Just this past Halloween – a couple of weeks ago – I shared this picture of myself, standing in my costume, ready to go with Sara and Henry and the rest of our bunch for a little bit:
That night, if you had seen me walk, it would have been VERY slow – and I couldn’t go far AT ALL – but I was walking for a bit.
AND THEN. . .
As I have been writing about, I’ve had more breaks in my feet. I know that one really major break in my left foot has basically finished that foot off for lack of a better way of putting it. My right foot is more painful than it was as well – but nothing like the left – so I really just need to see what ortho says later to know exactly what all has broken.
The technical stuff doesn’t matter – only in that now that the big bones have gone, I really Can’t. Walk. Full Stop.
Of course, I need to know what’s going on with my feet – but, when that’s the headline, it’s kind of the end of the story too, ya know?
The irony of a nurse and marathoner having no feets is just too much sometimes.
And, as I mentioned previously, I can’t drive my car.
It’s just a lot more loss to process.
So there have been many tears, more from grief and overwhelm and frustration than the pain even.
And, feeling really distraught over this latest decline in my health, I decided to reread my friend Sara Frankl’s book, Choose Joy. I’ve written about her before but it has been awhile. She suffered from severe autoimmune disease that left her confined to her apartment and she lost many abilities and eventually was confined to her bed. She dealt with severe chronic pain as well. She passed away in 2011 at 38. Ironically, we were online friends when I was perfectly healthy and I just adored her.
And I spent yesterday reading:
I thought I loved this book before but reading it now was a balm for my soul. It hit me right where I am in so many ways. I’m not going write you all a book report – and most of you thankfully will not personally relate to these things anyway – but she specifically wrote:
- a whole chapter on losing abilities. On how it feels and on clinging to faith and letting go of things when we have to.
- on steroid reduction – and surviving how painful it is. She is one of the people who dealt with similar steroid issues to mine – and also dealt with how awful and painful the coming off of them is.
- even on her last time outside. She had such severe allergies and intolerances that she knew her body was reacting so badly that she would never leave her apartment again. And she didn’t for several years until she died. As a highly allergic person, I can’t imagine. And she accepted it with such grace – but was honest about her pain and disappointment as well.
- her fear of future health problems based on how bad things were getting. We can’t help but do this. As in, it’s already gotten this bad – what else is coming? It helped to read about someone else dealing with those feelings.
- letting go of old clothes and belongings you’ll never need again. It’s okay – but it’s also hard. All of my scrubs. My high heels I can’t ever wear again. That sort of thing. It’s just letting go of your old life. It’s good to feel understood.
- And, finally, her dog, Riley. She said he was “as important as a seeing eye dog.” Oh my word. Do I ever understand that with my Henry. Some of these days get so long and painful – and I really do try not to bitch and complain. I need my Henry’s companionship desperately, just to pet him and cry in his fur if need be.
Through it all, she held on to Jesus and made it through. She was deeply grateful for the blessings she did have, and I am as well.
Here is a link to an article with a few more thoughts from Sara, if you are interested:
Her book was a great comfort to me.
And I needed it before ortho day today.
Ortho day notoriously makes me cry – and that was before everything changed on me.
But it has already changed. And all the ortho doc is going to do is pass along information now. I keep telling myself this.
And, on a positive note, we had a lovely Sunday afternoon with a HUGE Saints win!
So I’m off to get myself ready. I’ll be sharing more later when I have the report from the doc.
Be well, everybody. Happy Monday.
Grace and Blessings.