Weird title I know but bear with me! We see people in a wheelchair, mentally challenged or different in any way and we totally judge them based on what we see! We may think ” I wonder what happened to put them in a chair, or what is wrong with their speech, etc.” in reality some of the happiest people may have an obvious struggle on the outside!
In reverse from the inside out people may appear beautiful, ” normal”, smart, smiley but on the inside struggling with depression, confusion, memory issues, side effects from stroke, brain injuries etc.
Everyone has their struggles , some are just more obvious!! In times when you struggle with either don’t feel defeated by others perceptions! Lean on the one stability in all our lives…God. He knows you inside and out.
A year ago today I had just returned home from my 1 st rehab stay from my 1 st of 3 brain surgeries! I got released a day before my son’s 5th grade graduation! A few days after being home I had a seizure and brain infection and didn’t know if I would make it!!! 2nd brain surgery happened and 2 weeks in ICU not being able to talk, swallow, or move my limbs! I overheard doctors talking to my husband about nursing home options and inside my head I was screaming NO but couldn’t get it out!!! I have a 12 year old, I have a husband, and I work full time as a speech therapist with precious kids!! I prayed as did everyone else! I finally woke up and asked them to send me back to rehab as I have to get better ( yes I woke up taking enough to get my point across! At rehab I left able to talk, move but not normal, and swallow! They didn’t know if I could return to my job as a speech pathologist 8 hours a day!! I got released and a couple of weeks later I started the first day of school!! Battling fatigue, at times depression, and just doing all that comes with working full time I DID IT!!! I had a lot of support from administrators and friends!! I had my 3rd brain surgery in December and came right back to work! The best part was I was close to my son at school when he needed me!! When things seem impossible pray harder, count on friends ( hard for me ), and be thankful for EVERYTHING God gives you back to use for his purpose!!!
I have this plaque in my room to remind me whenever things get to be too much. As all of the teachers know out there, the end of the year is absolutely crazy. I am trying to get all my duties done before we get out of school in a week. That brings up some interesting things then of course are on mind, but I am trying to read the word and not worry about everything coming up. We went to the orthopedic surgeon for my son and he will be getting surgery June 13. As anyone knows who has Charcot-MarieTooth, surgery is usually part of the process. I had the same surgery my son is getting when I was eight. However, since that was 30 something years ago they have made some advances in technology :-). He will be getting a tendon transfer to hopefully keep him from walking on the side of his foot.I know that he will be OK but of course it fills me with guilty feelings of having him go through these things. He is positive about the whole process as he is miserable walking on his foot right now even in the braces. We will get through this process as we always do, with our faith, family, and friends. As my plaque says WorryEnds Where Faith Begins!!!!
This weekend is a day to share time with, or memories off one of the two most important people in your young life, your mom!! I am in the category of remembering memories of my mom!! Talk about a blessing my mom was for all intent purposes perfect! She was a nurse who when I was born spent years , with my dad, taking me to doctor after doctor to figure out what physical condition I had ( Mayo Hospital, Vanderbilt, Emory, Shriners and so on)!! She was fully supportive when I went away to school ( University of Tennessee, Knoxville), she stuffed Cheetos in her mouth when I came home engaged ( even though she was happy), and she was a nervous wreck when I told her I was pregnant ( but guess who was closer to my Will than anybody )… yes her!!! Then cancer struck and I finally got to take care of her in return!! I got to pray with her, listen to praise and worship music together, go to some chemo treatments, and my brother and I did not leave her side in Hospice holding her hand around the clock!!! I miss her every second of every day but she sends us messages all the time! I found this picture that shows the perfect epitome of my mom…Will was learning to walk and as she did for my brother and I, she had her hand stretched out for protection as needed!!! That’s what moms do! Happy Mother’s Day friends!!
