Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Tune-In Tuesday: November 14

On more than one occasion this past week, by more than one person, I've been told that I'm stubborn. Ha! As if I didn't already know that. ;) I like to think that I'm more tenacious then stubborn though. It has a better ring to it! Don't get me wrong, I probably cower more than I roar, shrink back in fear, more than I charge ahead with confidence, but every once in awhile good 'ole stubborn tenacity takes ahold and I make it. I'm not brave, courageous, or fearless, but God grants me the tenacity to get by.

I'm thankful to report that I've had no falls this past week. Walking's been good some days and not so good other days, but by God's grace, I've made it! I saw this sign in a store a couple of months ago and I love it. I have to daily (sometimes hourly) remind myself of this.

Last month I saw this on Facebook. While I'm not necessarily going through major bad times, it reminded me that sometimes I have to be brought low before the Lord can use me. I have to be humbled.

I've been humbled and helped this past week. At work, I had a meeting "in the other building". We have two buildings that connect to each other via a walkway, but they are actually two separate buildings, so I had a meeting in the building where I don't have a cube and desk. At the very end of that meeting, the fire alarms went off and everyone had to evacuate. My meeting was on the second floor which meant I had to walk down a flight of stairs. I absolutely LOVE my co-workers. They spring into action and become protective of me in these situations. In this particular situation, I was with Debbie and Leslie. Debbie walked in front of me down the stairs and once I was down the stairs, Leslie gave me her arm to hold so I could walk faster. We made it safely. On Sunday, I was struggling a little getting in to church. One of my friends saw me from where she was inside and came to my rescue (thank you, Carrie!). I could have made it, but God knew I needed just a little more help that day. It's not always easy for me to acknowledge I can't do something without someone else's help. Being humbled isn't glamorous. But it's instances like this, that I'll never forget. I am so blessed by the people God's put in my life.

I absolutely love this quote my Martin Luther:

I've debated on whether to change frequencies or not in my deep brain stimulation device. As of this moment, I'm sticking with what I've been on. I see the neurologist on November 30, so that's not too far away and I haven't fallen.

I certainly have bad days when I'm grouchy, moody, tearful, jealous, and the list could go on, but I also know I'm being refined, molded, crafted and created into the woman God wants me to be. I am growing in my faith in Jesus. He's allowing me to see this. I'm growing in maturity. I'm growing in confidence in who I am in God's eyes. The world judges harshly (and I know this because I judge as well), but the only One whose judgment I need to worry about is Jesus. As I've said before, I want my life to reflect the Lord. The grace He's given me is unimaginable. I fall (both literally and spiritually) so many times and yet He's always there to pick me up, dust me off and steer me in the right direction.

How cool is this?! When I got on Facebook today it reminded me that on this day in 2010 I posted this: "My Dad's sermons get more and more meaningful to me the older I get...'Life is difficult, God is merciful, Heaven is sure'." How appropriate that was back in 2010 and how appropriate it is to me still today in 2017!

God's Got This!!

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Tune-In-Tuesday: November 7

NOVEMBER 7 - How in the world is it already NOVEMBER 7?! In a couple short weeks it'll be Thanksgiving and then Christmas!!

I had a fantastic day today. I can't say much about it, but Mom and I took a daytrip to Nashville to attend a taping of a talk show and it was fabulous!! I also realized that this was the FIRST time in a very long time that we took the trip for something other than a doctor's appointment. Although at first, it did remind of those trips. We left Knoxville super early (6:15am our time, 5:15am Nashville time). It was POURING rain. Like, people were pulled over on the side of the road waiting it out, pouring down rain, but we made it safely to Nashville and back. It was so, so, so very good to be going for something fun and not another doctor's appointment. Although, I must say when we did/do have to go for doctor's appointments, Mom makes it super fun. We usually do something exciting after the appointment - go to lunch, go to a show, go shopping - something like that. But today was purely fun. :) I'm sure if you're friends with me on Facebook or in real life (ha!), you'll be hearing about our fun day soon, but for now, we have to keep it under wraps.

As much fun as today was, I realized ever so much that the more excited I get (whether that's good or bad excitement), the worse my symptoms get. Also, the more I sit, the worse they get. If I delay a dosage of medication (I still take the same amount, but I'm pretty rigid in what hour of the day I take it, so if that's delayed an hour or two), that effects it. Plus, the weather wasn't helping any. BUT, I didn't fall. In fact, I didn't fall all week. So that's a win! But, it's also a little discouraging when I don't have the best walking day because then I realize that I'm not quite "there" yet. I still have issues. But, maybe that's to keep me humble? I mean, I'm still not using a walker or cane (which I probably should use on some occasions, but I'm just stubborn enough not to). I get around. So, that's a win!

