I am going to talk about something that I don’t usually mention on my blog.
It all started with a cat. Well, that’s what caused me to notice the beginnings of being unwell. A dear friend of mine had a cat and I began to be allergic to it. I had a cat of my own and I wasn’t allergic to it. Just the one cat. My eyes got all itchy and I would sneeze like crazy whenever I was near that cat. Within a few years I was allergic to all cats, including my beloved Moe B. Then extreme fatigue came. I’m not talking tired. I’m talking “close my eyes at red lights” kind of fatigue. I’d ask my passenger to tell me when the light turned green and firmly put my foot on the break and close my eyes during the red light. Eventually I went to a doctor and he said I had chronic tonsilitis. He said my tonsils had to go. So perhaps it was being perpetually sick that caused my fatigue. He said I’d be up and around in two weeks. I wasn’t. Two months later I could still barely walk down the street. Six months later I still spent days in bed. Relationships suffered. Some people assumed my absence from their life was a choice and feeling rejected they faded away. Other friendships were built solely on my endeavors to maintain the relationship, and unable to continue my constant care and attention of them, they too faded away. Time passed. Pain joined fatigue in it’s assault on my life. Simple tasks like washing dishes and doing laundry became impossible at times. For a few years I had a couple days in the span of weeks that I was able to be up and around. It’s been six years since that surgery and now I am happy to say I spend less days in bed than I do up and around. I tend to have a bad week in the midst of three and I am getting stronger and stronger.
My son bought me a vintage bike for Mother’s Day. I hadn’t been able to ride a bike in years but having gotten stronger I decided to give it a go. I rode about 2 miles. I was so thankful that I was able to do something that for years I hadn’t been able to enjoy. And I must say, I used to really love riding a bike! I’ve taken that bike out a few times since and one day a couple of weeks ago I was riding downhill through a tunnel. I tried to switch gears and pedal fast to harness the downhill motion for the up hill to come. As I did so my foot slipped off of the pedal and the pedal ate at my ankle. It was quite painful. I didn’t fall (my angels kept me up for sure.) The wound was bleeding badly but being on the boney part of my ankle the center of the wound quit bleeding pretty fast as I applied pressure hoping to not get blood on my white skirt. (I know what you’re thinking, ” who wears a long white skirt on a bike ride?”) The inner inch circumference of the cut was without blood and the outer rim was bleeding and my happy little platelets were doing their work. The next day I found that I had a scab on the rim but no scab in the center. I paid no attention and went about my life. About three or four days later my ankle began to really hurt. Walking hurt a lot. Almost like when you’ve got a bad sprain. I actually found myself limping. Upon inspecting my ankle several times daily I noticed that the scabbed rim was pulling the wound shut. No doubt this was what was giving me pain.
Sometimes I am tempted to feel discouraged by the bouts of pain and fatigue that come. I feel a bit conflicted knowing that The Lord wants me to be well and that I am going to be well while I am forced to go to bed early and cancel engagements because of not feeling well. So I am very thankful for the wound I got on my ankle. It is a beautiful example that sometimes pain is proof of healing. My body is healing. I know it like I know the sky is blue. So much good has come of this season of sickness. It’s birthed a humility in me that I have never known before. It’s produced patience and mercy and a trust in My Lord. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I know that it’s outlived it’s usefulness, it’s time. Now when I have pain and fatigue I will remember that it’s not a reminder of sickness but a hallmark of the healing process.