Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Tune-In-Tuesday: April 17, 2018

From last week’s post to this week’s post, I decided that I gave myself too much electricity. I didn’t fall, but I was having other problems. Mainly I was getting spasms in my leg and arm and I had very awkward movements and wasn’t able to get around as well as I was hoping and praying for. I didn’t trust that my leg or foot would hold me. So, I gave it a week and on Saturday I took the electricity in my deep brain stimulation device down a notch. I’m now resting at 3.30 volts. I can already see a subtle difference.

Oftentimes I feel like a toddler learning to walk. Like when the mom or dad is coaxing the toddler, “One more step, you can do it. I’m right here.” Except in my scenario, I’m not a toddler and I do my own coaxing 😊. Unfortunately, like a toddler, I get jealous sometimes too. I get jealous that most people can walk without thinking. But then I remind myself that I can move without thinking for the most part and some people can’t at all. It’s all perspective. 😉

I didn’t fall at all this past week, yet I was nowhere near walking as well as I wanted to or even as well as I have in the past. It’s so frustrating!! I have a very, very, very hard time giving myself grace. I’m working on this, but it is so hard!! God sends people into my life (particularly, in this instance, my yoga instructor) to literally tell me, “Give yourself grace”. I know, as a Christian, that grace is freely given to me by God. It is preached every Sunday, but sometimes (OK, maybe more than that), I forget. So, God gives me reminders, which I am eternally grateful for!

Speaking of Sundays, this past Sunday, God once again answered my prayer. As I was walking in to church, a friend (Melanie) came up beside me and gave me an arm. Just a little more support. She didn't make a big scene, she just simple offered more support. She was literally my answered prayer. Thank you, God for people like Melanie. They don't want fanfare, they just selflessly give of themselves to help where help is needed.

I’ve been reflecting on this picture that I saw on Facebook a few weeks ago:

It’s so true…God doesn’t always pluck us from fires, instead He gives us Jesus to help us through. With Jesus by our side, we have nothing to fear. I was also reflecting on why we have to go through fires in the first place and why God doesn't always pluck us quickly from them. Maybe God doesn’t pluck us from a fire because He knows that it will refine us. Maybe it’ll mold us. Maybe it’ll help us relate more to others. Maybe it’ll soften us. Maybe it’ll force us to give ourselves, as well as others, leaps and bounds of grace. Maybe it’ll draw us closer to Him. Maybe, it’ll remind us that God’s Got This!!

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Tune-In-Tuesday: April 10, 2018

I learned very early on after starting to have issues walking, that medicine is just as much an art as it is a science. Therefore, we say that doctor’s “practice” medicine. I keep reminding myself of this. For someone like me, who tends to see things as black or white, this can be frustrating! I don’t mind mysteries, but what I really love is solving the mystery.

This past week, I tried to give myself grace, however, more than not, I got frustrated. I didn’t magically or miraculously return to walking as I had hoped I would. Walking is an art as much as it is a science. 😊 I fell again – this time on Wednesday and at work. I was rushing (at least trying to!). The fall aggravated the same knee with the same cut I got on Easter Sunday and therefore it bled. I think I need a skin graft on that area by now. I’m only kidding (well, slightly, anyway). But seriously, the skin is so thin on that knee that any bump or aggravation to it immediately rips the skin off and causes it to bleed all over again. Therefore, it takes on the appearance that I am hurt worse than I am. Since Wednesday, I’ve been putting triple antibiotic ointment on it and covering it in a huge bandage. Since Easter Sunday, I had been using regular sized bandages, but each time I would have to take it off (I let it stay on as long as possible), it would tear off the new skin that was growing. When I fell on Wednesday, I had a bandage on it, but it didn’t help at all. So, I started wearing the larger ones – not that the cut is that big, it just protects it more.