Maybe it was the trip to Nashville, but I've had it in my mind all week (ha - today is only Tuesday, but since last week is what I mean) that it was this coming Thursday that I see my neurologist again. Then it bummed me out when I realized, I don't see him until November 30. But, at least I have it to look forward to. That appointment will be when we "start from scratch" with the settings in my deep brain stimulation device. He'll wipe out all the ones he has previously set, and create new settings. I border on being really, really excited about this and really, really cautious about it. In real life (and not the one I can sometimes hide behind in a blog), I tend to be more of a pessimist than an optimist. This has gotten better through the years, but it's still my tendency to think "the sky is falling" rather than see the glass half full. I'm working on being more optimistic. My mom has taught me to always look forward to something. If I'm feeling depressed about something, look forward to the next exciting/fun thing that's planned and if nothing's planned - plan something!! Back to the reset of the settings in my device - I'm truly astounded at how many things we have left to test. The neurosurgeon mapped so many brain waves (I'm not even sure that's the technical/medical term for it, but hopefully you get my drift) that there are still many, many settings the neurologist can program into my device and I can test. The brain is beautiful and complex.

While my mood may change from being excited one minute about the future to worry the next, I do have an underlying joy that never goes away. Happiness is built on happenstance, but joy comes from the Lord. God's Got This!

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Tune-In-Tuesday: October 31

So here it is, 9:00pm and I’m just starting this post. But, it’s still Tuesday, so I’m still writing a post. Happy Halloween and/or Happy Reformation day! It’s been a long but good one for me. I started it at 4:45am and who knows when I’ll finish. :) I hope your day has been just as good!

I must admit that after being in a great mood after my last post, Satan swept in with a mighty force. I was in a “funk” a lot of the week. I shouldn’t have been, but I was. I am still very excited about new possibilities regarding my walking, but for whatever reason I let fear and doubt and Satan himself crowd my thoughts.

I had no falls this week, except for tonight, but it wasn’t a usual fall. I got caught up in a leash and balloon string and just went down. My mom’s trunk at “trunk or treat” was “Howl-laween” and all about dogs including an appearance by the one and only Eddie – my brother and sister-in-law’s long haired Chihuahua. I got caught up in his leash, as well as some balloon strings, tripped and fell. It’s OK though. I’m alright. I half expected Eddie to have a bald spot at the end of the night from ALL of the people petting him. Seriously, almost everyone that came through our line, petted him. He was a gem though. He didn't bark or make a peep the entire night and he let everyone pet him for as long as they wanted to.

I’ve had an absolute blast this past weekend and tonight. Having nieces is seriously the best thing in life. I’ve had so much fun seeing the world through their eyes. We went to so many fall festivals and fun events this past weekend. I feel incredibly blessed to be their aunt. It’s kind of cool that they don’t ever see any disability in me, I’m just “Aunt Stephanie”. To see the world through a child’s eyes is absolutely magical.

From the beginning of the week to the end of the week, I had a complete turn-around in my mood and way of thinking. I started it letting Satan run wild, but ended it with Jesus taking control of the reigns again. As my dad said, I’ve made great strides and things are a whole lot better than they were. I’m not using a walker or cane (although some people think I should at times). I have just enough of a stubborn streak in me to forge ahead even when I do fall or have bad walking days. If it doesn’t get any better than this, well, we all have our “thing” in life to deal with. This is one of my “things”. I still beg God to heal me. I still have hope that new settings and frequencies will help me. It’s all about hope.

This past week was one of growth. One of those moments came when I walked into a doctor's office. There were two construction workers outside of the building. I could sense that they were watching me walk. I usually cower at these incidents. But that day, for some reason, I decided to look them right in the eye and smile and tell them "thank you" for holding the door open for me. I swallowed my pride and didn't cower - that's growth, right?! I'm so thankful that God allows me to see growth in myself.

I want everything in my life to point to Jesus. The older I get, the more important that gets. I want to be who God wants me to be. I want His light to shine through my life. That doesn’t happen overnight, but I do hope I’m making great strides. I’m human, like everyone else. I make mistakes, get frustrated, depressed, impatient, but in the end, my life is nothing if it doesn’t give glory to God. Even with all the missteps (haha, see what I did there?!) in my life, I’m thankful that I have a forgiving and grace-filled Father.

