A cold sweat gripped me as I gasped for air. James traced his finger gently on my shoulder. “Baby, I’m here. You’re safe. What’s wrong?” I groggily wiped the tears off my cheeks. I mumbled, “Bad dream again”. He wrapped me up in his arms until I fell asleep.
My body is a constant enigma for the medical community. I react to medications that most people can tolerate without blinking. For instance, whenever I am on antibiotics, I need around-the-clock antihistamines or else I quickly become covered in hives.
I am thankful for the ability to heal and be on antibiotics, and I also understand from prior experience that my nightly dose of antihistamine produces terrifying nightmares. Lately, my nightmares have been exposing my fears.
This particular nightmare consisted of me being shut-into our home, helplessly on the couch as life spun on around me. James continually flitted in and out, kissing me on the head as he said goodbye. Every effort that I made to get off the couch and join him found me in the same position, unable to move. I was stuck.
I reached constantly after James and the children, but I couldn’t get my legs to budge. I felt abandoned, overlooked, and burdensome.
When I divulged my nightmare to James that morning, I discovered how terrified I am that my health will cause me to miss out on the new and exciting chapters of life that we plan to start together this Fall.
He reassured me that he wants to share all of our chapters with me, and that he is not going anywhere. He gently reminded me of our honeymoon, when he pushed me around the Colorado Mountains while I was in a wheelchair. I scrunched up my nose and said, “I know, but I didn’t want to make it a tradition!” He laughed and hugged me.
In looking over our options, I can either choose the current state which has me barely functioning, or in constant pain, or medicated and halfway functioning; or I can choose surgery to alleviate the pain, with the hope that I will improve.
The question is, where on the calendar do I even possess 6 or so weeks for recovery? Also, how do I continue to be involved in the life of my family…from bed, or the couch?
I don’t want to be the woman that holds her family back. I want to be their biggest cheerleader, encouragement, and prayer supporter. I want to exude love and acceptance.
Ironic that I accept them with injury without any hesitation, yet I can’t quite receive myself with open arms.
James deftly called me out last night. He reminded me that it’s a privilege for him to care for me, that he takes great joy in meeting my needs.
Throughout my life, I have been deeply blessed by many friends and family members who are “differently-abled” than society’s norm. Their joy, love of life, and simple faith constantly pushes me onward in my own journey. Again, I unhesitatingly accept them with their “limitations”…so why can’t I accept myself?
If I openly admit that I am limited, if I confess that I am physically imperfect, my facade crumbles. I will then have to admit that I am the one in need.
I am. I hurt. I am in pain. I am in need of surgery, and I am a bit scared. I don’t want to overburden James at such a crucial point in our life, just when things are changing and starting in a new direction.
It’s humbling to need others. It requires honesty, but also trust.
God pretty much took my breath away this morning when I read the following blog post:
Justine reminded me that He has this. When I speak the truth about my pain, my fears, and even my insecurities; then I courageously disarm the shame that goes along with silence.
So, my name is Gracie K. Harold. I have a “mild” case of Ehler-Danlos syndrome, type 3. I have recently come to appreciate my uterus for the 5 children that it has harbored and held, even if I never got to embrace two of the babies which were embraced by it. I am planning to undergo a hysterectomy before the age of 40. One of my ovaries will hopefully be allowed to stay, but the other one has no possibility of not causing me more pain and damage.
I realized this weekend that when there’s an empty space, and I turn my face to God in expectation of His Goodness; He enlarges my heart and fills me with more than I ever could have imagined.
Don’t believe me? My next post on Monday will give more details. *
Meanwhile, until then, feel free to read my previous posts as you wrestle through to see the Goodness.
I’ll be praying that He enlarges your heart and then makes you speechless as he pours Goodness into your emptiness.
*Please note that this link will not work until Monday, August 11, 2014 around 8 am EST, but the other two links are available right now! =)*