Posts Tagged running

It Would Have Terrified me Before!

There is a lot going on which means that my mind is working overtime to keep up. Hence, the post midnight blogging. I won’t even try to tell you all that is going on but right now things are in an upswing. Chris is doing well and making slow but steady process once again. It’s almost like he picked up where he left off last year when he started getting sick. It seems to be going much better. When he does better – my whole mindset is better. Trust me – it’s just good when it’s all on the upswing together.

I really do feel like I’m on a roller coaster much of the time; or maybe the correct analogy would be walking a tightrope where I have to keep perfectly balanced or fall to my death. Yeah, that’s what it feels like. The trouble is that I have some very good problems.  Chris is doing better, up more hours of the day and needing a lot more one-on-one therapy and attention from me. He is eating good again so that consumes some time – not a complaint – just a fact. Think about all the things you do just to take care of yourself each day – eat, shower, brush your teeth, eat, go for a walk, eat again… everything I have to do for me also has to be done for him – it’s almost like it cuts my time in half to start with. Then add to that my work load which has grown which is another great problem, it’s just difficult to keep up with. And I’m about to finish up my Master’s in Health Education. 12 weeks and I’m done. Then I need to exercise and train for my races – unfortunately when I’m in a time crunch the thing I need the most – gets cut most often. So like I said, it’s a balancing act to keep it all together without losing it sometimes. (smile)

Anyway – that kind of catches you up to where we are and I hope to be a little more regular with the blogging because it helps me process my emotions and thoughts – and boy do I have a lot to process! But tonight I had something really crazy happen at the race. It was the Limbs for Life 5K and the proceeds help provide vets with prosthetic limbs. Usually there are runners with prosthetic devices and I really do not feel worthy to run with or for any of these honored individuals. There is a wheelchair division at this particular race too.

They kept telling us to stay to the right since it is an out-and-back and the wheelchairs and other runners will be returning and they will need the other side of the track. Somehow a kid got tangled up with a racing wheelchair at about one km in. The wheelchair went flying and the guy in it fell completely out. It’s a good thing he was wearing a helmet. I stood there for a minute to assess the situation. What I witnessed in the next 2 minutes was simply amazing. One lady began directing traffic and making the runners move back to the right so that they could continue moving. The mother of the child and two other people ran to the overturned wheelchair and started checking on the young man. They turned the wheelchair back upright at which time I stepped over to help steady it for them as two people picked the man up and put him back in his chair. He kept saying he was fine and he took off again. I took back off leaving the poor little boy crying in his mother’s arms. I took away a lot from this experience. One was that before Chris’ injury I’d have likely kept running with the other runners because I’d have been terrified to even think about helping. It actually was very natural for me to step over and offer assistance, although I really didn’t do anything much.

The second thing was I got mad. I was so angry that the young man in the chair could have been seriously injured because someone didn’t follow the directions. Now I do not know if the child’s mother didn’t try to keep him to the right or what happened as I did not see that part – but I got fighting mad as I thought about how negligence could have really hurt someone and almost 6 years ago my son was injured through a negligent (not purposeful) act. BUT — before we turn our noses up and pass judgment on this kid and his mother – let’s examine ourselves. How often do we go over the speed limit because we know that they won’t stop us up to 5 over – right? It’s no different. The rules and laws in most instances are made to provide protection and our carelessness or need to “get on with our agenda” can cost someone else dearly. Later I did muster up some compassion for the little guy as I know he was really frightened by the ordeal.

For my part – I surprised myself. It was so natural to step in – the race did not matter. I had no thoughts about the race until I was sure the young man was up and rolling again. I estimated we were there with him for about 2 minutes. That’s about what my final time reflected – and I still came in third in my age group and came home with a medal! I’ll try to not be so judgmental about the other guy –  and concentrate more on my own character. Forgiveness many times, is an everyday thing for me. Gotta keep working on it….

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Playing Catch Up

I do not even know where to begin. We just passed the three-year mark from the date of Chris’ wreck. I have very mixed emotions about it all. On one hand I am so happy at how well he’s doing and how far he’s come; and on the other hand I still grieve the son I lost that day…and wish he could just “come back” now… I feel these types of very mixed up emotions a lot and honestly, most of the time my emotions are swelling just under the surface.

It was the same as I watched the documentary on Abby Giffords earlier this week. I love stories like that where someone defies the odds! Her tenacity is contagious! Her statement, “I will return!” rang through my being. I am so excited for her progress in this 10 months since the tragic event. And then I am sad that we have not seen the same thing with my son. I tell myself that each brain injury is very different and they all heal differently. And I also went in after her story aired and scooped Chris up in my arms and reassured him once again that I would not give up so he better get ready to work. And he’s done pretty well with a little more pushing.

