Red Alert! I just got word that my dear dear friend, Sassy Smurf aka “Molly” from Volume 1 had a seizure on Sunday while running. A passing motorist called 911. She’s okay and at home now, but this is not cool.
A few days ago she sent me a PDF of a newspaper clipping about the wreck she was in. (FYI, half of her was replaced or beefed up with titanium.) Thank God that I didn’t open it and she warned me that it was pretty rough stuff (it took family members years before they could bear to look at it). A while later she texted me, I’m not actually in this picture. I’m already on the flight.
OH, OKAY. So they had already used the Jaws of Life to extract her and she was on the chopper. I feel SO much better about this situation.
I just told her, M, honey, that doesn’t make it better.
But I get it. I do the same thing. Like that time I emotionally hijacked you guys and got all these messages from people saying they couldn’t read my blog that day bc it was too appalling. We “forget” how sad it is. Maybe it’s partially a coping mechanism – we diminish the feelings as a way of protecting ourselves.
My PTSD has been aggravated since Mrs. Ridgely passed away (okay, it was probably aggravated before that), and the bad dreams I told you got better last month took a nose dive again. But I got a nice month of respite that was probably aided by Nyquil induced sleep since I was quite ill for most of it.
Getting back into the swing of things has been rough. I was totally gagging this morning as I struggled to swallow all of my breakfast and I told Mommy, Man alive – I gotta email Smurfette. I don’t think I can keep this up.
Her husband, Animal Muppet aka Trainer D, had to catch me at least 3 times in the past week of Training. Since Gen isn’t massaging anymore, Trainer D is fixing my right forearm. There is screaming and writhing involved. He just says grimly, None of that. Other favorite quotes include, No Pain Face – no one wants to see your Pain Face. Even if he’s looking in the other direction he can sense if I’m making a face because he can tell when I’m not breathing.
There was a change in plans and Coach R didn’t have to travel after all. Yay!! Now we have more time for my projects. Apparently Coach R has plans, too.
2 weeks ago:
Coach R: Are you going to be here Monday?
Coach R: Bc I want you to run longer…we will do whatever you need afterwards. But I want you to run longer.
Me (external): Yes, sir.
Me (internal): That was code for It doesn’t matter if you are bleeding, injured or not breathing – I will fix it – but you WILL run longer on Monday.
I think he was concerned because he had found me napping on a treatment table after I ran half the usual time.
CoachR: How long have you been lying here playing dead?
Me: Go away, R, I’m busy sleeping.
But I have been running more and have had some weirdness in the left leg. So Coach R worked on it today.
Me: Is this gonna hurt?
Coach R: [long significant pause, full of meaning]….well, I won’t kill you….
Me: That’s what you said last time, R.
So I’ve been having fun with my peeps and am enjoying getting back to my routine. The idea of having a routine is immensely comforting. One of the most shocking things I realized when I first became disabled was that navigating new environments as simple as a public restroom was like the Olympics.
It took me a year to use the locker rooms at the Regular Gym.
It took me over a year and a half to coordinate my vision and motor skills enough to use the water cooler at the Running Gym.
Simple stuff is a big deal in my world. Disruptions to the systems and routines I’ve put in place are not welcome. I have had some setbacks since my bleed, but not on the scale of collapsing outside somewhere and waking up in the in an ambulance.
We are almost 5 years out from our injuries. This is a curve ball. I was so pleased to think that my friend Sassy Smurf, who was in a wheelchair like I was when we first saw each other, was strong enough physically and confident enough to go to Rwanda on medical missions in January.
And then when I read the first few lines of her email tonight I immediately wanted to throw up. This is not the direction we wanted to go in. But then again, neither of us would have chosen for ANY of this to happen, but we are tremendously grateful that God planted us in the hospital together so we could be friends.
We stuck out of the crowd because we were so much younger than the rest of the patients (we’re the same age). Our Moms say that personality-wise we are so similar it’s scary – listening to us talk or reading Facebook comments really reveals that we are so like minded in many things, which is to say that brain injuries let us be as naughty as we know we’ve both been all along.
I spent two years talking to M in my head after I came home from RIO. I planned to contact her when I published my first book. But 6 months prior, before I even had the mental capacity to form it into a prayer request, M emailed me out of the blue bc her next-door neighbors are friends of mine from my Oregon church.
When I saw her name pop up in my inbox one morning, I wept like a baby.
367. The Fellowship of His Sufferings
The most horrifying thing about my situation is the isolation – I remember things only I will ever know about. But God gave me a friend right in the hospital. For a long time I didn’t want any new friends. So God started with someone who was extremely similar to me so I wouldn’t be scared.
This is in keeping with how He does things in general. When God decided how to have a relationship with humanity He could have done anything. He is, after all, God. He has every right to rule and to reign. But He chose to come as a baby in a manger. No one’s going to be scared of a baby. A baby needs to be held. We do that instinctively. It’s something we can understand and relate to – that’s why God chose to approach us like that – so we would be comfortable.
So now we have to manage the tension between the record of how God does things, and the shock and fear related to an event like Sassy Smurf’s seizure.
My friend, J==>G, was preaching on Sunday and I almost burst into tears when he closed in prayer. He said simply, Lord, give us the courage to trust…
It takes courage to trust – God, another person, that my legs will hold me up, that someone will catch me if they don’t…
So, yeah – this is my February prayer request: Please pray for M’s recovery and for courage.
123. Don’t You Care? | This was the first time I heard myself play the piano (I’m still sitting at the keyboard) and I heard what I sounded like.
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