Monday, August 27, 2012

Part Three. . .Reflections on Retirement After 20 Years


2005 - 2008

Journal Entry - August 1, 1992
“. . .I don’t know what lies ahead but I know that You hold it and me in the palms of your hands, ready to give abundantly when I am ready to receive.”


I have rallied from many set backs during these 30 years with vestibular dysfunction. I was not prepared for the depth of the set back that befell me in May, 2005

For background, I take you to July, 2003 and a referral to a neurologist having success working with vertigo patients. He shared his victory stories. He outlined the steps and stages it would take, possibly two years. I prayed and was open to risk trying one more road to healing.

In August, 2003, I started work with a physical therapist. Her goal was to realign internal areas in my body, twisted from the 20 year struggle to maintain my balance. I saw her once every three weeks. I checked in with the neurologist every eight weeks. I would share how I was feeling weaker and weaker. Both said I was doing great, give it more time. 

In May of 2005, my body literally collapsed, The compensating mechanisms I had been using for twenty years had been realigned to a point where I had no crutches to rely on. I came to find out that the physical therapist had never worked with a vertigo patient. She believed she was doing the right treatment for what she diagnosed. My only means to try and get counsel was to make phone calls. The neurologist had nothing to offer and took no responsibility for what had occurred.

Where was God, the God I had prayed to as I entered in to this healing plan? Where was God, the God of the blessings you just read about in Part  Two of these Reflections After Retirement postings? He had not left me. He asked me to dig down deeper to where He was at work within me. 

The first work was to forgive the neurologist for his negligence. That negligence covered more areas than I’ll waste time mentioning here. That was done. My church community? They offered to pray for me and hoped I’d hurry back soon. No one came to pray with me. No one brought casseroles. Another work of forgiveness was needed there! 

I did seek practical help. Thank yous to the women in my prayer group  who worked out a monthly schedule for what turned out to be the following 7 months. They did my weekly grocery shopping using a list I compiled and brought a few meals. I accessed community help to supplement with Meals on Wheels. 

It took weeks, but very slowly, just as I had done with learning to look at a computer screen, I was able to walk from my apartment unit to the mail box. A trusted osteopath referred me to a colleague of hers who did acupuncture. More thank yous to a few faithful friends who came to take me to appointments. I made progress from walking to the mailbox to being able to ride in a car. 

Nine months of acupuncture, every three weeks ( 8/05 -  5/06 ) had no measurable effects. A therapy group for individuals with TBI ( Traumatic Brain Injury ) offered their help after an evaluation determined I fell into the category for the kind of help they give. With sets of home exercises to do, I eventually found myself whirling into vertigo attacks with those efforts ( 6/06 - 10/06 ). They dismissed me from their program but referred me to a neurologist/osteopath. She felt confident she could help (so did I) and efforts were made (10/06 - 11/07) to no avail. 

Though praying about each of the above involvements and feeling hope-filled, I came to the conclusion that I was to be in God’s rehab program. Together we would work in His time and on His timetable to bring restoration. I am grateful for the progress made.Though not back to where I was before May of 2005, I am not where I was when I collapsed that same month. 

Benchmarks

5/05 I cancelled the Oxbridge trip. A friend who did attend, arranged for flowers to be sent to me the opening day in Oxford and the opening day in Cambridge. I have made friends for the journey among my C.S. Lewis companions.

5/05 A manuscript I had been diligently working on for five years was put on the shelf. Only now am I able to take it down and revisit the work that has remained a passion. I have more to bring to it after these seven years.

1/06 I was able to walk into a grocery store without going into a vertigo spinning attack. Very slowly, I attempted the .3 mile drive from my apartment parking lot to the grocery store across the street. I could once more do my own grocery shopping! 

3/07 I asked my neighbor if I cold ride to church with her. The church is 1 mile from my apartment. Within a few months, I had the confidence to drive there on my own.

7/07 I was able to drive to Seattle (18 miles from my home). A next level of independence was accomplished.

10/07 I joined the women’s Bible study group at the church. One more step!

6/08 I celebrated my 65th birthday during an evening study with this group.

Along these miles of months, many friends came alongside me to help. Adequate thank yous will never be enough to convey my appreciation for the input of love they poured into my life. And to my God who guided and never forsook me, our relationship and walk was never in jeopardy!

How do you measure, a year in the life?

How about love?
How about trusting the One who is Love?
How about surrendering to a plan beyond what I may ever know?
Yes, that is how I am measuring my life.
In His time, each song I have been asked to to sing, will be a lovely thing!

Click on the title below for this message in song!  



“He has made everything beautiful in its time” (Ecclesiastes 3:11a).



. . .next . . . Couch Ministries is being birthed. . .




6 comments:

  1. Dear Lynn,
    Thank you so much for sharing so much of your life. Your challenges and blessings. You are a strong and beautiful woman of God, and a great inspiration! I have to admit you blogs have brought tears to my eyes, but in a joyful way. May God continue to bless you richly, you are a blessing to me.
    Margie Scott

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    1. Margie, thank you! When I made this trip - and it is a privilege I do not take lightly - I knew I'd post some Reflections but even I did not realize I'd share as much as I have. God just led me along as I did my reflecting. There is one more "part" and I will post it Wed. before I leave to return home. I did not want to overload people with so much as once although it does make a more complete story to read through them all together. Part 4 will end on an upbeat note although it may bring tears, too. I have shed some myself revisiting so much - but with a grateful heart.

      I think I will take a stroll over to see what is going on at your cabin!

      Much Love -
      Lynn

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  2. When you spoke of where God was, it reminded me of Psalm 42 which is too long to post here. I turn to it for encouragement at times :)

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    1. Shelby - you "sent me " to Psalm 42 to check on it. Sure enough, it has many underlinings and notes in my Bible.

      I was also reminded of a friend - well, actually a man who I only met once, but for a number of years before he died, he'd call every so often to share Scriptures with me and to encourage me. I could hear his words as I revisited Psalm 42. He'd say, "When you're blue, read Psalm 42"! Not a bad plan.

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    2. Lynn, I'm so sorry to see what you went through as a result of the wrong treatment plan, especially after reading all of the blessings in your life in Part 2 of this story. (How awesome to stay in CS Lewis' house!?) One thing you said here really struck me, that we are in God's rehab program. You are so right about that. I never looked at is that way before, always assuming He would lead me to "worldly" methods. Not that He doesn't use doctors & medicine sometimes, but there is something so unique about this illness that it seems to require that we only look to Him. I'm thinking of you today and praying! I'm off to read Part 4 now. Hugs and blessings!!! xo

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  3. Thanks, Christine for reading more about my experiences - surely made my life take a huge turn but blessings have come nonetheless - as you will see getting to Part 4!

    I am praying for you, too - grateful that we have connected and are able to share along a tough journey made less so with those who understand and God's sustaining grace.

    Love, Lynn

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