Friday, December 13, 2013

The last missionary blessing

The house is quiet and dark with everyone sleeping except myself.  I can't sleep and haven't for twenty three days now.  I am tired.  Like cry at everything tired.  I just want to sleep.  At first I couldn't sleep because of my leg once arriving home from surgery.  My knee hurt and then there was a dull ache in the bottom of my leg and I couldn't ever get comfortable.  I've tried different medications but nothing.  Lortab made me feel anxious.  NO thank you!  Motrin was better than nothing. Valium.  Nothing.  Pain medicine with sleep enhancer.  Nothing.  My leg no longer hurts in bed but I toss around a lot and D points out that my restless leg syndrome had kicked in again for a couple days.  Great.  Now I just want to sleep.  But I can't.  I wake up at 10:30 sure to find that I've slept for several hours and disappointed when I see the clock.  Perhaps my mind is subconsciously running without me even knowing it.  I do have a lot on my plate right now.  My plate. Nobody elses.  That's why the post.

For a long time now I have asked, "Why me?" or compared myself or situations to others.  Not everything.  I know better than that.  Just some things.  Like, "Why am I the only sister with gray hair when we're all so close in age?"  Or, "Why am I the kid in the family with all these stupid health things like psycho anxiety, a stupid toe that kept me from running a marathon with my siblings, a back that goes out of wack and makes me stop exercising, a knee that has gotten me so down about myself this last year that took me from the best shape of my life to the absolute worst shape in my life with the handfuls of cottage cheese on my legs to prove it?"  To the latest one after my surgery, comparing myself to my grandma who's in her eighties that just had a knee replacement and did super, so super in fact that she had a different surgery for something else just two weeks later.  What's my problem?  Then I had a dear neighbor come over two days ago and ask how my knee was doing.  I responded, "Fine".  He said he knew what that meant.  He couldn't believe that I wasn't in physical therapy and that my knee would lock up like that forever.  With how my knee has felt I've thought the same thing but feel stupid thinking everyone was thinking that I was milking this for everything I could.  It's been embarrassing.  I hated using crutches for two weeks.  I hate hobbling around now.  My knee is so stiff and so swollen still.  I don't like how much I can bend it.  It needs to bend more.

I went into the surgery telling my doctor that I just wanted to come out whole again.  I thought I would be me in four days.  Not running yet, but getting around normal.  So I've been sorely disappointed.  I mean really, right now?  I don't have time for this.  I had Thanksgiving to worry about.  In fact, story to note.  My cute sister had gotten the impression from me that I wasn't doing as well as I had expected and she made, MADE all of my dishes for me to take to D's family's Thanksgiving.  She made two pies, over fifty rolls and corn for our family to take.  It was one of the kindest things anyone has ever done for me.  I couldn't believe that she would or could do that for me when she was hosting her own Thanksgiving and she is the busiest and most involved woman that I know.  Yet, she had time to help me.  I love you L.  I have Christmas shopping to do. Hair to get colored so I'm not a skunk.  A missionary coming home.  My first college kid returning home for Christmas.  Getting my missionary boy set up for college.  D's work party and gifts for his employees.  Family picture outfits to coordinate.  Christmas traditions with my younger children.  Making my house perfect before C comes home.  Having an open house for C the day A flies in. Finding a musical number for C's homecoming.  Feeding family after C's homecoming talk at church.  Making everything perfect.

You see where this is taking me?  I recognize the signs.  It's called the vortex and I don't want to get sucked in.  I'm tired and my thoughts are negative.  I could easily be on my way to a month of anxiety but I don't have time for that nor do I want to.  So, my thoughts are changing.

I have said so many times the last few weeks how I want things perfect for C when he gets home.  In all seriousness it means the house, yard and garage.  Using the word perfect isn't healthy.  I realized that two days ago and told myself that my house is fine.  In a good way, not just a coping way.  That "perfect", would simply  be  having my missionary home and hugging him again.  We're planning on making signs for when he arrives at the airport.  And maybe one on the house for when we pull up would be awesome too.  And what if they were vinyl so that I could pull out the same one for each boy?  And what about the red carpet I use for my veterans?  And why don't I look on Pinterest for some ideas?  STOP!!  That's when the Spirit told me, "No, do not look on Pinterest!  You need to simplify."  So, I didn't look.  This isn't a contest for the neatest looking banners, most balloons, and glitzy show.  We're welcoming back our boy who has served the Lord for two years.  So, the kids will make their own posters and that will be perfect. It's perfect for my situation right now.

