2011 was a tough year. I was trying to think of all of the things that happened this year and wow. There has been a lot. I think it was tougher than other years in some ways but easier than others because in other tough years, the toughness that I experienced was much of the time because of my own doing. Spent too much money? Then had financial difficulty. Made poor decisions and did things I knew I shouldn't? Then experienced heartache. I read an interview with a woman who was more than 100 years old some time ago. She was reflecting on what she had learned and one of the things that has always stuck with me was this...
"Trouble is what you bring on yourself. The rest is just life."
This year, much of what happened wasn't trouble, it was just life. Here's a short list...
- Lupus & Fibromyalgia worse than ever before. At this point I have been on mild chemo for several months now.
- Because of this, I am exquisitely fatigued, losing some hair, in pain and nauseous nearly all of the time.
- Was treated for Pericarditis and Congestive Heart Failure.
- I received a notice from the IRS stating that they overpaid me a few years ago and I now owe them money.
- My car repeatedly gave me trouble.
- My lupus decided to attack my uterus and it caused massive bleeding for several months. I became anemic. I was put on heavy hormones to try and stop the bleeding, but they were unsuccessful.
- Because of this, I had to have an ablation done to my uterus to stop the bleeding and also have coils placed in my tubes to prevent further pregnancies since I will no longer be able to carry them. The first month of recovery was pretty tough.
- I missed a step while in a patient's home and faceplanted, breaking my ankle. I have now been on light duty for eight weeks and unsure when there will be any kind of ending in site. The foot specialist said that this was the hardest bone in the foot to break and is the hardest to heal and only God knows how long it will take to heal. Combine this with my medical history and medications and it will undoubtedly delay healing as well.
- Because I've been on prednisone for so long and now have a bone fracture, I was sent for a Bone Density Scan (Dexa Scan), which measures for osteoporosis. I was originally told that I was "osteopenic" which means pre-osteoporosis. When I got the copy of the report for myself, it states "this patient is osteoporotic and at high risk for fractures." So, at 38 years old, I have osteoporosis thanks to the prednisone. They scan both femurs, hips, pelvis and spine. The scan then assigns a score to each bone. Zero and above are normal. Zero to -2.5 means osteopenic and is borderline. Beyond -2.5 is osteoporosis. The more negative the number, the more brittle the bone. My averaged overall score was -2.7. The head of my right femur (my right hip) is around -3 and many of my vertebrae in my lumbar and thoracic spine are like -3.9. I was trying to google and see how bad this was and one report said that at -3.7, I am 12 times more likely to break my spine in a fall than a normal, healthy person. This all scares the crap out of me.
- I was told last week that my last dentist applied all of my crowns wrong and now I am getting decay behind the crowns where I can't clean. I can either pay $10,000 to have them replaced or I can sue the other dentist (because of course the other dentist says he sees nothing wrong with them and sees no decay).
- I now have bursitis in my right shoulder and have sprained both wrists due to hauling my big butt around on crutches for the past 8 weeks.
But now... onto some good stuff.
This past week, I was also reflecting on the state of the union here in the H-A household and know what I realized? For the most part, things are pretty good. There is always some sort of kid drama to be had and there will always be the random day where you just aren't feeling it and wish your partner would just shut up, but I have to say that those days are very rare lately. Things here have been calm, peaceful, joyful, loving.... all of the things they should be and that I had been praying for.
So, I started trying to pinpoint when this all happened and exactly what happened to bring this about. Some of the obvious answers are that we are just starting to settle into a routine and cement a little more as a blended family. We have been back in church for a year now and there's no question that abiding in the vine brings about more fruit. Then I started thinking about myself. What have I done this year? Well, I think that because of that long list of things up top there, I have gotten quieter. I am tired, I don't feel very good, I am quite humbled and realize just how quickly blessings such as the ability to walk or work can be taken away. I have been changed in the way that I have become much more still. I don't have the energy to be quite as spunky as I always have been.
Oh believe me, there's still some spunk left, but not nearly to the level that it was before. Also, my focus has shifted to more important things. Suddenly, I am less worried about how someone else is acting and more worried about keeping myself calm and healthy. If Paul is being short-tempered or judgmental, then he is responsible for his actions and it's not my job to convince him how he's wrong. He will be accountable for his actions, not me. I'm not Captain Save-a Ho and can't be running around trying to fix everyone like I always have. It amazes me that I've never been an animal person and I've come to realize that it's probably because I've already had a bad habit of bringing home strays. They were just men and not animals. No more. Come healthy and functional, or don't come at all.
Know what happened when I became quiet and still with no energy to fight or fix? It's the most amazing thing. Get this, when I quit trying to fix everything myself and just laid it down, God actually picked it up and fixed it for me. Wow. Imagine that. What I've been told for years is true. Lay it down. The battle is mine says the Lord. When I got out of God's way, he had time to deal with other people and situations and the results have been wonderful. I have enough of my own stuff to deal with, I don't have it in me to save the world today. It's good to know that while I'm off-duty, I can count on God to come through. Amen and amen.
I've never been a person that really asks "why?" I'm more the type to ask "why not?" Why shouldn't I get sick instead of the rest of the world? I'm no better than anyone. Why shouldn't I have some car trouble? God is good even on the bad days and if He decides that it's time for me to deal with some issues, then okay, deal with them we will. But it has come to the point where I'm beginning to ask, "how much?" Haven't I had my share for a while? I trust that if it's still coming at me that I'm obviously strong enough for it or God wouldn't be sending it. But can I have some mercy for a little while? I'm really tired. So, since I know that what goes up, must come down. And that for every action there is an equal but opposite reaction, I know that things will inevitably be turning around. I also know that God will restore the years that the locusts have eaten. I'm looking forward to the next year being more peaceful, loving, joyful and calm. I look forward to better energy and health and prosperity. I look forward to reaching goals that I wasn't able to reach this past year and getting more involved in our church. I look forward to safety and laughter. I look forward to the births of babies and more birthdays and anniversaries. I look forward to writing and creating and watching my kids grow into the people they are becoming. I look forward to holding Paul's hand and smiling at him. Basically, I'm just looking forward.
lurve you, xoxo v.