lessons learned

Jul 13, 2012

I have been injured since February 20. This is the longest time I have been forced to slow down…ever. I remember when I flew off the uneven parallel bars as a 12 year old and completely missed the safety mats. I landed on my head, was rushed to the emergency room in a neck brace and told my spine was damaged, had a concussion, and needed to stay in bed for several weeks. Even with that serious of an injury I didn’t stay down. I competed (terribly!) at the state meet two weeks later because I was not about to let someone else win MY first place all-around.

This time has been different than my past injuries. I have stayed down. I have listened to my body. I have allowed others to serve me. I have learned a lot of amazing lessons these past 20 weeks. I am grateful for them and want to record them so I will always remember them.

  • I have amazing kids. The first few weeks were really rough and I thought I might go berserk at the amount of fighting and uncompleted work, but since then, they have really stepped up to the plate and figured out how to take care of an injured mom, help one another, and get most of the work of the house done. I am proud of them and grateful for them.
  • I am blessed with wonderful friends who are willing to sacrifice to come to the rescue time and time again. We have been fed delicious food, driven to and fro, had cleaning projects done, and been prayed for. They have taken me to multiple doctor visits, held my hand through injections, dressed my naked bod, held me while I sobbed my eyes out, listened to all my ranting and raving, and in all ways been present with me as I have traversed these past months.
  • Pain is not always an accurate indicator of injury. Some days I hurt so bad I just lie in bed moaning and barely moving. Other days I am able to drive, walk, push a shopping cart, etc. I never know when I wake up in the morning what the day will bring. I am learning to not totally freak out on the bad days and to be grateful for the good days. Living in the moment…what a lesson.
  • Submission. Once again, I am learning to submit to God’s plan for my life. I know He is using this time of slowness and injury to teach me and manifest His love for me. I know He is teaching me to trust Him, to allow His plans to unfold, and to learn to stop fighting Him.
  • My family has been simply amazing. My mother and sister have both come multiple times and cleaned my house, caught up my laundry, cleaned my bedroom, stocked my fridge, and loved on all of us. They have been absolute life-savers!
  • My extended family rocks! They have sent me love letters encouraging me to keep my chin up, joined my family history project, and prayed for me. I am so grateful to have my huge, extended family!
  • I have learned I can do hard things. Really hard things. Submitting to the ozone injections has taken more courage than I thought I had. I am grateful to have come face to face with this debilitating fear and conquer it…not with much grace, but still I have hopped back on the table time and time again and with someone’s hand to hold, I have made it through.
  • I have learned I may never heal all the way. I am working on being okay with that.
  • I have learned that a functioning body is a gift. A gift I hope to never take for granted again.
  • I have learned compassion for people in chronic pain.
  • I have learned to be more contemplative and less chaotic.
  • There is nothing to be embarrassed about if you have to lie down in a restaurant booth…or eat standing up in the bar.
  • Connection with other human beings feeds my soul.
  • I have learned, once again, that people are good. So very good. I want to be full of charity and good works just like those who have blessed me.
  • I have learned small acts of kindness make a huge difference in the outlook of one who is hurting. Many times a person’s kind word or smile or plate of cookies has made all the difference in my ability to have hope.
  • I have learned my ancestors know who I am and are speaking to me. It has been an incredible experience of opening my heart up to them. I am so, so grateful to be able to have this journey. It is one I never imagined I would take.
  • Last, but not least, I have been shown, once again, that my Richard is a true hero. He has supported me each step of the way with a more love than I can absorb. He works long hours, but as soon as he is home he goes into Let’s-Make-Tracy-Feel-Pampered mode and does everything he can to take away the pain, lift my spirit, and make the house run smoothly. He has listened to me completely give up and brought me back to a place of hope. He has held me while I cried, replaced my ice packs at all hours of the night, and walked forward with faith that I have sometimes lacked. He has loved me in a way I did not know was possible. I want to learn to love as he loves.

This injury has lasted far longer than I expected. I often think back to my run on February 17th. I felt so strong as I ran around the greenbelt. I remember the sun shining on my face and the slight breeze that cooled my face. I remember the geese watching me and the inner determination I felt to run well. I remember thinking I would actually be a runner and that it would change my life. Instead, I was injured just a few days later and it has changed my life. And for that, I am grateful.

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1 Comment

  1. Anne

    This is such an excellent post. I’m sad that your comments were off when people were reading it. I have learned all these things, too, vicariously through you. Thank you for teaching me all of this. You are amazing. And I adore and love you so much!