My People

My People
My matched set of grandchildren - Oliver and Cosette

Thursday, February 17, 2011

thankful for therapy thursday

Ok... I'll go ahead and say it... Physical Therapy helped. I doubted it. My doctor doubted it... but it definitely made a difference. It hurt right afterwards... but this morning I have less pain than I've had in a long time. I have appointments to go twice next week... and we'll see how it goes. The objective is to build my core muscles (i.e. abdominals) to take some of the strain off of my spine. The problems I have are chronic... meaning they'll always be there... so the goal is to do whatever I can to alleviate stress on my back. I'm on board with that! The good news is that I'm still young enough to be able to workout... still flexible enough to do things like pull my knees up to my chest - which, surprisingly, actually feels good. I have been so sore and so afraid to move that I haven't done things that, surprisingly, are beneficial. The Physical Therapist (Pam) taught me a few exercises that I can do on my own to build my stomach muscles without putting any stress on my back... I mean... obviously, I can't do things like sit ups and that's what you would think of as the best exercise to build stomach muscles... so she showed me other things that work. I'm relieved... it feels like a light at the end of the tunnel.

I was hoping for a little cha-ching in the mail this week so I've been checking the mailbox every morning before work. No cha-ching yet... *sadface*... but both Tuesday morning and yesterday morning I had some fun things in my mailbox. On Tuesday I got a letter and photo from my grandmother... and yesterday I got a valentine from her sister, my great-aunt Bette - the two of them are my Steel Magnolias... beautiful, strong, delicate... and I really took that as a sign that God was sending me encouragement from two women who I KNOW have endured great hardships in life with beauty, grace and great faith. I made sure to write them both back yesterday and let them know just how precious it is to me to hear from them.

I also had a postcard from Mr. Drake and that always makes my day! I love snail mail!

I have really struggled with my limitations over the past few weeks... I'm frustrated that it hurts to take wet laundry out of the washer... it hurts to move my arms at all so even driving hurts... it hurts to take out the trash... it hurts to bend to empty the dishwasher. It hurts to sit at my desk at work. It hurts to walk. It hurts to stand for any length of time. I've whined a lot on here about the fact that I'm IN PAIN... but I don't think I've really talked about what those limitations mean to me. There is no significant other in my life... there's no one to take up the slack. There is only Austin and he is really. really. really. no help. If anything, he increases my burden. BUT ... I say all of that to say this: Yesterday there were two situations... no, three... brought to my attention where there are big, hairy, scary, major, life changing and potentially life ENDING circumstances going on... and it gave me a little perspective.

Yes... my worst thing is overwhelming to me... but I thank God that what I'm facing is manageable, treatable, liveable, not fatal, not devastating... and I stopped whining about my own problems long enough to spend a little time in prayer for someone other than myself. It was a great blessing to me... to be able to use that platform... to ask for grace, mercy, providence, protection, peace... in the lives of others... and an even greater blessing to have confidence that there IS a God and He DOES hear my prayers and He DOES answer them and that no matter how powerless I may feel at times... there is always hope, as long as I have faith to hold on to.

The darker the night, the brighter the light. You notice the light at the end of the tunnel because the tunnel is so dark. If the tunnel were brightly lit... you wouldn't be as acutely aware of the end approaching... you might not see that resolution on the way. Five weeks ago, the day this all started, I prayed that God would show me His power in a mighty way. Be careful what you ask for, right? However... I believe that this was going to happen, regardless, and that prayer was for me, the Holy Spirit preparing my heart and spirit for this new journey. I have, without a doubt, seen His power and I continue to see it each and every day... in every act of kindness, in every prayer lifted up for me, in every word of encouragement, every card that comes in the mail, every email, text, phone call... He is there. And His power is evident. Maybe... just maybe... because I choose to focus on the light, instead of the tunnel.

I'll say it again for those who don't share my faith... if I get to the end of this life and I discover that the end is really the end and there is no after life, there is no Heaven and there is no hell... or perhaps I find that the path I chose wasn't the right one... then I will have STILL lived a much better life by having had something to believe in, somewhere to place my faith, by having hope and belonging to a community of people who also have that hope.

That's what I'm thankful for today. Love and hugs!