By Saturday, I was fed up with the way I was walking. There was nothing to be stressed about, nothing to explain why I wasn’t walking any better. I had a friend at church (Carrie) ask me on Wednesday how I was doing. She was there on Sunday when I was foraging the church’s kitchen first aid box for a bandage. I told her that I had fallen again that day and she asked if I needed more electricity. I pondered that and by Saturday decided that I should at least try it. I could always go back or adjust if needed and walking was not any better on Saturday then it had been. So, I upped the electricity in my deep brain stimulation device. I stayed on the same frequency (A) but increased the voltage from 3.20 volts to 3.40 volts. Almost immediately, I could sense it in my left hand. But, since this is an art as much as a science, I must give it time. I doubt myself often though. I know what Dr. Tolleson (my neurologist) has told me and I do what he says, but that doesn’t lessen my doubt that I’m doing the right thing. Maybe I should have stayed at the level I was at for another week or so? Maybe I should have only gone up by .10 to 3.30 volts instead of 3.40? Those are some of the thoughts that go through my head. But in the end, I know God’s in control, so everything will work out as it should. However, I’d kind of like it to work out faster. 😉 Again, my impatience is showing!

This past week, I re-watched the movie, “Miracles From Heaven”. It’s based on a true story of a little girl from Texas who was miraculously healed from a devastating disease after falling the equivalent of three stories in a hollowed-out tree. The first time I saw the movie, it was right after the deep brain stimulation surgeries. I loved it. I now own the movie on DVD, but hadn’t re-watched it, until Saturday. I thought maybe I wouldn’t like it as much as the first time because I wasn’t just recovering from surgery, but that was not the case. In some ways, I loved it even more this time because I’m two years post-surgery. I know that God is the God of Miracles, but I’m also human and impatient and fallible. That part of me leads me to doubt sometimes that God hears or will heal. I know in my heart and soul that He does, but sometimes when I’m in the weeds it’s much easier to doubt than to have faith. Through the movie, God reminded me that even when I doubt or when I’m sure He’s not listening, He’s still working for me and in me and through me. It also reminded me that God’s time is God’s time and not mine. He works on His schedule, not mine.

Saturday, Mom and I went to the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra. It was cold and rainy (actually SNOWY on APRIL 7 – this is NOT Knoxville, Tennessee weather!!!), but I had the best time. We went out to eat beforehand and got to talk, just the two of us. She gave wonderful advice on some things I needed advice on and I loved spending time with her. But, I started second guessing my decision to up the electricity. I didn't walk all that great, but I didn't fall either, so it turned out alright!

Sunday, I prayed that I would be able to walk without falling. Whether it’s psychosomatic, physical or a little bit of both, messing with the electricity messes with me for a little awhile after I adjust it. I wasn’t feeling all that steady on Sunday, but God had me covered. I found a handicap parking spot close to the door at church. No sooner had I gotten out of my car than my friends (and Sunday school leaders!), Brian and Whitney came walking by. I held on to Whitney. Later that morning, at the end of Bible study my sister-in-law sent me a text and asked if I was at church and if I was, if I could watch my almost two-year-old niece, Hope, for a minute while Aubrey got ready to sing in our praise band. Of course, I would watch Hope! When I got down to the family life center, while I was still at the back and Hope was at the front, Hope spotted me and started running full speed in my direction, yelling “Aunt Stephanie! Aunt Stephanie!” When she made it to me, she gave me the biggest hug. And whatever worries I had, just melted away. There’s nothing better than unconditional love. It was such a HUGE metaphor for God’s love. No matter what, even with all the filth of sin, God loves me unconditionally.

Tonight, I had yoga. I wasn’t sure how I would feel about it. While I did “homework” this past week, I didn’t do it as much as I should have or even could have. But tonight was awesome. Meryl, my instructor asked what I was feeling like doing. I concluded that I wanted a little bit of being pushed and a little bit restorative. That’s what we did and I felt so empowered afterwards. Meryl is such an awesome teacher. She is very compassionate and yet knows when to push. I’m blessed by her every time I see her.

This past week, I once again learned so much about life and love and patience and perseverance. I end this post as I always do, proclaiming that “God’s Got This” because He most certainly does!

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Tune-In-Tuesday: April 3, 2018

I’m not going to lie, this past week has been trying. It's been hard. How can such a “little” (haha) thing as walking be so darn difficult sometimes?! I ask myself this all the time. At one point in life, I did it without thinking. At another point in life, I did it with assistance. And still at yet another point in life, I’m doing it with the knowledge that I’m a thousand times better than I used to be, but still so very far from where I want to be. Walking like I did last week and am continuing to do this week, frustrates me to no end. And yet, God is still good. He still has me. He still shows up. He still allows me to see beauty in ashes. Thank you, Jesus!

