High Blood Pressure

I have never struggled with high blood pressure before. In fact, I don’t even understand how it reads. It is like a fraction, but every time is different…I don’t even know what a normal range is supposed to be. The arm gets squeezed: the pressure put on tighter, tighter, tighter…then in a few seconds, everything releases back to normal. The nurse says my number out loud. “Is that good?” It’s all I can ask, utterly clueless. Usually I get a nod of approval, but today I got a shocking remark from my Occupational Therapist, “Wow! Your numbers are high!” After a few more “just in case” squeezes, it was decided that I get rechecked after my test.

This was no ordinary test–it was a driver’s evaluation test. At my last doctors appointment on August 27th, there was concern by one team of doctors about the way I was walking. Due to the concern and just the wholeness of my body, they had me stop driving until I had this driver’s evaluation. I have had one before after my first DVT, but this time I agreed to the test rather than the last time where I felt forced. However, when I got home, my brain starts thinking. Like LeFou tells Gaston in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, “A dangerous pastime…” to which Gaston replies, “I know.”

I get to thinking how unfair this predicament is…even though I understand the concern presented as there is a concern for other people’s safety in my driving…not just me, I deem it unfair and I let my thoughts turn angry. Yes, I admit it. I was angry. I felt singled out. And after today, I just don’t understand.

Last night I let part of the pressure go. My parents just listened as I cried, talking with my mouth full of food how about it all…the unfairness, the thoughts I still battle in self-esteem, and I even said, “My handwriting is like a five-year old.” (Of course I probably looked like one the way I was eating). I bring up Denver days: “They were my glory days.” Perhaps that has been part of this week’s inner battle–I am trying to relive my past when I felt free.

Maybe that is why I love driving. I am in control. Sweet sixteen and you are on top of the world as you feel ultimate freedom. How is it that driving can have this big of an effect on one’s life? Freedom: To be told otherwise is like being grounded. And that is how I left my driver’s evaluation, except I had done nothing wrong. In fact, I passed everything. There was just concern about the numbness in my hands, but I still do not see why it causes me to have to still not drive until I take an actual test in a car on October 7th.

But life is not about the fullness of understanding–it is about the fullness of faith. It is not about the comfort in freedom or the glory days of the past–it is about enduring in hardships and pressing on towards the goal. Life is not about control–but complete surrender. And I am only beginning to grasp what these mean in my own life..in what I deem unfair, what I cannot control.

And so I pray for sweet surrender, because only then will this body find peace.

When [Jesus] calmed people’s situations, it wasn’t simply an end to their painful circumstances; he didn’t just help them out of their problems. He made them whole again. These people who Jesus impacted experienced a fullness they had never begun to imagine possible. That’s what the peace of Jesus is about–filling up the taker and making them whole.

*Matthew Paul Turner. Beatitude: Relearning Jesus through truth,contradiction, and a folded dollar bill. Grand Rapids, MI: (Revell, 2006. pg. 34)


Filed under Adjusting to NF2, Books and Movies, Hospital Trips

11 responses to “High Blood Pressure

  1. Sheri

    How hard. No wonder your BP was high. Glad you passed so far! Will especially be praying for Oct. 7th! Hugs! We love you, Melinda.

  2. I agree with Sheri…your blood pressure was probably high because of you thinking of the test before you even got there. With the health issues I have I’ve noticed that during stressful times my BP soars. I have also noticed that as I get older, and continue to let our Lord lead my life, there are so many changes of what I can do and what I can’t do and that is sometimes really hard to accept. Yet as I read in the Word I realize that our Lord knows things that I will never see until they happen and then it is too late to make the change to the way he wanted me to go. You are such a joyful soul! Just lean into him and trust that he will lead you on the right path. Melinda, you are helping others to accept changes just by blogging and letting us know about your struggles. Thank you so much for sharing. God loves you so much and so do we!

