January 6, 2014
This past summer when I packed my bags and headed home from Chicago infections were my biggest fear. As time has passed and I have been fortunate enough to avoid many of the germs floating around my fears have changed. My biggest fear now is not seriously injuring myself.
For the past few months my health has been steadily improving and I needed to get out and test my boundaries. This included a failed attempt to return to work full-time. My body was just not ready for the demands of working 40 or more hours in a week. The upside about this experience is that I learned that when I do return to work it will initially be on a part-time basis.
Since I am no longer working my energy levels began to return after a few days of taking it easy. Once again I start becoming restless. I piddle around the house looking for things to do. My mind is always jumping from one idea to the next. I feel like I have no direction. I can feel a sense of anxiety and anger building up inside me.
As a teenager I spent a lot of time in the woods behind my parent's home. It was my little sanctuary. It was a place I could be alone with my thoughts. I place where I did not need to worry about anything. I have always felt peaceful in nature watching animals behaving in their natural environment. Watching a squirrel scavenge the forest floor looking for an acorn. Listening to the birds singing their wonderful praises for the day.
For Christmas, my parents got me a camera that I could put out in the woods to take pictures of all the forest dwellers. We open presents on Christmas Eve with my parents, so needless to say I had Taylor out there holding a flashlight while I found the perfect spot for my new set off forest eyes.
The following days were filled with anticipation for me. I just could not wait to see what action my camera may have captured. Almost every afternoon I would go up and check the camera and then I could sit there looking at the pictures over and over again.
Last Thursday was going to be no different day. It had snowed the night before and I was looking forward to heading out and checking my camera. The backdrop of snow really makes the animals standout. I walked to the spot like I had several times, switched out the SD card, and made a couple of adjustments. That is when it all went wrong.
Turning to leave the woods my feet slipped out from underneath me. I came crashing down directly on my butt. I consider myself to have a high tolerance of pain, but in that moment of impact I remember yelling out for help. I knew something was instantly wrong. I heard a "pop" and pains shot instantly into my hips. I actually thought I was going to vomit the pain was so intense. Fear began to set in because I was not sure that I was going to be able to get up.
Laying flat on my back watching the snow falling from the sky I made a decision that I was not going to just lay here. Somehow I was able to get to my hands and knees. The pain intensified. Grabbing a nearby tree I was able to work myself to my feet. Once I reached my feet it was pure adrenaline that got me back to my truck. I knew this was not good and I needed to go the the emergency room.
Ann, who was not too happy about all this, drove me the 20 or so miles to get to the emergency room. I never realized how bumpy many of our state routes were until every bump sent a jolt of pain throughout my body. Never been so happy to finally be pulling into a parking spot at an emergency room.
After I got registered they sent me for an x-ray of my back. Then they stuck us in a room to wait for the doctor. After about 183 minutes (give or take a couple of days) the doctor popped in to tell me that I have a slight to moderate compression fracture of the L1 vertebrae. The good news was that their spine doctor was in the building and he would be willing to see me. So off to sit in another room.
When the spine doctor entered he seemed very confident and reassuring. He explained to me that with the use of a brace and rest I should be good as new in a few weeks. I am able to walk around the house. However, getting up and down out of a chair is quite painful. I go back this week to get fitted for the brace and I hope that my back heals properly.
This fall really took a toll not only on my back, but also on my spirits. It is devastating and frustrating to always be suffering from something. I had been feeling so good and here is another setback. It often seems that I am destined to never leave this house. Wrap myself up in a bubble and forget about the outside world. Just stay put. Never move. Never take a chance. I can feel my heart beginning to harden and I have to try even harder to put my faith in God.
"Why me?" I know that no matter our situation we have all asked this question at some point. Throughout my life this phrase has resonated numerous time in my head. The bible tells me, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and he will make straight your paths" (Prov. 3:5-6). Sounds easy enough. Well not always.
Hoping to continue to find the positives in the week to come.