Holy Week (the week leading up to Easter) is my favorite week of the year. Even more so than my birthday week (and if you know me, you know I LOVE celebrating my birthday!). I love everything about Holy Week. The significance of it. The remembrance of it. From Maundy Thursday, to Good Friday through Easter – I love celebrating it. I also know Satan hates this and he’ll do anything in his power to steal my joy. But not this year. Oh, he tried and sometimes, somewhat succeeded, but I fought back and it was a beautiful thing.

Since last Tuesday night, I have not walked well. I’ve struggled significantly. I can and do chalk it up to several factors including stress, excitement (even good excitement sometimes affects me negatively when it comes to walking), emotions, and that time of the month (sorry if that’s too much information!). However, I think the main reason this time around might just have been Satan himself. He tried at every point to steal my joy. I got stressed, worried, anxious, but God allowed me to see that in myself and (for the most part) turn it around. So, while I didn’t lose joy, I did lose my balance, my confidence (somewhat) and my ability to walk the way I want to. BUT, through all that, I found my joy, as weird as that sounds!

For those that heard my dad’s sermon on Sunday, I promise you, I’m not stealing from it. This Easter, I decided that I wanted to attend the sunrise service at church. Every year, I’ve wanted to attend and yet every year, I decide that I’m too tired! But this year, this was the year that I made it to the sunrise service! No sooner had I stepped out of my car, then I tripped and fell. As I was picking myself up, I almost laughed. Satan was trying once again to steal my joy. I wasn’t going to allow him to do so. It was as I was picking myself up that I told him, “Not today, Satan, not today. You’ve tried, but no matter what – whether I keep falling, or walk perfectly – you’re not stealing my joy.” Little did I know my dad was preaching on our journey in life and a big chunk of the sermon was about joy. So again, I promise you, I didn’t steal this lesson from my dad’s sermon, although, isn’t it so cool how God works? That, and I’m definitely my father’s daughter! ;)

I’ve talked about being “perfect” in other posts on this blog. When I fell on Sunday, I definitely wasn't feeling perfect. I skinned my knee and bled. But, I had a choice to make. Would I let it ruin Easter? In that moment, God allowed me to shift my perspective. God didn't cause me to fall, but He used the situation for good. In that fall, God allowed me to see (again!) that it's not about me. I'm not the one in control - He is. Sometimes I must be brought to my knees to fully grasp how great a God I serve. I tend to get a “me” complex. It’s all about me. I also think I am the only one who can make things better. This simply is not so. Falling is not pleasant. It hurts and it’s downright humiliating, but if it happens so that I am thrown off my high horse, then so be it. I tried, but I simply can’t put into words what happened to me spiritually when I fell on Sunday. It literally happened in all of 30 seconds, but it was profound and it was perfect, even if it was caused by a most imperfect act.

I’m not sure if any of the above makes sense. Words are escaping me now. I can’t express how God used a humiliating, hurtful, humbling, imperfect situation to show me His perfect love for me. Just know that I’m forever grateful for falling on Easter morning. I can’t believe I just wrote that, but it’s true! "Because he lives, I can face tomorrow. Because he lives all fear is gone. Because I know he holds the future and life is worth the living just because he lives." I am so very thankful and so very humbled knowing that in ALL things, God’s Got This!

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Tune-In-Tuesday: March 27, 2018

I’ve been told that planks are going to make me stronger. They’re either going to do that or kill me, I haven’t figured out which one yet. I thought yoga was supposed to be relaxing! My yoga instructor has been giving me strengthening workouts and poses and believe me, they are not relaxing. I had a yoga session with her tonight and it was humbling. There may be no crying in baseball, but tonight I may or may not have shed a tear or two in yoga. I get frustrated with myself. I know “Rome wasn’t built in a day”, but sometimes I can’t even get the simplest of moves down. HOWEVER, I have the best instructor. She is so encouraging. I get frustrated at myself, but she never gets frustrated at me. She modifies things for me. But most of all, she’s encouraging. I love a challenge, but I also get easily frustrated. I want to work hard. I want to learn the poses. I want to get stronger. Meryl is the person helping me get there. I could simply quit when things get tough, but I don’t, because I’m not doing this for anyone but myself. It’s hard – harder than I ever thought it would be, but isn’t that the point? If everything was easy in life, life wouldn’t be as beautiful as it is when you conquer something. As an example: When I first started yoga, I couldn’t do the “warrior pose” at all. To be honest, sometimes I still can’t do it, but this morning, I held the pose (balancing on my right leg) for 3 minutes. THREE MINUTES!!!!!!!!! OK, I know that’s not long for some people, but for me it’s huge. To bring it back to reality though, standing on my left leg, well – I wasn’t so successful, but I’ll get there. Practice makes perfect, right?! So, while I got frustrated and disappointed and was humbled by tonight’s session, I know that with practice, I can get better. Meryl told me something else tonight that I simply adore: Do the best you can for YOU. It may have to be modified or tweaked, but who cares? Do the very best YOU can do and don’t compare yourself to others.