I use a lot of different tactics to keep my proverbial (and natural) chin up. I really do marvel at all God has done in the last three years and how far we have come. And even though the picture doesn’t match my imagination – I choose to rejoice in every (even tiny) bit of progress that is made – in several arenas. Because even though dealing with Chris is demanding and draining – there are so many other aspects to this journey.

One of these has been trying to survive financially. ..let’s just say I haven’t missed a meal and my lights are still on! And actually, I got a bill this week for one of the x rays on my knee (the one that showed it was finally healed!!) and I just looked at it and penciled it right in to my budget….I cannot tell you how good that felt! There have been days when I would have just fallen apart and cried and slung snot (sorry for the visual) over any extra bill. I am by no means monetarily rich – but God has provided well. Oh, I have had to roll up my sleeves and burn some midnight oil — for sure — for lots of nights…but as long as He provides the work – I’ll keep working! No complaints from here.

One of my other challenges is being able to get out to do shopping – unnecessary stuff like groceries! Aids are very sporadic and I really cannot count on them to be here. Well, for one thing I am discovering that I can order almost everything online. And I am working on the remaining items to figure out how to get them too! I literally ordered toilet paper and had it delivered to my door. You know – that’s one of those little things you don’t think about – but it can have a huge impact on your day if you run out!  I had to figure out something though so that I didn’t feel trapped…and powerless…and paperless! lol!

And I am back to running – not too much because I cannot risk injury – but at least I am up and going again. You know, one quick 2 or 3 mile run and I can solve all the worlds’ problems in my head! lol! I really need the tension release and it is challenging to me. (I did win a third place medal in my last race last week!! – and yes there were more than three people in my age group!

And somewhere in the midst of what feels like constant turmoil somehow His peace reaches me…inexplainable really…but very much enjoyable and appreciated! I find myself in a state of constantly pursuing Him even though I want to run away… I do not know if that makes sense – but I understand it…

I find my soul’s peace and rest in Him event though I have so many unanswered questions running through my head and heart…I find that He is so inside me that I can’t even try to find peace anywhere else! lol! His word brings comfort even though I am frustrated with what seems like His slowness to answer. Yet I will continue to trust – and look for non-religious answers. LEt me leave you today with my scripture for the day. It’s 2 Thessalonians 3:16: May the Lord of peace Himself continually grant you peace in every circumstance. The Lord be with you all!

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I Exist…

I know it’s been a long time since I shared…anything…with anybody really. But tonight I am just sitting here staring at the computer screen waiting for the clock to get to 11:30 when I can bolus Chris then go to bed. I may actually get 5 hours of sleep tonight – if Chris and my knee let me! I never count on it though. I may go back to bed after I bolus him in the morning and try to catch up since the aid doesn’t come until 11:30 on Wednesday.

So I look at the paragraph and think about how many little phrases have huge stories behind them. Like my knee…a small break in the knee cap – it’s tiny and I would not believe it myself except the doctor showed it to me — more like made me look at it – she kept saying I was in denial…I would probably still deny it (yeah, guess she was right!)…if it wasn’t waking me up at night when I bend it in my sleep. I’ll sleep with the brace on for a few more nights then see if it’s better again…

And of course with a bruised/busted in some way knee cap I cannot run. I can try but the pain is excruciating! I can hobble along for a little bit before it feels like someone stabs the right side of my knee cap with an ice pick! (btw – that is the same feeling I get at night while I am trying to sleep!!) – frustrating since I used running to deal with so much of the stress. Oh well – my emotions are fried so who cares about the stress anymore?

Then there’s the aid situation.. I really cannot go into it – but anyone who has ever needed an in home aid knows the frustrations of trying to find a reliable one! Just trust me that there is a big hairy story behind it!!

But all in all there are some really good things going on right now. My friend is staying with me for a while to help with transferring Chris and all since my knee is busted. (It is really getting better by the day/week… I figure a couple more weeks and I can try to get on the treadmill for a mile or so… we’ll see… it still swells when I am up on it too much – brace or not…) It’s been good having someone around. At least I do not hear only my own voice all day now…I dread her leaving but I know the day will come….

We have been able to get Chris out about 3 or 4 times each week and he is getting so good at getting in and out of the car. One of the places we took him last week and plan to go back is Among Friends. It’s for adults who have disabilities. I was really scared to take him…but he did well and it wasn’t too bad. Just makes me have to admit my son has brain damage…but it’s a safe place.

