Another month as a sufferer of CES is in the books. I must say, it has been a pivotal month in my life, if not my recovery.
Moving is about done with. We still have a carload of odds & ends remaining at the old place, along with clean up there (and some painting). At the new (old) place, we have a lot of boxes. We’re unpacking as needed, or motivated. A lot yet to be done there and we’ve had quite a few offers of help. We aim to take you up on those offers. We’re just going to be taking our time about it. With the move, I now have an hour commute each way to/from work. Ok, so my drive time just tripled. The biggest challenge is how I will feel on Friday evening on the way home. Will it be too much for me? We will see.
In Month 7, I’ve reconnected with some old friends and acquaintances on Facebook. It has had some disappointments and some very pleasant surprises, as one would expect. Trips down memory lane, good times and sad, and dreams attained, put on hold, or dashed. Lots of retrospection / introspection with regards as to the mark I’ve left in life so far. I’ve been evaluating it in terms of what I want to do in my final third of life. In the Bible, God dealt with Moses in 3 specific 40 year periods in Moses’ 120 year life. Each period was very different than the other 2, yet when it was done, the 3 periods all tied together to bring about a world changing impact that could not have happened without all 3 periods. I’m 55 now, so I’m definitely into my 3rd period and it is time for me to make the biggest impact on the world around me. I may not change the world, but I want to change it for that part of the world which I can.
I look back at where I was after 6 months of life with Cauda Equina Syndrome. I haven’t noticed much improvement in my symptoms since Month 2, but there has been a continued buildup of leg strength. The sharp, electric shock pains in my right foot have migrated from big toe to my other toes and top of foot. This is actually better because the big toe not being as prone to pain allows me better balance to some degree. Better balance means walking is slightly less tiring. That means I can do a little bit more than a month ago. My stretches and exercises have continued to make me more limber and stronger. So I can do things with less pain and energy expenditure. The biggest change has been in how I viewed my having CES.
I use the term “recovery” loosely. I know that CES is something one has and is something that only a very, very few truly recover from. Most sufferers do not regain a normal life. A few see significant improvements in symptoms which allows them to resume an outwardly (almost) normal life. Then there are the very few who see complete recovery from symptoms. While medical literature tells us that those who have decompression surgery within 48 hours of symptoms appearing are almost exclusively the ones who see the better outcomes, the delay in diagnosis and decompression for the rest of us almost certainly dooms us to a life of dealing with the symptoms. My time from onset of symptoms to decompression surgery was just under 14 days… about 320 hours… not 48.
So I’m deeply in the group of “doomed to a life of pain and disability.” I’ve not seen myself that way since I found out about what I have. Part of that is from my dogged determination type personality – I don’t give up until there is nothing left to give up on. I have, and will continue, to work physically as hard as my determination can push my body to have an above average outcome. My faith has believed that this was a trial to try my faith. Not in terms of believing or not believing God will heal me, because He will do what He will. But a trial through which my life message of God’s goodness adds another chapter.
But He had so much more in mind!
Kim and I have spiritually journeyed along the same path but separately. This last week of Month 7, I was on vacation for the move and the week afterward. We joined in our spiritual journey for several days and then one day, due to schedules, we did not do our study together. It was a study of concrete examples of what being “All In” for God really means. And it means far more than I’ve thought in the past. While we’ve given our hearts and lives over to Him, we find, through brutally honest self-evaluation that haven’t done so completely. We’ve held onto some control – we want to follow our own desires and then have God clean up any mess we might make. We’ve kept some small pockets of control for us. As we heard the challenge, we both, separately, made the commitment to truly give ALL of EVERYTHING to God.
I’ve seen the change in my heart as I’ve grown closer to God these 7 months, but nothing has changed me like this past week. I am a new and vastly improved David. And my Bride is lovelier than ever. We’ve been given a challenge, a mission, and a path to follow. We’re excited. And life has changed for us. CES is a part of me now, something which God has shown I can only deal with through His strength for I have no strength in my own right.
No more fighting CES, but not giving in to it either, I instead have placed it in God’s hands. In doing so, I will do my part and know that He will do His. CES is now no longer something bad that happened to me. It is a tool to be used by God in His plan for my life. I look back and see how two strong (and strong-willed) people, joined together in marriage over 18 years ago, have been shaped and molded in that time to fall completely into God and learn what He means when the Apostle Paul wrote,“And He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. ” [2Cr 12:9 NKJV]
In our weakness God will be shown to be strong. Until now, God has been a part of our lives. From now on, we will be a part of His instead.
What a month!!!!!
New King James Version, © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
The text of the New King James Version (NKJV) appearing on or deriving from this or any other web page is for personal use only. Any other use of the NKJV must be in conformity with the Quotation Policy for the New King James Version. For more information about the New King James Version, the Quotation Policy, and for inquiries about permission to use the New King James Version, go to http://www.nelsonbibles.com.