To be honest, this past week was emotional all the way around for me. I think I burnt both ends of the candle by just going, going, going. March 21 marked what would have been my stillborn baby sister, Stacia’s 28th birthday. That day and the days surrounding it tend to be very emotional for me. I’m the crier in the family. I accept that. I can cry at the drop of a hat (which is probably why I cried in yoga!). When Stacia died, I was just 3 months shy of turning 10. If you don’t think a 10 year old can remember/process what happened or be affected by what happened for the rest of her life, well, just ask me. Little did I know back then how much Stacia’s death would affect me, but sitting here typing this post as a 37-year-old, I can tell you it did in major ways. Stacia was nine pounds of perfect that God decided to take home. I remember the day she was stillborn. I remember her funeral. I remember she looked like a porcelain baby doll. All this to say, that every year March 21 still brings tears to my eyes and a longing for what could have been. However, God’s plan is always perfect, so I trust Him. And, like I always say, without Stacia there would have been no Steven (my brother who was born the following year in May) and he keeps our family laughing constantly. So this year, I once again survived March 21 and I thank God for His perfect plan. The week, other than being emotional, was pretty good. I had some good walking days and days where I struggled a little more, but all-in-all, it was good. There were moments that I walked excellently and then there were moments that brought me back to reality – ha!

By last Saturday, I was worn out. So much so that I slept most of the day. I did get up to eat and I did work-out and do yoga, but that was only to make me feel like I did something productive - ha! The rest of the day was spent sleeping and friending people on Facebook (just being honest!). Last week was long. Physically and emotionally, I was drained, so I was very thankful for a day of rest.

Sunday, as I was walking in to church, some of my friends, Carol and Cheryl, were walking out. Carol offered to help me in the rest of way and I let her. I had just turned down an offer of help, but when Carol asked, I decided the extra help would be great. Walking back to my car after church, I tripped a little but another friend, Carrie, was there to come beside me and walk with me. I love those who don’t think it an inconvenience and just come up beside me to help when they sense I may need it. Thank you, God for these people. Sometimes (although not in this case), it’s people I’d least expect and it makes me thankful.

As I was perusing Facebook this morning, I saw an article that explained exactly why I was (and still am) gung-ho about (potentially) writing a book: it was because I was at the beach a couple of weeks ago!! There was an article titled, “Neuroscientists Strongly Recommend That You Visit The Beach Regularly. Here’s Why”. Here are the 4 points (number 2 is my reasoning behind thinking of writing a book) they shared:

1) Going to the beach reduces stress
2) The beach boosts your creativity
3) Going to the beach can help reduce feelings of depression
4) Overall, spending time at the beach will change your perspective on life

Whether any of the above is true or not, it makes sense to me! I love, love, love the beach.

In closing, I’ll be brutally honest and say that I tend to think of myself as neither physically, mentally or spiritually strong, but my thoughts on myself are changing. They are SLOWLY changing, but they are changing. I’m seeing strength in my life where I least expected. I’m finding that things I thought I couldn’t do, I can do and I’m growing. I’m a work in progress (as we all are). I’m learning to love people more and judge less. I’m learning that with Jesus, I have everything. I’m still growing and learning, falling and getting back up again, crying tears of frustration and crying tears of joy, learning my limitations and reveling in my greatest accomplishments. I’m by no means the expert on anything in life but I do know this: God’s Got This!

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Tune-In-Tuesday: March 20, 2018

Happy first day of spring – yay! Although, if you live in East Tennessee like I do, winter is expected to rear its ugly head again tonight and tomorrow. Oh, well, this too shall pass – ha!

Speaking of spring, I’ve had a little extra spring in my step this past week because I was on VACATION at the BEACH!!!! We went to Inlet Beach, FL. It's in the panhandle near Rosemary Beach and about 40 minutes from Destin.

