I’ve been here before …

Even the DARKEST night will end and the sun will RISE

I’ve been here before. Pain unrelenting, rising and falling unpredictably, bringing life to a halt. Flashes of pain strike like lightning to cripple each moment. Stiffness screaming for relief while straining for every inch of movement.

I’ve been here before. Tears flowing down my face at 3am while the rest of the world sleeps. Uncomfortable no matter how I place myself. Pain shouting louder, as it does with most things after midnight. How long will it last this time? When will relief come?

I’ve been here before. The isolation and discomfort. Watching the world go by as life gives way to survival. Bystanders confused as to why these bones don’t bounce like the rest; unaware of the complications of a chronic illness, poor immune system and low bone density. Once again, that which sounds simple is not. There is good reason why I’ve been told not to fall.

I’ve been here before. Disappointment and cancellations. Struggling to let go of expectations of the ‘shoulds’ and ‘have to’s’ of life. Letting down the family yet again. Or at least that how it feels sometimes. Trying desperately hard to keep going where it really counts. Playing games on the bed and reading books. Being available for a cuddle. If I can grimace through the pain.

I’ve been here before. Coping with moments and with days but days turn to weeks and weeks may turn to months. As the mental drain ebbs and flows, the torment of the mind is often greater than the pain. The exhaustion of pain begging for rest that doesn’t come.

I’ve been here before. Whether days, weeks or months, I know the pain will ease. Or at least, I live with hope that life will resume again and rebuilding will take place.

I’ve been here before.  Though I don’t want to be here and it’s hard to endure yet again, I know there is grace enough to withstand even amidst tears.  The sun will rise on a new day and joy will return. The waiting is the hard bit…

Psalm 30:5

Ang xx

“This too shall pass – it might pass like a kidney stone, but it will pass!”
– unknown author

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20 weeks and doing the rehab dance… 

It’s been 20 weeks since foot surgery.  20 long weeks.  Most of those have been spent non weight bearing, and hoping for a quick recovery when the time for rehab comes. 

I went in for surgery knowing that I could never fully “prepare” for what was to come.  No matter how many surgical procedures I’ve had before,  this one was a dive into unknown and rather scary territory for me.  Noone could tell me what it would be like,  how long recovery would take or how I could manage day to day tasks post operatively. They didn’t mention the struggle I’d endure,  though I was not naive.  The battle in recovery is more often a mental one first.  The physical follows on good time. 

With difficulty and weakness in my hands,  crutches were unrealistic in the early days.  Although, if I had the qualities of the hospital physio I’d be walking 4 months ago.  He seemed to think that I could manage on my own after seeing me struggle to get into a wheelchair from the bed.  Once.  Apparently once is enough to satisfy the powers that be that I no longer need support. Never mind that I  couldn’t stand,  get to the loo,  navigate the room. Or that meds were as yet unsorted. 

Thank God for the advocacy of an anaesthetic doctor.  Though a stranger to me,  he saw me struggling and stepped in to fight behalf.  

Sorry.  I digress… 

The path has been long.  Days become weeks,  weeks turn to months.  Walking is still a dream,  though ìn a good moment I can walk about 20 paces.  There’s no guarantee I’ll be able to do it two days in a row,  though. It seems I’m in a dance.  I wish I knew the pattern.  Some days I can stand for a bit,  others not so much at all.  Some days I can shuffle-walk a little, while other days I regret trying the day before. 

Rehab takes on many forms and may take a long time.  For the mostpart, the pain is a reminder that things are getting better.  “Good pain”, as it were. Sometimes,  however,  the pain is disconcerting and makes me question every move I have made,  and even the decision to go ahead with surgery.  

I know this will pass, and I certainly hope that I will look back on it in a few years time and call it one of the best things I’ve ever done.  

But,  it’s hard and I’m tired.  Really, really tired.  

How much longer?  How much more? 

I guess that’s a question we ask frequently.  How long?  

As long as it takes.  We will endure.  There is grace enough for each day,  if we’ll let it.  If I’ll let it. 

Don’t forget about today. .. 

I jumped out of bed,  ready to undertake the usual bathroom visit and face the day.  For around the last 4 months that has involved placing my right knee on a scooter and whizzing off down the hall. It has become quite second nature.  That is,  until today. 

For some reason this morning, I completely forgot that, as much as I want to,  I can’t just “get up and walk”. 

I’m not sure what inspired this rogue behaviour.  Perhaps it’s the two steps I took unaided the other day.  Perhaps it’s my brain wanting the recovery phase to be over.  Perhaps it’s indivative of something that’s common in humanity…. 

How often do we find ourselves wanting to be farther along the track than we are: older,  wiser, stronger, fitter…   Sometimes we want to skip the hard work and get straight to the destination,  albeit an ever changing one.  

We seldom celebrate where we are today, rather glorifying what could be out could have been. There is something beautiful about who you are and where your life is at today. You’re alive, for one.   Take a moment to remember and celebrate life itself.   

Acknowledge your weaknesses.   Let’s just say, forgetting you can’t walk, or denying there’s a struggle isn’t necessarily a good thing. It could cause more pain than it’s worth! 

Aim for more,  but be realistic about where you are.  Sometimes a bit more hard work is needed before you reach your goal.  

