“I know God will not give me anything I can’t handle. I just wish that He didn’t trust me so much.” Mother Teresa
I have Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, Raynauds’, and Scoliosis. Now my eye doctor thinks I may have the beginnings of Glaucoma. I am in my early forties. I was diagnosed with the scoliosis around the age of 12, so it and I have been together for a while. While I never had to have surgery for it, I did have to wear a fiberglass brace underneath my clothes – not a good look for the teenager who does not want to look pregnant! If it weren’t for the scoliosis, the doctors told me, I’d be about 2″ taller than my nearly 6′ tall frame already is. As a result I have always had lower back pain and one leg longer than the other.
At the time, these things scared me. While my family was very active in our faith, I don’t recall leaning on God to get me through my teen years. Though He was most certainly there.
Until about a year ago I had never heard of Raynauds’ or Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. It was only though visits with doctors concerning my endometriosis – for which I ended up needing a hysterectomy – that we discovered these two mysteries.
The first mystery was the Raynaud’s. Apparently, there are two versions of this and I have the milder of the two. Basically, a few of my extremities are extremely sensitive to temperature changes; cold especially. My mother always used to say, “Cold hands, warm heart” in reference to me and my hands. I never thought much about it; until the diagnosis. What cinched this little discovery was that my toes were a delightful shade of purple – or was that blue? Now, I wear lots of warm socks, slippers or shoes in the house (at all times), and I take a baby aspirin every day. While in the house, I have made a couple of other adjustments; such as, not stepping on the bathroom floor without something on my feet. I also make sure the shower is warm before I plant those tootsies on the basin. For the time being this works…
The second mystery was one I had struggled with for a long while, but had yet to realize that it was a problem. You see, my right arm would go numb while sleeping, driving, using the computer, etc. After a couple of years of this and many appointments, specialists, and tests, I was diagnosed with Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. The first mistake I made was to look it up on Wikipedia. It listed a few people who had died as a result of this condition; people who were in much better shape than I am. All that did was make me depressed and scared. New game plan…
What is Thoracic Outlet Syndrome? In a nutshell, the space between my clavicle and my 1st rib is too narrow. The major artery, vein, and nerve become compressed; causing numbness, tingling, swelling, pain, and loss of fine motor skills. I am starting to drop things and it’s really getting annoying :>
My surgeon, yes that’s how doctors ultimately deal with this condition, said I was a surgical candidate for the right side. I have it on the left side as well, but it’s not at the stage of surgery just yet. She offered me an alternative of physical therapy – which I took. But I’ve learned that this is only a delay; kinda like a band-aid.
Most recently, my legs have begun to get this numbness and tingling, without explanation. In the past week, I have had a vascular test and an MRI – both negative/normal; which is both good and bad. Good for the obvious reasons; but bad because we still have no idea what’s happening.
In the middle of all this, I decided to go get a new pair of glasses. I haven’t worn glasses in about ten years, so I thought it was time to get back with the program. Little did I know, God had something else in store for me. This is where the Glaucoma comes in. The doc’s not positive yet, but he’s seeing the indications. Not what I wanted or expected to hear. I mean I just wanted to update my prescription and get a new pair of glasses.
As you can see, my plate is full – Scoliosis, Raynaud’s, Thoracic Outlet, Unexplained Numbness, and possibly, Glaucoma. I have at least two surgeries in my near future. By all earthly standards, I have reason to be scared, even a little mad. What about a little self-pity? And, as a human, I do experience these feelings. However, I choose to look at this differently…
I choose to give this plate to God; to place it at the foot of the Cross. I choose to ask for help with healing, if it is His will for me. I choose to have faith; and trust that God will use all of this for His greater purpose. It all reminds me of a song I’ve sung in church, based on Psalm 91, called “Eagle’s Wings”
And He will raise you up on eagle’s wings,
Bear you on the breath of dawn,
Make you to shine like the sun,
And hold you in the palm of His hands.
I want Him to hold me in the palm of His hands. I can’t handle all this alone. But, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians).
I’m sure I’ve broken some kind of blogging rule for the length of a blog post. I am sorry this got kind of long. But this is something I’ve had on my heart and mind for the last couple of days.
Would you mind saying a prayer that I am able to maintain these choices? That I am able to leave this full plate at the feet of Jesus?