  3. Tracy Harbaugh

    I am glad to know that like David, you can express your discouragement, but then know at the end that YOUR GOD will come through for you…maybe not change things to what you wish them to be, but make you content with the path HE has chosen FOR you….don’t give up 🙂 Keep the faith…..keep on pressing on…..it will all be worth it 🙂

  4. Megan

    Powerful reminder even for myself as I live from day to day: “But life is not about the fullness of understanding–it is about the fullness of faith. It is not about the comfort in freedom or the glory days of the past–it is about enduring in hardships and pressing on towards the goal. Life is not about control–but complete surrender. And I am only beginning to grasp what these mean in my own life.. in what I deem unfair, what I cannot control.” Thank you for sharing your honest thoughts and allowing the Lord to help you be a shining light amidst the struggles, tears, and even frustrations at times. Love and prayers *(especially for the upcoming driver’s test on October 7th). XOXO, Megs

    • mel

      I wrote in the NF2: Our Journeys book that being honest with myself and with others helps me to not build the wall I put up in high school: “the I can do this just fine sort of pride wall.” When really I don’t have it under control at all. LOL 🙂 I love you lots. Thanks for all the encouragement. xoxoxo

      • Megan

        Speaking of that book…. we got ours in the mail today!! What a surprise or as Animal would say, “Surprise! Surprise!” HAHAHA ;D Seriously though, be encouraged as you ask for help knowing that God never intended us to walk this life alone – neither without Him nor others He places in our lives while on Earth. And that goes for anyone, not just you! Keep looking up towards the throne of grace and leaning hard into Jesus : ) Love you sweet sis!! ~ Megs

      • mel

        Yay! You got it! 🙂 Enjoy it….I found it very inspiring myself.

        And asking for help..yes, I am still learning that part, especially in my prayers.n Reminds me of the hymn “What a Friend We Have in Jesus.” 😀

  5. Michelle Wright

    Hey Melinda,
    It is definitely a weird experience when ‘freedoms’ once experienced slip away. But as one door closes another door opens. When the doors to this world close, open the door at which Jesus is knocking. Usually, He calls us to do something we have never done before, because he is all about making us new creatures. I have had knee surgery and no longer run seemingly endless miles like I used to. However, I hope that all the people I met during the surgical and rehabilitation processes have had the doors of their hearts knocked on by Jesus. There is a lot that seems out of control yet being familiar with the Almighty One who ultimately has authority is the best way to keep under control in stressful times. I tend to eat sugary or high calorie foods when I get stressed or I pick at my face. All these may lead me to a high blood pressure too! Lets always keep each other before our Lord Jesus to keep our hearts set on Him and His glory alone.
    It was great to meet you at the Church picnic last Sunday! You are a beautiful women of God, though all of us can appear as little 5 year olds when that “dangerous pastime” kicks in. Our Lord spoke, “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.”

    May your gaze be lifted upward toward our Lord Jesus as you look for wonderful thoughts. Your artwork depicting the changing fall season is timely and creative! I may now be inspired to walk outside and enjoy the crisp fall air. Walks through God’s woodsy scenes have a good stress releasing effect.

    Take Care in Christ Melinda,
    Michelle Wright

    p.s. Send me an e-mail any time. I really enjoyed talking with you before and would love to converse more.

    • mel

      Hi Michelle,

      I do have an email coming for you very soon. It was great to meet you (even though our families go way back, but you know…we sort of started out new LOL) and I really enjoyed our time there in Toledo. It brought back memories…I don’t have a ton since I was so little, but still enough. 🙂

      Thanks for taking the time to write out your thoughts about this post. It is encouraging to hear when others go through “change of their plans” for God’s plans. 🙂 As far as freedoms and independent living, the other day I read in a devotional book that full surrender of our lives to Christ IS full dependency on Christ. I think that is where I struggle, because my flesh wants to be independent and I try to do things on my own, but I have the desire to live in full surrender for Christ and on what he can do through me. Really brings out Romans 7 for me often. 🙂

      I look forward to our correspondence. Take care.

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