this whole connective tissue thing, but right now part of me is scared and overwhelmed and a huge part of me doesn’t even want to find out if I have it or not. The thought of my brainstem, the thing that is keeping my alive, being compromised, is a lot for me to take in right now and part of me wants to run away from the whole discussion.

I’m a little nervous about starting down this path and would be ever so grateful for your prayers that one, I make it through the testing without an episode and two, that the people doing the testing will be guided by God to get the images we need to see.

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celebrate good times, come on!

Jun 29, 2015 by

Can you hear me belting out those words from the old Kool and the Gang song? I have been singing those five words over and over all night.

There are a gazillion things I need to post about and I keep thinking I will get to Swim Camp, Jennifer leaving, my family reunion, my cruise, missionary shopping, Keziah’s play, and so many other things that have happened in the past two months, but tonight, instead of worrying about all that, I want to savor this momentous day.

I GET TO START EXERCISING!

For the first time since December 8, I have been cleared to ride my Elliptigo! Woot! Woot! I am so silly excited! Now I have to be super careful and only ride for a minute or so, but a minute is a huge sixty second improvement from the past 6+ months. And in the interest of full disclosure, I injured my inguinal ligament back on October 10 and was only able to start exercising after that injury on December 2.

This is huge.

It has been almost 9 months since I have been able to do any exercising at all and now it is here. The day I have been praying and yearning for for months.

Tonight I rode.

And it felt magnificent.

Imagine me holding up a lovely glass of sparkling cider.

To muscles!

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