Monday, March 10, 2014

My Room With a View...To the Blessings of Heaven

On February 19 I had another knee surgery. Yes, I did just have one 11 months ago. And yes, it is on the same knee. That makes this the 4th one on good ol' lefty. Two of these four were done more than 16 years ago, and I hadn't had any problems since. But I think I am just beginning to live the life I was meant to live.
In August 2012, my children and I were in a collision with a two belly dump truck. They are those semi trucks you see leaving large construction sites that have two trailers with bins full of dirt and rocks and stuff. We were on a local highway where the speed limit is 60 mph, yet there are also stop lights. At one of these lights this truck decided to try to turn left in front of us on our green light. My foster daughter had a lot of sense to angle the car when she knew colliding was inevitable. We hit the first of the 2 back tires. We were extremely guarded by those awesome angels on the other side because all 6 of us should have been killed, decapitated really.

I was riding front passenger, and I took the brunt of it all. Which I am extremely grateful for, as any mother would be glad to do for her children. They walked away with out any scratches. Well, technically Neeltje got a scratch on the top of her head when a metal clip pressed into the top of her head. That is it. I was taken by ambulance. I had a fractured L2 vertebra, a lot of bruises, and too many paramedics and doctors asking how I didn't cut up my face or break my neck. See the spider web break on the windshield? I guess that is indicative of a face smashing into it?.... I blacked out on impact so I don't remember what did or didn't happen.

This picture doesn't look like much, but this is where a better life began. See that dent in the glove box? My knees made that. MRI's later revealed my bones acted like a grinder shearing my meniscus, fracturing the tibial plateau. There was a giant crack in the femoral head cartilage down to the bone. I had been walking on it for 6 months before I had the first surgery. I am sure that didn't help the situation.

What does the car accident have to do with blessings from heaven? I will get to that I promise. 

Did I ever mention that I am a recovering bulimic? "Sober" for the last 15 years. Whatever that means for struggling with self esteem, body image, and self loathing. I haven't purged in 15 years, let's put it that way. But being truly healthy didn't start happening until this accident.

 At the time of the accident and beginning years before, I was running. Training for my first full marathon. I had run Ragnar's and half marathons but never a full marathon. I am one of those people that was always healthy and athletic before children. Each one of my children was a complete sacrifice to the fullest extent. With each child I gained a little more weight. My disorder always told me I was lazy, that I didn't do enough, that I never had enough will power. I started running as a way to "discipline" myself and it went too far. I know now it evolved into another addiction. In a way, I was slowly killing myself, in various ways. 

When they went in for the first surgery last March, they found things worse then expected. My cartilage was flaking off. I was told I would never run again. Ever. I figured I would push through that surgery and become strong again. And then I would see what the real story would be. The real story is it was worse than that. Walking was hard, my knee was really damaged. I avoided stairs and any activity outside of a gym. 

I was forced to find healthy outside of pushing physical limits. I really was eating healthy per se. Just not enough-by a lot. By thousands of calories. Yes, that is plural- thousands. I started to figure things out about myself. Some things I knew- like I have a thyroid disorder, PCOS, ADD and I have had a hysterectomy. I FINALLY found a doctor that understands all of these issues and how they work together. After my first appointment she handed me about 10 prescriptions and let me know I had a lot of imbalances going on. Within 30 days I lost about 12 pounds. and it keeps coming off. I don't have to run 15 miles to make a change, not that running ever helped (didn't lose weight running).

This is where the part about where my blessings come in. Had the accident never happened, I would have kept going. I would have pushed and pushed myself until there was nothing left. I was already at a place where I was burnt out. I felt like I didn't have enough to give any one thing. I felt I was failing as a wife, mother, friend and any interest I once had in any hobby or talent was almost gone. It is different now. Slowing down has given me a real gift. This has given me a life. Time for my kids, my family, leisurely time not spent napping! 

So for now, yes this is my "room with a view", but I will be so grateful for it. Because this has been the doorway to giving me a life. I can get on with being a human living...not just a human being.