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Peace while I wait for a Second Opinion

As I sit hear waiting to see the neurosurgeon for a second opinion I feel at peace. A little over a month ago I had more MRIs done and it showed changes in the thoracic spine. Not what I was hoping for. The great news is my brain and cervical spine MRIs showed no new cysts or areas of concern. Even so, my neurosurgeon at LLUMC encouraged me to get a second opinion from my doctors at Cedars-Sinai regarding the the cysts(s) at T6-T9 before proceeding.

In the past these kinds of visits caused anxiety. My sleep would be affected. I would have very broken and restless sleep for days prior to the appointment. My mind tended to focus on the negative outcomes and the awful,”what if” questions. All that helped me do is become more anxious. Of course being more anxious caused more issues for me. As my pain increased, it caused me to have to take extra meds. By taking extra medication my tiredness increased making it harder to get exercise. It is a vicious circle.

Over the past 2 1/2 years I have learned to rely God more. My belief in God has never been a question, but ability to pray about something and accept that God’s got it all under control was wobbly. Sometimes I had no problem handing it off other times my worrying would take over. Over the time I have changed the way I pray. I am still learning to pray like Daniel. After reading “The Daniel Prayer: Prayer That Moves Heaven and Changes Nations,” by Anne Graham Lotz I began to change the way I pray. Leaning to pray with deliberate purpose takes practice. For now, I am grateful that God has blessed me with peace as I keep moving forward. Prayer really does work and we must learn to be more patient about waiting for the answer.

www.bible.com/114/heb.10.24-25.nkjv

As we begin 2020, why not spread love instead anger and hatred? Take time to listen to one another. Or simply share smile. It can change your day and there’s.

Not ready to quit

Having hope and believing that God is healing me has continued to give me the courage and strength to continue moving forward. My hard work of going to the gym and working with a trainer at least twice a week, continuing to stretch and crawl as much as possible, and recently adding in the use of the Bioness L300 Go system are paying off . My walking and balance have improved! I am hopeful that I will eventually be able to walk device free again. I have also recently begun to get more feeling in my right leg. Six months ago, my right leg was mostly numb only having feeling in the ankle and behind the knee. I am beginning to have intermittent feeing at the back of my thigh and along the inner and out areas of my leg.

This was 6 months ago in June. My walking is clunky and stiff. It was difficult to control my especially if I wasn’t looking at them.

This was yesterday morning. My walking is still stiff, but it is smoother. My knees don’t snap as often. I also can walk without looking down at my feet all the time. God is good and He is helping me get through day by day. I refuse to give up. I will dance freely again!

Back to using the Bioness L300 Go

I have been unable to use my Bioness L300 Go system for the last two weeks due to the unexplained swelling and pain I had in my right leg. The doctor believed that it was a vein in my leg ruptured which caused the swelling and bruising. So, I took a break from using my devices, but now I am back to using them gradually. I am hopeful that overtime I will improve and graduate from having to use any assistive devices because it is believed that over time new nerve pathways are created. This means more communication from my legs to my brain. This will help improve my proprioception which will improve my balance and feeling in my legs.

I am walking on an incline. My walking continues to be jerky, but with lots of prayer, time, hard work, and going back to Pt for gait training my walking will improve. I am blessed to even be able to stand and walk. I will never take my legs for granted again.

Fear kindles courage

If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. Luke 16:10 NLT

Everyone has experienced fear, but it is how we deal with it that matters. We all can face our fears and overcome them, or we can let the fear cripple us. Becoming disabled at the age of 50 was not what I planned for and it led to so many questions and uncertainties. Thankfully fear kindles courage and courage is what helps us overcome our fears. So, we must find the source of our courage in order to confront our fear.

It is my belief that courage can come from our experiences, from those around us who encourage us, but most of all from God. When I attempt to face a fear on my own, I tend to become overwhelmed and anxious keeping me stuck. But when I seek God’s help first, He lets me see that although my fear may be bigger than me, it is not bigger than Him.  When the physical therapist told me to stand for the first time after my spinal cord injury, I was scared, and I did not believe my legs could hold me up after all I couldn’t even feel them. I cried out and asked God to help me through this. He answered by giving me family, friends, therapists, and doctors which continually encouraged me letting me know that they had faith in me and my ability. Their faith in me was greater than the faith I had in myself and because of this it gave me the courage to get through some of the scariest times.

Our fear regardless of how small or big can cripple us if we let it. It can keep us from reaching our full potential, but when we seek God – “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9). He guides us, showing us, He is there by helping us to keep moving forward despite our fear. He brings people into our lives to help us through. It is my belief that this is another way God lets us know that we are never alone and our fear maybe bigger than us, but it is not bigger than Him.

Hopeful

This is my normal walking, choppy and unsteady even with a walker. It is hard on my body, but there is no way I am going to give up.

This is my walking in less than a week with my new devices. I am still in the early stages. I have only been using my new Bioness L300 Go devices for less a week and only short periods of time. I will eventually work up to using them all day.

It is believed that continued use it will help develop new pathways, help nerves regenerate and improve foot drop. When foot drop is corrected your gait improves as well as your balance.

Most insurance companies don’t cover the cost of the system(ours included). They do offer a way to finance the amount. Each device, one per leg, is a separate charge.

So far, the devices appear to be working as you can see in the videos above. I am hopeful that my gait, balance and proprioception will improve with the continued use of my Bioness L300 Go system. Overtime I am hopeful that I will be able to switch from using my walker to using a cane. God is with me and led me to this company. I believe that my prayers are being answered even when I have really bad days. I will continue to keep moving forward and praying for continued heal.

We may not be where we thought we would be but…

Your life may not be where you always envisioned it would be just yet, but all you have is now. Remove the unrealistic expectations and unfair demands of perfection you’ve placed on yourself…close your eyes…and just dance. Really experience life. Really experience God’s love. Enjoy the knowledge that you belong to the Lord and feel the joy of sharing Him with others. Enjoy the life God has given you as you cast every care on Him!

Prayer: Father God, thank You for the life You have given me. Show me how to fully live it without placing demands of perfection on myself. Help me to just dance, just live, and enjoy the gift of life You’ve given me and live it to the fullest in You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

My life changes what seems like daily. Living with chronic pain, dealing with a spinal cord injury which left me with deficits all the while still being a wife, a mother, and grandmother isn’t easy. Yet, I know that I am here for a reason. Each day I open my eyes I am thankful for another day I get to be with my family, enjoy everything around me to the best of my ability, and to have the opportunity to keep moving forward. Even on the days I feel like I am going backwards, I know that God is still with me working on me, refining me.