The beach truly is my happy place and I haven’t been in a few years.

It’s just what the doctor ordered (so to speak, no doctor actually ordered it - ha!). I’ve never been to the beach “off-season”. It was chilly, but it was still the beach with sand, sea and sun. Sometimes we just need to be “unplugged” to get charged again, right?

As I’ve mentioned on this blog before, I can walk free and easy on sand. Don’t ask me why. I can’t explain it. The doctors can’t explain it. It’s just me being uniquely me. I tried running on the sand and ended up falling, so maybe I can’t do that, or maybe it was a fluke, but after that I stuck to walking. :) The difference in my walking this time on sand was I could also walk on the hard sand with ease. The last time I was at the beach, that proved hard to do. This time, it was no sweat!

Every day, my dad and I took a walk on the beach. It was soul refreshing. I love the beach. I love walking. It was a good week. I didn’t work out or do yoga, I just walked and it was fabulous. I must admit though that I realized how slow I am when I walk on solid ground. Each day, Dad would be the last off the beach because he was carrying two huge lounge chairs. But no matter what, I was the last to arrive back at our rental. He was just faster, even with things to weigh him down. It’s OK though, because I’m still walking without a walker or a cane. I don’t mind being slow. OK, that’s not entirely true, but the point is, I still get from A to B without a walker or cane. ;)

While at the beach, I brought several books to read. What made me laugh was when I realized that every single one of them had a medical slant to them in some way. I guess my love for medicine goes beyond just watching medical shows; it now extends to reading. I'm currently reading "Last Night in the OR" by Dr. Bud Shaw. But I also have, "Ghost Boy" by Martin Pistorius, "Trauma Room Two" by Philip Allen Green, MD and "Do No Harm" by Henry Marsh. See, I wasn't kidding! All these books have me thinking again about writing my own book. ;) Would anyone buy it and read it though? I'm not all that eloquent (as you can tell if you've been following along for any length of time). It would be a huge leap of faith on my part. We'll see. I agonize over what to put in these posts every week and these are just posts! I try to be funny sometimes, but other times, the creative writing juices just don't flow like I want them to. I’m a perfectionist, so I want everything to be perfect, of course! I'll just have to pray about it and see where the Lord leads.

Tonight, I had yoga and it was wonderful. I was pushed hard again and I loved it. I didn’t think I’d love yoga this much, but I really, really do!

I think that’s all I've got for this week. It's been a very relaxing, soul-rejuvenating one for me. I'm so very thankful that spring is here and the sun is out longer! I hope everyone reading this has a very blessed week ahead and always remember…God’s Got This!

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Tune-In-Tuesday (but on a Thursday): March 8, 2018 Doctor's Update

I saw the above statement on Facebook today and it struck me as SO TRUE and so relevant for my life!

Whew!! I always feel so much better AFTER a doctor's appointment. I tend to worry about everything. I know this wrong, but I'm just being honest. When it comes to doctor's appointments, I'm always afraid I haven't done something "right" or that I haven't given my all to get better. So, I worry. There's a reason I put, "God's Got This" in every blog post - it's to remind MYSELF that He does have everything. Just like in most things in my life, I need not have worried about ANYTHING that I was worried about regarding today's neurology appointment. God is good! This isn't "the end of the road".

I got to the appointment and didn't trip, slip or fall getting in. :) As I was waiting in the exam room, I noticed that there was this pee jar (OK, specimen jar) on the table. I found it amusing, so I had to know what it was. I looked at it and it had DBS with some other letters written on the top. It was full. Pee? Water? Inquiring minds want to know!! I'll get back to this later.

Dr. Tolleson was awesome as usual. I am so very, very, very thankful that God led me to him. Looking back, to see how God orchestrated every move in getting me to Dr. T. is truly amazing. I am blessed!

Anyway, he walked in and asked: good, bad, OK? I chose OK. He TOTALLY gets that I'm frustrated. But it's not all bad. I mean, seriously two years ago, I couldn't walk without a walker, much less a cane and today I'm walking without either. I see God's hand in all of this. I really, really do - even in the hard times!