My biggest struggle in life is admitting that I do have a disability that makes me have certain weaknesses. I have put so much pressure on myself throughout life to try and take care of those weaknesses by myself. That is not easy, especially when you need help. God puts things in our path to make you realize you need to learn that weakness is part of God’s plan. This summer was my wake up call, I believe from God, to show me that I cannot do everything by myself and I have to trust in him to lead me in the right direction. I came close two times this summer due to my brain surgeries. One time I got a nasty life threatening brain infection, and the other time a medication had a bad effect on me and pretty much affected my breathing. My family was called in, it was that bad. I was very aware that things were bad, but I found a peace throughout it all as I had prayed constantly silently, since both times I was unable to speak. Both episodes had a significant impact on my physical function which was already impaired. However, throughout a lot of rehabilitation and 2 hospital stays, I came home speaking, feeding myself, working, and being a mom which is the most important thing to me. Returning to home and to work as a speech therapist, I realized that I had to trust God‘s plan for me. He did not allow me to get the education to be a speech therapist, just to take away the ability to speak forever. He took it away for a few weeks, but I got it back. Talk about a professional learning lesson. He did not allow me to become a mother, to not give me the ability to be the mother that my precious boy deserves. He did not allow me to trust in any man’s love to be my husband, and not make him exactly what I needed during times of stress. I just want to make sure everyone who goes through those hard times, look back when they’re over and realize that one person got you through you…. you through God‘s strength!! I want to share one of my favorite verses:
2 Corinthians 12:9
And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
There are so many importance factors involved in friendship, true friendship!!! The last year has taught me so much about friendship!! My whole life, living with a physical disability, taught me lessons early! You go into life with a clean slate, not knowing people were not always what they seem! When you enter that stage of life where people find your disability funny! That immediately puts a very difficult wall up that hard to break! You question yourself, peoples sincerity, and trust is gone! The reassurance you feel as a kid is that when I get bigger stuff like that won’t happen… well not so!!!! Jobs, or just specific people at jobs may challenge your abilities, people may not stick with you during physically challenging times, adults judge so as much as kids, and many people don’t understand your huge wall you have up nor take the time to know why that is!!!! So Cindy, what is positive about this you may wonder?? It is the fact that you do met those people that stay, that take the time to understand the whys and work with you to understand, and as my favorite poem says ” Some people are there for reasons, seasons or a lifetime!!” God puts some for a reason or season to help and leave because that’s how he planned it! You can’t change that because it is what it is! But he does bless us with lifelong friends and it is not everyone you know! They are different and God given NO MATTER WHAT!! So appreciate all 3 as they all leave us with a lesson which turns out to be a blessing!! I’m thankful for all, even if there no longer around!! Tell people you love them when you have them!!!
Hello all! Sorry it has been a few days since I have posted but this has been one heckuva week. I will start off by saying I did not feel good most of the week. I got sent to the emergency room yesterday due to a major infection, however they did not keep me which is good and bad. I still don’t feel much better, however I still went to work and got my pleasure in seeing my friends and my kids. I was encouraged to stay home and rest, but in my opinion I don’t get better staying still, I want to be around people and make a difference. On the other side of that coin, I hate going to the emergency room and I will share one of my experiences that has happened many times. Me and my husband have learned to just laugh it off when people turn around. The nurse walks in and sees me sitting there in my chair and says very slowly bending down to me “are you able to tell me your Social Security number.” The way it was said and handled was definitely like she didn’t know if I could speak or not. I’m used to that as every time you go to someone new and they see me, they don’t know how to take me. That’s a perfect example of get to know people inside, not just the outside. And of course, as every trip to the emergency room has been MY WHOLE LIFE, I get told that this is probably just going to be a chronic problem and they send me home. Not that I’m not glad I didn’t get sent home, but I didn’t need to be sent home. It goes right along with every new doctor you come across they always ask why you’re still working and not drawing disability, questioning if I knew that I could. Yes I know that I could, and I will when the time comes, but that time is not now. That is the only frustration that I have to say about my week as I have chosen to focus on other things. It is frustrating, but nothing to focus on as I know myself, not what I appear to be.
