Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Questions...

I was recently having a conversation on facebook with one of my relatives (sadly, I'm not exactly sure how she is related to me...cousin, maybe? but I digress) about asking questions when it comes to faith.

The whole thing started from an article I 'liked' about a letter written to Dr. Laura Schlessinger about homosexuality and the Bible. First off, I want to make it clear that I cannot stand Dr. Laura (hence why I'm not even bothering to check whether I've spelled her name right) OR her views on many issues. When I was younger, I made my disdain apparent to my grandmother (who listened to her on the radio everyday), and it became a big joke...my grandmother would put her on just to torture me. We'd have a laugh; and sometimes I'd even put up with it and just quietly (or not so quietly) mock her. Thank God that my school wasn't TOO far from home.

WOW! That was an extremely long and highly unnecessary tangent. Oh, well...it was fun. Back to the topic at hand: so the author of the letter written to Dr. Hot Air basically poked fun at how rigid our lives would have to be if we took every part of the Bible literally. (here is the link in case you're interested: Homosexuality and the Bible) As an aside: I'm NOT going to get into my personal views on the subject (or any other law in the Bible). That's another blog entry on a day when I am more confident (and certain) about what I believe.

OKAY...so my point in bringing all this up is that some people get rather funny when others question things in the Bible. And my 'cousin' (J), feels that she has taken a lot of flack for having this approach when it comes to Christianity...that she's not a true Christian.

Well, J, I think your critics are wrong and they have no right to judge you. Only you and God truly know your 'level' of Christianity. I think they are uncertain about themselves and are projecting it onto you.

All that being said...my BIGGER point in bringing all this up is just that. I am uncertain about myself. With my impending surgery (yes, I'm having it. YAY!!)...yikes! that sounds so ominous. Oh well, it fits with the weather. ANYway...with the surgery coming up in less than a month, and a noticed decrease in my abilities; I've begun to question what I believe and why.

I was brought up in Catholic school and taught that some things just are. For example, God created the universe in 6 days. Okay. Jesus was born to a virgin and was eventually crucified. I can get behind that. In order to be a good Catholic, you must go to church every Sunday, and when you kneel, your butt cannot rest on the pew behind you. Wait! What? Apparently, I was misled.

As time has gone on, I've learned that not everything is black and white (and that Catholicism is not for me). Oh, and it's not a sin to get up and go to the bathroom or cough during church (I told you, I was misled...or scared into submission). And some of the things that were givens when I was a kid might need to be looked at again. Also, I don't know if I like the idea of believing in things just because I was told that's how things are.

Does God really want the best for me? And if He does, why am I constantly in pain? How is being stuck in bed for most of the day the best? What is my purpose in life when I can't work or do anything worthwhile? I'm finding it hard to believe that my writing is going to do anything for "the harvest". And these days, even writing is tough.

The bigger question for me is what do I believe? I said I wasn't going to get into the whole homosexuality debate, but that brings up an interesting point...do I agree with the Bible's teaching on "hot" topics like these? In most cases, I'm finding that the answer is no. I listen to mostly secular music, swear like a sailor, and can be gossipy and judgmental. Why does God love me...I'm not perfect and I'm disabled. I can cry at the drop of a hat. What can He do with a mentally (and physically) unstable mess?

No, this is not a pity party. I'm not asking anyone to feel sorry for me. In the least. In fact, if you do feel sorry for me, chances are I won't like you. I have had *ahem* years to get used to the challenges my condition presents. I roll with the punches. Most days. Other times, however, I get angry. I hate not being able to walk to the kitchen. And then I feel guilty...like I'm not trying hard enough. That opens the door to the depression and crying. I mostly cry because of the guilt. And the annoyance of my body being too tired to get a damn bowl of cereal! WHY??

In addition to feeling like I'm not trying hard enough, I'm convinced I did this to myself. How is it possible to cause a central nervous system disease, you ask. Well, I don't know exactly, but I still did it! By laying around, I guess...this is the root of all my problems. It's a Catch 22...I need to get out of bed and move around so I doesn't hurt as much, but it hurts too much to get out of bed. Where's the justice in that?