In February I was in super shape and was busting out planks, mens push ups, running, doing weights and was so proud of myself.  I was on track and wouldn't my missionary be so proud of me when he got home.  And then my knee began to be really stiff and I was limited on what I could do.  And then I had the worst anxiety I have ever had.  (I need to write about that. I just haven't known how to express my thoughts regarding it.)  My anxiety kept me from doing anything but merely surviving.  I couldn't eat and lost twenty pounds in two weeks.  I returned to boot camp and my knee had gotten worse.  I haven't done anything since then really.  My metabolism was shot.  I waited it out thinking it would get better with time.  It didn't.  I felt like people thought I was faking or all talk.  Made me think back to when I mentioned we were looking into adoption at a family reunion I went to, and thinking everyone just thought I was full of it then.  I hate people that try to get attention so I feel like people have thought that was me the last year.  Anyway, as the months have gone by, my leg hasn't gotten better and I've continued to get more frustrated so it was time to make things happen and get surgery. Wow, I am all over the place today.  Anyway, I have said many times this year, "I can't look like this when C gets home!"  That has added pressure to myself and the whole perfect thing.  A friend told me this week, "C will not care.  He will be happy to be with his momma who has loved him, supported him and written him every week for two years."  I thought about that.  I know he loves me. Once my leg is better I can do better.  (I know it's diet too for those of you just dying to say that.  But this is me and I'm working on one thing at a time.)

I got into my doctor yesterday because I had concerns about my knee.  It is still huge and really stiff and the mobility isn't as good as I thought it should be.  I went in nervous prepared for him to drain it.  I hid behind my nervous giggle as I was talking to him and then listening.  He told  me that I was fine and that I was only three weeks out.  He asked me to bend my knee as far as I could.  Somehow it bent back a little more than the ninety degrees I get.  He seemed satisfied.  He put me on a six day steroid for the inflammation and said that I would see a big difference.  He told me to stay off of stairs and not to do any squats or lunges.  I can do the elliptical every other day on the level setting.  Really wondering if my doctor knew more than me at that point, I asked, "Really, I'll be okay?  I just thought I would be fine after four days because you said that men have the surgery on Friday and are back to work on Monday."  He then reassured me that I would see a difference, I would be okay and that I was once again only three weeks out.  He pointed out that I had a lot of arthritis in there that they cleaned up.  I left feeling better about things.  While driving through the parking lot to leave, the Spirit helped me recognize the fact that I had been comparing again and that no one had my exact knee.  Not my grandma.  Not my neighbor.  Not my friend's neighbor.  No two situations are exactly the same.  This was my knee and it would get better over time.  I was so grateful for that insight.  I could now heal.

While at my hairdresser yesterday morning, she asked me how I was doing and I told her I was tired and began sobbing.  She was cute and gave me a little pep talk.  She also gave me some melatonin swearing that it would work and I would have sleep again.  I was so excited.  Last night when taking my last steroid pills for the day I didn't dare take the melatonin not knowing if it would be safe to take them together.  So, I had yet another sleepless night.  But....just before getting out of bed this morning and frustrated again with no sleep, the Spirit helped me recognize that I was possibly the last missionary blessing before C arrives on Monday.  This last week I have learned so much about not comparing with others.  It's been a hard lesson but one of which I am so grateful to have learned.  I know that there isn't another just like me out there.  There are no two situations alike.  I will have more compassion on others with whatever circumstances they have.  No judgments made.  So grateful to be possibly the last blessing our family receives from C serving a mission for the Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter Day Saints.


Charlotte said...

Oh T, I'm so sorry you've been struggling so. Learning not to compare is a hard lesson--one that I seem to have to re-learn every year or two it seems. And that knee thing? Rough stuff. Hang in there, won't you?

Elaine C. said...

Amen, sister, Amen! I'm right there with you!

Lisa said...

I love you! You are so real. I can relate. Survival, anxiety, different struggles, but know that you are loved!💕💕

Anonymous said...

Excellent post! It reminds me of the journey that I have been on these last couple of years of not comparing myself to others. I have been learning to see things the way that God wants me to see things. I love what you said about simplifying. That one thing has certainly been hard for me. I have come to realize that all God really wants is our hearts and for us to be willing to do things his way no matter what. It must be exciting to have your missionary son on his way home. It is obvious to see that he knows how much you love him and how proud you are of him. He's a lucky man! I keep coming back to your blog because you inspire me. You're a very real person. I see a person who truly loves God. I will pray for your knee to get better. Remember that all things work together for good for those who love God and are called according to his purposes. In the end we gain strength from these kind of experiences.