On the positive side, which is where I like to stay, my sweet son Will came up to me on Wednesday morning at breakfast before school, and said that he had written a life quote. Yes he is only 12, but boy is he a smart cookie if I do say so myself. So his life quote reads as follows: “God gave you a life for one reason, to spread the word of the Lord. It is your choice on what you do with your life. You can live a violent and sinful life against the Lord’s plan, or you can live a good life in the hands of the Lord and make the best of your life, as it could end as soon as it started. “ He has started having more difficulty physically , which we are about to address at some orthopedic appointments, but that is an example of his spirit. He is so positive and looks at things very differently than most 12-year-olds would. I am so proud to call him mine and look forward to seeing what the future holds for that boy, my boy.
I got home today after a very rough week and my husband was so nice to go outside in our backyard and pick me up some fresh flowers and put them in a container. He comes in my room brings me flowers and made my day. Little things like that mean a lot. After 19 years I do think he still loves me, even though as every married couple we have our times.
When you have a rough week, friends come into play more than you ever realize. I was so thankful to have people immediately step up and watch over Will when I got sick, and be there for me throughout the week. Not that I asked for much, but I knew they were there if I needed it. I am so thankful to have people that I work with daily and have them in my life to go through times good or bad.
So in summary, this week has had its ups and downs. Physically, it definitely wasn’t my strongest week but throughout all of that I got reminders of God‘s love and strength in my son’s strength, my husband’s support, and my sweet friends. Life has ups and downs but somethings remain consistent, and for those I am thankful.
I heard a new song today by Big Daddy Weave called Jesus I Believe! WOW is all I can say! One line in the song grabbed my attention and hasn’t left my mind! It says “Even the impossible is your reality.” How true that is because so many times I have felt what I was facing was impossible, but due to his reality impossible doesn’t exist for us! There is Nothing in life we can’t overcome!! Please please remember that when you feel helpless!!
While throughout life going through hurdles related to my disability through school, jobs, having a child with the same disability, losing my mom to a NASTY battle of cancer, my brother being diagnosed with leukemia, and fighting the affects that a brain tumor left me with, people have asked my family how/ WHY we all stay happy, and we respond WHY NOT. When my mom was fighting cancer, my brother was getting chemo, and I started using a chair on the outside we probably appeared rough. But people would ask my mom and she would answer “ We are closer and happier than ever because of all we were going through TOGETHER!!! We were spending quality time, not just time. We supported each other through every step of every diagnosis we were given. And then Will was diagnosed, there was some sadness but overall I knew we had this. The way we handled it was a good overall experience because we handled everything together. Sickness, disability, or even just disappointment are all a mindframe that you can handle by the way you choose to. Other options are you can choose to let circumstances eat you up. My family has also taught each other that we get through anything together, through prayer and God’s support. I’m trying to teach my son to look at it the same way. Disability is a word, but being disabled is a choice. My son knows that he can do anything he sets his mind to. So when I’m asked WHY I like to respond WHY NOT! My life is excellent, and I have always been able to achieve whatever I wanted to. That is not a strength from myself, but strength from above. And I am blessed that I have had a family that has grown together because of that. My son and my favorite scripturePhilippians 4;13 I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. We have it in several places in our house so that when we wake up we look at it as our friendly reminder. Always find something that inspires you and pay it forward!!!
Today I got tons of unexpected notes from third grade class. These notes made me think about how we come across to children, even when we’re not aware they are watching. Every single note said in all different words and spelling how when they see me smiling it makes them smile. WOW!!! Out of the mouth of babes! These are kids I don’t serve in speech, which made it even more shocking! These kids have seen me with half a head of hair most of the year, wearing a helmet to protect my head, throwing a fundraiser because of their heart, seen me with one side of my body hanging off of my scooter ( before surgeries), returning to school in a power chair, and what they saw was the smile and love, not the body doing those things! That was so powerful for me today! Kids teach us so much if we listen. Blessed day and reminds me why I fought so hard to get back to those sweet faces who inspire me every day 💕💕