Tuesday, September 22, 2009
It's been a year ...
Last year I found myself in terrible pain. I thought I had injured my leg somehow. After a visit to the doctor, then later that day Urgent Care and finally the next day ER for an MRI it was confirmed I had herniated a disk and part of it had actually ruptured and fallen off. It took morphine to take the pain away. I had to stay in the hospital until I could get off morphine. I went in on a Saturday afternoon--I waited until all the soccer games were over. Timo and Izak went to the BYU home with my brother-in-law Nate since Tim was taking me to the hospital. My mom took care of the other kids at home. Some of my dear friends came to the hospital Sunday to see me. It was very touching and confirmed what I felt all along. Everything would be alright.
When we went to the ER I told Tim that I wasn't moving until they were ready for me. It was so painful to move and I was okay in the reclining position in the car. I remember as they put me on an ER bed that I just prayed, "please help me learn what I need to learn from this." It was so painful why let this learning experience go to waste? I don't really know how I did what I did to my back, the back doctor said that I could have sneezed and it could have happened. That makes me a little nervous still.
It took over month on several heavy pain killers until I had surgery and within 2 weeks I was done with all medications. During that time I received so much help. Tim was able to work from home and my mom was able to come out quite a bit. I couldn't lift Gwen for over 2 months. Tim's family and our neighbors filled in the gaps and fed us regularly.
So what did I learn during this time? I felt no worries, really I knew I would be alright from the beginning. What a gift from God, the peace that all would turn out alright. I went to several specialists until we all decided surgery was best and my only remaining side effect is some strength in my foot and a little bit of nerve damage which lets me know the change in temperature. I am very grateful. I remember twisting to get something after I had my surgery and thinking, "that didn't hurt, awesome!"
I learned MORE gratitude for Heavenly Father and my Savior Jesus Christ. They were there in my pain helping me cope. I have had 7 babies, all but one without drugs, I understand pain but this was so intense and I wasn't getting a baby out of it and I didn't know when it would end.
I learned I could trust Him and my Savior Jesus Christ. They made good on their promises of comfort and peace. They inspired good people to help me and my family. They did not leave me alone in my trial. My new doctor asked me how I did back surgery with 7 kids. I told her how wonderful everyone was and I was able to just get better. She was amazed. These people I know are true saints, true followers of Christ. I remember one friend just dropping off a cinnamon roll and an orange juice for breakfast. It made me feel so loved. A simple, thoughtful act.
That's the another thing I learned, simple is good. I remember people wanting to come clean the house--it really needed it but my kids needed ownership in my recovery. So instead some helped paint Gwen's table and chairs pink that we gave her for her birthday, others drove my kids places, took Gwen for the day, called to see how was...and it wasn't just the first week. It was the whole 3 months. Simple thoughtful acts. I know others prayed for me, and wow that is a blessing that I can never measure.
I learned to slow down and the importance of quiet time. Do you take time to be quiet each day? I try to take time each day--sitting in the bathroom doesn't really count. If I take time to ponder and let the spirit inspire me I feel closer to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. This in turn brings me greater satisfaction in my life, and things don't get me down. I feel more hope in my trials something I dearly miss when I let myself get too busy during the day. Part of slowing down, I learned I don't have to get everything done. I tend to set my sights high each day but now I am less that way, I do have things some days that HAVE to get but I try to limit myself to one of those a week!:)
I learned I need to take care of myself. Ya, we all know it but how many of us really do it? I still struggle with this at times but I am determined to be better at taking care of myself.
I learned that I have things I need to change. I had a lot of time to lay around thinking. I don't mean in a critical way but in a hey this is what I could do better which would make my life easier and happier way.
Even though I learned these things and more, I am learning that I have forgotten a bit. So even though it's only a year later I needed to REMEMBER these things to not waste the lessons I learned.
(the photo is of me the day I came home from the hospital, my sister-in-law Liz sent me the fruit bouquet with the balloon, so very thoughtful)