Friday, June 12, 2009

Rough Week

I'm writing this mainly to try and cheer myself up. Suffer along with me if you're in the mood!

The picture kind of tells it all. I already vented all over Facebook on this one. Tuesday night I hit my first deer. I would have sworn this was the daddy of all bucks, but when we went back to look at it the next day it was just a doe, and not a really big one at that. But she did $3000 worth of damage to my new van! I take it in next Monday night to get fixed. It's only going to cost us our deductible ($250) for which I am thankful, but still - that's $250 I hadn't planned to spend! I have never been a big fan of deer and "Bambi" never made me cry. Her wrecking my van certainly has not increased my level of affection for the critters, that's for sure! Still, I know motorist die every year on Iowa highways (and in other states) as a result of these wretched animals, so I know I should keep a level of gratefulness about me that the only injured one this time was my poor van.

We've been having VBS this week. I always enjoy that, although I am really starting to wonder if my presence is superfluous. We have almost as many helpers as we do students. Perhaps it might be better if I bow out for a few years in order not to crowd the premises so much. I don't exactly feel needed with so many! But regardless, I have been enjoying my 4 and 5 year olds!

Yesterday was an especially rough day. I could NOT wake up, not matter what I did. It felt like a crushing weight was pushing down on the top of my head and it was nearly impossible to open my eyes all day long. I did everything I could think of - took my iron, took my multi vitamin, drank some Coke, ate some fruit, took a little nap - nothing. I got to VBS and realized I wasn't going to make it. Things were definitely beginning to feel stroke-like and I knew I needed to get out of there, lest I have a massive stroke and totally embarrass myself by collapsing. Because, you know, it's much better to have a massive brain assault while going 60 mph down the highway than while standing around with all your friends at church! I'm such a dork! So I went home and fell into bed for a little bit and then suddenly, I was wide awake. But my speech was slurring, my face was numb up to my eyeballs, my arm was a dead weight. Paul and I sat around for awhile, debating about the whole ER thing. I really did not want to go, pay $150 ER co-pay, go through yet another MRI and cat scan and then be told, "no brain bleed!" On the other hand, dying in bed holds even less appeal. But in the end, I just went back to bed. And now I'm glad because I am better today. My left side is pretty bad off, but it will eventually get better.

I'm just frustrated, and here is where the encouraging-myself part comes in. The Iowa City docs told me a year ago that all these mini strokes I was experiencing were part of the healing process from my original stroke and that, as time passed, they would decrease in number and severity and by the time I hit the 2 year mark, they'd probably be a thing of the past. Now, I have had 2 nasty ones within a 13 day period and I'm only 4 months away from the magical 2 year marker of the stroke. I am starting to wonder if I may have to deal with these the rest of my life. And, as such, are they cutting down my life expectancy? I'm no expert, but I'd be a little concerned that any time the brain "shudders" or whatever it's doing when these happen, it's losing staying power.

At the same time, I feel guilty. I don't have it that bad. I'm upset because my nearly 40 year old body doesn't work as well as it did 20 years ago? That seems kind of silly. I'm on a stroke survivor Internet list. Compared to some of the people on there, I have nothing to complain about. Some are bedridden. Some are crippled for life. Strokes are devastating as evidenced in these survivors' stories. And knowing that helps me understand why recovery has still been so difficult from my small one. But I feel like I shouldn't complain at all. Other than these episodes, I'm in good health. My children are healthy. We have a roof over our heads and aren't terribly worried about finding food for our next meal. There's a lady in our church who was widowed 6 months ago. Two weeks ago she found out she has an aggressive form of cancer. A gal I know on my rupture list found out less than a month ago that her 8 year old has a malignant brain tumor and will be dead within the year. He was her oldest by default since her oldest child died in infancy. What am I complaining about? So when people ask me how I am doing, all this runs through my mind and I struggle with how much to say. I grew up with a grandma who had a new litany of body complaints every time I saw her. I was concerned but not so concerned that I wanted to know everything! I remember thinking, even as a child, that I didn't want to be like that as an adult. I know people want to pray for me and I am so appreciative of that, but neither do I want to bore them with my self-centered recitation of my complaints, especially when I have so many other good things in my life. So, it's a struggle.

And it's discouraging. But Romans 8:28 popped into my head this morning as I was wheeling the cart through Wal-mart, mulling on these things, as well as noticing that the price of apple juice has gone up again. I firmly believe the promise of that verse, that ALL things do work for good, even and maybe especially, the things that seem so bad on the outside. It would help if I knew for what good! Then I might endure my suffering a little more cheerfully! But I guess that's part of faith - believing that God will do what He says He will when we can't see how or why that could possibly happen. And it's the whole eternal perspective thing, too, that I have written about before - recognizing that this earthly life is temporary and as such, so are our trials.

I can't type anymore. My dead hand is protesting mightily. But I'm looking forward to Heaven where there will be no deer (I hope), and I can type as long as I want without the limitations of my body!

1 comment:

  1. Oh Sarah I am sorry about the car. If you have a wii...this is quite psychologically helpful

    On the body and 40ish thing...I didn't have a stroke, but I broke my ankle and did something to my knee during a freak snow storm this year...and its still impossible for me to be comfortable, and I can't get down on the floor and back up w/out horrible pain, or walk, or spend a day at a really makes me sad sometimes at my new *me* I get it. I love you and am always in prayer for you.