Monday, December 12, 2011

21 days

Seven days times three is supposed to be the all important milestone for all kinds of recovery and healing.  I made it!  Three weeks ago today I did the bravest thing for mysef I think I've ever done.  I had brain surgery and spinal fusion.  I had come to a point of pain and suffering that left me almost incapable of living any real life.  I was as desperate for help as one can get.  I also had a peace beyond measure God had brought me to the right surgeon, the right hospital and the right time and watched Him provide in every detail as we prepared.   I was so ready.

My sister-in-law, Amy, who I've written of before, because she has walked with me some of the loneliest days and nights of my life and is always there to handle things when everyone else can be sure to fall apart.  She is one who was there with me the morning of surgery.  She stayed at the hotel the night before and took me over to the hospital to get the ball rolling with all the pre-op stuff including my PICC.  I can't really write about how much I love this lady or how much her being there with me meant to Dan and I.  She knows how to say or do the perfect thing to remind me I am a "Warrior Queen."  She tells me I've got this, and I believe her. 

I haven't wanted to really speak much yet about my actual surgery experience or how I'm feeling although I cry about it several times a day.  So many of the risks come after you leave the hospital. I read the Caring Bridge sites and facebook posts of other ladies who had similar surgeries who are having complications.  As someone reminded me this past week the kind of healing I'm doing is a marathon not a sprint.  You have to stay the course.  You have to endure the pain and sacrifices now for the best finish. 

I know many have wondered why I am staying away from my family.  All I can say is you either understand or you don't.  I have had other major surgeries where I tried to recover around my children, including a hysterectomy right before Danica's brain surgery and spinal fusion last year.  You cannot keep me down.  If I am there and something needs done or one of my children in reality needs me or even thinks they need me I will get out of bed.  I will lift something.  I will bend over.  I can push through any kind of pain even to my detriment to do those things I think must be done.  It comes at a high price with abdominal surgeries, yes, but the price here is one we can't pay.  Like Danica's recovery, this is a one shot deal.  It's one of the biggest blessings and greatest specific answers to prayer that I am here in this beautiful home resting.  It is also one of the things that hurts the most.  To be away from my husband and children, especially this time of year, is another wound I'm watching and treating.  Much like the strict obedience to doctor's orders we exercised for an ENTIRE YEAR which undoubtedly aided to Danica's healing success, we know for sure there is no gray area in the things that will help these bones fuse and make this healing a full reality for my family and I.  We did not come this far to turn back or even cut a few corners for momentary relief.  This has to work!

Another important component of my healing is also this space and time and quiet.  My life has been hyperfocused on Danica and I's health for well over four years now.  I need in many ways to sit here at the feet of Jesus in puddles of sunshine remembering who I am in Him.  I need to be doing nothing.  I need to pray and journal and dream about what I could possibly do with my life if He makes me well.  Most of all I plead with Him daily to let me in no way squander the soul clarity He's given in this long journey.  This currency is priceless.  What would He have me do with such a gift? 

Here I am after my surgery with a big thumbs up, something I learned from my brave Dani Jean girl.  21 days.  I'm also posting the pictures below Dan took Friday night, at 19 days, of my incisions.  Our hope remains!

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