Even with a skinned knee tonight, I sit here typing this post and can’t help but give thanks to Jesus for all the many, many, many blessings in my life. God’s Got This!!

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Tune-In-Tuesday: October 24 (Doctor's Appointment Update)

I had an appointment yesterday with my neurologist. It went well. However, for this perfectionist and her perfectionist doctor, not well enough. ;) I love that my doctor is a perfectionist too. He's never come right out and said that, but being one myself, I'm pretty sure he is. Here’s how the appointment went:

Two weeks ago, I turned the electricity up to 3.40 volts on frequency B. The first thing Dr. Tolleson asked me yesterday was what frequency I had landed on. I told him I tried the two new ones he had programmed last time around (A being the low one, C being the high one), but nothing worked, so I went back to B – which he had left as the frequency and settings that I had come in on. He said, “I thought D was the one that I programmed as the same settings.” Seriously?! My reaction was, “D, really?! I could have sworn you said B!” He said, “Well, I could be wrong. I do make mistakes occasionally.” It turns out, I think he was right, but who knows for sure. I found where I had written down everything he told me the last time I saw him and I had written “A is low, B is the same and C is high”, but in his notes, he had written D is the same. As he quipped, “B and D do sound alike.” Haha.

He had me walk for him and he checked all the settings on my device. I told him how I had tried both new frequencies and then experimented with the amount of electricity in each of those frequencies, but nothing seemed to work. He could also tell from his device how I experimented. He showed me how I (unbeknownst to me) was within the same range of volts of electricity no matter what frequency I was on. He again explained to me that dystonia is tricky to treat. I explained to him my fears that I’m “not doing it right” when trying to treat symptoms or getting on the right frequency with the right level of electricity. He assured me that I’m doing everything “right”, or at least doing what he’s told me to do. I asked him, “What should I be looking for? If I have a bad day or a bad week should I consider changing frequencies or the amount of electricity I’m giving myself?” He said for a bad day, he wouldn’t consider changing anything, but a bad week, yes. I told him how when I get nervous about walking (i.e. in a parking lot – with nothing to hold on to or catch myself with), I walk stiff-legged. He asked if I was using any assistive devices. I told him I wasn't although I know people who want me to use them! I may be just a little stubborn. The goal is to get my leg muscles to loosen up. I told him that I walk stiff-legged sometimes because I feel like if I bend my knee correctly, my leg will spasm. It’s a never-ending cycle of either being too stiff or too spastic. I also told him that I fear that everything’s psychological – that I’m somehow making myself not walk correctly. To that he said, it’s not psychological; it’s definitely physical. (This was right after he had observed me walking.) He could physically tell that my foot and leg are still not relaxing enough. It felt so good to be validated. It is physical.

I told Dr. Tolleson that I’m doing better on this higher level of electricity. He asked what I meant by "better". I tried to explain it to him. The muscles in my leg are looser – not as stiff and I can stretch out my foot flatter without it turning in so much, but then again, it's still not enough (at least for me and I think probably for him too). He asked if I ever felt that I had gotten to the "sweet spot". I told him I thought I had, maybe. It was between the time that I last saw him at Vanderbilt (January 30, 2017) and when I had surgery on my toes (May 2017). That frequency and level of electricity seemed to work the best, but then I started having problems with my toes, hence the toe surgery and then I got worse after the surgery. But then again, maybe it wasn't as good as I remember. No setting has ever been "perfect". You’d think it might be as easy as going back to that frequency and level of electricity that I felt was the best, but it’s not. Since then, he’s programmed over that information with new settings and frequencies. I can’t just go back to my blog and see where I was at and change it. It gets very confusing and convoluted trying to remember all the frequencies and levels I’ve been on, because in a little less than two years post-op, I’ve been on a lot! Dr. T. acknowledge that as well. We’ve been testing and experimenting a long time and yet – there’s still more that can be tested and experimented with! Dr. T. has everything recorded and documented, but it’s still a ton of information. Sometimes, knowing that there are still lots of options and lots of frequencies and settings to experiment with, is a little overwhelming and sometimes it gives me hope. Yesterday after the appointment, I was somewhere in the middle of being overwhelmed and being hopeful, but today, I'm not overwhelmed; I'm only hopeful.

