Tag Archives: making hard decisions

What I Lean On

“Help me. Help me.” I blurt out in a semi-panic but soft-toned voice. I knew my sister, Melissa, was behind me with my walker and bag. I had just taken my first step down the stairs leading to the garage; I felt my body starting to lean backwards in off-balance mode. The last thing I wanted was to take another tumble, thus, my cry for help. Melissa helped me rebalance and I slowly descended. At the bottom, my walker is reopened and I place my bag in the middle compartment. Now holding to the handles, I stand and wait for my ride to church.

I haven’t used my walker in the house since around Thanksgiving. Even my cane I have left in the garage and have only used these two walking assistants when going outside the house to town, church, errands or meeting friends and social gatherings. That is until this past weekend. I first started with my cane. I noted at the beginning of last week that getting up to use the bathroom in the early mornings could sometimes have me feeling off-balance. I never used my cane, but just had it resting against my bedside for “just in case.”

Then I fell. Friday afternoon–I was setting up my painting area for a Saturday morning, “Coffee, brunch and painting,” time with ¬†a friend. I don’t even know technically how it happened, because I don’t remember twisting my ankle, but my tumble forced me to my knees. If I had “snapped forward,” I would have just landed harder on my hands. But my fall sent me on backward whiplash; my legs being folded under me, I crunch down on my crooked feet. As I regain composure, but in pain, I try to shift my feet out from under me but find myself underneath the table (that is the part in which I don’t understand!) I knew I was going to have to have assistance getting up off the floor, and since no one came downstairs yet to check on me, I pushed my Lifeline button. ūüôā

Friday’s fall resulted in a very sore left leg: a torn ligament in the knee. It is really the last thing I wanted at this time. I already am struggling with increasing frustration at my right hand and just the mental processing of being slow. Now I use my walker more regular in the house–discussion today also mentioned that it might be time to restart my AFO braces (at least the right foot while my left leg slowly heals.) That decision alone will be something to pray for peace about–my choice to end wearing them, and PT sessions, in the Fall was primarily to live without them until I needed them to walk. I can still walk, but it is only by God’s divine power that I still can.

I see myself weakening and I want to be strong; I force myself to persevere, but need strength to lean on.

What a fellowship, what a joy divine,
Leaning on the everlasting arms;
What a blessedness, what a peace is mine,
Leaning on the everlasting arms.

Refrain

Leaning, leaning, safe and secure from all alarms;
Leaning, leaning, leaning on the everlasting arms.

Words by: Elisha A. Hoffman

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Filed under Adjusting to NF2, Uncategorized

My Choice

This may seem like a sudden decision (which it is); but it has been long-time coming. It was one of the hardest choices I have yet had to make, but this time it was my choice and that alone makes me feel like an independent person.  I have decided that for my safety and the safety of others, I am finished driving.

This decision is not a result of just one physical area, but a combination of many since February: increasing numbness in right hand and especially weakness in the thumb, upper arm strength, weakening right ankle, my balance worsening, and overall energy after hoisting my walker in and out of the backseat while running errands. It is not that I am a bad driver–but God used one weekend to show me that I should consider my driving limits before a worst case scenario occurs. If He hadn’t intervened, my body and mind would still be at conflict with each other about this situation. I knew this choice would be coming, yet I wanted to go as long as possible before I had to finalize the word.

Now what? I am not sure. Ten years of driving, owning a car for five. Like my short-lived apartment experience, I have many memories. Many stories of me and my car. I am now just shifting driver seats to what I do best anyway: co-pilot; but it will take time to adjust to the transition.

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven. Ecclesiastes 3:1, ESV

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Home :)

Although last night might have not been our best evening. Mom got sick yesterday morning with a 24-hour stomach bug, so she spent the whole day at the hotel. Dad came in the early afternoon to the hospital to be there when we discussed surgery options with the interventional radiologist. I am also so thankful he was there to help me figure out the medicines as they sent me home on the blood thinner shots called Lovenox. I got discharged around six pm. By that time Dad was not feeling well, so thank you everyone for your prayers, because God protected us on the way home. I fell asleep and Mom was sick in the front seat, meaning Dad was on his own feeling sick yet having to drive an hour and half home. We had to stop by Walgreens in Xenia for more of my medicines, where Dad did get end up getting sick. So there I sat in the car with two sick people. Not our greatest evening. But we made it home.

My sister came over to help. I am so thankful for all she did last night and today: laundry, dishes, helped me put on my compression stocking and helped¬†get my¬†parents get their¬†toast and ginger ale. Coming home would not have been so smooth without her here. ūüôā¬†She helped me get my shots…my stomach is turning nice shades of blue again, but I think I toughened up from last year as the shots don’t sting as bad this time. ūüėÄ

Things seem pretty normal now. Had a great nights sleep in my own bed; did some reading today and took a nap; got a few things sorted out in my head (makes you feel like you are actually organizing)…but it is the little details about upcoming painting projects and the like (more to come on that!). I am now watching the Broncos vs. Ravens game (what a game!)¬†and catching up on emails (thank you everyone for your prayers and encouragement.)

But there is¬†still the lingering decision I have to make:¬†to have the¬†surgery¬†to remove the clot/stent placement if needed or not.¬†I have to¬†make my decision by¬†Monday. So as long as Mom and Dad are feeling better by tomorrow (they are doing much better than a few hours ago), we need to sit down and discuss things. It is like it should be an easy decision, but it is complicated. I lean in both directions for and against, but I want to make sure that my decision will be the best and most beneficial in the long run. Because in all truthfulness, I don’t want another blood clot. Even now, I see how God protected me. The clot went through my heart to my lung!¬†I would have never guessed. I felt nothing.

In making my decision, I can’t guarantee that I won’t get another clot and neither can doctors…but I do want to have clear thoughts about steps that could be possible measures to helping prevent another one. If that makes sense. My thoughts keep going round in circles. So more prayer is needed as I desire to have peace about the decision. Thank you all for your continued prayers, support, love and encouragement. It means so much to me and my family. I will keep you posted in the days ahead.

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Filed under Adjusting to NF2, Family Times, Hospital Trips