earthlife is messy

Feb 15, 2014 by

This human state is such an interesting thing. Emotions, spiritual impressions, the challenges and joys of having a body, and how all three of those things interact with each other and with other people’s emotions, spirituality, and bodies can add up to one tangled web of amazing craziness.

On Thursday my emotions were all over the place. My body was sending me wonky messages of pain, confusion, and exhaustion. My spiritual impressions were getting trampled by the emotion and body messages.

I think this is normal. It is part of this experience we call life…it is messy and intense and joyous and twisty-turny and wonderful all wrapped up together. At any given moment I can be overcome with gratitude AND pain AND hope AND despair AND peace. All at once.

When I share the details of my life with the interwebs I strive for honesty…for several reasons. One, I am not really writing for the millions of possible readers out there in blogland, I am writing for me. Writing helps me process my thoughts and emotions and come to new perspectives. Two, I am also writing for my children and grandchildren. I want them to know the truth of my life, the good days and the bad, the triumphs, the every day ordinary rhythms of our lives, and everything in between. I want them to know how fiercely I loved them and how very challenging it has been to mother them through these injuries. My hope is they will see me as a real person who struggles just like they do and tries again and again AND again and that through my journey they will find the courage to keep trying in their own lives. Third, I do hope that when a person reads my words they walk away strengthened in their own life. I am not a Pinterest board, I am a messy, vibrant, chaotic, striving soul and if my life can bless another in the midst of their own journey, I am willing to share.

p.s. On tap for today is eating my delicious Valentine cupcake from Cocoa Bean, finding a walker to help me get around with this new injury, piles of laundry, the children cleaning all their bedrooms and bathrooms, and catching up on some school work we missed during this crazy week. I am going to take a bath for the first time in many, many days – I think Tuesday was my last bath. I stink! Last night I told Richard he smelled terrible and to move away from me. He apologized and kindly obliged my request to move to the far side of the bed. Welllllll, this morning after he left for work, the reeking smell was still here and I figured out it is me! So my goal for the day is to take a long, hot bath and get all this stinkiness washed away.

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i can’t go on

Feb 13, 2014 by

I process my emotions through writing, so just bear with me while I dump it all out into my keyboard. I am hoping that by the time I get to the end I will be able to have an attitude switch, but no guarantees, I may need to marinate in these dismal juices for a few days before I can smile again.

I get warm fuzzy emails, comments, and phone calls fairly frequently about my positive, faithful attitude. I appreciate them, but feel it isn’t always accurate. Today is one of those days where my attitude is anything but positive. In fact, I will say it straight out – I am angry.

Angry that a half-second collision with my foot is causing me this much pain. Angry that ONCE AGAIN there is a setback in the healing of my hip. Angry that despite my best efforts to be careful and not get injured, I got injured anyway. Angry that somehow I have to find the resolve to keep on keeping on…to mount up another horse and ride for who knows how long…and know there will be another horse to get on at the end of this ride.

I just don’t know how to keep going on with faith and courage and determination when it seems so many of my efforts fail miserably and my body seems to make one step forward and two steps back. It is hard. Really, really hard. I remember at the beginning of this hip injury wondering how on earth I would deal with eight weeks of bedrest and now it has been two whole years. Yes, next week marks the two-year anniversary of the labral tear. I remember when I broke my foot and being told I would be in the walking boot for at least 12 weeks and feeling it was impossible for me to make it that long. The seizures, the passing out, the injection pain, the racing heart, the gut-wrenching groin pain from the tear. Each time there is something new to deal with, I have been blessed to make it through, endowed with courage from on high, and given a fresh infusion of hope that I will get better – that I will be healed. I feel like I have been through the wringer again and again and again and I don’t think I can do it again. I can’t do this. I can’t keep my chin up and face another injury. It is too hard.

Oh Father, help me. Give me courage. Give me hope. Take this pain and give me peace. I need thee, oh, I need thee, every hour I need thee.

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it’s worse than i thought

Feb 13, 2014 by

I don’t even want to type these words. I don’t want to see the situation clearly. I want to ignore it and talk myself out of it and convince myself it’s not real. But like my new hero, Patrick Henry, I am going to dig deep into my wells of courage and look it square in the face.

I am hurt.

I am in a good deal of pain.

I am so incredibly ready to throw in the towel, but I WILL NOT. I will keep trying.

Bright and early this morning Sheri came and took me to see Jeremy. After explaining to him what happened with the hippity-hop ball, he examined my foot and found lots of problems. The talus was shifted quite a ways out of place and several of the metatarsals were twisted. The ligaments are pulled and everything is quite sore. Putting all those bones back into place was intensely painful, but now that I am back in bed, it is back to a manageable level.

I often play this weird mind game with myself and try to convince myself nothing is really wrong. I look normal. I have great days. So I must just be a big whiney-face who is freaking out about nothing. Today was another one of those days which I think is designed to show me I am not a whiney-face. Sheri said as soon as Jeremy took off my socks she could tell my foot was misshapen and Jeremy told me this isn’t a matter of being tough or thinking the pain away – the bones were not anywhere close to where they belong and yes, it should be hurting. I believe them. At least mostly. Some of me still thinks I just need to breathe the pain away.

We don’t know what the forecast is yet. It may heal fairly quickly or I may need to go back in a walking boot or have a custom orthotic made to wear while the ligaments heal. Unfortunately, there are quite a few challenges with any of these approaches.

If I go into the walking boot on my right foot, my left foot must be in a shoe that is level with the walking boot, otherwise my hip will be even more unstable and we will cause piles of damage…and seizures, passing out, etc. But my left foot is still healing from being broken for 16 weeks and has to be in my super-stiff running shoes…which are not level with the walking boot. Trying to make them level causes almost as many problems as it solves, so we are going to try to avoid the walking boot if at all possible. But, if the right foot doesn’t heal quickly, we may need to go down that road.

A custom orthotic that would hold my right foot into a neutral position and allow the bones to be held in the correct place while the ligaments heal is another option. But, again, my hips must be level, so whatever we do to one foot, we have to do to the other. And the left foot doesn’t need the same orthotic the right foot will need. CRAZINESS.

I want to cry. Or eat piles of ice cream. Or sleep for the next month. The thought of being injured again for any length of time longer than a few days is nearly overwhelming my state of mind.

Screaming is the answer, right? I can’t really scream because it alerts my nervous system, but I can scream on here.


And it isn’t going to be. It’s just not. It’s not something I can beat.

After Jeremy put all the bones in my foot back in place, he taped me up with his fancy tape and then got to work on my pelvis. Although I was lying flat on my back, the right side of my pelvis wasn’t even touching the table – so torqued out of place! Jeremy put all the the bones back where they go and helped the adductors and inguinal ligament relax. Then he worked on the sacrum. Sheri held my hand the whole time and helped me stay calm through the much-needed torture. I didn’t pass out, but boy, howdy am I sore. I feel like I have been pummeled by a gang of five-year-old boxers (you know, because they would punch at pelvis level) and am going to spend the day in bed with ice packs.

Our day (and perhaps our week, month, or year?) have been turned upside down, but it is okay. We will rearrange and friends will step in, and life will go on. Sheri is going to take my children to their field trip to a Jazz performance, Kat will come and get my little ones this afternoon, and Blythe will drive herself and Kez to our group music lessons later today. Then she has Youth Symphony tonight and Kez has a City Council meeting to attend for her Key of Liberty class. But all of this will work out without me. Dear, dear friends will step in and take over my mothering duties…again.

Ohhhh. I am ready to cry.

I am grateful, so very grateful for the love and help that surrounds me and fills in all the holes in my children’s lives when I am unable to do what is needed. (But dang it all, I want to do those things!)

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a silly little bump that made me collapse

Feb 12, 2014 by

Remember how just a few short days ago I said no shaking episodes had ever happened at iFamily…well, nix that one…I guess there is always a first time for everything. At the end of the day some boys were bouncing around on one of those big balls you can sit on and hold on to a handle – anyone remember what those are called? I am too tired to go look it up. Anyway, they were bouncing around and having a grand time and one of them landed on my foot…my good foot, but my right side which is my bad hip…and glanced off my leg. As the pain shot through my nervous system, I tried to convince myself I was okay and even started to walk away from the boys and insisted to everyone around me I was okay.

And then I collapsed.

I wish I could make my body believe me when I insist I am okay. It isn’t being very obedient lately. Or maybe it is me that isn’t being obedient to my body? I don’t know.

What I do know is instantly people were on the floor with me icing my hip, rubbing out the cramping in my quad, giving me sips of water, and oodles of love.

After a priesthood blessing, being helped to the car by a small army of people, including poor Jen who was trying desperately to hold my hip into its approximate location so I could walk on it and several men who held up most of my weight, I made it home to my bed. Now my foot is throbbing and part of me is worried it is broken, all the muscles in my pelvis are sore as can be, and I am exhausted.

Jen insists I need a bubble suit to protect me from bouncing children, patches of ice, and most of all, my own recklessness. I think I need a strong body that can handle being bumped around a little. Maybe a combination of the two would be best?

Now I am going to fall asleep while reading about Abigail Adams and dreaming of a body that can take a little jostling.

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update on my body

Feb 10, 2014 by

I think it is time for an update on my general well-being…things are improving, but my body’s issues are fairly complex, so it is hard for me to give a simple answer when asked how I am doing.

Pubic Bone

The separation is healing and doing TONS better! There were several days last week with NO pubic bone pain. Jeremy gave me the go ahead on Friday to start bridging and ball-sitting-hula-dancing. They are the simple exercises we started back in November, but within a month I had progressed to far more difficult stuff, so I am hoping quick progress happens again.

Pelvic Floor Strength

Basically I have none. The muscles throughout my pelvic floor do not fire often or easily. Sometimes on the fourth or fifth try Jeremy can get an eensy-weensy response, but it takes all the brain power I have AND isolating all other muscles from firing to make the pelvic floor muscles fire. The rest of my body compensates for the lack of pelvic floor muscle strength and we are working on building the muscles and retraining my body to not compensate…my feet, IT band, and adductors especially love to compensate and they must learn to stop. However, if they stopped right now, I would fall right over. At the beginning of January, Jeremy asked me to get some Kegel Cones. I had never heard of them and asked him all sorts of questions. I said something like this, “If this product is to help me have better bladder control, I’m not really interested in spending the money or the time, because I have been peeing my pants my whole life and I don’t really care anymore. What I care about is my hip! Let’s focus all of our attention on my hip!” Jeremy chuckled to himself as he so often does at my ridiculous protestations and explained that the pelvic floor is the KEY to core strength. He said there is no way I will ever have the core strength necessary to hold my hip in place if I don’t have a SUPER STRONG pelvic floor. The core muscles are a giant interlocking web from the diaphragm to the pelvic floor and the attachment points for all the fascial layers are in the pelvic floor. Soooo, in short, I need to stop focusing on my hip and put all my efforts on my pelvic floor.

Needless to say, I decided to listen and order the Kegel Cones. They came back at the beginning of January and I started using them right away. You insert the lightest weight cone into the vagina and see if you can hold it in place for 2 minutes. If you can, you move up to the next heavier weight and see if you can hold that one in place for two minutes. You do this until you cannot hold a weight in place for two minutes and then you go back down to one lighter weight than the one you couldn’t hold. Then you work with that weight until you can hold it in place for 15 minutes at a time while you are walking, coughing, and laughing. Then you move up to the next weight. There are six weights in the set I got, ranging from 25 – 100 grams/1 – 3.5 ounces. I know I am dense, but I really didn’t understand how incredibly weak my pelvic floor is until I inserted the first cone. It took all my concentration to hold it in place and even with all that focus I lasted about ten seconds before it fell out. TEN! I didn’t get any better at it before the pubic bone separation and haven’t done it during the recovery because voluntary surrender to a torture chamber is not my cup of tea. So, now that the pubic symphysis is reattaching the two sides of my pelvis, it is time to try again.

I read several women’s reviews of these cones and they said they had noticeable results in just a few short weeks. I am hoping for that kind of success, but gearing myself up for the long haul. I don’t want to be disappointed if I am still on the lightest cone come March. Investing time and effort in my body is absolutely worth it and I need to know quick results might not be my reality.