There were two options that Dr. Tolleson gave me yesterday. One was he could adjust the frequencies and settings that I am on now. The second option was that we could start from scratch. Without hesitation, I blurted out, “Let’s start from scratch!” Really?! I just want to walk. I couldn’t believe that I opted to start from scratch. But, I do want to start there. Like, really, really want to. There are more options. It gives me hope. It gives me something else to fight for. What does starting from scratch mean? Well, I’m not entirely sure, to be completely honest. But, after some discussion with Dr. T. it’s what I feel like I should do.

The plan for now is to stay where I’m at right now (frequency wise) unless I have a bad week (fall-wise). Then I can try Frequency D. I can still go up or down electricity wise in each of these frequencies. I’ve scheduled another appointment with Dr. Tolleson for November 30. It’s an hour-long appointment where he will go in-depth on the frequencies and electricity levels, see how I react, watch me walk and see what needs to be adjusted – that sort of thing. My understanding is that he’ll wipe out all the frequencies and settings that he’s programmed as of now and start from scratch.

I’m continually amazed at how one “simple” stimulator in my brain can have so many options to experiment with. I guess that’s why the initial surgery took 3-4 hours. They did test a ridiculous amount of areas all so that I wouldn’t have to go through the actual surgery part again, but so that I and the doctors could be given option after option until we hit that “sweet spot.” The neurosurgeon told mom and I that no two people have the same “sweet spot”. It’s annoying and awesome all at the same time. We’re all unique!

I had a good week this past week. No falls! My dad even commented that I seemed to be walking better. I'm very, very thankful for good days. Some days and some circumstances are better then others, but isn't it like that for everyone? I'm very, very thankful that, God's Got This!

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Tune-In Tuesday: October 17

You know how sometimes some of the simplest concepts in life hit you right smack between the eyes? That happened to me yesterday. I was speaking with someone on my fear of walking in front of people/my fear of people watching me walk. Her response: "You've been walking in front of people your entire life. What's changed? Why are you so afraid of people seeing you walk now?" And just like that it struck me: I'm letting fear walk all over me (so to speak!).

As Martin Luther puts it, I want to have a "daring confidence in God's grace". That's my goal. Be daring. Be confident. And yes, even be graceful - haha. I know that last one is taken out of context and not at all what he meant, but I do want to be graceful. ;) Three words that couldn't be farther from who I actually am: daring, confident, graceful. But God can change that. This coming week that's what I want to focus on most - being daring, confident and graceful. :)

Last week wasn't so bad. I'm still on 3.40 volts of electricity on Frequency B. That's one thing I'm proud of - I didn't mess with it! I'm practicing patience. Now, if I can make it one more week, I see my neurologist on October 23. The added electricity has actually helped a lot. Nothing's perfect, but it never will be. It has improved though and that's what I'm thankful for!

Another thing I'm thankful for is this:

Yes, there is now handicap parking right in front of the entrance at work. It may seem like a very inconsequential thing to most people, but to me, it's everything. As I said in a thank you e-mail, no one will truly know how much it means to me. Seriously. I know that they didn't make this change just for me, but I am so very, very thankful for it nonetheless. I didn't think that at 37 years old, getting handicap parking moved closer to the entrance of work would be something that made me so happy and full of joy, but it is. I am forever grateful.

I'm also grateful for no falls. I didn't want to fall into Fall. :) Things are not perfect and probably not even where I wanted them to be at this point in time, but God's writing this story, not me. He's got all kinds of plot twists. That's where faith steps in. That's where my "daring confidence in God's grace" steps in. Because, after all, God's Got This!

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Turn-It-Up Tuesday: October 10

Ya'll - I'm kind of speechless. As I was logging on to start this blog post, I saw how many people read my post from last week and I was floored. It might be my highest read post to date. I can't be certain though because I didn't actually take the time to look. Again, I don't want to get a big head or anything, but I was so taken aback at how many people read last's week's post that it's got me wondering what I said in it that got ya'll to read it! I'm humbled that people read what I write, because, in my opinion, I don't have anything interesting to say. I just write what's on my heart and in my head. But, I do pray over every post. I pray that God will turn my unpolished words into something someone can relate to or be comforted by. I pray that my words would be His words and that ALL glory would go to Him.

Being completely honest, tonight I'm just not in the mood to write. I don't feel inspired. I don't feel like I have anything of importance to say. But, even when I'm not in the mood to write, I write. I write so that I'll have record of what's happening in my life. I write, because somehow, God turns these lowly posts into something else. I don't really know how He uses these posts or my struggles in general to help others, but somehow, miraculously, I know He does. It's completely fine for me not to know how He uses these posts or my journey. In fact, NOT knowing, keeps me from becoming arrogant. Seriously, when I hit "post", I don't look back. I don't see how many people read or don't read my post until the following week when I come to post again. But, I'm thankful for you, those that take the time to read my ramblings. I thankful for those who take the time to write me or say something to me. Thank you - from the bottom of my heart - thank you!