What steps do you need to take to reach your goals?  Don’t forget to celebrate where you are today before looking to the future.

You’ve got this!  We’ve got this! 

Run your race well.

Ang xx

Let peace come

Spring

Let peace come …

When emotions flood like a tsunami in your soul and you are drowning
When doubts torment  your mind and confusion reigns
When fear takes hold and ravages your being
When you are crippled from within

When grief envelops you like fog in the valley
When sorrow stakes its claim to your joy
When being overwhelmed becomes the norm
When your lifeblood no longer flows

When lightning strikes more than once in the same place
When circumstances expose your frailty
When the desire to hide outweighs the desire to thrive
And you want to give in to it all …

Let peace come
Like a wave
Gentle to sooth
Fierce to break through

Peace to still the noise
Peace to bring clarity
Peace to stabilise your ground
Peace to lift the fog
Peace to renew your joy
Peace to give your strength
Peace to breathe hope
Peace to bring rest
Peace to speak deep into the heart to say ‘It’ll be ok’

Let peace come

Is there a place in your being that needs shelter?

Let peace come

Ps 29:11; Php 4:7

Ang xx

One step at a time


I met a guy today  who had an ankle reconstruction 3 or 4 months ago.  He was walking and seemed to be doing well.  He spoke of the struggles of being in the boot and how it was difficult to get started walking again,  particularly with the rearranging of the tendons.

I’m happy for him. He’s been through his journey and come through the other side. It gives me a glimpse of hope that it is possible.  Although the surgery was different to mine,  it presented similar struggles.

But then,  there’s a part of me that grieves.  It’s now been over 16 weeks since I last walked and I’m struggling to keep my head together. I want to be better.  I want to “move on”. I want my independence back!

I think the biggest battle is in my head,  not in my foot.  The foot hurts, for sure,  but the head can take me much farther than my feet ever will. It has the power to make or break each moment.

I took a walk with crutches around 10 days ago and it set me back.  I was crippled in bed for 4 days.  Too much, too soon.  It seems I can’t just “get back into it”: not that I was completely naive.

Facing rehab is hard, especially with little guidance.  The “go at your own pace” usually works for me,  but this time finds me anguishing for more.  The pain in the foot is piercing; the tendons and muscles ache and cramp as though I’ve hiked for hours.  All this for just standing up.

Baby steps, I tell myself.  Get stronger every day.  One day at a time.  One attempt at a time.  It’s slow.  So very slow.

It will get easier.  It will get better.  I will walk again. I know that. But for now,  I’m keeping it real and letting you know that it’s bloody hard. My patience is only a strength to a point! My “bad” day has stretched into a few … and these four walls are driving me nuts.

Ever felt that way?

I’ll try to keep dancing in my head.  We’ll have a “walk again” party soon enough. Until next time … walk on!

 

Ang xx

Six years

6 years (3)

It’s been almost six years since we last spoke.
Six years to grieve the loss of a relationship
Six years to grieve events that created a chasm between us
Six years to consider infinite numbers of ‘what ifs’ that could have changed history

It’s been almost six years since I sat motionless, sinking into a deep abyss
Six years since I called you to try to tell you what happened but lacked the words
Six years since I shook to my core and didn’t sleep for weeks
Six years since I was torn apart from the inside

It’s been almost 6 years since I last opened your door
Six years since we had a cuppa and talked of life and everything in it
Six years since home took on a different meaning
Six years since human failure shone brighter than the sun

It’s been almost six years and sometimes it still hurts like it was today
Six years of longing for restoration
Six years of hoping for healing
Six years of yearning to be at peace with it all

It’s been almost six years and I have become more
Six years of pain means six years of growth
Six years of change from within
Six years of struggle and fight for freedom

It’s been almost six years but I hold onto hope
Six years of second guesses
Six years of second chances
Six years to understanding that all can be well again

Six years here.

 

The monster within

The Monster Within

Danger lurks around every corner
Peering through the doors
Cracks appear in broad daylight
And night offers no hope

Drenched in sweat as fears creep in
Flesh crawls from head to toe
The inescapable monster rears its head
Parades around and settles in

Good morning to you!
Good day and Goodnight!

If only you knew the fear that is my plight

From deep to deep the waters rush
Though murky they may be
The monster lurks and stomps around
Deep in the heart … of me

Why now do you come?
Why now rear your head?
Why set foot in this place?
You are not welcome here, you know?

But alas, I gave you space
Space to sit, space to grow
I gave you food, and you gained strength
This monster is my own

Each hurt brings fear
Each fear brings pain
Each pain nestles … deep in there

It grows and grows
It does not relent
‘Til at last it takes control
Of heart, mind, body and soul

Rebel my friend!
Rebel and repent!
Scream from within –
Do not let this pain take hold without consent

Withdraw consent and shout with me
Freedom we will proclaim
Healing, hope and forgiveness
Is found in Jesus’ name

No heights, no depths
No sin, no man
Can take you from his care

Rise up and face the monster
Show it that you do care

Be gone from here
Be gone right now
This space is not your own
It was bought for me so long ago
and I’ve decided to come home

 

 

Peace to you in all seasons,
Ang xx
Romans 8:37-39