Some may wonder why my pelvic floor is SO weak. Well, I don’t really have all the answers to that one. I do know that my core was incredibly strong all throughout my childhood and early adult years. I was a gymnast and did 200 crunches easily. I could lift grown men…including my husband…pretty easily. My body did anything I wanted it to do. In spite of that strength, I have always had laughter-induced incontinence. Once I start laughing it is pretty much a given that I will pee my pants. I don’t understand how my core could have been so strong and still have such poor bladder control. I know when I was in the car accident at 40 weeks pregnant with Fisher my pelvic floor was severely damaged. My uterine ligaments were torn and the connective tissue holding all my parts and pieces in place was thrashed. Since then, my pelvic floor has gotten weaker and weaker…and certainly, the labral tear, bedrest, and months of inactivity contributed greatly to my now non-firing pelvic floor muscles.

It is time to build them strong again. I have to work slowly and consistently and THAT my friends is the hardest part. Slowly and consistently has never been my way. I am more of an all-out, all-night-project kind of girl. Can’t I just procrastinate something for months at a time and then tackle it with gusto? Nope, not this time. The process of building muscles has to be slowly, methodically done so the existing muscles don’t fatigue too much and the hip or pubic bone aren’t yanked out of place by spasms. It is so, so hard for my brain to deal with this reality. It is an everyday, little spoonful at a time sort of deal, and my desire to hurry it along will only cause damage.

Outside of the cones, all my PT exercises are designed to strengthen my core and train my brain to fire the right muscles to do the job. My brain ignores me most of the time and does whatever it wants to do to get the job done, but Jeremy sees the compensating and makes me stop and try again and again and AGAIN until the right muscles fire.

Labral Tear

The tear is doing really well. It feels like the healing we accomplished with the Prolozone injections is holding strong. Our goal is to not do anything to open the tear back up…easier said than done…but I have figured out how to modify my movements quite well so as to not irritate it.

Sympathetic Nervous System

This is certainly improving, but we are not of the woods yet, not by a long shot. I haven’t had a full-blown episode for a while, but lots of mini-episodes happen all the time. It seems the tiniest of things can trigger the shaking, racing heart, numb hands, or passing out feelings…making a comment in Sunday School, disagreeing with someone (even if only in my mind!), not drinking enough water, not getting enough sleep, not eating enough protein, thinking of a stressful situation, dislocations/subluxations anywhere in my body, slipping on the ice, getting excited about something, touching or irritating the femoral nerve. All of these things tip my nervous system over the edge and my body goes into save-Tracy-mode. It happens all the time and I am so very tired of it. I feel like a wounded, fragile flower that can’t feel or do anything without triggering a response. At church yesterday in Relief Society, I asked a new girl who her father-in-law is and immediately my heart rate shot up to 130. I tried breathing exercises and thinking calm, happy thoughts, and finally, hobbled out of the room and held on to the wall till I reached the couch to lie down on before I passed out. Anytime my heart rate gets above 130ish, I collapse, so I know I have to get somewhere safe before that happens. It is so strange to me. My normal self is bouncy and spontaneous and loud and emotional and full of passion. Now I feel I have to be on guard all the time to prevent an episode from happening. It also seems episodes happen in certain places. For some reason, church is a big trigger for me. iFamily and Gym are not. Nothing has ever happened at those two places…they must feel like safe places to me because my body is able to step away from the ledge and relax. I don’t understand this whole thing completely. Jeremy says it is going to take time to help my body learn it is safe. He says the labral tear and resulting nerve pain trained my body to feel like it was like being electrocuted for months at a time. Now that the electrocutions are mostly stopped, my body is still on guard for the next electrocution. He says no one can know how long my body will be on guard, but with energy work, meditation, prayer, and consistently sending a message of safety to my body, it will calm down eventually…at least somewhat. The other piece of the puzzle is my systemic weak connective tissue. Because I am not held together very well, my nervous system is hit with a constant barrage of messages that body structures are not where they belong, this ligament is being stretched too much, that muscles is being pulled tonight, the bone is out of place, etc. So, my nervous system will probably always be at some level of red-alert. The goal is to bring that red-alert level down from the precipice so I don’t tip over the edge so easily.


My left foot is still healing. Most of the time it feels strong and capable and free of pain. Sometimes there are twinges of pain and sometimes there are big-time aches. It hurts to stand in one place so I am often seen pacing back and forth or walking in circles. I don’t know how much longer I will have to be in my special super-stiff running shoes and I don’t want to pay for an appointment with the podiatrist to find out, so I am trying to be patient and observant and figure out when my foot is all the way out of pain before I start looking for the next pair of shoes. It has been almost 17 weeks out of the boot and it was 16 books in the boot, so we are 33 weeks since the break.


I have never had a weight problem, never been super thin, just a nice muscle-y body. I have always eaten what I want to eat, gone up and down with my pregnancies, and generally been about a size 8. Sometimes as small as a 4 (when I was vegan for 2 years) and sometimes up to a 10, but generally an 8. During the last two years and especially the past 6 months or so, I have gained 25 lbs. None of my old clothes fit. I have a large double chin, a sizeable belly-roll, and saggy skin around my knees. I think most of it is due to a general lack of activity, a severe slowing of my metabolism, and poor food choices. I desperately want to turn this around, but I don’t know how. I can’t exercise and burn lots of calories. I can make better food choices, but I have been eating green smoothies for breakfast, salads for lunch, and then usually some sort of chicken dish for dinner for the past 7 weeks, and it hasn’t made a lick of difference on my waist line. My body is not strong enough to do any sort of cleanse and I have to eat quite a bit of protein on a daily basis or I feel really weak, so I don’t really know what to do to solve this problem.


Overall, I think my mindset is pretty healthy. I have finally figured out that this is a long-term issue and have been making peace with the reality of a new life. Most days, I feel acceptance, courage to keep trying, and hope that my efforts will make a difference. There are really hard days when the pain is overwhelming or the long road ahead looks far too daunting, but for the most part I am resolved to keep on keeping on. I have made peace with how ridiculous I look most of the time, the fact that others don’t understand what is going on and I can’t explain it to them in a five second soundbite, and that I must learn to take care of myself in the way my body needs. I have learned that with God, I am strong and can do really hard things. I have learned God is with me each step of the way, teaching me and holding me up. I have learned to smile again.

Life is good. Really good. This is not AT ALL what I would have chosen and I certainly could not have foreseen any of this happening to my body, but I am grateful for these lessons.

My goals for the rest of this month are to do the following every day: get sufficient sleep, eat lots of protein, do my PT exercises, use the Kegel Cones, state ten things I am grateful for out loud, and send messages of safety and peace to my nervous system.

My friend, Cameron, just posted this on Facebook…it is the perfect thought for me to focus on:

But these things I plan won’t happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, do not despair, for these things will surely come to pass. Just be patient! They will not be overdue a single day! Habakkuk 2:3, LB

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banner day!

Feb 6, 2014 by

My hip AND my pubic bone are doing so well! Yesterday I was on my feet for seven straight hours and I had no shiftings out of place, no shooting pain down my leg, no horrendous pinching pain…a great day! I felt strong and capable, was able to walk quickly, and went to bed with everything where it belonged.


Today I am going to start doing bridges and see how my pubic bone handles it. Tomorrow is physical therapy and I am hoping to get the go ahead for more exercises. A three-week setback is pretty good – lots shorter than I feared. Now the goal is to not get injured again and make lots of progress in my muscle building goals.

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no more wedges

Jan 31, 2014 by

Note to self: Do not kneel on a slanted, squishy surface when your pubic symphysis is separated.

Next time I’ll see if I can remember that BEFORE I cause myself hours and hours of pain.

After lots of ice, lathering my nether regions with Paine essential oil, a nice warm bath, and staying horizontal for the past nine hours, I am feeling quite a bit better. We will have to see how it is all working in the morning. I have to be better in the next two days because I have a big trip on Monday for dentist appointments in Salt Lake and haircuts with my sister in Wyoming. I don’t have to drive except right in the big city, Blythe can do the rest of the driving, but I do have to be able to be solo parent for two days, get all four children through their dental visits AND have an appointment myself. There will be no other adult with me so I have to be healed enough to make this all work. ARGH.

I was having such a great week – I made it all through iFamily on Wednesday, I have been able to sleep a bit better, and Jeremy said I could start back with my super easy exercises in about a week. So healing is/was happening.

And then I had to kneel on a “cheese” (giant wedge mat) at gym to help a little girlie stuck on her head. It is really so silly that a two-second action can hurt me so badly.

Well, I will be in bed resting for the next few days and helping this cartilage to heal back up. I think I will tackle The Child Whisperer, Give Me Liberty, and some snuggle time with my babies.

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these slippery joints

Jan 24, 2014 by

Ouchie! Several ribs were dislocated in the pick-up-the-child-and-fall-apart episode of last week. I didn’t realize it at the time because my pelvis hurt so much, but the pain grew worse each day this week until finally it was worse than the pelvic pain. Jeremy checked out my neck and shoulder and found the problem…ribs that weren’t where they belonged and muscles pulled as taut as could be trying to pull them back into place. Putting them back in was just as painful as it sounds and I had to shout “boy, howdy” a few times to get through it, but now I can use my arm and turn my head again.

I had a heart to heart with Jeremy this week and asked him if all this is just in my head and I am being a big baby. I told him I keep thinking I just need to toughen up and stop complaining and think positive thoughts and I will be fine. He chuckled and tried not to burst out laughing at how ridiculous I was being. In his gentle, informative voice he explained that I am not a big baby in any way and showed me exactly why I am in pain. He told me I am strong and brave and to remember back just a few short weeks ago when he had me doing hard things in the gym and how I refused to give up or give in on any of the exercises. He told me I would get back there soon and I just need to hold on to faith and let this pubic bone heal. He reminded me of the position my pubic bone was in just one short week ago and that everyone would be in horrendous pain if that happened to them.

Sometimes I think I must be making the whole thing up. I must not really be injured or if I am injured, it is just an eensy-weensy thing that shouldn’t really be hurting much at all and if I just put a smile on my face it will be all better.

So, hearing Jeremy give it to me straight up was good for me and my information loving brain. I know y’all are thinking I am daft because I can’t get it through my head that something is actually factually wrong with me, but I can’t wrap my head and heart around it. I keep thinking this is temporary or imagined or SOMETHING else because surely this could not have happened to my strong, athletic, do-anything-for-me body. But I think it is real and somehow I need to figure out how to live with this super-stretched out, easily injured body without losing hope or zest or, or, or me.

Me. Tears just sprang to my eyes and I think I finally figured it out. I am terrified of losing me. Bouncing, spontaneous, fun, loud, boisterous, big me. This body is forcing me to be calm, calculating, planning, and small. I feel like I am shriveling…and I hate it. Really. I hate it. I don’t like having to think about my movements and moderate them. I want to live fully and huge. I want to jump in people’s arms, swing them around with glee, and shout with pure joy. I don’t how to let my big spirit shine forth and draw people in when I have to limit my body’s movements. I just don’t. And I don’t think I want to learn either. I want me.

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you’ve got the angels by your side

Jan 19, 2014 by

I think I must be living in the dark ages because I had never heard of Nathan Pacheco until today when Jana sent me his beautiful song, Don’t Cry. I keep listening to it and she is right, it is filling me up with hope.

I love reading words to songs so they can get firmly into my mind. If you are like me, here are the lyrics:

Don’t cry, don’t cry though hope seems gone.
Don’t cry, This battle still can be won
And all these tears, that blind and cloud your day..
Will fall to the ground, your bitter fears will fade away.
Hold on, until the journey’s end.
Hold on, this broken heart too will mend
Reach out, I’ll come and take your hand
One day, Your darkest seas will lead to promised land.
Hold on, let it pass you by ;
Hold on, don’t quit, you’ve got the angels by your side

Your heart is strong enough to see this battle won
Your faith will make the morning come.
Don’t cry, I’ll see this journey through
Don’t cry, I’ll cross through storms to find you
And carry you home, to never go away…
To rest from the storm, and find a joy that passes healing to the pain.
Hold on, let it pass you by ;
Hold on, don’t quit, you’ve got the angels by your side
Your heart is strong enough to see this battle won
Your faith will make the morning come.
Your faith will bring the rising sun.

This phrase “Reach out, I’ll come and take your hand. One day, your darkest seas will lead to promised land. Hold on, let it pass you by. Hold on, don’t quit, you’ve got the angels by your side,” touches me so deeply. Reaching for the Lord can be so hard for me because I want to solve it all by myself and present myself to Him as a finished package. Completely hilarious and deplorable all at the same time, isn’t it? There is nothing about me that can fix my life because I am human and a sinner and broken and weak. I need Jesus. We all need Jesus. And yet, even though I know this inside and out, I still try to fix myself.

