When you’ve been stuck in a state of suffering, hurt, or all-around cruddy circumstances for an extended period of time, you find yourself constantly longing for better days.
Praying for process.
Begging for improvement.
And rejoicing in the tiniest steps forward.
Any improvement feels like a jackpot and makes your heart hope for greater days ahead.
When that hope comes alive, your dreams begin to flood in again. Dreams that were suppressed, dreams that were rendered impossible, dreams of a new life, and dreams of an exciting future.
But what happens when those improvements come to a halt? Or worse, when the steps forward turn into steps back?
Suddenly the normal days feel even harder than they did before…because you got a taste of what could be and your heart believed in the “too good to be true.”
Since my surgery to implant a gastric stimulator device on December 5, life has not been easy but it has been looking up.
December was a very hard month dealing with post-op pain & sickness on top of my normal challenges. At the end of the month Tyler suffered a back injury that left him totally down for two weeks. The weight of independently caring for myself for the first time since surgery while helping care for him the best that I could was definitely a set back. However, once he got back to work my body was able to get the true rest it needed for improvement.
I had my first adjustment with the device on January 2. I did not react well & was actually quite miserable & extra sick for the weeks following (which just so happened to overlap with the time Tyler was doing the worst.) Towards the end of the month I started noticing some symptomatic relief & overall feeling better. It was tiny changes at first then felt like big stuff almost overnight.
Eating more, vomiting less.
Nausea that went from all-consuming delirium to “this hurts but I can handle it.”
Incorporating more solid foods into my diet, like super soft steamed veggies, rice, pieces of mushy potato & bites of beans for protein.
Little bits that made me feel like a new person. An excited person. I had ten days of feeling like this was the start of the rest of my better, less severely sick life.
I told Tyler I was finally excited to wake up in the morning because I was discovering a quality of life that felt worth living.
And my dreams were literally keeping me up at night because my heart was overflowing with desires of next steps (yes I knew they were in the far off future, but finally they felt within reach.)
I began telling the closest people to me that this was the best I had done/felt since I got sick in the first place over 3 years ago.
That is HUGE.
And just as I was adjusting to this state of betterness, I got knocked back down. I had my device adjusted again on February 6 & had the same bad reaction to it as the first time. Feeling miserable, feeling back to normal, feeling set back, feeling more intense pain, feeling like the digestive progress I had made came to a halt but I continued to push for fear of losing any improvements that were made.
And almost three weeks later I’m waiting to get back to my better. I’m hopeful that I will, once my body gets adjusted to this new setting of my device. I’m confident that those ten days were not a fluke or a miraculous gift (like our wedding day & honeymoon) because I really believed in my heart this was for real.
Yet even with that confidence and hope and trust I’m beginning to wonder if I’m going to be disappointed again. My story is riddled with disappointments, situations that were supposed to be short term yet turned chronic, prayers that were not answered in the way we hoped, & a life that has been completely turned upside down.
I know that healing is not linear. DUH!! Been there done that time and time again. But in all honesty, I think I believed I was being blessed with a big break & that this was going to be easier than I imagined.
And it truly has been.
I’m having a hard time, though. Staying patient while I trust that I WILL get back to where I was… I WILL.
After experiencing a short state of bliss & getting a taste of what could be I’m finding that living out my normals days feels more daunting than before.
It’s as if the pain stings worse. The cut feels deeper. How quickly I adapted to feeling better, how much harder it is to go back to feeling so bad.
I believe I’ve done well with continuing with the new routine I had established & treating my body like it is still progressing even when it’s not. The last few days have been better in some ways so I’m taking that as a sign that my climb back up hill is about to start.
Sometimes, the good days don’t even feel worth it because you know what’s going to happen when you come back down to reality. Every person who has experienced serious/long term sickness can relate to this notion of, “I really would rather not have that short phase of doing better because it’s going to make it harder in the end to go back to normal.”
Disappointment is brutal– emotionally, mentally, physically. I don’t want to experience it anymore.
I don’t want reality to slap me hard in the face.
And I don’t want to be wrong when my intiuition told me this was right.
Maybe tomorrow will be the day I wake up
& notice the improvements resurfacing. Or maybe it will happen next week, next month, next year…
And even worse, maybe they won’t come back.
Either way, I know that my ultimate hope can never be put to shame for my confidence is in Christ Jesus. I can rest assured that He is actively working all things for my good. I can rejoice in the fact that great joy awaits me both in this physical life & in eternity. I can be brave & courageous & laugh in the face of the unknown for my God stands before me.
Faith means trusting in the answer before it comes. I know my answer is on it’s way & I fully trust, in advance, that the Lord will fulfill His glorious promises.
And I do not have to worry about what tomorrow will or will not bring…for I know who holds my tomorrow and truly, that’s all that matters.
Thank you all for your love, prayers &
patience with this blog. Your support means the world!