Well, I don't know if I answered anything; but it felt good to get this out. Maybe now I can move on...

Friday, August 19, 2011

Finally...some good news!

So, I went to the back surgeon yesterday (no, this is not the beginning of a cheesy joke) and it turns out that surgery is a good bet for me in regards to this pain in my leg and hips and back! I was leery about doing the surgery (which, the doctor told me, is the only way to truly get rid of the pain) because I heard that only about 50% of people are helped and it's not guaranteed. Well, cliched as this is, nothing in life is guaranteed...except death and taxes...ha! and I've learned that lesson at least twice over. Well, the death part anyway...I've only had to pay taxes for 5 years...at most.

Anyway, as long as my insurance covers enough of it (which it appears that they cover ALL of it--there HAS to be a catch somewhere. I'm such an optimist), I can go ahead and schedule the procedure!! Whoo Hoo!!

The doc told me that it's a success 95% of the time, 1-2% possibility of needing surgery again, and I won't need rehab. Sounds like a winner to me!

The major downside (to me--there always has to be one) is that I'm afraid of losing my disability status. I admit, that sounds weird (and almost psychotic), but I've been living under the term 'disabled' since I was 8. I've gotten used to it. I get treated differently (in a lot of cases--better). I (well, the person who's driving me) get better parking. People are kinder and nicer. I guess it all comes down to feeling like I won't be 'special' anymore. But I'm still special to God. Why doesn't that seem to matter?

I need a reality check...having excuses for not having to do things isn't good. And liking that I have an excuse...well, that's not normal; it's kinda sick...sad too. What I fail to realize, I think, is that a) this surgery is on my back; not my nervous system. This isn't going to 'cure' me and b) being is less to no pain means I won't need excuses not to do stuff. Right now, all I can see is pain. I can't imagine a life without it...

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

At the brilliant suggestion of a friend from church (props to you, DeNeal!!), I've decided to re-enter the blogging world. My life has (in my mind) taken a tumble, and I can't seem to wrap my poor brain around the changes in my life. Granted, they aren't that big a deal; but to me they are crushing.

I guess the main 'problem' (and I use the term loosely) going on right now is my disability. I really can't complain, but I’ve been in a lot more pain recently and it’s getting harder to just accept it and move on. Some days, it’s a toss-up as to whether I’ll be able to get out of bed.

The inability to do things is the hardest, I think. The other day, I washed my new sheets and mattress pad, and when it came time to get them out of the dryer, I had this overwhelming fatigue in my whole body and was barely able to do it. I cried for about 20 minutes because I couldn’t make my own bed. Of course, I only succeeded in making matters worse. But I hate that tiredness. I feel so ridiculous…I walk from my room to the kitchen, and I have to rest. I’ve found that sometimes, getting a bowl of cereal (even just thinking about it) makes me so tired. And it’s not just my legs…it goes through my arms…I even have trouble holding my head up. Gah!!!

Then there’s the pain. I have a multitude of issues going on in my back, the worst of which (as of right now anyway) is sciatica. And it’s not just my back…no, siree. That would be too easy. I have a pain radiating down my right leg. The only way to describe it is a pulled hamstring that never gets any better. The whole thing is a catch 22. Gotta love that! The way to keep my legs/back from getting stiff is to move around, but moving around is painful and difficult. What’s a girl to do?

Since I live with a dog (literally), it is my responsibility to let him out during the day. I do this 3-4 times each day, and it has evolved into a routine. Also, it is 3 or 4 times I have to get out of my bed…and, while I’m up, I’ll eat…(and possibly do laundry, clean my room, etc…) unless I am fatigued or sitting upright is too much for me to deal with. Since my nutritional intake is horrid, I drink a Boost drink everyday…which might end up being a meal.

Where does God fit into all of this? Well, lately I’ve been asking why. Why am I in this pain? Why can’t I do anything? Why bother being alive? I can’t possibly do any good lying here, hurting. Maybe that’s where my writing comes in. It’s how I reach people.

The bigger thing to realize is that it’s not about me…