Saturday, September 13, 2014

The Key to Coping

"Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him For the help of his countenance" Psalm 42:5

It’s been a very long time since I updated here. It’s been a difficult year as infusions were not working and I have had yet another change in medications trying to get the pain and encroaching damage under control. The good news is, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of widespread permanent damage accompanying the pain so far.

Never, in my wildest or worst nightmares did I ever dream life would be like this, that for days and weeks, sometimes months at a time, I would be so weak and in so much pain that I can not make a bed, do dishes, fix a meal, vacuum a floor or even water plants, never mind going out to be with the animals or in the garden where I PREFER to be. More time than I would like to admit, is spent sitting with the laptop, looking for distraction and heading off depression.  Riding looks like a nearly impossible dream. It’s been months since I have ridden and both my horses are out of reach and I haven’t the strength to go get them. Wimpy was a turd last time I climbed aboard and Mister has spent the past few months with his feet busted up. He had front shoes on for a day, but threw one and tore his right front up pretty bad so that there is not much to nail to, so now he’s in worse shape than before. Hopefully something can be done soon. Everyone who is able to help him is so busy these days and of course, he is a low priority for everyone except me, which is as it should be. Working on a ranch is not a 9-5 job and if these guys ever GET any free time, they DO need to invest in their own liveshowever, that doesn't help me much.

Our first year here, I had big dreams. I could finally do the things I had longed to do for a lifetime, but I quickly broke my shoulder, sustaining serious damage. The ball joint was fractured, the cartilage had broken and was caught behind the ball joint so my arm could not go back in the socket after I dislocated it and I had 3 painful rotator cuff tears. It took a year to recover. Three weeks after I was allowed to start riding again my mare bucked me off on the frozen rocky ground and broke all my ribs on the left front side and punctured my lung. Because of poor medical care, I wound up in emergency surgery 3 weeks later, having my ribs broken AGAIN, in the back this time, so they could gain access to the 2 liters of blood that had filled my lung. Another year went by. I bought a new, safer horse as clearly my condition had rendered me helpless and unable to ride or train colts anymore, which had been my passion and profession for 30 years and my left leg began to swell painfully. It was found I needed an immediate complete joint replacement. Add yet another painful year of trying to recover so I could ride again…then the disease got worse and I was overcome with both weakness and balance challenges.

This week I went to the hospital for an MRI on my right leg, which has been painfully swollen for almost a month now. We spent the night because I have to see rheumatologist again and it turns out I need another joint replacement. I will lose yet another year recovering, trying to gain back the little ground I have made.
Depression is part and parcel of this disease and it is very difficult to fend off, considering the limitations set upon the lives of those who have it. It’s a lifelong process of grieving what feels much like a death, the death of who I was, and trying to come to terms with who I am now, which, at least in my case, is not someone I ever chose to be. It feels like I am constantly being knocked down. Sometimes the blows are paralyzing and I am not sure I even want to try. TheMan does what he is able to help me but it takes its toll on him as well.

I don’t know how others cope. As for me, the only thing I can do, the only strength I have, is to hold onto He who loves me most and will walk me through this, as the decision to allow this disease to devastate my life had to pass through His hands first. I know Him well enough to know without a doubt, He will allow nothing to happen to me that isn’t for my own good. If not in this life, than in the next, when I finally see Him face to face and there are no more distractions and no more obstacles to prevent me from feeling His awesome, overwhelming and complete love.

I look forward to that day and as I see the world around me systematically being destroyed, our Constitution shredded, our economy collapsing, pornography and immorality touted as a god in every conceivable medium and radical Muslim factions setting the world aflame with a President who cares only about himself, his own desires and has no compassion or empathy for either the American people or those who have been brutally slain on his watch, too often as a result of his own incompetency. It’s hard to be hopeful without a leader in the nation’s capital.

I can only lift my hands and pray “Come quickly!”  and yet, I know my own time, my own anxiety and my own minute suffering is not yet over, but because of Him, I am not inconsolable.

"I will restore to you the years that the locusts have eaten" Joel 2:25