The past week was fine - no falls and no major "drama" - haha. Some weeks, it's good to live a "boring" life! Last evening was interesting though. This will give you an idea of how slow I am sometimes. I was leaving work and I passed two co-workers who were talking to each other in the hall. I told them goodnight and continued to make my way to the elevator (side note: I take the stairs up in the morning, because I can ROCK going up stairs, but I take the elevator going downstairs because if I didn't, I'd probably be ROLLING down them.). I noticed one of the co-workers that had been talking in the hall, was leaving now as well. As the elevator opened on the first floor, she was already walking out the front door. When I got to the front door, she was half-way down the walkway. She made it to her car and I was still on the walkway. She got in her car and drove past me. Then a second later, she pulled into an empty spot, got out and shouted my way, "Do you want some help?" And since she stopped and asked, I obliged. I could have made it, but it would have taken me forever. I just wanted to get home. She walked me with me and I was fine. But, it got me thinking again - why am I denying myself more electricity if that's what I need? What if more DBS electricity got me moving faster? So, after four weeks at 2.90 volts on Frequency B, this morning I stayed on Frequency B, but went up to 3.40 volts. We'll see what that does. If it's too much, I can always go back down. This also gives me two weeks to test this level (if I don't get antsy and change it again) until I see Dr. Tolleson.

I laughed to myself today because I started thinking how ridiculous it was for me to worry about walking. That's not something a "normal" human being worries about. But we've all got "our thing" in life and one of my "things" is having difficulty walking. It keeps me humble, that's for sure. I don't know why God just doesn't heal me instantly. Sometimes I get down about that, but I always come to the same conclusion: He knows what He is doing and I have faith that it's not for my harm, but for my good. So, I stop and turn my thinking around. God's blessed me with ways in which to worship Him even in the midst of things. God's plan is always perfect. Always.

I know, deep down in my heart, that God's working in me and through me and that He's using this struggle I have to refine me. I know that in Him, ALL things are possible and I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God's Got This!

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Tune-In-Tuesday: October 3

“I get knocked down, but I get up again.”

Victoria Arlen. I mentioned her before on this blog a few weeks ago. I didn't know about her until I saw her on “Dancing with the Stars” (which I don't normally watch). Ever since I saw this season's premiere episode with her as one of the stars, she’s been inspiring me. I “liked” her page on Facebook and every Tuesday morning I watch the dance she performed from the night before. To give you a tiny snippet of what she’s gone through: she was in a vegetative state for almost four years, locked inside her body. “She faced the reality of paralysis from the waist down due to damage to her spine.” (Taken from her bio on Facebook). She can’t feel her legs, ya’ll. And she’s dancing. Only by the grace of God. Now she’s a sports reporter for ESPN. The song she danced to last night was “I Get Knocked Down”. Appropriate on so many levels. She’s a living, breathing, dancing miracle and an inspiration.

Friday evening something happened that truly blessed and encouraged me. I was leaving work and a co-worker (who I don’t know), yelled to me across the parking lot, “You’re an inspiration!”. I looked over at my co-worker Debbie who was walking with me. Was that meant for me or someone else? I looked around me and motioned with my hand, “me?”. Yes, he was talking to me. He said he’s watched me struggle to get in to work or back out to my car. He said, “I’ve seen you take 10 minutes to get into work and look at you now!” I don’t really know what he was seeing because I was not having the greatest of ease walking that night, but his words did encourage me. If I get knocked down, I must get back up again. He went on to say, “You did this, didn’t you? You made this happen?” He was motioning toward the construction going on in the parking lot as the handicap spots are being moved closer to the front door. To that, I said, “No, she’s the one that made it happen.", as I motioned to Debbie. “She’s the one who sent the e-mail.” She has nothing to gain from it, but she championed it anyway. He looked at me and said, “But this is for you, right?” To which I exclaimed, “To everyone who needs it, that’s who it’s for.” I had no clue how much God would encourage me with this co-worker's words. I certainly didn't know I was inspiring him. This journey is definitely not easy. There are many times I think to myself, "Stephanie, just walk...you did once before, do it again!" But all in God's time. I get angry and frustrated and worn-out. But then God sends a refreshing breeze in the form of a co-worker. This co-worker certainly blessed me more than I think he’ll ever know and certainly more than I inspire him.