Dr. Tolleson wasn't mad or disappointed that I didn't change the settings in my DBS device. I told him that it took about a month and half after I saw him at the beginning of November and it was gradual, but all of the sudden I started walking really well. And then 2-3 weeks ago, I started not walking as great. I told him by that time, I thought it too late to make any drastic changes since I was coming to see him. He mentioned that the brain can get used to the setting it's on. He checked all my settings and said they all looked good. I always feel like I'm going in for a tune-up. Haha. I guess that's what it is really. I get hooked up to a BIG remote and Dr. Tolleson fiddles with all the settings on it. It doesn't hurt, but there is some "pulling". It kind of aches at the site of the battery. He warned me that I may feel a shock. Thankfully, I didn't/don't. I only (and every time in the past as well) just feel achy and some pulling. He mentioned that my internal battery (the one that's implanted in me under my collar bone) is starting to get a little low, but nothing to be concerned about yet. When the time comes, it'll be minor surgery to replace it. The battery typically lasts about 5 years.

He had me walk, which ya'll know is my absolute FAVORITE part of the appointment. For those that are new to this blog, that last sentence was said with major sarcasm, as it's actually the worst part of the appointment for me. Coming in a second close as the worst part would be getting weighed - I don't like that part either! Anyway, I walked for him and he noticed that I'm still walking on the outside of my foot. I walked down the hall for him and back again. When I got to him, I asked if he wanted me to keep walking and he said I didn't have to - yay! He got all he needed. He said that the foot surgery I had last year did set me back. He didn't say I shouldn't have had it (in fact he said it was necessary when I had called him to ask if I should have it in the first place). It was just a little setback. So, I'm back on track now.

I spoke with him about a few issues that I had been having. I wasn't sure if they were related to the DBS or the electricity. He calmed and eased my worries about each issue.

He commended me on figuring out by myself that the batteries needed to be replaced in my DBS remote. He said he gets the most calls about there being something wrong with a patient's remote and the only thing wrong with it is that it needs the battery changed!

I told Dr. Tolleson that I only fell once since last seeing him and he was happy about that. I also told him that I wish he could see when I walk really well. To that he said, if I needed him, to call and he would get me in to see him. I told him that I didn't need to see him necessarily, but I would like it if he could see me walking well. :) One of these days, he will and when that day happens, it'll be monumental!

Here's the plan we came up with. I'm in Group A right now and he left me there, but increased the electricity that I'm getting in that group. I was at 3.00 volts and now I'm at 3.20. He wants me to give it about a month. If I'm not happy or pleased with it, I can increase the electricity one or two notches. If I'm still not seeing results, I can change to Group D. Group D will allow me to oscillate between settings. This is where he brought up the fact that the brain can get used to the setting it's on/with the electricity it's being given and the electricity just stops being effective. That's why oscillating the electricity can help. And after trying that, if I'm still not seeing results, he told me to call him. ;) I'm seeing him again in four months which will be July.

I couldn't let Dr. Tolleson go without asking him about the pee (specimen) jar. He started with, "It's not mine!" which made me laugh. Then he explained that it helps to show tremors. If a patient holds it in his/her hand, a tremor can be seen. And it was filled with water, not pee. ;) So, my inquiring mind was satisfied.

Again, God answered all my prayers. There are more options. There's HOPE. I can still improve from where I am now. I told Dr. Tolleson that I remembered telling him before the surgery that if I could walk with just a cane, I'd be over the moon happy. He smiled and looked at me and said, "we always want more, don't we?' I laughed. Yes, I always want more. He knows I get frustrated. He knows that I think I should be farther along then I am. But, he takes it in stride and he's always encouraging. I had to laugh though as he somewhat tripped getting up to leave. I told him he wasn't allowed to trip, that's my job. ;)

Today was good. God DOES have this! I keep wanting to snatch the reigns out of His hands sometimes, but He holds firmly to them and doesn't allow me to get in my own way, for which I am so thankful. Thank you for all the prayers and for all the encouragement.

Since I've written two blog posts this week, I'm going to skip my normal Tuesday update next week (because really, who wants to hear from me that much?!), but will be back again the following week. Thank you again for reading, for encouraging, for praying and for all your love! Have a blessed day and week and always remember, God's Got This!