I am studying the life of Martin Luther for my upcoming WUBA class and have been so inspired by his life and firm reliance on the Word of God. I love this quote of his –

Christ must be everything: the beginning, the middle, and the end of our salvation. We must lay Him down as the first or foundation stone, rest the others and intermediate ones on Him, and also attache the rafters or the roof to Him. He is the first, the middle, and the last rung in the ladder to Heaven. Through Him we must begin, must continue, and must complete our progress to life.

Truly, I need to rely on my Savior and give my whole heart to Him. He is the answer. He is the way, the truth, and the life. He is everything.

I love the imagery in Nathan’s song about dark seas leading to the promised land and having angels by my side. I have long felt this injury is an opportunity to learn to give my heart to the Savior and to feel His hands and those of His angels holding me up. It has been almost two years of pain and frustration and roadblocks and the whole time, my Savior has been here speaking peace and calmness to my soul. I may cry out in angst, but I know He is with me. I feel Him surrounding me with blankets of warmth. He has crossed many storms to find me, big worldly storms and furious storms within my own heart. And this line, “find a joy that passes healing to the pain,” is so, so true. His joy mediates the pain and brings healing to my whole soul.

Thank you for the song Jana. I love it.

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wee bit better

Jan 19, 2014 by

I am feeling quite a bit better this morning. When I get up to walk to the bathroom, my hip and pelvis feel pretty stable and sitting on the toilet isn’t as excruciating as it was on Friday night, so I think progress is being made.

But boy, howdy, sometimes when I roll on my side, it feels like the two halves of my pubic bone slide into each other and the resultant nerve pain has me shrieking. Then Richard rolls me onto my back and it settles down somewhat. I should just stay on my back, but it is not at all comfortable to lay flat on my back for hours (days?) at a time. Even though I have always thought they were crazy, I think one of those adjustable beds would be really helpful at times like this. If I could read or sleep or eat comfortably, I might be happy as a clam, but since I can’t get into any position that makes my body happy, I am a bit of a grumpaluffagus, kind of weepy and irritated and frustrated by the whole thing.

I want to use this time to read all my WUBA books or get some genealogy done, but I haven’t figured out how to be comfortable enough to let my mind focus on what I am doing instead of on the pain. Any suggestions? Anyone, anyone? Bueller?

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courage needed

Jan 18, 2014 by

Pain, frustration, shaking, weakness, a new injury, and some tears filled my day yesterday.

I want to live this mantra –

Gird up your loins, fresh courage take, Our God will never us forsake.

and I will.


Hopefully today or tomorrow I will be able to take fresh courage into the marrows of my bones and decide once again to keep trying.

But right now I need to cry.

I scooped an injured, crying little girl up into my arms at gym yesterday and carried her across the gym to her mama. And then I knew – something was very, very wrong. Who knew that something so seemingly small could hurt me so dramatically?

It appears my pubic symphysis, the cartilage that holds the two halves of the pubic bone together, has separated or torn. It is going to take some time to heal and until it does I am going to be even more loose than normal. Yesterday when Jeremy was putting me back together, my pubic bone was “missing,” meaning we couldn’t find it. Neither one of us could find the bone! He was finally able to put it back into place (or close to its correct place) by pushing up through the back of my pelvis. Let me tell you, painful is the understatement of the year to describe what it feels like to have your pubic bone moved by way of your butt.

Then it got worse. The femoral nerve, my lovely nerve that has spent the past many months irritated at all the poking, pinching, and stretching it has had to endure, runs right next to said pubic bone and moving that bone kickstarted the nerve into freak-out mode.

Yes, the shaking started all over again. It lasted a long, miserable hour. When my systems were all calmed down, Kat came to my rescue. I couldn’t walk, drive, or function at that point, so she drove 30 minutes into town to get me. Superhero is what that girl is. When they tried to stand me up from the table, the shaking started all over again, so they wheeled me out to the van on an office chair and hoisted me inside as gently as they could. I’m sure it was quite the hilarious spectacle, but I wasn’t quite up to laughing. All I could do was cry at the pain. Cry in frustration at having to heal another injury. Cry at the inconvenience I am to everyone around me. Cry at the seeming hopelessness of my body.

The timeline of the last two years ran in circles around my mind all night long making me feel like one of those lab rats stuck in an unsolvable maze – they learn helplessness and stop trying to escape. I don’t want to be like those rats. I must find fresh courage. I must keep trying. I just don’t know if I have it in me.

2/20/2012: Severe, deep groin pain that can’t handle any weight bearing and puts me in bed for six weeks.

3/27/2012: MRA diagnoses labral tear

4/18/2012: First Prolozone injection

4/2012 – 1/2013: Lots of Prolo, lots of pain, lots of healing, lots of tears, lots of progress.

1/8/2013: Final injection, allergic reaction to procaine, seizures, syncope, and all-out misery.

1/9/2013 – 1/31/2013: IVs, hundreds of seizures, heaps of love and service poured out on my family, and weeks spent in bed.

2/1/2013 – 11/15/2013: Many, many shaking/passing out episodes and lots of helping hands to pick me up and rescue me each time.

7/3/2013: Fall while cleaning the shower and break the 4th metatarsal bone in my foot. PT is focused on helping my injured hip deal with the imbalance and instability of having a broken foot on one side and an injured hip on the other. Can’t be non-weight bearing on broken foot because my hip can’t handle my full weight. Sixteen weeks in a boot and pain, pain, pain. Hip healing is set back five months while body heals foot. Emotional roller coaster up, down, and all-around from the pain, the hopelessness, and the reality of how much this body is costing us in time, money, energy, and everything else.

7/3/2013 – 11/15/2013: Seizures and passing out increases greatly as my body adjusts to first being in the boot and then getting out of the boot.

10/28/2013: Transfer from walking boot to super-stiff shoes so my foot can continue to heal. Super exciting! Find out I must wear shoes for many months before I can transition into normal shoes and this process will take 1-2 years, eeek.

11/25/2013: Make it out into the big room at physical therapy and am given actual exercises to do at home. Wahoo!

12/2013: Make tons of progress building muscles, allow a miracle to happen in my life with Moola For Muscles, cry piles of happy tears at the goodness in the world, discover my feet are compensating for the hip/core weakness and start retraining my brain to fire the core muscles, work hard and consistently on healing. Full of hope. Make a huge decision to completely let go of fear of re-injury of the labrum and proceed with faith that exercising is going to help my body heal. Decide to trust the journey even if the labrum does re-tear.

1/2014: Do amazingly well at therapy and at home with my exercises, getting stronger each day.

1/12/2014: Slip on the ice and end up almost in the splits. Pull lots of muscles and flare everything in the pelvis.

1/15/2014: Jeremy puts me all back together and I feel really good, especially considering the damage done just a few days prior.

1/17/2014: Separate the cartilage in my pubic bone by picking up a little five-year-old girl. Full on sympathetic nervous system response occurs when the bone is put back into place. No exercise until it heals and my nervous system calms down again.

The labral tear, the sympathetic nervous system freak-outs, the broken foot, and now another separated piece of cartilage with no options for Prolozone because of the allergy to procaine.

Oh my. I just don’t know if I have it within me to heal another injury. Actually, I know I DON’T. I am so incredibly worn out by this roller coaster ride. It is endless and has twists and turns I never saw coming and don’t know how to prepare for, deal with, or heal from.

But I know my God has courage to give me. I know He has healing and strength and peace.

And all I can do is plead for Him to fill me with what I need.

Fresh courage take. Pray for that, please.

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that ice is slippery

Jan 15, 2014 by

We are in the midst of a minor setback (Knock on wood. It WILL be minor. It WILL be minor!) and have had a more painful week than normal. On the way to church on Sunday I slipped on the ice. I didn’t fall and hit my head or anything serious. My legs just slid apart. Further and further and further.

And there was not a thing I could to stop them.

Richard finally came and rescued me when I was nearly in the splits and I thought I was okay, but I really wasn’t. We continued to church and my legs started doing all sorts of wonky things like jerking around and feeling like electricity was shooting up and down them. He brought me home and put me to bed for the rest of the day with my rice packs and I whimpered through the afternoon and night at the nerve freakouts shooting all over my body.

Monday I was still pretty sore, but I was able to be up and functioning with my children. Tuesday was more of the same…sore, but okayish. This morning was physical therapy. Jeremy took one look at me and knew something was wrong. He spent 45 minutes helping my adductors, psoas, IT band, and inguinal ligament calm down and get back to their correct locations. I have several torn muscles and it is going to take a bit before I can do my exercises again.

But the tingling is all gone and I think I’m going to continue on my seizure-free streak. Tomorrow will be the real test…a trip to Utah taking 80 of my favorite young people to see a play at HCT. Don’t worry…Sheri, Jen, and Heather will be with me and they are old pros at the whole passing out thing. Soooo, if it does happen, I will be in good hands. And in case you are wondering, I am not driving. I will be reclining in Jen’s fancy van in relative comfort while enjoying her brilliant mind and stimulating conversation.

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one year of shaking, one year of miracles

Jan 8, 2014 by

Today marks the one year anniversary of the shaking/passing out episodes. It all started January 8 at my ninth round of Prolozone injections. I was terrified for that injection and didn’t know how I was going to make myself get up on the table one more time, but I did it and it wasn’t too bad…and then the shaking started and I collapsed.

I have continued to shake, have a racing heart, blue hands, crazy temperature swings, and hundreds of passing out episodes over the ensuing twelve months. When I think about it, I am amazed. Completely amazed at the crazy, embarrassing situations my body has put me through. Completely amazed at the kindness that has been poured out upon me. Completely amazed at the miracles we have been blessed with this year that have enabled me to endure.

I have been beyond touchy and easily irritated all day. I didn’t even realize today was THE day until I came downstairs to read old posts. I thought the anniversary was tomorrow and didn’t really know how to feel about it…grateful? Sad? But now that I realize today is THE day, I think it is pretty natural for me to be feeling this way. Emotionally I am feeling much the same way my body must have felt during those injections…irritated, jumpy, attacked by foreign substances. All day long I have been feeling that way…I would be having a normal conversation with one of my children and then the smallest little thing would irritate me and prickly words full of daggers and empty of love would spew out of me. My poor children. Really. They have put up with so much gunk from their mama.

I just read all the entries from January 2013.


So much pain.

So much fear.

So much kindness.

So much mercy.

So much love.

So much goodness.

So much friendship.

So much tenderness.

So much.

It is a month to be remembered and cherished. I want to always remember how powerful a community of friendship can be in healing brokenness, both body and spirit. I want to always remember the tender mercies of the Lord that saved my husband from a terrible accident. I want to always remember the prayers and blessings that were given. I want to always remember my husband’s tender care. I want to always, always remember the love of my God.

Now that I have read the story of that overwhelmingly difficult month, I am no longer irritated. I am grateful and full of tears of sweetness and joy.

Thank you, dear ones. You have held me in your hands and hearts and prayers and I will forever be grateful.

And now, I will go read scriptures with my family and start our new read-aloud, The Red Keep…we are so excited for it we can’t wait until summer to read it.

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kind of resolutions, but not quite

Jan 4, 2014 by

With the new year I have been pondering what I want to focus on, change, get rid of, and accomplish. I am not quite up to making resolutions because they feel quite daunting right now…a little too much to bite off at the moment…but I do want to implement a few things in my life.


I have some fear I want to finally let go of completely. I have been fearful of doing anything to reinjure my hip. If I open the labral tear back up there isn’t a way to fix it. Surgery is not a good idea because of my defective connective tissue and Prolozone injections are no longer an option due to my allergy to local anesthetics. So I am a bit scared to exercise and work to strengthen my hip when it seems such a precarious tightrope to traverse. Not exercising = more dislocations, more shaking, more passing out, more pain. Exercising = possible reinjury to the tear OR possible muscle growth, less dislocations, less shaking, less passing out. So far it is working. I am getting stronger. I am much more stable than I was even a few short weeks ago. But golly, that little bit of fear is still there. I believe I CANNOT EVER GO BACK TO THE DEBILITATING PAIN LEVELS OF SPRING 2012. But, I need to let that belief go and TRUST that whatever happens I am not alone on my journey and God will see me through. I want to believe that giving healing my best effort is my part of the deal and God helping me accept the consequences, whatever they may be, is His part of the deal. It is hard. So very hard. I want to control the consequences. I want a signed contract from the universe that if I do x, y, and z, I will get better. I will stop passing out. I will get be able to sit. I will stop being a burden on those around me. But there are no guarantees, there is choice. And right now my choice is to trust Jeremy and do the exercises he recommends for me each week and hold on to hope. Yes, I am choosing hope.


