Tag Archives: snow and wind

Future Winds

Quite frankly, I have not seen anything like the winds we encountered here yesterday. At least not in the winter, or since moving. It was like watching a National Geographic special on PBS about Antarctica–the winds thrusting the snow all around in fierce fashion. It was pretty insane.

Growing up, it was just a known fact: spring meant wind. And with high drought, and living among potato fields, this meant a lot of dirt, sometimes dirt devils too. Oh, and did I mention that we lived an hour from The Great Sand Dunes National Park and Reserve? From where we lived, the dunes made a tiny gold outline against the San Juan mountains. But entering the park, the dunes are a mass of towering hills of sand. When the wind started to blow, whether you were climbing the peaks or not, often the hot sand would swipe and tingle your arms or legs–not the greatest feeling, but rolling down the dunes was always worth strenuous upward trek.

There are several other notable times when strong winds were evident. Once, during VBS, I was leading the Sing and Play at the end of the day, before our youth pastor took over with the concluding end lesson. The wind that day was so powerful it knocked the power out of most of the town–so there we were…around close to 200 in the sanctuary with no lights, microphones, nothing. Of course most of the kids think it’s great and thankfully it didn’t scare the little ones too bad. I got some help on stage in the vocal area, and we sang a capella before Josh took over–he didn’t need a microphone anyway. On our way home, we passed by a grove of huge trees; one had simply snapped like a twig under the wind.

The summer of 2009, I moved to Denver as that Fall semester would be my last of college days. Between part-time work and volunteering once a week with the street church kids, I was finishing the last of my Gen-Ed courses online (which I enjoyed and should have taken more advantage of earlier…but no regrets.) Me and a few roommates from school rented an apartment a few blocks from campus. We didn’t have internet set, so it was my routine to swing by campus on my way home from work to submit assignments or fill in my two-cents of discussion in the forums.

I had permission from the security office to stay later than when the computer labs closed and often they came around to check on me, which I appreciated very much. One night, it was stormy but I had to submit a paper by midnight. I text my roommate that I would be coming in late so if she was going to bed, don’t bother leaving a light on for me. I get to work and being at the bottom of a drafty stairwell, don’t think much about the wind and rain, until I glance out the window and see massive hail balls pelting my car and the cement. My phone starts vibrating and I start receiving all these texts from my roommates telling me to stay put–the tornado siren had just been heard. Not by me.

I still had my paper to finish, so I moved a chair to the middle hallway’s door and sat under the frame structure. I figured that was the best I could do and continued to type. I submitted my paper by 11:58pm. Barely made it! I was surprised that I even had a car when I went outside; I had parked under the biggest tree on campus which had lost many large branches in the wind. I drove back to my apartment with only a few dents on my hood and minor cracks in my windshield.

Last night I watched a few old episodes of 19 Kids and Counting on Netflix with Mom. One episode we watched was when the Duggars announced their exciting news of expecting another child, but at 18-weeks, Michelle (mom) has a miscarriage. A very heart-breaking episode to watch. As Michelle talked with tearful eyes about their time of mourning and grieving the loss–she also that they would see their little girl again someday in heaven. They were given peace.

One comment that Michelle said stayed with me. I woke this morning deciding that yesterday’s wind was a bit parallel to what she discussed. She simply mentions that if we were given the ability to see into our future, we most likely wouldn’t want to face it, at least not the hardships. So I thought about my own life–if I saw my future ten years ago to what I am now, I wouldn’t (then) want to face this…all the changes the disease has caused. And I can say now that I don’t want to see my future, as much as I have tried to plan my course in the past.

The future is like the wind–invisible; yet I am certain there will be winds of pain and sorrow, but also joy, hope and peace.

Count it all joy, my brothers,when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may beperfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.

James 1:2-6, ESV


Filed under Adjusting to NF2, Family Times

Now what?