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Tune-In-Tuesday: March 6, 2018

I find that when I’m least expecting it, God shows up to cheer me up! That’s what just happened. I’ll admit that I’m in a melancholy mood today. It’s been 2 years since I had deep brain stimulation surgery. 2 years. In some ways, I can’t believe it’s only been 2 years and in other ways, I know it’s been 2 years, if you get my drift. Haha. I'm feeling a little sorry for myself – that I’m not farther along than I want to be or thought I would be at this point, but then God reminded me of what I said to the neurosurgeon and my neurologist: if I could just walk with a cane, I’d be happy. I don’t walk with anything now. Yes, maybe I should, at times, but I’m stubborn and I don’t, so I DON’T WALK WITH A WALKER OR CANE. And I told the doctors I’d be over the moon if I could just get around with a cane. PERSPECTIVE, people…it’s all about perspective!

I say that and yet I worry what Dr. Tolleson (my neurologist) will say when I see him on Thursday. Will he be mad that I didn’t “play” with the different settings? (I didn’t change the settings because they worked, but recently I’ve been having more problems). Will he be disappointed in my progress (or lack there of)? Will this be the end of the road (meaning he won’t have anything else for me to try)? We are both perfectionists. I want to walk perfectly. I don’t want to settle. I’ve seen a glimpses of perfect, so I know I can do it. I get frustrated when I can’t do it all the time. Another doctor asked me this week if I was prepared for it to be more of an ebb and flow process? I guess I could get used to that, but I'd rather it just be an "I can walk with no problems" process. ;) I sound like I’m whining, don’t I? Nobody likes to hear (or read as the case may be) whining, so I’ll quit. It’s just that I do want you to know that I do get down and I do get frustrated and sometimes I have pity parties for myself!

All that said, I had a good week. I didn’t fall. Last Tuesday, I became semi-famous (hahaha – not really at all!!) by reminiscing on camera about a taxidermy skunk that I won at a company holiday party back in 2015. Thirty seconds before I won the skunk, I turned to my co-worker Justin and promised that if I won it, I would give it to him. So, that’s exactly what I did. He wanted it so bad and really, what was I going to do with a taxidermy skunk?! Justin named him Slater.

Last Thursday, Mom and I went to see Miranda Lambert in concert. It was a blast! I’m blessed to have a mom who wants to do these things with me! Also, navigating concert venues without a walker or cane is SO much easier. Although, to be honest, I held on to Mom's arm the entire time (walking in and out), so I could 1) Walk faster and 2) not fall. I could do it without holding on to her, it would just take a LOT longer. ;)

I also got to wear my new socks that I got at my friend Kristen’s store:

On Saturday, I sat at Mom’s Parade of Tables table at church along with my sisters-in-law.

On Sunday, I needed help getting in to church, but I knew I needed help and I accepted it from a friend, thankful she was there to help me out! Also on Sunday, my niece, Baby (haha, she’ll be 2 on April 11, I don’t why I still think of her as “baby”) Hope sat on my lap the entire length of the church service and she walked with me up to Communion. Just holding her hand allowed me to be completely able to walk without issue. Amazing how the touch of a hand can allow that in me!

Today, as I was feeling frustrated with my walking, my sweet co-workers cheered me on. Seriously, everywhere I need it, God sends his angles to help. My co-workers are gems. They encourage me so much and remind me of where I was and where I am now. My friends at church do the same, as do all my friends. Sometimes, I only see the struggle, but am so encouraged by others who see that I’m only focusing on that and try to get me to see what has improved. I am most certainly blessed.

I don’t know why I had to do this at 11pm last night, but the thought came to mind that maybe I should check my remote control to the deep brain stimulation device. Maybe it accidentally got turned off. Again, why I couldn’t have checked this early in the day, is beyond me. I got it out and turned it on and got this message:

I had to find the manual and figure out what that meant. Turns out, the batteries were dead and needed to be changed.

It’s only the batteries to the remote, meaning the stimulator is still on and working, I just wouldn’t have been able to do any programming with the remote. After a change of batteries, the remote worked perfectly.

I’m excited, yet anxious about my neurology appointment on Thursday. I just don’t want to be at the “we’ve done all we can” part. I want to keep getting better. I’ve come this far. I know deep down in my heart that God’s God This. I need to keep reminding myself of it.

Thank you, again for continuing to follow along on this journey with me and for enduring my whining. Writing is cathartic. I’m an introvert, so writing allows me to get all my feelings out. You can choose to either read or not read this blog and I’ll never know!! Haha. But if you’ve read this far, I commend you. And I thank you. You are a blessing to me.

No matter how frustrated or melancholy I may get, I always, always, always know that God’s Got This! And as long as He’s with me on this journey, I’ll be alright.