I have spent far too much time hooked into technology and want to make some changes. I want to look my children in the eyes more often and to be fully present with them in many moments of the day. I have decided to turn off my iPad by 8:30 in the morning and not turn it on again until 1:00. Those hours are dedicated to my children and I am going to make them as magical and nurturing as I can. I am going to look in their eyes and connect with their souls. I am going to fill up their long-neglected tanks and help them know their mama is back.


We have spent the past two days decluttering and reorganizing our learning materials. Boy howdy, we have a lot of awesome stuff! Unfortunately a lot of it hasn’t been utilized because I have been in survival mode homeschooling since about mid-2011 when we found the breast lump. I have decided to revert to my old methods of success and spend some time each Sunday planning out our learning for the week by going downstairs and selecting books, games, manipulatives, and other cool resources to introduce during the week. So exciting! My two little ones have missed out on lots of our cool stuff and it is time they discover the magic and wonder of learning in our home.

I also need to really focus on my study time. 1:30-3:30 is my time to read and study for the class I am mentoring this semester. It is going to be quite an adventure along with a lot of work – I am super-duper excited about it!


My exercise routine has to take priority in my life. The only way to make it happen every day is for me to do it in the morning before 8:30. For the last long while this has been my time to do genealogy and have peace and quiet before the day with my children starts. But now, it needs to be devoted to healing. I need about 45 minutes to get through my supplement taking, the exercises Jeremy has given me, and my new MELT routine on my hands and feet. I have never succeeded at doing anything on a consistent basis in the morning. Ever. This would probably be easy for many people, but it is going to be next to impossible for me.


Everything else in my life is on survival mode or maintenance mode so I can focus on these four areas. I’ll report back at the end of the month and let you know how I am doing. Pray for me to have heavenly assistance and inner resolve. I need both so, so much!

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six weeks

Dec 27, 2013 by

Tonight marks the six week anniversary since the last time I passed out!

Can I hear a huge shout of HALLELUJAH!

Oh my goodness, it is so exciting! There have been quite a few racing heart episodes, but no seizures and no losing consciousness. After the one-inch undoing, Richard did a full energy session on me and cleared out a lot of emotional garbage surrounding the passing out episodes. I think it has made a huge difference in my nerves ability to stay calm.

I hope that eventually so many weeks will have elapsed since I have lost consciousness that we can look back on this year of passing out as a distant memory full of tender mercies, embarrassing situations, and lots of laughter.

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giving and receiving

Dec 25, 2013 by

Warm and fuzzy.












On this Christmas night my heart is full from top to bottom with all of these emotions. Our month has been full of Christmasy things – performances in the Messiah concert with the Youth Symphony and the Christmas Carol ballet, piano and violin recitals of Christmas music, several secret Christmas projects, caroling, visiting with friends and neighbors, Christmas stories, scripture study, yummy food, big hugs, nativities, and piles and piles AND PILES of love being poured out upon our family.

We have been on the receiving end of so much goodness and generosity this month. Moola for Muscles has raised thousands of dollars for my therapy. People have written the loveliest notes of encouragement and their love has filled my heart with courage and determination to keep trying to get my life back. Nearly 150 people invested their hard-earned cash in my Hip Recovery Plan. I can’t even think about it without tears running down my face. What a precious gift!

If the Moola for Muscles response wasn’t enough, we have been blessed with lovely presents from friends and family and had several knock-n-run experiences this week. Money, gifts, food, and, of course, piles of love have been delivered by these Secret Angels/Santas/Elves/Disciples. We have no idea who has reached out to our little family and blessed us so abundantly, but if any of you are reading this, thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Thank you for being a force for good in the world and for loving us so much that you would sacrifice and serve and give and bless.

The speaker at church this Sunday, Sister Spaulding, said something like “We experience Christmas every day of our lives. We are either giving or getting Christ’s love.” When she said those words I realized something…when we give Christ’s love to others we come to more fully love Him and know Him. When we receive Christ’s love, either through His own actions or the actions of our fellowman, we also learn more of Him and become closer to Him. As we go through life and have experiences on both sides of the equation, we understand Him and His ability to love, serve, and sacrifice for the children of God. We are more able to receive His love into our hearts and accept His sacrifice for us.

This year we have learned more clearly than ever before how important it is to be on both sides of the giving and receiving circle. I love being on the giving side. I love being guided to those who need our love and money. I love organizing secret projects and big, public fundraisers or service projects. I love doing God’s work by reaching out to someone who needs a hug, a listening ear, a big box of food, or a chunk of money. It is one of my very favorite things to do and I am so grateful for the opportunities we have had as a family to make a difference in the world.

But this hip injury has forced me to the other side of the circle. I have been on the receiving end of service for the past 22 months. People have taken care of our children, given umpteen hours of service, taken me to doctor’s appointments, paid for treatments, held me as I have sobbed, given me wise counsel, encouraged me, been patient with me, tried to understand, cleaned our home, cooked meals, and so much more. People have loved. Truly loved me. Loved us. Supported us. Been God’s hands in holding us up. I had no idea there was this much goodness in the world. It is been a tender privilege to be the recipient of so much goodness and one of the greatest blessings of my life to be taught not only the meaning, but the actions of love as I have been thoroughly loved through this injury.

Being on the receiving end has taught me much about God’s abundance and the windows of heaven. To those of you who have been His hands in lifting our burdens, both physical and emotional, please know we love you, we pray for you, and we thank God for you.

May each of you feel the love of God for you at this Christmas season and throughout the coming year.

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muscles in training

Dec 21, 2013 by

I have been working on growing new muscles and boy, howdy, it is hard stuff! At my physical therapy appointment right before Thanksgiving, I was given some balancing and bridging exercises to start doing at home. Even though they were no big deal and only about 5 minutes worth of work, they wore me right out. Now, just a few weeks later, I am up to 15 minutes of abdominal, hip flexor, and pelvic stability work.


But it is a good sore, a sore that makes my heart do happy dances all day long because I can feel the muscles trying so hard to wake up and do their jobs.

My hip flexors are so incredibly weak that they don’t fire. They have shut themselves off after all the injury and bedrest nonsense they have been put through. And now it is time to wake them up. They need to be retrained how to fire and when to fire and that, my friends, is no walk in the park. We are reprogramming my brain to send the right messages to the right muscles so my feet will stop doing the work of my hip flexors. My teensy tiny foot muscles are compensating for the weakness in my pelvic region and they ache every single day. They especially ache when I do my exercises because they are doing the job of big muscles. Sometimes I wish I could get my foot muscles to stop trying to be such superheroes, but then I would probably fall over a whole lot more than I already do (which is quite a bit!)

Anyway, all of this is very, very exciting. I can feel progress being made! The daily dedication needed to drink sufficient water, eat at regular times, do my exercises, and my energy work is almost beyond me…I am not a dedicated to anything on a daily basis kind of girl. I am a fly by the seat of my pants kind of girl. But I must find the gumption – the every single day gumption – to do the hard work of staying focused on healing.

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piles of goodness

Dec 12, 2013 by

I have spent most of yesterday and all of today at the computer on my special kneeling chair getting the iFamily website ready for next semester. My back is aching, my shoulders keep popping in and out of place, and I am ready for some delicious food brought by the Lamoreaux family and some snuggle time with my children. I listened to Christmas music all day. I love Christmas music that speaks to my soul…it has to have messages of love, service, and Jesus, most of all Jesus. I don’t really like the loud, crazy Santa stuff, but give me some Jesus music and I will bawl my eyes out.

Which is exactly what I have been doing. I can’t stop these tears from running down my face and getting my collar wet and gooey. My children keep walking by and asking why I am crying. All I can say is “The goodness, there is so much goodness in this world.”

Moola For Muscles has been active for about 48 hours and there has already been $2200 donated. Oh my goodness, I am tickled pink and overwhelmed and full of warm fuzzies all at the same time.

I have heard from old friends and new friends, complete strangers, and so many dear loved ones have written me beautiful notes of encouragement. It is such a privilege to be loved this much. I wish I could have every single donator over for a delicious cup of hot chocolate and some of my favorite Christmas stories. Wouldn’t that be fun!


This is one of my favorite sayings. I try to live by it. I try really hard to both Be The Good and Believe In The Good. You guys make it easy-peasy to believe in the good because you surround me with it every day. Thank you for all your loving kindness. May God pour blessings down upon you and your families.

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moola for muscles

Dec 11, 2013 by

Katherine, Jessica, Jennifer, and Tami have all been pushing me to allow them to do a Physical Therapy fundraiser. I have fought it and fought it, but they finally convinced me with the following arguments (all paraphrased a bit, but you’ll get the essence of what they said).

Kat – “Trace, your family needs you to function. Your husband and children need you. They have been taking care of you for the past two years and if there is a way that you can heal, you owe it to them.”

Jess – “Trace, I KNOW. I KNOW you don’t want this to happen, but it needs to. You need to let us do this.”

Tami – “What do we need to do! Let’s do it. Come on Trace! Let the hundreds of people who love you help you. Do I need to come over from Australia to do this? Come on, I’m booking a flight!”

Jen – “Tracy, I love you so much. If you need physical therapy, you need physical therapy. Let us help you. We love you.”

Kat again – “Trace, the truth of the matter is, it takes a lot of people to take care of you and it is getting more all the time. All of us are taking time away from our families to help you and we love doing it, but it is a lot. We will do WHATEVER YOU NEED FOR AS LONG AS IT TAKES. But, if you can heal, then let’s make that happen.

All those arguments sunk deep in my heart and I have been pondering them for over a month. Especially Kat’s. It is true. I have asked a lot of my friends. They have driven me all over Timbuctoo, taken me to umpteen doctor’s appointments, held my hand and listened to me scream during the awful Prolozone injections, have lovingly listened to my crazy ranting when I am ready to throw in the towel and go live in a hole, and have picked me up off the floor over and over again when I collapse. They have been the best save-my-sanity-and-heal-my-hip friends a girl could ever ask for. I thought of dear Sheri who has been with me a lot lately during the passing out episodes and how many hours she has taken away from her family to sit with me while I am unconscious. I thought of how her poor body has had to pick me up and support my dead weight and how much that must have hurt her. I thought of the people at church who have carried me out of the building and loaded me up in my car while drool is running down my face and my dress is all skiwampus. I thought of my dear, dear husband who has left work repeatedly, dropped everything he is doing to come and find me in a heap on the floor. I thought of all the sleep he has lost, the worry lines that have etched themselves permanently onto his face, and how his needs have been on the back burner for oh, so long. I thought of all the money, time, and effort our family has given to get me better.

So, I finally said yes.

I need to see Dr. Jones every week and the only way for that to happen is to allow others to bless me with their hard-earned cash. If you would like to join these dear friends of mine in making a difference in my life, go check out the fundraiser at Moola For Muscles.

Thank you all. From the bottom of my heart and clear down to my little toes, thank you for serving, supporting, and loving me. Thank you for making this miracle happen.

Now to wipe the tears away and read a book to Annesley.

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seven good things

Dec 3, 2013 by

I have loads of great news today.

1. I haven’t passed out for 2 1/2 weeks! Big WAHOO!

2. I entered the Big Room at physical therapy last week. THE BIG ROOM! The room with all the exercise equipment. AND I TOUCHED THE EQUIPMENT WITH MY OWN TWO HANDS AND WORKED MY TAIL END OFF! I can’t even tell you how exciting this is! I haven’t been able to do a lick of exercise without starting to shake and then pass out for months and months and months.

3. The snow has arrived…and I as I walked through it today on a quick run to the grocery store I was nearly brought to tears of gratitude when I realized I was walking on my own two feet without a walking boot. Being in a boot in this weather would be nothing but miserable. I am so thankful to be out of it!

4. My Annesley was able to have a cavity repaired yesterday! Wahoo! I have needed to get her down to Utah to see the dentist for quite a while, but have been unable to do so because of the ridiculous unconscious episodes that keep happening. Since we were coming home from Thanksgiving through Utah, our awesome dentist worked a miracle and worked on her during his lunch break and around other patients so we don’t have to make the drive down again.

5. I can ignore the marks on the walls and the grime on the floors for an unbelievably long time and then one day I notice and clean it up…today was that day. I cleaned out my laundry room…not done, but much improved. I scrubbed walls, cleaned out the gunk in my garbage can, scrubbed the wood on my banisters, and made a big thrift store pile. There is still a TON to do, but progress was made and I feel great about it.

