Gift of the Year 2017: Therapy

Lord, you know you are my greatest gift ever, and you gave yourself through your Son Jesus Christ, the love of my life! Yet in praying about this past year, you began overwhelming me with the generous blessings you gifted me with throughout the year. While I am letting you help me get that post together by still taking time to look over everything, you absolutely pointed out my gift of the year… therapy.

When I began therapy 19 months or so ago, I could hardly walk, move my neck,  struggled to lift my legs to get in and out of the car, the tub, or to change clothes. It was so painful to sit, stand, walk, or even lay down, or allow my back to touch anything. I was clinically sleep deprived. I went from hardly ever taking meds to strong meds that were not doing a thing. When I began therapy several hours a week, every week, for the last year and a half, Blake did the hand work to my back and neck that finally allowed blood flow, which allowed my medicines to work, and any shot to have better circulation.

When Dr. Buzz began to do blocks, after the first one I went straight home and fell asleep for the first time in months… yes months… years since I could sleep more than 3 hours… and without pain! I was able to improve on personal hygiene, lay on my back, finally elevate my feet, start attending church more often, and tolerate standing better for singing at least a little bit.

In the last year, I have had more types of therapists than I even knew existed. The number of doctors, therapists, specialists, and procedures were just too much, though I kept a daily record. Between medicines, surgeries or procedures, vigorous therapies, medical tests, medicine changes, all while struggling with memory, concentration, the ability to focus, got the best of me several times. I was told it was metabolic, but I needed (and will probably need for life) the medicines just to function.

If it were not for therapy and blocks, I would be in such a miserable state, IF I were here at all. While I wanted answers and relief, and did whatever was asked of me, I had given up in many ways. I had no energy at all because it was all going into doing simple things… sit, stand, walk, use the bathroom, shower, sleep, dress and undress. I thought I was surely losing the battle, especially since I had many other health issues, and all my doctors could see was weight…. thinking it was all about food and me.

I praise your name for the therapy that helped me not to give up, to better communicate with my doctors, and better understand why my doctors thought such incorrect and negative thoughts, learning to better understand what they were asking of me, and if all else fails not to give up trying so that I can know I did everything asked of me.

My dietician therapists were such a supportive team. How can I thank you, Lord, enough for sending my dietician coach? It makes all the difference in the world to have someone on your side, to believe you, and to help you figure out what’s going wrong, or at least how to better deal with it, without giving up.

Towards the end of the year, I was diagnosed with lymphedema and lipedema. Robbie’s vigorous work with my legs and compression made a vast difference in the health of my legs and feet before I was released to begin work with a whole new team of therapy specialists. The most comforting words I heard from complete medical strangers were, “This is fluid, not weight. This is not something you’ve done. This is something that has happened to you. There has been injury to your lymphatic system. The lipedema is fat, but not the kind of fat YOU have gained or could work off. Again it is not something you have done. It is something that has happened to you.” Even if I’ve learned I will be living with it, I finally have answers, and a TEAM of specialists gifted beyond measure.

Lastly, but certainly not least, that one who has helped to learn to communicate better between my doctors as they asked for has been gifted with patience that has saved me from giving up, saved me from going crazy, and has kept me from flying. Every day is a challenge not to lose those battles, but he completely gets it. I am not going crazy to him. I am simply physically frustrated, exhausted, discouraged, insulted, challenged, belittled, bullied, and anxious about what I cannot control or understand… which is a lot. He helps me to pause, to think it out, to regroup, to communicate, and choose to live.

The best gift of all along the way is the many believers you have brought along my path. Missionaries in the medical field. They are absolutely there! Comforting, healing, encouraging day in and day out. And even nonbelievers… you never go without using people whether they are willing or not, even when they have ill intentions, YOU are always on the throne, making beautiful things work for YOUR good through and to them, as well as to me! That’s so you!

Thank you, God, for all of the souls you have brought my way. I especially pray for my regular doctor (aka G.P. or family doc) as she has been sick enough to have to leave the practice for a few months. She was the one who began this journey with me, and signs whatever permissions she is asked to that allow things to continue. You have used her so much, and now I can do nothing to help her… but YOU CAN! I pray for her, and for each one you gifted me with this year. A greater part of the year, they were the only ones I saw outside of home. Thank you for Anthoni’s heart (and finances) to make sure his mom got to all of her appointments, as much as possible, making me promise not to give up. Thank you for being the Great Physician that you are! NOTHING would be possible without you!

New Diagnoses and New Therapies

I struggle to stay awake. I fall asleep while trying to read or write, or encourage, then awaken in spells as well. My brain strives to keep up with what I am doing. Thank God for copy and paste to transfer the poetry. Lord willing, I will get back to blogging… in His perfect timing. After adding 2 diagnosis (lymphedema and lipedema) to the many others, my regular physical therapy that is usually 2 hours of work, tens, and ice/heat/gameready twice a week has been adding new treatments. They have been helping tremendously with my legs, feet, and overall swelling. I am told I am blessed to not have it as extreme as some, but still have it significantly enough to need intense therapy to get ahead of it. My therapists work me good, and I appreciate it!
This last week was another thoracic facet block, so the pain and exhaustion has caught up with me. It usually does between day 3 and 5, and wipes my energy. I can tell a good difference though, so I praise God I will benefit from it all. And of course it means I was blessed to spend some time with Dr. Buzz and the girls. God continues to use him mightily.
I will begin some intense physical therapy of a different kind in December. I am amazed at how many different kinds of physical therapists there are. I have lost count of how many different kinds I’ve had. God has used them all! But I must give a huge thank you to Robbie for being so attentive, thoughtful, and extremely mindful of my therapy recently. God has truly gifted him! And I can’t forget Ali and Katie! Ali is so very patient with me! She and Katie keep things so entertaining as well. 😉 Praise God for each of them. And Praise God for ALL of my therapists! When you are so thoughtfully praying for me, please remember to pray for my therapists, doctors, nurses, and all those the Lord is using to send me healing and/or comfort.