Saturday, March 21, 2015

40 Days

Today marked 40 days since I broke my arm.

The last post I wrote was the night before my surgery, and came out of a place of strength.

This post is coming out of a place of weakness.

The surgery did go well. The doctors and therapists are all pleased with my progress. But there are days when it hurts worse, and today was one of those days. 

I've written two prior drafts and scrapped them both because they came out less than honorable. So you're getting this one. It's the best I can do.

I knew in this process of healing and reestablishing what life would look like that there would be hard days. But you don't know how hard those days will hit until they come.

I'll spare you many of the details, but I will say this: The last several weeks have been beating my heart and my mind like two egg yolks about to be used in a soufflé.

My doctors and therapists, however pleased they may be with my progress, keep reminding me about my chances of getting back to full motion and capabilities. I took a test this week at therapy, and am at about 67% of where I was before the accident.

I keep fighting tooth and nail at work to pick up any kind of progress or momentum, to no avail. And that's despite being released back to full time work and a big weekend sale.

I keep having to haggle with the company covering the workman's compensation claim for numerous reasons, and am getting nowhere with them.

So between all of these things, it all blew up in my face at work today in a really rather odd turn of events.

It took every ounce of strength to get dressed this morning and go into work for the final day of this big sale we were doing to try and make anything come of it. Then at the morning pep rally for the sales people, they talked about finding the reason why you were there, and all I could think about were my wife and kids. And about how every single day my kids ask me if I have sold a car, because they know that's how I earn money at this job. And about how my answers have been either "No" "Not today" or "Technically, yes" every day I've been back. And about how I really had no idea why I was doing it at all anymore, because it all seemed so fruitless. They made everybody chant things like "Today is my day" and "I've got this" and all I could think about was how uncertain I was of those things. I couldn't even muster up the strength to say the words aloud with everyone else, but rather to stand with them in silence wondering if this shell shock would pass and if I'd be able to move on with the possibility of a successful day, or if I'd just be stuck there all day.

Then after all the hubbub one of my coworkers came up to me and asked me how I was. And I immediately started choking back tears. Which of course, shocked him quite a bit. After some tears and very intense conversations with my managers, one of them let me have the rest of the day to spend with my family in order to try and get better.
I spent the better part of the day between quiet reflection and breaking down.

Will I and my family be okay? Yes. I do trust and believe that all things do (still) work for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose. And that's me. And my family.

Do I know how we'll be okay? Right now, no. But I made the choice today to not worry about tomorrow and all of it's questions. I chose to enjoy my family and the time I had with them. And it made a difference.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

In the Blink of an Eye

Let's just lay this on the table first: I broke my elbow.

The X-ray you see here is of my bones taken on Monday.

Technically speaking, it's a type two radial head fracture of my left arm.

If you're shocked: don't worry because you're not alone. I'm surprised myself. I walked away from a rollover car crash with rug-burn on my knees. I trip and fall while running in a parking lot at work and break my arm. These two scenarios when compared make no sense to me.

I'm sitting on my couch on the eve of Friday the 13th, which will be the day I go into surgery to repair my elbow. And yes, I'm typing with only one hand. So you know I really have something to say.

The fall happened so fast on Monday that I had no idea what was going on or what had happened until I was already on the ground. I'll spare you all of the boring details. And when I say "boring" I mean it. I've had numerous people encourage me to come up with a better story. The point is, it was just as quick as the flap of a hummingbird's wings. It felt like I  was already on the ground trying to figure out what happened before I even heard the commotion of everything happening. But in what was just the snap of your fingers, my life would never be the same again.

What I'd like to share with you is how all of this had made me feel over the last four days.

My life changed in a flash, and it will never be the same. My orthopedic surgeon was advising me that he will most likely have to install a plate into my arm so that it can heal properly, and that only if there are complications down the road it will be removed. He went on to tell me how this plate will make me a better weatherman than the local tv personalities. He also went on to say that the sensation of that plate moving across bone is one of the most wild feelings in the world according to his patients, and that because my break is on a joint I should expect that feeling. The scar will always be there. The statistic is that only between 5-10% regain full mobility from this type of surgery. My step mom had a similar surgery as this when I was a kid, and had permanent damage to her elbow and her nerves in her arm. These are the kinds of things (along with my medication) that have often left me nauseous over the last several days.

I've watched my kids run in our little parking lot since Monday and it's hard to not get scared that the same dumb thing that happened to me won't happen to one of them. And then I think about the dreams we have for each of them. They all asked me last week when the next time we could go rock climbing would be. We had all made plans to start dancing classes (yes, all five of us) before the end of the year. I can't even wrap my arms around a single one of these four wonderful people that I love with all my heart. Everything is on hold right now, and we're all waiting too see how this is going to go tomorrow.

Is this surgery the end of the world? Absolutely not.

Am I scared? Absolutely.

I could make you a list a mile long of "what if" questions that have crossed my mind that are nothing but torturous worst case scenarios. But this isn't that blog post.

This blog post is a promise that I am not resigning to "what if" questions, worst case scenarios, or my minimal chances of being okay based on statistics.

If I wasn't afraid then I would not have the opportunity to have courage.

This blog post is to let you know that I overcome, and that is exactly what I am planning for this blink of an eye that forever changed my life.

I am a son of God, and I am a champion that was created by design. The Lord is on my side, and I am not giving up the fight that is within me. As I believe His love for me is greater than I could ever dare to imagine or ask, this is just a great opportunity for that love to be made real for me in a new way. I don't know all of the answers as to why or how at this point, but I do have the confidence that this is all going to work together for the best possible future for me and my family. When others may find themselves cowering under the circumstances we are facing, I am in my finest hour.

It hasn't always been that way. But then again, I didn't always understand the significance of the Garden of Gethsemane on the night when Jesus was arrested. Jesus didn't want to walk the road before Him, because He understood all that it would entail. I don't want to walk this road, and I have no clue what tomorrow holds. But there are some things I do know. I know my Jesus is the one who calms the storms of my heart. I know my Daddy has put my Shellie by my side to be the one holding my hand and laughing with me along this road of life. I know I have my three mini people that bring me such great joy regardless of what all else is going on in my day. I know beyond them, I am still surrounded by a great multitude of amazing people that love me and my family, and that we are not alone on this road.

I overcome.

That's just what I do, because I am just like my Daddy.

My first real month of selling cars I was ranked #1 in my store.

I raised $3,400 in one week to go on a mission trip to the Dominican Republic.

My first time going out fly fishing I came away with the biggest fish that weekend.

I dislocated my knee three times in one weekend, and bounced back with no permanent damage.

All of this and so much more in only due to the grace which God has given me.

This flutter in the history of my life will be here and gone again in a flash. And then I'll be reflecting on it come December and laughing with Shellie about how insane and how great this time was, and how our lives will never be the same because of it.

Our lives will forever be better because of this blink of an eye.

"You don't have to be a fantastic hero to do certain things... You can be just an ordinary chap, sufficiently motivated to reach challenging goals. The intense effort, the giving of everything you've got, is a very pleasant bonus." ~ Sir Edmund Hillary