6. We are behind on the whole December thing. I like to have my tree up and my Christmas books out and my Advent Calendar hung by December 1, but I didn’t even get home from Thanksgiving at my mom’s until December 3, so no chance for it to be done yet. And I am okay with it. That is what I am happy with it. I am not grumpy or stressed or freaking out.

7. Tomorrow is the last day of iFamily for the semester. I LOVE iFamily to pieces, but the winter break is heavenly. I love having the time off to focus on what I want to teach my children instead of what they are doing in their classes. I love not having to go anywhere during the week. I love having my children with me more. By the end of January we are definitely ready for the interaction and intellectual stimulation of iFamily, but right now it feels glorious to have seven weeks off.

Pretty good list, eh?

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the one inch undoing

Nov 16, 2013 by

Last night was our big iFamily Fall Showcase – an opportunity for all of our members to get together for dinner, listen to our Orchestra and Choirs perform, and for students to display their projects from this semester. It is always lots of fun.

Unfortunately I missed it.

Well, I didn’t miss all of it. I was present, but I didn’t see any of the performances or get to visit with friends or take any pictures of my cute kiddos. Minutes after I got there, I twisted my ankle (my right ankle so my hip rolled out as well, drat it all!) on a teesy-weensy, itty-bitty ramp and fell to the floor. I kid you not, this incline is the tiniest thing ever and yet it still threw me off kilter. It seems I have little ability to stay upright once I get off-balance these days. Then the stupid sympathetic nervous system response started. The racing heart, the shaking, the passing out. I tried to fight it and even tried to stand up by crawling up the wall, but I could tell it was a no-go and I wasn’t going to stay conscious. My body was already in freak out mode. I called out in a whisper for someone to get Sheri and amazingly enough, Sheri was already right behind me ready to help. Thank goodness! She is an absolute pro at dealing with my body when I am unconscious. She took care of me for the next several hours. I am so, so grateful for her loving, expert care.

The whole debacle happened at the doorway into the gym right before the event got underway, so all our attendees had to walk past me and see me lying there with my limbs shaking, drool on my face, and clothing all skewampus. Not a pretty sight for anyone and especially not for all my little friends in the ten and under crowd. I hope none of them are too scared from the whole thing.

I missed hearing most of the Orchestra performance, but was able to hear quite a bit of the Choir while I laid in the hallway covered in ice packs and blankets. Then, my Annesley sang her heart out for Sheri’s “We Are Amazing” choir and I could hear her voice loud and clear.

This morning my ankle is pretty sore, my hip is really sore and my plan is to stay in bed and read all day long. The five batches of laundry I needed to get done today can wait, right?

I really, really, REALLY wish this would stop happening. It is starting to impact so much of my life. I never know when it is going to happen or how long it will last or who will be with me when I go down. It is absolutely amazing to me that every single time it has happened wonderful, caring, knowledgeable people have been with me. I have never been left alone to shake by myself. I think God keeps sending the right people at the right time to be by my side. Sometimes I desperately want Him to stop it from happening when what I really need to focus on is how He is taking care of me when it does.

A big thanks to everyone who took care of me last night. Lots of different people kneeled down and rubbed the charley-horses out of my neck, arms, and thighs. Others took care of my children. Others helped Richard get me out to the car. I’m sure many people prayed for me.

I am surrounded by goodness. Heaps of it.

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those silly things i do

Nov 12, 2013 by

I have a confession to make. I make mistakes moving my body and often times I end up paying for it. I have trained myself to be careful – to not twist at the hips, to check myself for alignment and balance before I do something, to be aware of what is going on around me – but it is not enough. I still make mistakes. It takes quite a bit of brain power to be aware of my body and sometimes I forget to turn on that brain power. Friday was such a day. I was at gym and had my arms full of a delicious casserole one of my students brought me, so I did what I would have done in my pre-injured life and opened the doorknob with my foot. Yea, that’s right. I kicked my right leg (the injured one) up in the air, twisted it at a 90 degree angle, put my foot through the doorknob, and pulled the door open.



Lots of ice.

A few tears.

Many hours in bed.

Still a lot of pain…and then the whole Sunday debacle.

So today I went into Jeremy and got put back together again. I had no idea how bad I was out of place till he looked at me and sighed in exasperation at the state of my pelvis. Every bone and muscle were in the wrong place. He helped all the muscles relax, the bones shift, and nerves to calm down.

And now I can walk again without wincing!

It amazes me what I can do when I feel good. I washed dishes tonight, Windexed the back windows, and did a couple batches of laundry. When my hip is out of place, I don’t want to do anything. But as soon as I feel a bit better I am up and trying my darndest to live my life.

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working up some courage to try again

Nov 11, 2013 by

I am a researcher. I crave information and love to solve puzzles. I have spent the past 21 months researching my hip injury and trying to fix it. I have come to a few answers along the way.

1. I can’t fix it.

2. God can fix it.

3. I have good days and bad days.

None of those answers have been complete. They have been part of the puzzle. I have had to accept that I can’t fix it so I would stop making myself crazy with trying to fix it. I had to decide to truly believe deep down in my little toes that God can fix it in order for hope to burn brightly. So I have kept researching and trying to make sense of it all. Sometimes I stop all research and try to move to a place of acceptance and being okay with it all, but that doesn’t feel right either. I feel most centered when I am in a place of acceptance emotionally and a place of searching, trying new things, and being open to the possibility of healing answers.

Well, in the past few months, the passing out and shaking episodes have increased, the dislocations have increased, and my ability to cope has decreased and I have decided to start researching again in earnest. I started studying the autonomic nervous system and learning more about how the sympathetic and parasympathetic system work. I started using a blend of lemongrass and lime essential oils to strengthen my parasympathetic systems ability to calm me down. Then I started studying connective tissue in depth and searching endlessly for something, anything I can do to build healthy connective tissue. I have studied the pudendal nerve, the femoral nerve, collagen, fibroblasts, fascia, cartilage, ligaments, nutrition, DNA, energy medicine, acupuncture, exercise, more on the sympathetic nervous system, and gobs and gobs of other topics – down more rabbit holes than I can count. Now, I think I have a somewhat clear picture of what is going on and how to approach it.

I have three major problems that are all tied together and impact one another: first, defective collagen systemically, second, a specific hip injury – labral tear, damaged pudendal nerve, damaged femoral nerve, tight IT band, inguinal ligament trying to hold it all together, and muscles that spasm constantly, and third, an overactive sympathetic nervous system that has developed from the femoral nerve being in freak-out mode for the past 21 months, an allergy to the Procaine in the Prolozone injections, months of pain and stress, and the faulty connective tissue that is sending all sorts of wonky messages to my SNS.

I can’t do a whole lot for the defective collagen. It is how I was made. My DNA is messed up. I can eat lots of animal connective tissue and hope it makes a difference. I can eat bone broth. I can eat red meat and chicken cartilage, but the harsh reality is my collagen doesn’t work well. The connective tissue and other body parts made up of collagen are all impeded in their function by the faulty collagen. It doesn’t reassemble amino acids properly after they have been broken down in the intestinal tract. It makes ligaments that are like taffy instead of super strong rubber bands. It isn’t holding my blood vessel walls open very well. It doesn’t send accurate messages to my sympathetic nervous system. The fascia throughout my body is weak and causes hernias, tight muscles, loose joints, and piles of other problems.

I am working on healing my hip. Jeremy, my manual therapist is amazing. He is helping all the structures of my hip to work better together and for the most part my hip is improving. I need to build back my muscle strength that has wasted away while I have been injured and spent so much time inactive and in bed and we are slowing figuring out ways to do that without injury. It will be a slow road, but my goal is to have physical therapy every single week and give it my all and see what happens.

Right now, the sympathetic nervous system seems like the most pressing issue because if I could stop shaking and passing out everything would seem a lot safer in my world. The challenge is it is completely tied into the defective connective tissue and the hip injury. The defective collagen caused the initial hip injury and continues to cause multiple subluxations and dislocations every day. It causes the joints of my body to break down, the synovial fluid to leak out, and osteoarthritis to develop. The connective tissue matrix is on information overload sending messages of shifting joints, stretched nerves, and overtaxed muscles. All these messages have put my body into a constant state of fight or flight and at any given moment it can become too much, I start shaking and then pass out. Which stresses my body further and the cycle seems almost impossible to break.

I am hoping beyond hope that I have found a solution. I happened upon the MELT Method nine days ago, read everything I could on the website, ordered the book, and am now devouring the book. It is mind blowing! Did you know every blood capillary in your body has a sympathetic nerve attached? That explains a lot about my blue hands, my heart rate shooting up to 140, and the endless numbness I experience. There are actual nerve endings in the capillaries so when a joint is out of place and those nerves start firing, it makes perfect sense that my blood flow is restricted and I pass out. Maybe you knew that, but I sure didn’t. Sue Hitzmann, the creator of MELT, is convinced that her methods can heal the connective tissue matrix. I don’t know if they can heal my connective tissue problems since they are rooted in my DNA, buy I am hoping that they can help my faulty tissue work at its best. She claims her exercises calm the sympathetic nervous system down, increase the work of the parasympathetic’s restorative functions, help the fascia to send happy messages instead of completely stressed out ones, and live without pain. The MELT Method has a protocol for people with connective tissue disorders that is easier on those of us who aren’t put together with stretchy rubberbands. I ordered my tools last week and they should be arriving sometime in next couple of weeks. Then I will get started on the exercises and see what happens. If Sue is right, this will help my connective tissue, my hip injury, AND my overactive sympathetic nervous system. Just the thought of it makes me grin from ear to ear.

And yet, I am scared. Silly, huh? My book came on Wednesday and I was scared to open it. Scared to get my hopes up yet again. Scared to give it my all and then find it doesn’t work at all, or worse yet, it doesn’t work for me because my body is too defective. I have been battling these fears all weekend. I would read a page or two and then put the book down and have to battle a new set of fears. Richard has been doing energy work with these fears and last night I was finally able to read without running away from the information. I want this to be THE answer and I will be totally thrilled if it is AN answer, one piece of the puzzle of building muscles, nourishing my body, letting Jeremy work his magic on me, and waiting on the Lord for strength, courage, and healing. But I am scared and need courage to move forward with hope to try again.

Please pray for me to be guided to answers and to have the courage to act on the ones I find. Please pray for me to have a heart full of hope AND peace. I need both. Please pray for me to find a way to build muscles without injuring myself. Another big injury at this stage of the game may be my undoing. I just don’t know how much more bedrest these muscles can handle before they don’t have any strength to hold me together at all. It’s a viscious cycle – weak muscles lead to more dislocations, but building muscles is a precarious road often fraught with injury and setbacks.

My plan for now is to figure out a way to go to therapy every week, do the exercises in the MELT book, eat lots of meat and drink lots of bone broth, and ride an ElliptiGO.

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Nov 11, 2013 by

I spoke in Sacrament meeting yesterday on Doctrine and Covenants 104:17.

For the earth is full, and there is enough and to spare; yea, I prepared all things, and have given unto the children of men to be agents unto themselves.

I had a thoughtful, inspired week preparing my thoughts and am grateful for the experience of pondering the concept of enough. I came to some pretty strong conclusions. There is enough food. There is enough water. There is enough God. There is enough healing. There is enough love. There are enough trials and learning opportunities to become who He created us to be.

There is enough. God created this earth to be exactly what we needed. He didn’t send us somewhere that didn’t have enough.

Our perceptions of lack create fear in us that there isn’t enough. There isn’t enough money. There isn’t enough friendship. There isn’t enough time. There isn’t enough food. There isn’t enough healing.

But lack is not reality. The earth is full. Full of goodness. Full of food. Full of producers. Full of potential friends. Full of courage. Our perception of lack is reality. Our fear based on that perception is reality. The lack is not reality.

When I am most scared, most overwhelmed, most confused, it is because I start believing in lack. I start believing there is not enough money, not enough time, not enough anything.

Those are lies. There is enough. With God all things are possible. Remember Gideon and his army of 300? Remember how it felt to repent and be cleansed by the atonement of Christ? Remember how a child was healed? Remember the peace that has flooded your soul? Remember the money that showed up in your life? All of these things and millions more testify that there is enough. God is bigger than all of the fear, all the tragedy, all the pain. He is enough. And because He is enough, there is enough.

Well, somehow these muddy thoughts came together in a talk and I hope my congregation got something out of the tangled mess. I was a tad concerned about passing out at the pulpit and asked for everyone’s prayers at the beginning. I got through just fine, but my hip started hurting from muscle spasms and I had to finish a bit earlier than planned. Throughout the rest of the meetings, the spasms got stronger and stronger and I really should have gone home, but I love church and I wanted to make it through all the meetings.