I really cannot talk about my emotions right now.. not sure what they are doing. I am happy for the progress Chris is making… very happy. But I am also sad and living a grief over the son I have lost..very sad. My emotions totter back and forth until they wear out and I just exist….

I know that taking Chris out is also good for me – and I am trying to add that stimulus for him. (and he’s doing well…) but it is so difficult to see the stares…blank stares…and to hear the silent questions no one has courage enough to ask…struggling to get through doors, into and out of buildings and up ramps that are supposed to be handicapped accessible…the simplest things can become the greatest chore when we are out…by the time we get back I am tired…body, soul and spirit…I guess that’s where I am tonight. And I know all the right scriptures to “say”… they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength… so maybe I am not “waiting right” is what my religious mind tells me…but I don’t listen…because I don’t care… I exist.

I am not even sure where faith is in all this either. I know I keep working with Chris, for several reasons:

  • I love him
  • I will not give up
  • he keeps getting better!
  • God really did promise… even though I cannot see or feel it…and even though I have my doubts

I’m still mad at HIm (it’s no secret He knows it already! – and He’s big enough to handle my tantrums and my pity parties…) He broke a trust that I guess my religious mind has supposed… that He was watching out for my kids. And it really does leave me in fear – I do not really know if He will watch out for my daughter and grandbabies…and I do not know what I would do if anything happened to any of them…and I do not know where to put that fear…I do not know how to handle it…

Actually, I do not know how to handle a lot of stuff…or maybe I just don’t know how to handle anything anymore. I simply exist.

Well, I have 5 minutes until I can at least start the process of going to bed… should be in bed by about midnight I hope. That gives me 5 hours to be horizontal…then I will wake up and face another day. I’ll take it as it comes and appreciate the little things like the fact that we are still breathing; or that I have food to eat…it’s funny how these sorts of things can change your whole perspective on life. So many of the things I used to put so much stock into seem so trivial now…I feel trivial now…I am hoping that there will be an end someday – and I hope it’s a good one. Until then I just have to keep putting one foot in front of the other one and do whatever my hands find to do….and just know that God is really out there…He exists too….

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So Many Changes…

It has been crazier than usual the last week or so…too many changes. I think I found out I really am pretty anal when my schedule gets interrupted. I think I just float around in this fog and stumble through the days until I can get back to some sort of order! Where do I begin?

Chris’ aid gave us a week’s notice that she would be quitting. I was getting set to not have an aid…after I sorted it all out and found some advantages I could major on I was fine with it..thought it might be nice to have the change. And then they called and sent another one…that’s good…except that I had already set my mind on course to be without…she started yesterday – very nice lady and actually is a CNA with some caregiving experience. That helps…but it sent my emotions in a crazy way –

I had them all geared for what I thought was ahead and then Bam! it all changed and it is taking me some time to do more adjusting to more unknowns. Her hours are crazy so it jeopardizes my running career… got that worked out somewhat. I got a treadmill…I don’t have to miss a mile of my training – I just have to get used to the treadmill – very different running there…

I guess it was so frustrating because really running is the only thing I have that is uniquely mine. You know? It was my escape – I could get out – see fresh sites and get all my tension out while pounding the pavement. Now I run in the living room.. just not the same and I just can’t help but feel that I was stolen from once again…not sure what to do with that emotion…

On the other side of things – Chris is doing really well. Movement is returning and he’s initiating a lot more of them. He is doing so good! That’s encouraging…although I guard against getting too excited. Please forgive me, but it’s been a long journey and I don’t want to falsely anticipate an end any time soon…I can’t see that far…

I still hope – but wonder what Chris will be like when this is done. I can’t help but miss him.. a hurt that can’t be fixed. However, I try to concentrate on the good things that are happening around us and for us.

I won’t go into all our boring details, but things feel better overall….I have to think of the scripture that says these three remain: faith hope and love…I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately. Faith to hope – faith makes love work…and love is an energy…the same entity that was a part of God – that is God – that caused Him to send His son so we could have a way back to Him…gotta hold on to that sometimes… does that seem shallow? Maybe to some – love is such a basic concept – but in our religious circles – we’ve exchanged it for law and need to learn His love once again….

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WhaT A CrAzy WEek it wAs!

Last week was really all that crazy! And boy were my emotions all over the place! I think I am still trying to pick them all up; although I think the smoke has begun to clear. I really took it hard when the hail storm took out most of my itsy weeny garden. I didn’t know it was going to hit me so hard until I started cleaning up.

