My Most Challenging Year

Posted by on Jun 1, 2011 in Challenges, Uncategorized | 0 comments

My Most Challenging Year

My Most Challenging Year

Any vestige of belief that if I had MS I would be exempt from other diseases or mishaps was dispelled in June of 2006 when I was diagnosed with breast cancer.

Fortunately, it was labeled a ductal carcinoma in situ, which meant it was a virtually encapsulated small mass. After the successful lumpectomy, I was told I didn’t need radiation or chemotherapy. But in 2010 it returned and I was now advised to get a double mastectomy to prevent a recurrence. If surgery went well, I would be scheduled for completed reconstruction in 6 months. It sounded doable until I came down with two hospital infections, delaying the final surgery for a year.

I was coming down the home stretch in March of 2011 when a late-night trip down our elevator to the spa on the lower floor turned deadly. I called the elevator on the second floor and the “CAR HERE” light went on, but when I opened the door the expected car had not come down, thus no floor and my three-wheeled handicapped scooter rapidly descended 15 feet and I lay up against one wall while the scooter lay crumpled up against the opposite wall. Although my husband, Dave, was still at work, our cleaning lady and part-time tenant were still in the house and able to call 911. Amazingly, I didn’t feel the impact and thought I was okay, despite the blood all over my right foot and the bone sticking out of my left thigh. But when I tried to get up I couldn’t move. The paramedics had to crowbar the lower door open. And as soon as they transferred me into the ambulance, the pain hit. What had I done? Would repairmen be able to fix the demolished door?

Fortunately, Dave was able to meet the ambulance at UCI Medical Center, because the pain meds had taken affect by that point and who knows what I would say? MS can take away nerve sensation to various areas of the body that are affected, thus the delayed reaction to the compound femur fracture. It was obvious to the orthopedic surgeon that surgery to repair the bone would have to occur as soon as possible so it was scheduled for the next morning. How fortuitous that my surgeon was a believer who did a marvelous job of repairing the shattered bones.

After a week and a half in the hospital and two and a half weeks in rehab, I was sent home to complete the healing process. I was given a list of physical therapy exercises and tips from occupational therapists, but most of the work had to be done without personal instruction. Dave was great at getting me into the spa when I was allowed to put pressure on the left leg, yet the pain began to increase exponentially and there were days when I thought I couldn’t continue. Surprisingly, the pain began to subside the next week and soon I returned to walking as I had before the accident, with the aid of a walker.

While I was in the hospital, two of my Bible Study friends gave me Sarah Young’s daily devotional, “Jesus Calling” and I couldn’t believe the parallels to my situation that were encountered on her pages. For instance, April 5th’s use of II Corinthians 4:7 quotes Jesus as saying, “Your weakness is not a deterrent to being filled with my Spirit; on the contrary, it provides an opportunity for my Power to shine forth more brightly.”

What an assurance that this weakened body was not wasted on God, but that my willingness to be used and be His vessel, even in a hospital bed, were far more beneficial than a whole body accomplishing a myriad of household activities.

Also, I received much comfort from the assurances in April 26, when Sarah explained that:

You can lash out at the difficulty, resenting it and feeling sorry for yourself.

This will take you down into a pit of self pity.

Alternatively, the problem can be a ladder, enabling you to climb up and see your life from God’s perspective.

Viewed from above, the obstacle that frustrated you is only a light and momentary trouble.

In other words, what I may think of as a BIG MISTAKE is only a stepping stool to the perfect plan He has for us. God never has to say “oops!”

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