Tuesday, February 24, 2015

And so it goes…

I am so, so sad right now.
I had absolutely no idea ten years ago when I first started having noticeable symptoms of dystonia, exactly how vital the right doctor was in treating any disease. I soon realized that one neurologist is not like another and that the “right” fit of neurologist to patient takes time to find. In my case it took me five years. And yesterday, I was completely devastated. I got a letter in the mail saying that my neurologist, with his wife and family, is moving out of state to be closer to extended family. I actually cried. Don’t laugh. And still today, I feel so, so sad. I knew what I had was special. Not everyone finds the perfect fit with a doctor or healthcare professional, but after years of struggling, I finally did and now I don’t have that anymore.
I know there are so many other things to be sad about in the world right now, which is why I even debated about blogging on this. I don’t want it to seem like this is the biggest problem – for I know it isn’t. Life goes on, people move on and so will I, but for right now I’m just sad.
If anyone has any recommendations for a new neurologist in the East Tennessee area, please share. That’s how I found Dr. M. My friend, Cheryl spoke up and said she knew the best neurologist around and she did.
And so it goes…my search for a new neurologist begins. As my mom said, maybe I’ll find someone even better than Dr. M. I don’t know if I will or not, but I do know that everything happens for a reason. God is good. He sent me Dr. M. and He will send me the next neurologist. God is in the details. I will trust Him.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Second Nature

Last night it struck me - walking with a walker has become second nature for me. I don't even think about it any more. This is an amazing development for me. I still remember how I felt when it sunk in that I would have to use a walker (or some form of help) for the rest of my life. I was devastated. How would life go on?

But now, walking with a walker is second nature. I instantly reach for it when I stand up. When I wake up in the morning and get out of bed, I instinctively reach for the walker. When I get up from my desk at work, I instinctively reach for the walker. I automatically throw it in the car, without a second thought. The fact that I don't even think about it any more comes as joy. Strange, I know, but joy nonetheless. I never in a million years ever thought that I would get used to it. So, it's with joy, that I say that it's second nature for me now.

I am extremely thankful that the Lord has allowed me to adjust to life with a walker. I think once I stopped fighting Him on it, it became easier to accept! Funny how that works. I am mindfully trying to accept what the Lord has allowed and am trying to use it for Him. Thank you to all of you who have encouraged me and loved me despite the walker. You really have no clue (even though I've tried to explain) how much having to use the walker really made me afraid to face the world. But, God was and is with me the entire time and He and I have navigated life with a walker to the point where it's just what it is: a device to help me get around. I still have moments of fear and doubt and embarrassment, but it's nowhere near how I imagined it would be. When I first started using the walker, I was afraid to face the world, but now God has brought me to a place of peace and I want to show the world what I'm made of. Don't get me wrong - sometimes out of the blue, the same fear, self-doubt and embarrassment that I felt in the early days of having to use the walker creep in and nestle within me, but I know that I am loved by a great God and no matter how I have to navigate to get around, He's with me every step of the way.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Fun Fact February

Hey ya'll!! It's February :) Everything is going fine on the dystonia front. Nothing new to report except that I love, love, love my new walker! (Something I never thought I'd be saying at 34.) I haven't fallen - yay! Even the cold weather hasn't made anything worse. I am very, very thankful! Since everything has been going well, I thought I'd use this blog post to list some fun, relatively unknown, facts about me. I saw something similar going around Facebook and I thought it would be fun to do. Here are 28 (one for each day in February) facts about me (in no particular order!):

1. I hate being late. So much so that I would rather skip an entire event then walk in late.
2. My childhood nickname was Goose. I have no idea why, it just was. My mom never called me Stephanie; it was Goose.
3. Upon first getting glasses, I made my brother switch the channels on the VCR while I stood at the very back of the family room and read off the channels to him. I couldn't believe all that I had been missing before getting glasses (and later on, contacts.)
4. I have always wanted twins.
5. I am the oldest of 11 grandchildren on my Mom's side and the only girl. On my Dad's side, there are also 11 grandchildren and I am one of only 2 girls. My cousin's name is Bethany - our names rhyme!
6. I had two imaginary friends growing up: Ratch and Rack. Ratch was a boy, Rack was a girl (I think!)
7. My brothers and I used to play this game: If Mom had just gone to the grocery store and it was raining, we would go get in my parent's closet and sit in the laundry baskets and pretend that our house was flying. We were OK because we had enough food to last us a long time. The rain and wind outside made it more adventurous :)
8. I have an unnatural, horrific fear of snakes. I can't even look at pictures of them without being scared.
9. When I was 13, we moved to Tennessee. Mom and I were in the car one day going down the Interstate. I looked over and saw satellite dishes and I told Mom that I was going to work at that place one day. I didn't even know what it was, but I figured it had to do with TV. I've been working there now for 10 years this year.
10. My hair didn't turn curly until I hit puberty.
11. I have an uncanny knack for picking up and remembering (sometimes useless) media facts. Ask me about any actor/actress, TV show, movie, song, and I'll probably know something about it, even if I've never watched the show/movie or heard the song.
12. I have an excellent memory - not photogenic - but pretty good nonetheless.
13. I love, love, love celebrating my birthday and ask for the same cake every year: yellow cake with chocolate frosting.
14. I own every episode of ER and House, M.D. and I regularly re-watch them.
15. I paid off my student loans in 2 years. This couldn't have been done without my parents allowing me to live with them, so they get credit too for this feat!
16. The first concert I ever went to was Christian music artist, Rebecca St. James
17. I learned to tie my shoes by accident. I was at my neighbors house, playing with my friend. I was pretending to tie a show when, somehow, I actually tied a shoe! I ran home and grabbed one of my Dad's shoes out of his closet and showed my mom. Then I proceeded to take the shoe with me everywhere I went that day until my dad got home from work. Then I ran out and showed him. Next up, I didn't want Velcro shoes any more.
18. The first time I shaved my legs, I wasn't sure if the blade was sharp enough, so I ran my thumb across it. It was sharp enough!
19. The first (and only!) time I've ridden in an ambulance, I was unconscious and don't remember any of it.
20. I love the Australian accent.
21. I had to have braces twice.
22. I got caught in a bathrobe with soapsuds in my hair during a fire alarm at college. It was November and I was freezing and firefighters were filing past me. Lesson learned. I never took a shower at night again while in school :)
23. I choreograph figure skating routines in my head.
24. When I was a kid I dreamed of getting married on the 4th of July. I would have a white dress, my bridesmaids would wear navy blue and carry red roses and there would be fireworks going off in the church (yes, IN!). Thankfully, for all involved (including the church!), my tastes have changed and I would much prefer an autumn wedding.
25. I'm fascinated by medicine.
26. Hearses freak me out.
27. I've never traveled outside the continental United States.
28. I never thought I'd be one to exercise, but now I do 4 times a week and I love it!

And there you have it - 28 random (and they are random, aren't they?!) facts about me. I hope you had fun reading through them. They were harder to come up with then I initially thought! Happy February!