God is faithful

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.

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God Has a Plan

My life has completely changed since that surgery in Dec. 2006, but God has been with me every step of the way. Through the trials and the intense pain (physical, mental, and emotional) that I’ve endured, He’s taught me that sometimes the largest blessings come wrapped in the most excruciating pain.

Ever since I was a child, I’ve enjoyed writing, and in middle school, I even had several teachers tell me that I should consider writing professionally as a career. I never thought about that seriously, because I already knew that God was calling me to teach.  I have kept a journal periodically since I was a teenager.

Several months after the infection started, I began to journal seriously again as an outlet for all my anger, frustration, and pain. The pain was the worst, it was constant, and some days it took every ounce of my strength just to get out of the bed. One day a close friend was visiting, and he happened to see my journal that I’d accidentally left open on the coffee table. He picked it up and began to read it, and I tried to grab it away because I was embarrassed about leaving my private thoughts exposed, even to a close friend. He told me that what he’d seen was very good and he thought that I had a real gift and talent for writing. He told me that if I added a chorus and changed a few words here and there, I’d have a Southern Gospel song, and a really good one at that! He would know, because he was songwriter and had written several songs himself. To say that I was stunned would be an understatement! I actually told him he was crazy.

I told him I’d think about it, but the next day, I started playing around with the journal entry and made the changed he’d suggested. Then I showed it to him, and was surprised when he loved it! He then told me that he absolutely couldn’t believe that I’d never written professionally or published anything before; that what I’d written was just too good to come from an amateur. He said that God had given me a real gift for writing, and he just knew that my writing would one day help others just as it would help me get through the battle I was fighting.

That night, in my prayer time, I thanked God for giving me that gift and told Him that I was open to anything else that He wanted to give me. I never suspected that God would answer that in a BIG way! It wasn’t long until He was giving me many songs, and at totally random times throughout the day and night. Most of them would come at night, usually between the hours of 2 and 4 am, and sometimes I’d have not only lyrics but also music running through my head when He woke would wake me up. I began keeping a notebook and pen by my bed. The more I wrote, the more God gave me, and soon it wasn’t just songs, but devotionals and poems as well. My friend was very surprised and impressed one afternoon when we were sitting at the lake. A summer storm blew in, and I watched it for a few minutes, then grabbed my notebook and began to write. It wasn’t long until I had a song that he titled “The Storm”. He told me there was NO way, short of a gift straight from God, that anyone could create a complete song so fast and have it be so good. I knew it was a gift from God, and the more I opened myself up to accept it and allow God to use me, the more songs He began to give me. Soon, it wasn’t just songs, but also poems, devotionals, and later, even Sunday school lessons. I soon realized that the songs that others liked the best, and told me were my best, had come in the times of the worst and most excruciating pain. I think that was to remind me that sometimes the best things do come out of the worst pain.

No matter how bad things seemed to get for me, I had solid evidence that God WAS in control, and He did have a plan to use this. I didn’t think anything good could possibly come from fighting recurring infection for years, but God has used these past 7 years to change my life and draw me closer to Him. I had thought that nothing good could possibly come from that, but as Romans 8:28 reminds us, God can work ALL things for good for those who love Him. God showed me that something good could come from my painful experiences. 

If you’re struggling with anything, take it to God in prayer and then TRUST Him to work the results out according to His plan for you. The result may not be what YOU wanted, but it will be what God has planned for you. If you’ve been waiting for a while, don’t get discouraged, God has NOT forgotten you! Joseph thought God had forgotten him, but remember how God used him years later. While answers may take longer than we want, for the Christian, everything happens in God’s time, and HIS timing is always perfect!

No matter what you’re facing or struggling with, be encouraged that God knows and He has a plan to help you with it. Just trust Him and let Him work.

My Journey

My name is Lynn Dorris, and I started this blog because God has brought me through a really rough health battle. For over 6 years, I fought infection in a hip replacement. I had to have a hip replacement for my right hip in Dec. 2006, and it became infected. I had no idea how bad that infection would get, or how much it would completely change my life.Throughout that battle, I’ve endured 47 surgeries. Over 30 of them have been directly on my hip, while the others were for placement of IV catheters and then to remove them when they became infected. God allowed me to survive, and He’s given me more than one miracle along the way; and now He’s going to use it to help others who are struggling with similar issues.One thing He has very clearly taught me is that there is ALWAYS something to be thankful for. Things are NEVER so bad that there’s not one thing to be thankful for. Sometimes we have to search to find that something, but God always provides it.Some of the things He’s given me through this that I’m thankful for are the gift of writing, teaching adult Sunday School, and counseling. He’s also given me many songs, poems, and devotionals, which I believe may one day be published. The most precious thing I’m thankful for is the gift of time with my mother while she fought ovarian cancer. What I considered being “stuck” at home for a long time became a blessing,because I was able to be with her and help care for her.

This is my story:

In Dec of 1996, I was involved in a serious car accident. Although we wouldn’t know it for another 10 years, the impact of the wreck damaged the blood vessels that carried blood and oxygen to my hips. This diminished the flow of the blood and oxygen and began to cause damage to both hips. Over the next 10 years, the damage worsened, but I had no pain or any other indication that anything was wrong. in June, 2006, I barely bumped my right hip on the stair rail in my house. I didn’t even think anything about it at the time, but the next morning I woke up with a huge bruise the size of a basketball, and pain so intense that it was difficult to walk. My doctor diagnosed it as sciatica and gave me a muscle relaxant. When I wasn’t better in a few weeks,I was sent to an orthopedic specialist. The first thing he did was order an MRI.

The MRI showed a condition called Avascular Necrosis, and it was in both hips. That is a condition caused by lack of blood and oxygen to the affected body part. Without the full amounts of blood and oxygen, the body part is starved and begins to break down and slowly die. That was happening with both of my hips, and it was traced back to the car wreck 10 years earlier.I was told that necrosis can often take 10-15 years to become bad enough to show symptoms, because the damage is done so slowly.The only treatment was a total hip replacement. I was told my right side needed to be done immediately, and  my left side MIGHT wait a year,IF I was lucky.

Being only 39 years old at the time, my insurance said I was too young to need a hip replacement, and it took a few months to get them to approve the surgery. I finally had my right hip replaced in Dec 2006. My surgeon told me that my hip was more than halfway collapsed already ,and he didn’t know how I was still walking on it! The surgery went well, but within a week the wound was a little red and puffy. That was the start of the 6 year battle with infection.

The infection had gone deep and settled on the new hip joint, so I had to have another surgery to replace the hip joint with an antibiotic spacer. I would face many similar and more extensive surgeries over the next 6 years.i  was in and out of the ER and the hospital more times to count, and I endured septic shock several times. As the infection dragged on,I had to resign from the job that I loved, and I had to move back home with my parents because the surgery left me unable to drive. It was very hard for me to give up my independence,but thankfully,I had a great support system of family and friends who helped in many ways.I had no idea how much I would need them through the years!

God has called me to start this blog in an effort to let others facing similar issues know that there IS hope and they are NOT alone.

Through this blog, I will share my story, and maybe even some of the song,poems, and devotionals that He’s given me, as He leads me to do so.It’s not been an easy journey, and it’s not one I’d want to repeat by any means,but God has been by my side the entire way, sometimes even carrying me.He allowed me to survive, and now He’s calling me to share my story. This blog is the first step.