I was pulling up some of the plants that had just started to bloom before the hail storm hit. I’d been so excited about their blooms! And now they were beat down to pretty much nothing and it hurt a lot more than I thought. I mean, here I’ve been nurturing them, talking to them, watering them and now they are a piece of mangled green mess…gone.

Iopted not not run the morning after the storm as I thought it was better get out and try to get the yard cleaned. I was soon interrupted by this surprising surge of emotions though. I realized that my garden represented how I felt in many ways. Here Chris and  were in the height of our lives and we had it snatched away.

You know, for both my kids I’d been so careful to nurture the things I had seen God put in them. And they were both doing so well.. Ronella still is – I don’t mention enough how proud I am of her and I really feel she gets the short end of the stick a lot of times because she so easily ends up in the shadow of the tragedy with Chris… but I am very proud of my daughter and the Christian woman she’s become!

Anyway – as I was pulling up the poor blooming plants my emotions just welled up and exploded inside of me. Here I was on the brink of realizing my dreams of traveling to Africa and Chris was one semester away from graduating – and he was loving the classroom…and BAM! it’s all gone just like that brief but violent hail storm…all gone.

So I did what I always did.. I ditched the yard and headed out for a run! I didn’t realize how bad this side of town got hit by the wind and hail. It was like my life – an obstacle course – with nothing coming easily!

It really took me a couple of days to get myself together. But on Friday’s run I made a decision. I knew I brought Chris home on purpose. I also knew that I was giving my life away to care for him. I decided that the struggle was because I was always trying to pick my life and dreams back up…so my decision was to let them go for good! It eases the struggle…and I felt better.

I think we are this way when we are trying to live out Galatians 2:20 – we say we ae crusified with Christ and we have only a life hidden in Him…all the while we are still trying to piece it all together and make something happen on our own. Hence, we become troubled, unhappy… etc… it’s not that easy to die on purpose. But when we do the struggle ends. So here in my struggle of taking care of Chris.. I learned how to die in Christ! And that’s how I want to live my life from here on out… totally dead! lol!

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With the Weekly Regime Out the Window – Now What?!?

This week is just messed up! First of all, I haven’t got to run yet since I did that funky pull thing on Saturday. It’s better and I was going to run today but then the aid called in which means I don’t get today to do my scheduled errands or run. That only leaves two days to run this week at best. I’ll have to figure out which is more important running or errands!

I am glad that I am a good organizer. I can usually get all my weekly errands done and log my miles. I do get tired of looking at my watch all the time. Some day I want to go to WalMart and just look and get all the things I need. As it is I am on such a tight time schedule I get just what I need and then if I have any time left I can check out prices and other stuff like that that needs to be done at WalMart! Don’t get me wrong – I appreciate the opportunity. I really don’t know what i would end up doing if she didn’t come.

It’s kind of funny the things that seem to be different in my new world. There are so many things we take for granted even in our everyday lives. We do not think about how it could be snatched away with one phone call, one miscalculation on the part of another totally unrelated individual…and our lives are changed, destroyed, lost…yet we continue to live each moment like the next will remain the same…but there is really no guarantee…unless you give yourself a false sense of security. I do trust the Lord…and I know that whatever might come He will see me through.

I don’t sit around worrying about if something bad will happen. There’s no wringing of my hands and glancing out the door or jumping when the phone rings!! There’s not a dread or unhealthy phobias going on… just a sincere thankfulness for this moment.

As the Lord has begun the process of restoration and blown my mind with all He’s done, I just look around and am thankful. when I got the first little apartment I had almost nothing. People began to give and give…and give until the place was packed full! Now we have moved into a larger apartment and it’s still full! I am so thankful for all He’s provided…but I am not clinging to one item! I realize you never know what a day will bring and if it is all gone again tomorrow…I’m okay with it…I have my stuff, but my stuff doesn’t have me! It’s kinda nice like that really.

So my week is thrown off – no running times yet and no aid today which means no errands today. Last night was a bottom out night. I can’t explain how I get swallowed up like that…and it’s such a difficult climb to try to overcome it. But it’s too frustrating to let it have me! so I fight…today is better. I can’t explain it – but it’s better. I have new strength and courage to work with Chris again today. There are some “therapy” things I am going to try today…we’ll see what we get…if anything.

I can’t express how thankful I am right now for His watch care over our spirits. I love the fact that no matter what happens in this fleshly world …living in time…nothing – absolutely nothing– can touch the eternal part of us! That means Chris is in good hands even though he is temporarily gone from me…his spirit is fine. Who God made him is still intact…today I’ll try to rest in that.

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