Wednesday morning I woke up feeling strangely–it was as though I had been through a trauma of some kind. I was super sore and achy and just uncomfortable. The side of my nose, that I can feel, hurt and was really swollen, plus my bad shoulder and my right arm had large, fresh bruises on them. I went into the bathroom and suddenly it all came back to me…
Jay and I had fallen asleep watching a movie and when we got up to go to bed, my balance left me out of the blue and my knees buckled out from under me, causing me to literally face plant into our coffee table. Blood gushed out of my nose and onto the carpet as I cried from the pain of hitting my face and permanently-sore shoulder and messed up arm. Jay rushed to help me and after assessing the damage, he cleaned me up and tucked me into bed. It seems the poor guy can hardly get a restful moment! The morning after, I had dried blood under my swollen nose and a black and blue body.
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Ugh. This is my life now. I didn’t do anything different than normal, but my legs are just not as sturdy at night and my balance is worse as well. Both of these factors make me more susceptible to a fall.
In general, I get around pretty well. I can only walk about 20 feet before my legs give out, but that’s really all you need for most of life’s activities. In places where we know I would need to walk further (airports, sight-seeing, strolling around Culver City, etc.), I always use a wheelchair to get around.
The fall freaked us out a little bit. Jay worries that this could happen again and our guard is down a bit because I haven’t had a serious fall in many months. I start thinking about the future and I get freaked out. What will this look like in 10, 15, or 30 years?
How much balance will ever I regain?
Even as I type these words I get a lump in my throat because I recognize that I might always be like this. A part of my brain was removed in my life-saving surgery (the cerebellum) and that’s the part that controls balance and coordinates muscle movements. Now, I know all there is to know about neuroplasticity and the re-wiring of the brain that can take place over time, but doubts and sadness still leave even this optimist a little down.
I fast-forward in my life…
Example: When James was born, my mother-in-law, Mary Ruth, came in to town after my own mom left. She came out to meet her new grandson and help me settle in as a new mother. She would clean, help care for James, and just go through my new daily routine with me. Her mother had done the same for her after the birth of her 4 children. I’m not sure that I would ever be able to do that for James’ wife. Oh, that stings. I can no longer take care of people on a physical level–they have to take care of me now.
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Wednesday mid-morning, I forced James to get outside and enjoy the California sunshine and gorgeous weather we were having that day. I figured we could both use it (I was feeling a little blue both physically and emotionally). I left the door cracked where I could see him and sent him out. A few minutes past, and I went to check on him. I glanced out there and saw him sound asleep on the couch on our porch. Isn’t that hilarious? That little cutie truly relaxed in the CA sunshine!
I couldn’t help but laugh, text pictures to my friends and make Jay take this photo…
Oh to be a child without a care in the world, so content in the life he finds in that moment to just curl up and drift off into peaceful sleep in the midday sun. But as a child of God, shouldn’t we all have the experience that all is well in the world with our loving Father in control, so much so that we can stretch out and take a delicious nap in the light of the restful “son”?
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As a little Epilogue to this story, this gorgeous song ended our wonderful Sunday morning church service yesterday, sung by Bel Air Pres’ worship band member, the angelic-voiced Caitlin Coffelt; it’s called “Restless”:
“I’m restless, ’til I rest in You”
OK, I get it.