I ended up collapsing to the floor near the end of the last meeting. My hip dislocated and when I came back to the land of consciousness, I found myself crying from the pain. Once again a team of super amazing helpers converged by my side to rub out the charley-horses, calm me down, and get me home. Two of the men did their darndest to get my hip back into the socket. It had to have been rather awkward for them, but I wouldn’t have been able to put any weight on that leg if they hadn’t worked to hold me together.

I am so grateful to have had this experience. Coming face to face with pain and dependence on others AND not being healed just after testifying that there is enough healing could have made me doubt my words. But I know God can heal me. I know His power is big enough to heal me. I know He loves me. Even though the healing hasn’t come in the way I want it to, I know He is guiding me, supporting me, placing people in my life to help me, and loving me. He is giving me enough to get through this.

After a long day in bed and lots of ice packs and heat packs to get the muscles spasms to calm down, I am ready to face another day with my chin up. Its time to read with my little ones and start another week of adventure.

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this world is full of suffering

Nov 9, 2013 by

There is a whole lot of pain in the world. Piles and piles of pain I can’t even begin to imagine. Today my heart strings are being pulled out to all those who are suffering.

Hunger for food, hunger for love, hunger for acceptance.



Unfulfilled dreams.








Abuse in all its many twisted forms.


Wayward children.







Physical pain.


Lack of trust.


My heart fills with heartache at the pain people are going through. The person next to you at the grocery store has a story of pain and suffering. That cute little family next to you at church has a different story. That child whimpering with hunger pains in a back alley of Ecuador has a story all their own. And yet, every story is hard. Every person needs our love. My love.

Through this injury I have come to see the world through different eyes. Eyes of more compassion…not always, but more than I used to. I am coming to see that my very public injury, my very public showings of weakness and pain are visual demonstrations of the human condition. We are all weak. We are all hurting in some way. We all have secrets in our closet we don’t want anyone to uncover. This injury puts my pain front and center in people’s minds and yet, I still try to cover it. I still try to reassure people that I am okay. I still try to carry on my normal life and grin and bear it. We all do. And there is value in that, don’t get me wrong. We need people to work and love and serve and fight for the truth and live for God. But we also need to be real. We need to let our weaknesses show and share our pain so that others won’t feel alone in theirs. We need to allow our humanness to connect with others’ humanness and build relationships built on the realness of me and the realness of you and not some sideshow we put out there as the truth of our lives.

Every time I collapse in public and need to be rescued I am learning lessons. Lessons of being real, of allowing others to serve me, of being completely dependent on the person next to me to take care of me while I am unconscious. It is scary, but it is also valuable. I am learning it is okay to be weak. It is okay to need help. It is okay.

I want to wave my magic wand and erase all the pain in the world. I want to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and heal the broken hearts, but I can’t take it all away. The suffering in this world is bigger than any of us can hold, any of us can comprehend. The only antidote is Christ. He is enough. His love is enough. And some day, the healing will come. Until then, let’s be His hands and let’s be real.

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a morning cup of gratitude

Nov 6, 2013 by

I have decided I desperately need to focus on gratitude to keep my heart and mind in a feel-good place.

God is always coming to you in the Sacrament of the Present Moment. Meet and receive Him there with gratitude in that sacrament.
Evelyn Underhill

With that in mind, here are a few things I am grateful for today.

  • My foot is feeling quite good! It is amazing how much stronger it has gotten in just the past few days.
  • My car is really struggling with shifting and misfires, but it is still getting us where we need to go.
  • I am so, so grateful for a washing machine that works. This morning I had a big pile of stinky rags in the sink and I was able to toss them in the washer and they will come out clean and smelling great.
  • My femoral nerve was firing like crazy last night and this morning. I put a new oil on it, Vallee by Butterfly, and it is feeling so much better. Wahoo!
  • This morning one of my children was struggling to be kind. God gave me the vision to see this precious child as His child and not just as a contention causing problem in my life. I was blessed to speak patiently and not get drawn in to the drama and somehow even give a hug.

New eyes. That is what I am praying for. Eyes to see His will AND be okay with it. Will you join with me in prayer that I will be blessed with eyes to see His ways?

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big, fat alligator tears

Nov 5, 2013 by

I had a really rough day yesterday. Menstrual cramps + painful physical therapy + bad news delivered at PT = a bawling mama unable or unwilling to look on the bright side.

I cried a lot.

I yelled in frustration.

I cried some more.

I attended a three hour board meeting for iFamily and did my darndest to serve this organization I helped create and love so much.

I laid in bed with ice packs.

I cried some more.

And then I put on my big girl panties and went downstairs with my ice packs for Family Home Evening with my kiddos and sweetie. We watched an inspiring film about a man of great faith, humility, and generosity. He sacrificed all for the kingdom of God (If you want to watch it, it is called Treasures In Heaven, The John Tanner Story). It touched me deeply and softened my heart towards the God I love. I began to see that I need new eyes. I need to somehow accept that I might not ever stop hurting, that I may continue to lose strength and ability. At the same time I need to do all I can to build strength, to feed myself spiritually, physically, and emotionally. I need to allow God to shore me up.

This morning I am more calm, more peaceful. There may or may not be answers out there for me. I may or may not get better. I may or may not ever get my old life back. But I am not alone – God loves me. Jesus loves me. Richard loves me. Our children love me. My friends love me.

And I love them.

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close your eyes, blinding shoes approaching

Oct 28, 2013 by

After searching all over town for some shoes that will work for my still healing foot and my always healing hip, I have found the pair I will be spending the next many months in.


Yes, they are hot pink. And lime green. And flourescent orange. They are loud. I found a really muted pair I loved, but after wearing them last week at iFamily I knew they wouldn’t work. The steel plate inside made them super stiff, which is great for my bones, but felt like I was walking on concrete. I nearly died of the pain in my non-broken foot. So no go on those ones. Several pairs of shoes later I found these and so far they are feeling great.

Anything is better than a boot, right? Even a super loud, super fun pair of super stiff shoes that look ridiculous with my Sunday clothes?

I’m sure the people at church yesterday (the ones who don’t know my story) thought I was an absolute goofball!

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on the search for a new pair of shoes

Oct 24, 2013 by

Yummo! Breakfast this morning is a parsley and pineapple smoothie along with some Standard Process Complete Powder. I have been craving it lately and it hits the spot every time. If you want to make it for yourself, follow these easy-peasy directions:

Pineapple Parsley Smoothie

  • 1/2 can of pineapple with 1/2 the juice or an equivalent amount of fresh pineapple.
  • 1 big handful of fresh parsley

Fill up your Vitamix/BlendTec/Blender with ice and cold water.

If you have SP Complete, add it in before the ice and water. It is wonderful without it, but I need extra nutrition right now, so I add it in.

Drink down the deliciousness.

On other health news, I am trying hard to drink 3 liters of water every day, consume large quantities of supplements, and eat plenty of red meat which my body is craving, craving, craving. I need to hire someone to get me an elk this year. My brother didn’t get his and I really need a freezer full of elk meat, so if you know someone that likes to hunt, but doesn’t need all the meat point me in their direction.

Update on my foot: I have been out of my boot for the past several days. Big wahoo for bone healing! Now the task is to find a shoe that will support my foot as it continues to heal and won’t injure my hip. This task has taken up much of my time this week and I am ready to shout my head off. It needs to be a very stiff shoe with lots of heel, midfoot, and forefoot support. The shoe needs to do the job of my ligaments. Yesterday I was told I will be in this shoe for six to twelve months. Then I will transition into a normal running/cross-training shoes for another period of many months. Then I will be able to get back in my Danskos and maybe, just maybe I will be able to wear Chacos again in about two years. In normal people this process takes six to twelve weeks. In someone with a connective tissue disorder it takes much, much longer. I was also told this very well may be the pattern of my life…broken foot bones, sixteen weeks in a boot, two years recovering. Because my ligaments are so lax, they are not providing necessary structural support to the bones. My goodness, I should take up stock in Ossur walking boots! It is pretty depressing to think of going through this whole broken foot thing again (and again?!?) The super sad news is I have to wear the super-supportive stiff shoe for many months and can’t wear cute shoes that match my outfits or style of clothes or anything. Church shoes are out the door, heavy-duty cross trainers with skirts is the new look. Oh my, the looks I am going to get.

Time to get up and moving on our school day. Wish me luck in finding my new shoes – it is a seemingly impossible task!

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a few good things

Oct 22, 2013 by

I don’t have a lot of time to post tonight because iFamily is in the morning and I still have a lot to do to get ready since I had physical therapy this afternoon, but I wanted to record a few great things so I can have a bit of cheer in the midst of all my depressing posts.

  • My bedroom is clean! Wahoo! Even better than that, it is looking cuter and cuter all the time. Several years ago I made a decision to turn our bedroom into a calm, peaceful, clutter free zone. It didn’t happen then, but it is happening ever so slowly. I wrote that goal down and it sits in my scriptures where I revisit it often. Many months ago…I think it was February…I saw a turquoise and red bedroom and fell head over heals in love with it. Since then I have been plotting how to transform my room into those colors. It is a slow, slow process. I only have a few pennies to spend on it at a time, so we are using the tortoise approach to the room renovation. Now, progress is definitely being made. I sent Richard on an Ikea trip the other day when he was in Utah and he brought me home two small Expedits and  16 loads of turquoise Drona bins. They are all set up and looking great! I am so pleased with my progress so far…and have even made my bed first thing in the morning the last few days. I deserve gold stars for that one, baby!
  • I had physical therapy today and for the first time in all my appointments, my femoral nerve glided back and forth instead of being stuck in all the fascia. This is super exciting! I still had a small sympathetic nervous system reaction, but nothing huge and was able to walk out of the office. Major progress!
  • I am feeling more like my cheerful, bouncy self from before this injury. I am smiling more often and feeling my heart open up to the world again.
  • I have been more patient with my children this week. More nurturing. More me. It feels so good to have a little bit of me back.

These may seem like small things, but they are pretty darn big to me and now they are recorded so if I have a big ol’ grumpy day next week I can reread and remind myself that rainbows and unicorns are out there somewhere.

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the blue book

Oct 21, 2013 by

Yesterday I spent some time reading my Neal A. Maxwell Quote Book that my mama gave me for my 35th birthday…boy, that seems like a lifetime ago…and I found a lot of comfort in this thought.

Life is a school in which we enrolled not only voluntarily but rejoicingly; and if the school’s Headmaster employs a curriculum – proven, again and again on other planets, to bring happiness to participants – and if we agreed that once we were enrolled there would be no withdrawals, and also to undergo examinations that would truly test our ability and perceptivity, what would an experienced Headmaster do if, later on, there were complaints? Especially if, in His seeming absense, many of the school children tore up their guiding notebooks and demanded that He stop the examinations since these produced some pain?

Pretty profound, eh? I know God is a wise Headmaster. My current examination is definitely one in which I have wanted to rip up the blue book and storm out of the test. But I am grateful I am here in the middle of this experience. I am grateful to be learning these lessons. My only prayer at this point is “Father, help me learn the lessons I need and thy desires for me. Help me use this experience to draw closer to thee, to learn how to listen to thee and obey thy counsels, and most of all, to become closer to the being thou created me to be.”

That is really the point of this life…to become…and if this body full of injury and pain will help me become, then bring it on!

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Oct 18, 2013 by

Blythe came and sat with me the other night while I was passing out and read scriptures to me. She started with Psalms 3:3.

But thou, O Lord, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head.

Yes, O Lord, lift up mine head. I know thou can. I know thou does. I am so grateful for thy lifting.

And thank you Blythe for listening to the Spirit and sharing God’s word with me.

p.s. My hip is still so sore from all the falling down on Wednesday. It feels like a tennis ball is in my hip socket instead of the normal golf ball sized joint that is supposed to reside there.

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these nerves aren’t happy one bit

Oct 17, 2013 by

Oh, how thankful I am for rice packs to warm up my sore muscles and ice packs to take away the inflammation in my hip.

I will be switching the warmth and the cold for the next few hours.

Yesterday was another great day. I attended an awesome presentation by Kami Mitchell of Youth For Freedom fame, taught about D-Day and the Battle of the Bulge in my WWII class, and taught my math class about patterns. I felt really strong and capable.

Then I accidentally locked myself out of my car at the library and Richard had to come rescue me by picking up the big girls and taking them to ballet and church meetings. Then bring me back the spare key…about a 40 mile round trip.