I have to be honest. I have been procrastinating writing this particular post since Friday. Oh, I tried. And it resulted in tears of frustration. Last week was rough. It was not a good week. I kept finding more things during the day that I could hardly do–the last being I could no longer clip my left fingernails. And I use huge clippers! By Friday night, I just broke down physically and emotionally. I looked in the mirror and could not see anything positive.

Since the decrease of my steroids and now back to them consistent, I have been doing stable. I have full energy back most of the time (at least I feel more energetic) and most of the weight I felt on my upper back is lifted. But I feel it affected my hands on a more permanent level: more weakness and numbness–especially in the right hand as my ring finger is now very heavy from the numbness. I also find I have more curl in the left ring finger… when carrying things I don’t even use that finger. I am having a harder time opening things (especially in the kitchen), putting on makeup, putting in my earrings, unbuttoning my pants in a hurry, putting on thick socks, and typing. In a word: slow. I am getting slow.

I am thankful though that my back is not as heavy as two weeks ago. I have only had a few times of the extreme neck pain. At Thursday’s appointments, I saw some doctors from the Pain Management team. They prescribed these special patches that you place on your area of pain and it helps decrease the pain by numbing it. I have not had to use them yet, but thankful for this because it gives me more freedom to still continue things I would have been doing otherwise. When I use the rice pack, I have to hold on to it or balance it and that gets difficult. They also recommended I get a Physical Therapy evaluation and start PT. It was actually one of my questions as I have been trying to work on my posture–which helps balance, strengthen the back muscles, stimulate bowel movement and just help me in the long-term.

Otherwise, my main doctor and I discussed the steroid pills in terms of steadily staying on them for the time being. I have decided against the other two chemo treatments at this time, but really glad that we discussed things…because it gives me a better understanding for if and when the time comes to reconsider the options. I got all my questions answered. 🙂

Right now I am frustrated and sad. I got my left hearing aid fixed and my ear cleaned yesterday and I still cannot hear; Which means I am going to get a hearing test very soon! (Monday to be exact). But it is hard. I now realize how much I depended on my left ear. I cried last night when my dad had to write down what he was saying so I could understand. I think it is time for me to take another lip-reading class and touch up on my sign language…although due to the hands, I focus more on lip-reading anyway.

Remember my very first post of the New Year? (You can read it here). I talked about seeing the birds in the winter…their safe haven being the butterfly bush outside my window. Here almost two months has gone into the year and how easily I have forgotten that God feeds these birds and knows their needs (Matthew 6:25-27). In my own life, I have felt like these birds–in the cold of winter, finding a safe haven among the little branches of the bush even though the wind and snow still are all around. Almost as if when I say, “Will winter never end?” But really mean it more towards all the current health problems…finding new daily obstacles is like waking up to realize you have to scrap off your icy windshield again.

Today my cat led my attention to a male cardinal outside on the branches of the bush. When Muffy’s ears perked up, I looked and there it was: brilliant red. 🙂 Of course all around outside was snow, but there it was…in the gusty, snowy wind minding its own business. As the wind started to blow, the cardinal’s actions resembled how I feel at the present moment: clinging for dear life. I watched for a while and asked myself, “And what am I clinging to?” The hopes that my body will go back to the way it was before? Quite possibly. Like I said…this weekend, I just dismissed everything. I did not really even talk to God, because I did not know what to say and I was trying not to be angry about all these new changes. I get tired of change.

I don’t want to be stuck in the ruts of winter months forever, so I do need a change. I need to change back to seeing hope in all circumstances. It has already started. I have been going around and making notes of things that are difficult and possible alternatives. My family has been there with suggestions and support. And I know that God does see my life living with potential. I just finally have to cling to that promise with my whole heart.

‘Let not your heart be troubled,’ His tender word I hear,
And resting on His goodness, I lose my doubts and fears;
Though by the path He leadeth, but one step I may see;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

Song: “His Eye is on the Sparrow.” To read more about the story of this hymn, click here.


Filed under Adjusting to NF2, Hospital Trips, Muffy