Me: "Who has the best seat in the house, me or daddy?"

Adam: "Well, Daddy's is nice, but yours is best. Your's is squishier."

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Back to Gratitude

I took a wrong turn the other day.
(Not on the road, though I totally made us late for my 7AM ultrasound by having Guy go to the wrong city). 
My wrong turn was that I let go of my commitment not to complain
 (to be very clear here, I DO express my feelings about what is happening, and even talk about what is hard, but I haven't wanted to go to the "why me?" pity party).   I didn't plan on it or anything, but I'd had a really rough morning.  I had been bumbling around our ridiculously poorly designed kitchen in my wheelchair, trying to scramble some eggs.  Every move I wanted to make took twenty moves to execute.  I finally sat right there by the stove and ate, but for some reason afterward I blacked out.  I felt my eyes roll up in my head and my head flop over.  I was alone with poor Tessa and Jonah, and she was the only help I had.  I asked her for water, and she brought me a kiddie cup with about 2 tablespoons of water in it.  I drank it and said "more, sweetie, lots more".  She gave me more, and then I had her wheel me to the couch.  I rolled off the wheelchair onto the couch and then taught her how to call 911 in case I really passed out.  She told me later that she ran down to her room to pray for me.  My heart broke that she felt so scared.
A while later as I was trying to call a resistant Jonah to me to change his sopping wet diaper, the doctor called to schedule another test.  Suddenly Tessa began to wail and came running to me with a large cut on her heal.  She had slipped on the old wooden stairs in the garage.  I couldn't hear the man on the phone over her sobbs, Jonah ran wild, and Tessa couldn't be calmed enough to get the bandages so I could help her.
I felt like a helpless child.
I called my neighbor/friend Denise to come patch up Tessa, and implored her to change Jonah while she was here.  In those moments the seeds of frustration got a foothold.  I complained.
Not just to Denise, but to a couple of other people, too.  Krista came later to take me to a blood test, and I audaciously vented my woes.  My sweet sister-in-law called and I gave her an earful too.  I was in full whine mode.
And a very sorry thing happened.  I felt all the strength and courage I had been mustering these past many weeks drain out of me like a leaky air mattress.  I began to feel like a victim.  I filled with darkness.  A feeling of despair and shame and embarrassment came over me like a storm cloud. 
From that time on for the next few days I felt ashamed at every call and visit that came with offers to help.  I understood why I had lost my grip; fatigue and feeling out of control is wearing on a soul, but that didn't take away the feeling of loss that I suddenly felt.  I had lost hold of the medicine that has been keeping me afloat; the hope and faith and energy that was keeping my nose above water.
There is a quote from Anne of Green Gables, "To despair is to turn your back on God".  I realized I had to shift back to that place of gratitude that has seen me through much harder days than these past few.  I had to apologize for willingly letting go of peace and opening my heart to discouragement; to others, to God and to myself.  I recommitted to stand in a place of gratitude and to use that as a platform from every interaction, regardless of what might be happening in my body.
It is amazing how much energy I wasted in those few days.  It was very draining to be negative.  It dawned on me that I had actually undermined my own healing pace, and in doing so cut myself off from the one bit of control I have in this situation; I may not be able to change what is happening in my body, but I don't need to create a nasty chemical soup in my bloodstream for my body and baby to marinade in.  The best chance I have at getting better is to hang on to hope and peace and gratitude; to fill my body with endorphins and my heart with the Spirit.

Test results have been coming in the days since.  A leg scan that only showed small improvement, but at least no decline. Baby still looks great.  A new challenge has popped up, with ferocious muscle spasms in my back that seem to have no explanation.  After 6 hours of tazer-like jolts in my back last night I was pretty worn out, but my heart was okay, because I have found my gratitude again.  I refuse to let this new challenge change who I can become. 

I listened to conference today from the tub, where I spent almost 5 hours today to control the spasms.  It turns out the muscle relaxants they gave me aren't very safe with my other medication (of course!) so I may become a mermaid before this baby is born.  But that's okay.  I am back to gratitude.

Loving on Krista's little Lainey while Krista graciously cleaned my kitchen.


A special request for prayers for my dear friend Stephanie who was diagnosed with cancer yesterday.  I know she will be blessed, but I can't imagine how hard this is for her.  Please pray for her and send her healing thoughts.


Lynne said...

Hi Laine -- I'm so sorry for all these trials you're having. You're handling them much better than I ever could and I think you look really beautiful in that picture at the bottom of the post!

Christina said...

Oh, I am so sorry to hear about Stephanie. Let her know I will add her to my prayers. I'm sorry the pregnancy is going so rough, but you're definitely one that can handle it. I am constantly impressed with your faith and strength.