Finally at close to 8:00 p.m. I was almost home and noticed that our church parking lot was full of cars. I remembered I had a teacher training meeting starting at 8:00 and hurriedly pulled in, hauled my zero gravity chair inside, and got ready for the smorgasbord of great teaching I knew was coming.

Close to the end of the meeting the trouble started. Once again my heart rate started going up and down and all around. I started shaking and feeling all tingly and knew I was going to pass out. I have come to dread that feeling, but last night I tried not to fight it. I consciously tried to embrace it and just let it be what it is without any of the crazy-making stuff of my head.

At the end of the meeting my friend John walked up to me and teased me by acting like he was kicking my broken foot. Then he must have noticed the shaking or the whiteness of my face or something because he knelt down beside me and held my hand and calmly asked me what I needed him to do. He quickly called Richard and got him on his way to come to get me and then fed me a banana and cup after cup of water. He wrapped me up in his suit coat and a blanket and then he and another gentleman administered a priesthood blessing.

I am so grateful for his kindness. I couldn’t really communicate much, but John helped me stay calm and safe and taken care of until Richard arrived.

My Relief Society President, Linda, rubbed my quad since it was cramping so badly while other ladies got me some food and water and held my other hand.

I don’t know how many times I passed out last night, it seemed like a never ending cycle of shaking, passing out, shaking, lucidity for a few minutes, shaking, passing out. It lasted a couple of hours and I don’t think I got to bed until about 1:00 a.m.

This morning I am so sore. All the muscles in my body ache with post-charley horse syndrome. If that syndrome doesn’t already exist, I have just named it. It is the feeling that lasts for hours and hours AND hours after a muscle has been tensed for an extraordinarily long time.

Fisher and I are going to curl up with King Arthur and Life of Fred while I help these muscles relax with piles of rice packs. I am hoping it works fast because today is full of music lessons, Kez’s last cross-country meet of the season, and symphony rehearsal tonight.

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all for bertha

Oct 10, 2013 by

What a roller coaster ride! I feel like I am going up and down and all around as I navigate the many curve balls my body throws at me. Yesterday was a great day! I taught my classes at iFamily. I felt strong and my foot hurt less than normal and my hip was in place. So I decided to go to the temple to do Bertha’s ordinances. Bertha has a special place in my heart. She is a Hannigan and I have fallen head over heals in love with the Hannigans. We are planning on doing the sealing ordinances for her husband, Ramsey Obadiah, and their eight children this weekend. All week long I have been thinking of who I could ask to go to the temple for Bertha, but I kept having the thought it should be me. Well, me sitting through an endowment session at the temple is a pretty daunting task given the state of my hip, but since I had such a great day, I decided to do it. I asked my friend Sheri to go with me and boy, howdy am I glad I did.

Halfway through the endowment session, my heart rate started going up, my brain got disoriented, and my lips and hands started tingling. Sheri and Sister Davis (a woman from my stake who handled the whole situation with such grace and calm – she deserves a pile of chocolate) could tell what was going on and went on high alert. Sheri had her arm around me to catch me if I collapsed. Through the miraculous hands of God and His angels, heavenly and earthly, I was able to finish the session and collapsed right into the arms of the man helping me move into the Celestial Room.

Yes, I have now passed out in the Celestial Room. Oh my goodness, part of me is mortified that my body fell apart in this most holy of places, but I am trying to let the mortification go and just focus on how grateful I am that I was able to attend a temple session and the peace and joy that filled my being.

After I recovered, they put me in a wheelchair and pushed me downstairs to change my clothes. Sheri came to the rescue again and got me completely undressed and dressed again while I laid on a cushioned bench. By this point I felt pretty good and I did not want to get back in the wheelchair as it was so irritating to my hip and I was afraid the bad position would make me pass out again. So I walked while the nicest woman from my stake pushed the wheelchair right behind me and Sheri had her arms around my waist.

And I almost made it.

But I didn’t.

I collapsed again right in the doorway from the inside of the temple to the lobby.

Oh my. I just wanted to crawl in a hole and disappear. When I came back to the land of the living strange people were all around me with walkie-talkies. Once again, they put me in the wheelchair and pushed me out of the temple, loaded me into Sheri’s van, and I was safely delivered home by Sheri, the aforementioned super nice woman, and really, the hands of God.

I cannot even contemplate the possibility of not being able to attend the temple anymore. Being in the temple feeds my soul. I must stop passing out so I can go often to my refuge from the world.

Things I want to remember

  • Sister Davis, the super nice woman who helped me, is in my Stake Relief Society Presidency, and I don’t think knew who I was until two weeks ago when I collapsed at the Relief Society broadcast. She was one of the ladies who checked on me that night as I lay on on the floor of the church hallway and found out all about my passing out and how to handle it. Somehow she was officiating at the temple last ngiht and recognized me immediately. She appointed herself my angel and tried her best to help me by giving me special chairs that would help my hip. She immediately sensed something was wrong when my heart rate started accelerating and thoughtfully came and stood by me in case I fell down. She was amazing. I am so, so grateful she was with me and able to calmly handle the whole situation.
  • Sheri is now a pro in the whole passing out arena. She calmly helped me finish the endowment session, monitoring my heart rate and skin color. She got me laid down in the Terrestrial Room before I passed out. She helped the temple staff know what was going on and didn’t cause a panic. She listened to the Lord and helped me in every way possible. I am so grateful she was willing to attend the temple with me and take care of my body when it fell apart.
  • Yesterday was the 20th anniversary of the day I received my endowment. I didn’t realize that till we were already in the temple and it made it all the more special to be there helping Bertha make covenants with God on the same day and in the same place I made those same covenants so long ago.
  • God loves me. He knows exactly what is going on with my body and He has a purpose for this whole situation. I don’t understand it all right now, but I feel trust in the deepest parts of me that I am in His keeping.

Thank you to everyone who has been praying for me. Please keep ’em coming. I can go from feeling terrific to lying on the floor with my clothes all skiwampus in a matter of moments.

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what we ask for and what we get

Oct 8, 2013 by

Google has given me a clean bill of health, so I get to share my thoughts with all of you again. Yippee-kie-aye! I thought maybe my site was back up last week, but it wasn’t clean for realsies. But now, it is actually up and running and I can talk with all of you again. I have missed you. I have missed Liz’s lovely, encouraging, faith-filled comments. I miss the comradery we share when something I say resonates with your heart. I have missed sharing our homeschool days and hoping my words will reach out and bless your family. I have missed being strengthened and loved and commiserated with.

So, here is the deal. A lot has happened since 9/13 when my site went down. We have two birthdays, lots of cross-country meets, a symphony, several passing out episodes, lots of books discovered and enjoyed, and get this, WE DEEP-CLEANED THE SCHOOL ROOM! All of this has not been blogged about and probably won’t be blogged about. I have teensy-tinsy bits of time to write my thoughts down and I know I will not be able to catch up if I try to go back almost a month.

So, we will start fresh. Hmmmm. Do I even have any thoughts to share? The excitement of having my little home on the interwebs back is all I can think of at the moment. Hmmm, what could I share that would bless someone?

Ah, yes, this quote from this weekend’s General Conference spoke to me…maybe it will speak to you as well?

Sometimes when we plead for relief, we are given resolve and endurance.

When Elder Bednar spoke those words, my heart welled up with gratitude because I know, deep down in the marrow of my bones know, that they are true. I cannot tell you the number of times I have cried out to the God I love and begged for relief from the pain in my hip. Many, many times He has sent relief. Many times He has helped me sleep. Many, many times the pain has lessened. But just as often, the pain has stayed and the perspective has shifted and I have been blessed with the strength to endure.

I know right now that I have nothing left within me to endure. I have been consistently grumpy for almost two months. I have been exasperated with life for weeks on end. I have been rude to grocery store clerks, gas station attendants, and pharmacists. I have been so, so incredibly impossible to live with. I have almost given up the idea that I will ever be out of pain. The passing out is getting more frequent, the dislocations are spreading to more joints, my nerves are getting more irritated, and many times, it is almost overwhelming. But somehow, I keep going. Somehow I keep trying. And that somehow isn’t me. It is God. I have nothing left. When left to my own devices I am cantankerous, impatient, and out of hope. But in God’s hands, I feel cherished. Blessed. Endowed with His light. His goodness and His mercy and His eternal perspective are all that are getting me through.

Tomorrow marks the fourteenth week of my broken foot and this is the twentieth month of my hip injury. As of tomorrow, I have been passing out for ten months. God’s strength is all I have left.

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tender mercies = hope

Sep 16, 2013 by

I went to church yesterday – three weeks in a row for me which is super exciting. One of the worst parts of this whole injury adventure has been missing church so often. There have been many, many weeks where my body is not able to make it through the whole three hours.

Anyway, while I was sitting in Sunday School in my magic chair my sympathetic nervous system response was triggered and my limbs started going numb, heart was racing, and my brain felt so strange. I don’t really know what triggered it. My hip was hurting quite a bit more than normal. It dislocated last Tuesday and hasn’t felt very well since then, but I thought I would be fine sitting in my chair.

Well, after a while I thought I was fine and had Richard move my stuff to my next meeting, Relief Society. I continued to feel a little weird, but not too bad, so I really thought I was okay, but I wasn’t. When he came back to get me I passed out in his arms. He held me for a while until I thought I was okay again and Blythe brought the car over to the side of the building we were on. I took a few steps out to the hallway and collapsed right in the middle of a group of people – clear to the floor. I am sure my dress was skewampus and my underwear was probably showing and drool was probably running out my mouth. Oh my. I hate it when that happens. I am an extrovert extreme and I don’t mind attention being showered on me, but I REALLY don’t like this kind of attention. I hate frightening people and I hate causing a scene and I hate being so completely incapable of getting myself where I want to go. I was told three men got me out to the car and Blythe and Richard got me into bed where I stayed for the rest of the day with numb arms and legs.

I am so, so tired of this whole body falling apart thing, but even in the midst of this experience, my heart is overwhelmed with the reality of my blessings. There have been numerous blessings, far too many to count, that have come because of this injury. Here is a tender mercy from last night.

One of the men who got me to the car brought over warm Snickerdoodle cookies last night. I felt super loved and want to shower them with streamers and confetti. It is amazing to me how many thoughtful people there are in the world. That little bit of cookie magic did much to wipe away my children’s fears and bring some laughter and hope into their lives. It has to be incredibly scary for my children, even my big girls, to watch their mother collapse right in front of their eyes time and time again. They have seen me seize, pass out, be unable to walk, sob in pain, have endless doctor’s appointments, seen Richard cry for me and with me, heard public prayers for me, and so much more. As much as I try to protect them from the whole thing, they know their mother is not the bastion of strength and fortitude they used to think she was. Don’t all children think their parents are invincible? Don’t we all want to believe our parents can do anything and protect us from all foes. Well, I think a large part of that has been erased for my children and I weep for that part of childhood being whisked away. But last night, after a long day of fears, they were given a bit of magic. They know they are loved and that our family is in God’s hands. They know we are prayed for. They know their mother will keep smiling and keep reading to them and keep playing games with them, even when she is in pain. They know that their church community will reach out to them. They know their father will do everything he can for them. They haven’t lost hope, that powerful belief that changes everything, yet…and I intend to do everything I can to help them always have it.

And the cookies are part of that…thank you to the Hansen family…you guys are gems!

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learning the golden rule

Sep 11, 2013 by

These injuries have given me an opportunity to see human nature up close and personal. I see the good and the bad, the caring and the selfish, the supportive and the flippant parts of people every day…including in myself.

I have been deeply loved and tenderly cared for in ways that would have been incomprehensible to me two years ago. Friends, family, and complete strangers have filled my heart with their honest concern, long hours of service, and patience with my injuries. I have been so, so blessed. I have people who pray for me on a daily basis. I have people who have dropped everything in their life to help me. I have people who keep cheering me on and who are doing everything they can to help me push those giving-up feelings out of my heart. They speak words of encouragement. They show compassion. They help me feel capable while filling in all the gaps of things I can’t do. They remind me of who I am on the inside and what my body used to be before this injury. They are angels and I am so, so grateful for their hands and hearts that have lifted me through this journey.

