It’s been nearly 2 years since I’ve posted on here. I somehow got locked out of my blog and it’s taken me a while to find the problem and get it fixed. I’ve also struggled with more health issues and had to have another surgery last summer. But now I’m able to post again, and will try to post at least once a month.
The past 2 years have been challenging,to say the least, but no matter what happens, I KNOW that God is with me. There have been a few times that He’s even carried me.
Even with all the problems that I’ve struggled with, God has proven to me time and time again that He is right there with me, and He’s shown me that He is still very much in control. On days when the pain threatens to overwhelm me, and it’s an effort just to get out of bed; I remind myself how blessed I am that I’m even still alive. And, not only am I still alive, I also still have my leg, which we thought I would lose a few years ago. God has proven Himself faithful throughout this journey, and I may not understand why something happens, but I do trust Him and know that He is working.
In October of 2014, I noticed that I was tiring out faster and much easier than I used to. At first, my doctors thought that maybe I was just trying to do too much and push too hard to get strength and energy back, but when I got worse instead of better over the next few months, my doctors became concerned. Several months and many tests later, I was diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension, which was most likely caused by sleep apnea. Further testing revealed that the sleep apnea was the result of a collapsed airway. My airway had collapsed, making it difficult for me to draw a full, deep breath,especially at night when i was lying down. I was told that it was probably caused by the breathing tube being placed in and pulled out of my throat during so many surgeries over the past several years. The only solution was surgery, and so in June of 2015, i underwent surgery to remove my tonsils and open my airway. It was the most painful surgery that I’ve ever had, much worse than any of the hip surgeries, but God brought me through it!
Also in the first few months of 2015, I began experiencing a lot more pain in my right hip and leg. My orthopedic surgeon suspected fluid building up, and he ordered an aspiration to remove it. That aspiration yielded over 50 mls of fluid, and that in itself was concerning because joints are not supposed to have more than 5-10 mls of fluid in them. The aspiration relieved the pain, but within a few weeks, it began to worsen again. When I flew back to Dallas in April of 2015 for a follow-up with that surgeon, I asked him about the fluid building up. He told me that the type of prosthetic that he placed in my hip and leg would generate fluid with activity. The ideal solution would be to just have the fluid aspirated every month or two, but because I’m such a high risk for infection,none of my doctors wanted me to have more than 2 or 3 aspirations in a year.The fluid building up had never been a problem before because the physical therapy had slowly helped me gain strength and become more active. It was that increase in activity that was generating the fluid, so the question became what could be done?
My local orthopedic surgeon came up with a plan-physical therapy to force the fluid out of the joint. My physical therapist is a manual therapist, and he created a treatment plan that combined manual manipulation of the joint with exerting pressure on a sturdy foam roller while rolling it repeatedly over my hip and leg; and a Redcord suspension system that suspended my leg after treatment to help the fluid drain.My surgeon wanted this started 3-4 weeks after I’d had an aspiration, with treatment sessions twice a week for 12-14 weeks. At that point the plan was for me to have another aspiration, and then wait 3-4 weeks and start the whole thing again.My surgeon really liked it, and it did work ( it actually worked really well!), but my insurance had an absolute fit about it. My insurance wouldn’t even talk to me, whenever I called I was repeatedly told that I didn’t need to be calling, because “We just don’t deal with patients!”. We are currently involved in a battle with my insurance company to keep the physical therapy going long-term, and they are fighting us.
Throughout all of this, God has very clearly shown me that He is with me every step of the way. He’s made it very clear to me that He allowed me to survive to share my story to offer hope and encouragement to others who are struggling with serious health issues. He’s also shown me that I’m supposed to fight for those who cannot fight, for whatever reason. There are people struggling with the almighty insurance company who either are too weak or too afraid to fight, or just may not know how to fight, and I believe God is calling me to fight for them. Any victory that I win with my insurance company could possibly help many others as well, and if it helps even one person, my job is done.
A couple of months ago, I noticed that Guideposts magazine was having their annual writer’s contest. After much prayer, I felt God leading me to enter it, so I sent them my story and a few poems and devotionals that God has given me throughout my struggle. On the way to the post office, I prayed for God’s will, and then saw God work in a HUGE way when I walked into the post office to mail it. The post office that I use is ALWAYS busy, and in the entire 25 years it’s been operating, I’ve NEVER seen it empty or even close to it during business hours.
Well, I walked in around 9 am on a weekday, and there was one man finishing up and just walking away from the window, and NOBODY in line. The clerk was a lady I knew and had been through her window many times. She saw my package was going to Guideposts and commented how much she loved that magazine. Then she asked me about the brace that I have to wear on my leg whenever I drive , and God allowed me to share my story with her. I got to talk with her and share the miracles God had given me for 10 minutes!! That is totally unheard of at this post office, and as I was leaving, I felt chill bumps, just looked up and said: “Lord, I KNOW that was you, thank you!!”
I’ve not heard about the results of the contest yet and won’t for at least another week or two, but I have a peace knowing that I did what God wanted me to do. Maybe His purpose in my entering that contest was to witness to that postal clerk, I don’t know, but I do know that ONLY God could have emptied that post office on a weekday morning when there normally would have been at least a 15-20 minute wait!
God is good, and He is ALWAYS faithful, even when we can’t see it. There are times that I get very frustrated with the pain or my insurance, and then God sends me a gentle reminder, often from a friend, that He does know what I’m struggling with, and He is working it out according to His will.So, I will keep fighting my way through one day at a time for as long as He chooses to give me. I’m still here because He has a plan to use me and everything that He’s brought me through to help others.