When I started having walking problems, I didn't ever think anyone would tell me that I'm an inspiration. I just wanted whatever was wrong to be fixed. I don't think of myself as an inspiration. I don't want to get a big head about it, so I truly, truly try to stay away from any thoughts that may make me act proud or better than someone else, because I'm not better than anyone else. So, to those that have said I'm an inspiration to them, thank you. I don't deserve that compliment in the least bit. It's all God. My life is in God's hands. I want my life to be a reflection of Him. I fail miserably at this every single day. I am thankful that God grants me His grace. Being called an inspiration is humbling, for I truly don't see why I would be. I’m just a girl trying to get from Point A to Point B without falling and embarrassing myself. The struggle is real – very real, but we all have our own struggles in life, don’t we?

I was completely blown away and inspired by Sunday School this past Sunday. Somehow, our discussion on 2 Corinthians 1 turned into a talk about perseverance, struggles, friendship and so much more. It refreshed my soul. I am so very thankful for the group of people who make up this class. I learn so much from the Word of God, but also from their different perspectives. God has truly blessed me by sending these people into my life.

A blessing that’s been wrapped in a burden has been rolling out over the past few weeks and months. I confided to my fellow classmates in Sunday School that there are two places that I have the hardest time walking into and out of: church and work. I feel like people may be staring at me (whether they are or not) and I have nothing to grab ahold of if need be to catch myself. I’ve been having a hard time with those two places. That’s the burden. The blessing(s) has been: God has never once let me down. I pray that I would be able to make it in to work or church without falling, tripping or slipping. If I can do it “on my own”, perfect. But if I can’t, I’ve been asking the Lord to bring people to help. He’s answered. From Todd to Ursula, from Mark to Debbie, from Sarah to Angela, from Chris to Anna and the list goes on. I am exceedingly blessed. And, as a bonus, I have gotten to know so many people on a much deeper level. It amuses me to see how God works. He doesn’t necessarily send my best friends to help me out. He sends people who I know, but not well. And it’s been the biggest blessing. I’m getting to know more people. How did the burden of walking in to or out of church or work become a blessing? Jesus. He flipped what was burdensome into these amazing, beautiful blessings. If you’re one of the people that has helped me, from the bottom of my heart, I want you to know that you were “an angel unaware” and I’m forever grateful and humbled. Thank you!

So, even though I started this entry with, “I get knocked down, but I get up again.”, I’m happy to report that in reality, I didn’t get “knocked down” this week. I didn’t fall. Praise Jesus. Satan’s been around, lurking, but I ask God to put his mighty and strong tower around me - one that the devil can not penetrate. Satan has been known to flood with my thoughts with, “you’re going to fall”, “you’re never going to get better”, “you’re not good enough”, “everyone’s just being kind to you because they pity you”, “God’s not going to protect you”. BUT – while those thoughts do creep in from time to time, if I stop (sometimes quite literally) and focus on Jesus, take a deep breath and gather myself, Satan’s banished and I feel that strong and mighty tower protecting me. I’m not going to lie, there are times that walking seems so scary and undoable that I cower in a corner, but even then, God plucks me from the throws of self-doubt and again puts my feet on solid ground.

I have a little conundrum (I HAD to find a way to use that word again today. I said it at work and my co-workers found it amusing. It was my "big word of the day" - ha!) My conundrum: self-doubt in what I should do next. In some ways I feel like I need to adjust the electricity in my deep brain stimulation device to go up, but in other ways, I want to keep it where it’s at. I feel like I may be on the right frequency, but maybe not the right amount of electricity. I go back to the neurologist on October 23. I don’t want Dr. Tolleson to look at the settings and see that for the past month I haven’t stuck with one setting for more than a week. He wants me to get to a setting and stay there. The more I’m on one setting consistently, the better. But I don’t want to suffer either. See my conundrum? So, for now, I’ll remain on the setting I’ve been on now for the past 3 weeks. That doesn’t mean by this time next week, I’ll still be on it, but for tonight that’s where I’ll remain. There are so many gray areas in this condition and with DBS for dystonia patients. Sometimes, that aggravates the stew out of me (like right now) and other times, I welcome it because it means things could get better with a different approach.

All-in-all, I’ve had a wonderfully blessed week. I may not always see blessings in the moment, but reflecting on moments grants me the ability to see blessings everywhere – whether big or small.

God’s Got This!