And then there are others who aren’t kind and helpful. People who stand around and watch me haul a big, awkward box of food across the parking lot at Sam’s with my small children skipping ahead and my broken foot dragging behind (yes, a man who looked fit and healthy did just that today, who knows, maybe he suffers from angina). People who are irritated when I say I can’t do something because it will hurt my body. People who roll their eyes when I talk to them. People who ask how I am and walk away long before I can respond. People who treat me like I am invisible when I am in my chair (yes, people treat me differently now…they act like they can’t see me…they run into my chair and don’t even seem to notice…they don’t make eye contact with me…I have become one of those “handicapped” people that “real” people don’t have time for). People who lecture me. People who have no patience for the long nature of these injuries…they want it fixed TODAY and don’t understand why I am not all better yet. People who get frustrated by how slowly I walk or how long it takes me to bag up my groceries at the store – to them I have lost personhood and am simply an inconvenience. People who don’t talk to me (a few months ago I attended church and not a single soul spoke to me through the whole women’s meeting even though I was lying on the floor in plain view and hadn’t been there in weeks). People who are too busy to care.

Sometimes when I encounter people like this I am able to have compassion for them because I know they just don’t understand how they are treating me. Sometimes I am able to laugh about it.

Tonight I am crying about it. I don’t know why I am crying, I just am. I tried to talk to Richard about my disappointment with the man at Sam’s Club today, but I can’t explain it, not really. I feel this sadness that people can treat one another so casually, without connection. I realize that I have treated others casually and even callously and it breaks my heart. Now I know what it feels like to be forgotten, discarded, and demeaned and I know I have treated others in that same way.

There are many good things that have come out of these injuries. I hope one of those good things is that I have learned and grown in my ability to let my heart connect with others, to be part of building others up. I don’t want to be one of those people who sees people as inconveniences or invisibles or incapables. I want to lift and love.

This quote by my favorite author reminds me of who each of us is and how I should see others…as children of God. It is a lesson I want to stop needing to relearn and instead always remember to live…and then I want to stop needing to remember because I have been transformed so thoroughly that it is who I am.

It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest, most uninteresting person you talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare. All day long we are, in some degree helping each other to one or the other of these destinations. It is in the light of these overwhelming possibilites, it is with the awe and the circumspection proper to them, that we should conduct all of our dealings with one another, all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics. There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations – these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit – immortal horrors or everlasting splendors.

C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory

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love notes

Aug 31, 2013 by

Remember the one year anniversary of my hip injury? A few of my friends had a gator bites party to celebrate survival and friendship and laughter and service and sisterhood. They made me this poster, full of words of love and encouragement, which has been leaning on the wall up above my bed for months.


Well, now I am cleaning…ahem, DEEP cleaning my room. It is taking me many, many days to do it because I can’t be up on my foot for very long, but I am doing it. We have already moved out the 34 buckets of wheat that were behind my bed in the corner and rearranged the bed to be at 90 degree angles with the walls instead of the 45 degrees it has been at since 2007. We have cleaned out everything under the bed and made a new rule that nothing, nada, zilch can be under the bed. I have scrubbed walls and baseboards and windows. I have found a pillow at TJMaxx that I love and redesigned a whole new bedding ensemble around it with Kohl’s gift cards. I am on the final day of cleaning…the part I hate most…the putting away of the things that were under the bed that have no place to go, no home of their own (which is why they were stuffed under the bed in the first place)…and it is time to put the love note poster somewhere else.

But I don’t ever want to lose these words. I don’t ever want to not have them to buoy me up. So, I will record them here…then I can reread them even when the poster is buried in the storage room behind brown rice and nine-grain cereal.

I love you Tracy! Keep your head up! Hope you get functioning fully soon! Call me if you need some Deep Blue or anything else! Nicolett

LOVE YOU! LOVE YOU! LOVE YOU! Thank you for everything that YOU do for ME! I wouldn’t be who I am if it weren’t for you. You are such a great friend. Love you again! Love, Kari

You are such an inspiration for all of us! Your trial has built the built the faith of this whole community you have helped to create with endless hours. God loves you, as many of us do! He is building and creating the beautiful you that He sees! Love, Renee

Tracy! You can do anything! You are a great example! We love you!!!!! Love, Joy

We love you SO much!! Love, Annette, Emily, and Rachel

Miss Tracy, I love you so. I admire you so. You are always in my heart. I think you are amazing and even though you often don’t think so, you have handled things with such grace. I am blessed to call you friend. Love, Amy Dawn

Tracy, my dear-larger-than-life-friend, thank you for the celebration! You know how to create joy and enlightenment wherever and however you land. I love you. Sherry

Thank you for supporting me after my mother’s death. In an odd way, loving on you was exactly what I needed to get me through my sad time. xoxoxo Sarah

p.s. Jill says “Are we going to visit Miss Tracy?”

Tracy, SO love you! Thank you so much for your spirit that is so full of light that you share with all of us even though you are in pain. Thank you for not giving up. We all need you. Love, Keri

I can’t believe I am dressed up in public with others who are also dressed up IN PUBLIC! It must be because I love & adore you. Happy Hippie Party hot stuff. xoxo Jessica

Tracy My Love, I am so so proud of you. This past couple of years have been so full of growth and stretching, but keep stretching like taffy! I love you. I am so grateful for everything you are and all that you stand for. You teach me so much. I love you, I love you, I love you! Katherine

I have amazing friends. They are a huge blessing to me and give me strength in so many ways. There are many, many others whose messages aren’t written on this board, but are written on my heart. Friends who have hugged me, loved on my children, brought in meals, cleaned my home, held my hand through prolozone injections, listened to me cry, rant, and rave, prayed for me, sent me emails that brightened my day, supported my efforts to make a difference in the world with Make It For Maggie and other service projects, paid for doctor’s appointments, held me while my body passes out, smile at me across the room, and so much more. Friends have made such an enormous difference during this injury and I want them each to know what a life-line you have been to me. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

I love all of you.

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porcupine quills

Aug 29, 2013 by

After a long week of repeatedly feeling irritated, grumptastic, and lashing out at people, I have decided a few things. I am a giant ball of crabbiness. I am not morbidly depressed, I am not even a little depressed – no, I am up to my eyeballs in AAAARRRRGGGHHHH. I need Jessica’s porcupine to illustrate this post. Maybe I should order a hundred of them and hand them out to all my loved ones who are getting poked with my quills.

This morning as my dear sweetie listened to me apologize yet again for my grumpiness, he gave me his cute little smile, a kiss on my nose, and these words of wisdom.

“Trace, it is okay. You cannot do what you want to do. You cannot do what you feel you need to be doing to run this home and mother our children. You are in pain and it is wearing you down. It is okay. I love you. Our children love you. God loves you. I think you are doing great. I can’t imagine how frustrating it must be to have a long list of things to do and not be able to do them because your foot hurts too badly. I don’t see how you have kept your chin up for so long. You have been in pain for a long, long time and it is okay if you are grumpy.”

Pretty darn sweet, eh? Also pretty undeserved because really I am one prickly pear lately. But his words have been swirling around in my head today, replaying, being torn apart and put back together, and I have realized a few things.

I have been in significant amounts of pain since mid-April 2011. We are almost at 2 1/2 years of pain. There is one small window from about December 2011 – February 2012 where I was feeling great. The breast lump pain was finally gone and the hip pain hadn’t started. I took up running and early morning strength training. I had a fairly clean house and a fairly good system for keeping it that way. I felt on top of things. And then my hip was injured and it has all been downhill since then.

Sure, I can beat myself up (and believe me, I have been giving myself some good undercuts to the chin) every time I feel irritated with one of my precious children or impatiently respond to them. But this afternoon, I am trying to give myself some love. I am trying to let my logical mind convince my guilt-ridden heart that I am dealing with a lot and I should give myself a break.

I can’t umph my way through this. The pain is too much. I can’t stay on my foot for very long and when it is done for the day, I have to stay completely off it till it is rested. I can’t heal it and I can’t overcome it. I have to live with it. I have to modify my life to cater to my body’s needs. And that is hard. On the days my hip is flared up, I can’t walk hardly at all. It is almost too much to just go to the bathroom. But people don’t see that part of it. They only see me when I am up. When I am dressed. When the pain is manageable. So, it seems I am doing okay. And some days I am okay, not great, but okay. But often, I am not okay. Often I am covered in ice packs and moaning in bed. Often I cannot think straight enough to find the right words (Kat says she always knows when I am hurting a lot because I cannot utilize my normal vocabulary). Often I cannot sleep because my shoulder or elbow or ribs are dislocated. Often I want to scream.

I am an exuberant, joyful person and I have a huge smile on my face most of the time, but truth be told, it is getting harder and harder for that smile to stay there. It doesn’t leap to my face like it used to – drawing the world in and radiating my love. There is a reticence that I don’t think I have ever experienced before. I look at the wrinkles etched deep into my face and I think, “those are from the last 18 months of pain” – for I have aged over the course of this injury. I no longer look like a young lass. I have a plethora of white hairs. I am worn out. I feel beaten down. It is hard to stay positive when I am continually wincing. How did my grandmother do it? How did she keep smiling and loving and laughing when she was in pain?

I have decided to reimmerse myself in my core books of scripture and my relationship with God. I need to spend time every day drinking in truth and hope and love from my Savior. I need to spend more time listening to Him and learning from Him. So, on tap for me is morning scripture study and a dedicated prayer session. All alone. Well, not all alone, just me and God talking together without the distractions of people.

Another decision is to focus on really giving my children my heart during our learning time and not letting myself be distracted by my to-do list. As we are getting ready to start our fall schedule in a few days, I have been pondering how I want our days to flow. A big part of the flowing is my fully-present heart and the softness in my eyes and the gentle excitement in my voice and the magic of a mom and child learning together.

Pain is wearing me down, but it hasn’t beat me. I still have trust. I still have hope. I still have love…all mushed together with some grumpiness…but that is okay, I am going to try to increase the love I am sending out, the gratitude I let my thoughts marinate in, and the words of truth I take in from The Lord. Maybe then the grumpiness will dissipate?

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yes, it is broken

Aug 16, 2013 by

I don’t think I have adequately announced it to the world…it got lost in everything else…


I fell off a barstool back on July 3rd and wondered for the next three weeks if it was broken or not. I finally went in to my favorite foot doctor the day before my scheduled departure for the mountains and he found the break in the 4th metatarsal. I had already been wearing a walking boot for about a week at that point and had been wrapping it up in vet wrap for the two weeks prior, but it wasn’t getting better. If anything, the pain was getting worse by the day. We still aren’t really sure what is wrong because it should be getting better by now and it is not. It is quite possible I have a torn ligament in my foot which is only discoverable with an MRI. Even if I don’t have a torn ligament, it is pretty much a given that my ligaments aren’t doing their job to hold the broken bone together while it heals and thus healing is going to take a lot longer than normal. I have been told (but I am trying so hard to let the fear around this go) that it very well may not heal at all because of the ligament laxity and I will have to have foot surgery and pins inserted to hold the bone together. None of this will be figured our for weeks and weeks more. It is all so discouraging.

My hip doctor was quite nervous about me being in a boot and stressed to me that it is absolutely essential for my hip sockets to be level within 1/16 of an inch or the pubic symphysis will break, the labral tear will flare up again, and my femoral nerve will start short-circuiting my nervous system on a regular basis. Thus started a seven hour search for a shoe that was within 1/16 of an inch of my walking boot height. It was not pretty. I ranted and raved to Kat about it, then got to work going to a gazillion stores and asking shoe fitters to please lie down on the floor and measure the difference between my two feet with teensy-tiny rulers. After about five hours of this and having NO SUCCESS AT ALL, I completely fell apart and bawled my eyes out and called Kat and asked her to rescue me. I hadn’t eaten in all this time and I thought if I had some nourishment maybe some of my brain cells and hopefully some of my determination would return to me. Kat came and whisked me away for some food with her and her children, then she surprised me by taking me in her van to more shoe stores. She said I was unfit to be left alone in my ready-to-give-up-and-melt-into-a-puddle condition. Armed with her confidence and ingenuity we started searching again. By the time we found a shoe that would work we had five salespeople and Kat on the floor measuring, constructing paper devices to accurately solve the how-tall-is-the-walking-boot problem, and me past the point of being able to speak or make decisions at all. Thank goodness for super-hero Kat…I could not have made it through the day without her.

The next day we set off on our trip a day late and many dollars short, but I had my boot, I had my shoe, I had a big stack of books to read, and promises made to stay off my foot as much as humanly possible.

I did stay off my foot very well and it was doing great while I was up there. Since I have been home it has been another story. There is so much to do in running a home and I am up on it much more here than I was while camping. My goal is to stay off it as much as I can for the next three weeks and cover it with oils, BF&C, take my supplements to regrow bone, and pray hard for healing.

If it isn’t significantly better in three weeks I don’t know what to do. iFamily starts. Gym starts. Homeschool starts. I am needed.

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