I must admit, the thing that gets me more often than not is the idea of discouragement. It’s the reason why I give up and walk away from things. I give in to discouragement easily, often, and do it well.
The past 10 days have been beyond trying on my heart. But I haven’t walked away…yet. (C’mon, let’s be real here–frustration and discouragement go hand-in-hand)
It started just as a normal Thursday morning. We were amping up for a big weekend with a training course, attending fellow officers’ retirement celebration, our own worship services, and heading to officer roundtable meetings all in the course of four days. I had just counted out the Ziploc baggies to portion out our dog’s food to board her and *barely* bent over to scoop food and my back went out. I made my way to the counter where we keep our medicine and quickly took a muscle relaxant and pain medication and started the agonizing trek to our bed. I called the chiropractor the second they opened and got in an hour and a half later for an adjustment. Was told bed rest and to come back the next day for another adjustment. As the day progressed, the pain got worse and worse–I got up to move the 10 feet to the bathroom and was literally screaming in pain. My husband called the ambulance and went to our local ER. They did what they could, but because of the limitations of our small-town hospital, I was transferred by ambulance to Las Vegas for further testing and treatment. Not much was done for me in Las Vegas other than diagnosing a herniated disc and sending me on my way with orders to see a back doctor.
So after this day and a half ordeal, I’m home incapacitated in bed and get an appointment at the local back doctor for Wednesday…so a few days in bed go by and my husband helped me get dressed and to the local back doctor. I was crying because I was in so much pain by the time the doctor came in. His first words to me were to stop crying because crying doesn’t help anything. Needless to say, the appointment went downhill very fast and he did nothing but crush any hope I had of feeling better. He was rude, unprofessional, and completely out of line with his words to me. If there was ever a time I wanted to deck someone, that was it. So I came home with less hope than I left with and cried most of the afternoon in desperation to feel better.
The next day I had an important meeting that I couldn’t miss, so my husband helped me get ready to go to the office and attend the meeting painfully but successfully–that was Thursday. It hurt, but was amazing to be out of bed and doing my job. Friday I had to get moving again because I was scheduled for a radio interview to support our local United Way’s fundraiser and did that successfully, more hope restored. Yesterday (Saturday) was mostly in bed, but when I did move and get up, I was able to do so without using our walking cane–huge boost–there’s something in me that finds using the cane so degrading. So, pretty much as it stands today, I can get out of bed, get myself ready, sit up for a short amount of time, but the vast majority of time is still in bed.
Have I mentioned yet how amazing my husband is? Just in case I haven’t, here’s your notice. He has taken amazing care of me the last 10 days. While I was crying in bed of self pity, he did the research and found a back specialist in Las Vegas that I will be seeing this coming week that is better prepared to work with me. (My back pain is chronic…this happens about once a year for it to go out, but this is the worst it’s ever been. I’ve done the PT, chiropractor, etc…this new doctor has the experience and the tools to work with me to come up with treatment). So right now my hope is in that.
So, back to discouragement.
I have been so committed to my change to a healthier lifestyle and weight loss the last couple months and have been so inspired and motivated. This back thing has been such a huge setback for me. Every second of every day laying here I’ve just wanted to say “screw it” and eat everything in sight. I miss cooking good healthy meals. I am miserable because I can’t move without pain and can’t go out for walks with my husband and our dog like I have been. I’ve been throwing the most awesome pity party you can possibly fathom.
(There’s always a “but”)
While I feel discouraged beyond words, I haven’t given into it. I haven’t given up. I used the word “yet” earlier because, well, my track record proves otherwise. I haven’t overeaten, and if I could, I would be exercising. There’s something in me this time that won’t let me throw this progress away. I shared in an earlier post that this is not just a physical reconstruction of myself, but a mental and spiritual one too. All three are being severely tested right now. I won’t let discouragement win this time. I don’t know how, but maybe I don’t have to know how. This is a scary place to be in for someone who likes to keep control of everything, but I’ve had to hand this one over to God. I’m out of strength and hope right now–I admit, I’m very discouraged–but that “something in me” is God taking over in His strength and in His hope. It can be an uncomfortable place to be without seeing the roadmap for the days…even minutes…ahead, but I’ve got to live with that for this moment. Discouragement doesn’t get to win this time.