Even If

I left church early today, before the preaching even started. Not because I didn’t want to hear the message. We are in the middle of a series of message based on the book Home Run by Kevin Myers. Wait, that isn’t quite accurate. The messages aren’t based on the book. My pastor is showing a video series of Pastor Myers preaching the messages he used in this book. (We are also reading the book for a leadership series. If you’ve not read it, I highly recommend it.) I didn’t leave because I have a ton of homework to do. Though I do, and now that I think of it, if I am going to be writing I probably should be writing something about Jane Austen’s word choices in Pride and Prejudice. Good thing I like that book, because with the way I am struggling with that, if I didn’t like it I’d be ready to tear the pages out one by one to use as heating fuel this winter. I didn’t even leave because the temperature was too hot or too cold, because the sound was too loud or too quiet, or even because the people sitting nearest to me were completely annoying. (Considering those people were my husband and son, returning home would not have been the best way to rid myself of the annoyance if they were annoying, which they were not.)

No, I left because my body betrayed me.

I have a lot of physical issues. Over the past 3 years, I’ve talked about them on this blog. Some of them, anyway. Some of the issues are too embarrassing to name out loud. I know I don’t deal with a terminal illness. But I do deal with near constant pain and with issues that, well, are not expected of someone my age. Normally, when one of those issues rears its ugly little head at church, I know it is because there is something in the message that will really affect my life, something I need to hear that is going to have a profound impact on me. That makes me glad my pastor puts his messages on our church website, normally by Monday morning, so I can still listen to it. If satan wants to keep me from hearing what God has to say, I certainly do not want to give him the satisfaction!

There are times, though, when I am so frustrated it is hard to stay upbeat about it. Today I want to cry. My first instinct when I pulled out of the church parking lot was to pull into a fast food drive-thru and order chicken nuggets. I’m upset, and food will take away that feeling, right? Sure, for a moment or two. Until the food is gone, my tummy is aching from being so full, and my family looks at me strangely for not eating a meal with them. And then I step on the scale and see that I’ve gained even more weight. Lost 115 pounds with weight loss surgery 3 ½ years ago; I’ve gained back 60 of that. Part of the gain is because the near constant pain makes it very difficult to exercise. Most, however, is because I still have the emotional eating response. I celebrate with food, and I wallow in food. Neither is a good thing to do. Though my van was pointed toward that grinning redhead and her cue little pigtails, I prayed for strength to avoid pulling into her drive thru. That was the only fast food place directly between the church parking lot and my driveway, though I know me—if the urge is there, I will drive across to satisfy it. I prayed and prayed and prayed that I would not give in to the temptation for food I really did not need. And I thanked God when I got home empty handed.

I don’t know why this has happened to me. It’s not something I think I will ever understand. I’ve prayed for healing. I know others—family, friends, friends of family, family of friends—who have prayed for my healing. And yet God seems to be saying no. He could say yes later. I was going to say, “He could change His mind and say yes later,” but I don’t believe God changes His mind. If in six months I can move pain-free and all the dead and damaged nerves in my back are suddenly fully restored, it’s not because God changed his mind; it’s because He planned from the start for my healing to happen at that moment. I don’t think it’s going to. I think the “healing” He has in mind for me is not a physical one so much as a mental one. I think God wants me to be OK with my life is it, to understand that this is the plan He had for me and to adjust my desires and expectations to match. Not an easy thing, let me tell you. But I believe that is what He has been telling me.

That’s not to say I am giving up on the physical healing. I won’t stop asking. And if God offers it, I doubt that I will say no! But if that physical healing doesn’t happen, I am going to love Him anyway. Because I know He loves me.

 

Venting Today

I am in a real bad mood, and I am going to vent today.

I sure hope you don’t mind.  If so, you might want to stop reading.

About a year ago, I developed some issues with my back.  The main issue was a severely herniated disc in my lower back (atL5/S1, for those who might want to know exactly what part of my back.)  I ended up spending a good deal of time in the hospital.  In two hospitals, actually.  At my local hospital, I saw a man who is considered to be one of the best neurosurgeons in the area, at least according to my primary care physician.  Dr. X ( I will call him that because with my luck I will get sued for slander or libel or something for the things I say here, much of which will not be positive) saw me the day after Thanksgiving. After looking over my chart and the results of an MRI, he informed me that  I needed to have surgery.  Without the surgery, he said that I would be paralyzed from the waist down.

And then he told me that he could not perform the surgery because of my weight.  He said that I would need to loseatleast150 pounds in order for him to operate.  He didn’t suggest I go somewhere else, he didn’t say that another doctor or another hospital might be able to help.  He said that he couldn’t perform the operation and left the impression that if he couldn’t do it no one could.

About 10 days later, I was in the ER of another hospital, a teaching hospital about a 30 minutes drive from where I live.  The doctors there could see that I needed surgery and were surprised that the first doctor refused to do anything.  After the surgery, I felt better but found that there were things I could not do.  I had no feeling from my waist to my upper thigh, which meant no control of certain bodily functions.  The surgeon who did perform the surgery said that it is possible but unlikely that I will get those sensations and feelings back.

