the shakes came back

Jul 14, 2013

I have spent the past four days at LEMI training getting instruction on teaching two different Scholar Phase classes at iFamily this fall. It was an incredible experience and my brain is chock-full of information and ideas to make my class an amazing learning adventure for my students.

The four ladies I attended with took excellent care of me. Jen hauled my enormous zero-gravity chair everywhere it needed to go and got me set up in it every morning. She moved my table so I could get out of the chair every time I needed to go potty or get some food. Heather wrapped my sore foot up every morning, Emily drove us all over the place, and the other Jen checked on me often and gave me lots of encouragement. They all laughed with me, shared stories, and were delightful to be with.

AND I MADE IT THROUGH! With all that help I made it through!

That is until the last ten minutes of training. All 150(ish) of the students at the classes were together for the last two hours of training, but there wasn’t room for my special chair so I stood in the back of the room. Eventually, my sore foot couldn’t take any more weight on it and I quickly shifted off of it and torqued my hip. Immediately my femoral nerve sent a zing of lightening down my leg and my heart rate shot up to 140, then the shaking started. I made it out to a table and lay down on it, then tried to call out to someone to help me, but I was so weak by that point that no one could hear me. By this point I was scared to death because I couldn’t move and I couldn’t speak and I couldn’t get my heart rate to slow down.

Eventually, class was over and people started coming out to the hallway where they found me on the table shaking. A whole slew of people came to my rescue. Ice packs, pillows, hand-holding, and charley-horse massaging were given to me immediately. A complete stranger started zoning my right foot, someone else called Richard, and a third person started doing energy work on my head. Soon two men came to give me a blessing and delivered a precious, confirming message from my Heavenly Father about the purpose of this injury. I want to remember those words and that feeling forever…I wish I could pack it up in a bottle and let it out whenever I need it.

After a while I felt well enough to try standing up. When that went well, we decided I could walk out to the car. I did really well until we got to the elevator. Something about the drop freaked my body out and I passed out on the way down. Something akin to complete chaos must have ensued because when I returned to consciousness I could hear lots of loud voices swirling around me and feel my body being lifted out of the elevator by lots of lots of hands. They must have moved me to the lobby of the college and then worked on me some more to get everything settled back down. I was in and out of lucidity and every time I was in lucidity I could hear what seemed like a hundred voices shouting directions and trying to fix me (I think there were only about ten or fifteen people with me, it just felt like one hundred). It was a tad crazy. Eventually my body systems calmed down again and I felt strong enough to walk to my car, but no one would let me. I could hear them debating all sorts of various plans and the one they settled on was my riding out to the car on a rolling office chair with two men pushing me. Because of the hip injury I could only kneel on the chair while leaning on the back rest. I am SURE I looked like an absolute nut case coming out of the college and traveling down 400 South in Salt Lake City on a rolling office chair. I made it about forty feet before I felt the all-too familiar sensation take over my heart again and collapsed into the arms of Emily, Jeff, and hmmm, I actually don’t know who else, I was unconscious by that point.

I don’t really know what happened after that, but somehow they got me into the car. When I regained consciousness this time, I realized I had to use the bathroom immediately. Of course no one could fathom letting me try walking again, so instead my dear friends drove me to the grocery store, bought a plastic tote turned bedpan, and helped me pee while I lay in the passenger seat of the car.

Oh my good heck. How embarrassing is that! I mean really, can a girl not have even a tidbit of dignity?

About two hours later I was good as new (ha-ha, my good as new isn’t that hot, now is it?) and could talk and use my arms and laugh and even walk very, very, very slowly if someone was holding me up. My friends delivered me to Tami, who took care of me all night long, and now I am doing quite well again.

I am so, so grateful to God. He loves me. He knows me. He sent people to take care of me. He sent me messages of peace that I needed. He has a purpose for all of this suffering and I must learn to trust Him and His plan for my life. It doesn’t look like I am going to have anything close to the life I thought I would have, but His purposes are pretty amazing and I am so, so grateful to be able to take part in them.

I am also so grateful to all the people who helped me yesterday. I don’t have any idea who most of them were or what they did, but they were God’s hands for several hours and I love them for it. I am grateful to have had four dear friends with me to take care of me and fill me up with their love.

It is really, really hard to be so dependent on others. It is really, really hard to not have control of my body. It is really, really hard to be a spectacle and have all sorts of strangers see my body do all sorts of bizarre things. It is all so hard.

But I am willing. If this suffering is what God wants for me, then I am willing.

God, here am I, send me.

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  1. Jenny

    I have just recently started reading your blog and have enjoyed your insights into family and learning. We are just beginning our own homeschooling journey and it is reassuring to “see” how your family does it as there are not any TJEd families nearby. Today’s post, however, broke my heart. I can only begin to imagine the complex emotions that are swirling. Please know that even in small town Oregon, you have a complete stranger who is praying for you. I’m glad that you seem to have an army of helpers/angels that will lessen the load. Thank you for sharing – your humble and positive attitude is inspiring. May your body heal, heal, heal!!!

    • tracy

      Oh Jenny, THANK YOU! Thank you for visiting me here on the interwebs and taking the time to offer me encouragement. Thank you for your prayers. I so need them.

      I haven’t been blogging about homeschooling as much as I usually do, my health issues have taken priority for the last while, but there are a lot of helpful posts in the archives. I would love to help you in grow on your homeschooling journey!

      • I have spent some time clicking around your site but haven’t come close to reading all the homeschooling articles. I’ll continue to read. I appreciate your open and genuine voice. I must admit that I am nervous about starting our new homeschooling adventure and I don’t have a very big support network of local homeschoolers yet. THANK YOU for writing about your schooling; posts like yours feel like lifelines to me right now. I hope that you’ll continue to pour all your current efforts into healing – whatever that process looks like in the moment.