After discussing things with my husband, I decided to contact a lawyer.  Initially, the lawyer felt that I had a very strong case.  Under state law, she needed a medical expert to back up the claims of malpractice, to agree that Dr. X behaved in a bad manner.

Today, I received a letter from the lawyer saying that there is no expert evidence that the doctor did anything wrong, so she is closing my case file.

I am so angry right now!! There are so many things that I want to say that I can’t, because they are so not nice things to say.  I feel like Dr. X got away with discriminating against me because of my weight.  He acted like he thought he was God, and he was the only possible person who could do the surgery.  Since he couldn’t do it, obviously it could not be done. And that is all because of my weight.  I mean, I KNOW that I am overweight.  That is why I had weight loss surgery in the first place. It’s not like I am just sitting around, allowing myself to be fat. Before the back issues, I was working out daily and really TRYING to lose the excess weight.

He made me feel like I am less of a person because I am not at the “ideal weight” for a person my height. I absolutely HATE the way that feels!!!  I just want him to feel, even if only for a moment, the humiliation that he made me feel.  I am so ANGRY about this!!!!  It is not fair that ANYONE should be treated that way.

MIRACLE PLAY Coming Soon!

It’s been a while since I have updated this blog.  If you are a regular reader, you already know that!  At least, I hope you have noticed that I’ve been gone for a while….

Anyway, there are a lot of reasons that I haven’t been here in a while.  One of those reasons is because I have been busy writing a couple of novels.  The first one, MIRACLE PLAY, has been sent off to the publisher!  It will be available for sale on April 5, 2012.  I am real excited about this book.   I recently told a friend that the fifth novel is just as exciting as the first.  “It’s kind of like the feeling of having a new baby, only without the morning sickness, swelling, and pain.”

This time around, I’ve done something that I never have before–I made a trailer for the book.  I’ve thought about doing it before, just have not actually taken the time to do it.  My trailer is available on YouTube.  I’ve added it here so you can find it easily.  Please let me know what you think of it.  You can can share your feelings on the trailer and book here or right on YouTube.  Either way, I am eager to hear what you have to say.

The Date is Set!

I’ve been thinking a lot about what I wanted to write for today.  It’s time to start my ABC blogs and I have an idea of how I want to do those.  But when I got ready to sit down and write my first blog, the phone rang.  And that little phone call changed my plans!

Instead of starting my ABC blog, I am writing about something else–my surgery.  More specifically, I am excited to announce that a date has been set for my bariatric surgery.  I go in on May 23 for a gastric sleeve.  I cannot tell you how excited I am about this!

May 23 is just two weeks away!  After all this time of waiting and planning, it’s hard to believe I am just two weeks away from surgery.  One of my cousins referred to it as “the first day of the rest of your life.”  In so many ways, it feels like I am starting a whole new life.  So many things are going to be different.  But that is OK.  I mean, the way things have been is not really wonderful, not for my health.  This will be the first step toward a much healthier me.

It does mean I have a busy week coming up.  I have appointments on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday of this week.  I have to meet with the actual surgeon who will perform my surgery (Dr. Finks, who I have seen in passing but not actually met yet), go to a nutrition class, and then meet with the anesthesiologist.  Oh yeah, and I need a pre-op physical.  Not really looking forward to that, but it’s part of the surgical process.   I have been ready for a surgery date since March.  No way am I going to let a little physical get in the way!

Pictures will be coming soon–I promise!!  My plan is to post a picture of me along with my weight and my measurements before surgery, the day of surgery, and every month on the anniversary of my surgery.  That way, we can all see together how my body is changing as I eat less, eat healthy, and exercise more!

Suspenseful Intervention

Barbara Covington is living every mother’s worst nightmare.  Her teenage daughter, Emily, has morphed from a friendly, fun-loving child into a teen with a drug problem.  Barbara can’t help but blame herself.  Maybe she didn’t do enough during her husband’s illness and in the months following his death to be a good mother.  Maybe she had just never been a good mother.  That her son, Lance, doesn’t have a drug problem doesn’t matter much.  It is her failures with Emily that drive Barbara’s life now.  She makes one final, desperate decision to try to conquer Emily’s drug problem.  Little does she know that sending her little girl across the country for an intense, in-patient rehabilitation program would plunge her family into a nightmare far worse than the drug addiction ever was.

For years, I’d been told I should try one of Terri Blackstock’s books.  For years, I found excuses not to.  And then I found Intervention available for my Sony Reader, and I thought I’d stop making excuses.  This isn’t the kind of book I normally read.  I don’t normally like thrillers, and honestly did not expect to enjoy this one as much as I did.  But from the moment I read the first page until I finished with the last, I found this book hard to put down.

Blackstock is good at what she does.  In this case, what she did was combine the love of a mother with a daughter’s desire for some sort of independence.  Barbara reminded me a lot of mother, in that she would do anything to protect her children.  I found myself relating a lot to her—I would go to the ends of the earth to find my missing child and ensure that child’s protection. 

I think my favorite part of the book, though, is the character of Emily.  One minute, I wanted to slap her for being so rude and selfish.  The next, I wanted to hold her in my arms as she cried.  The resolution of this story brought tears to my eyes, feeling as proud of the young woman Emily eventually grew into as any mother would.

If you like fast-paced stories that keep you on the edge of your seat, Intervention is a book you should read.