Saturday, July 5, 2014
Running the Race
My friend Liz competes in triathlons and marathons. The other day I saw her running through Challenger Park while I was on a photo shoot. The thought crossed my mind that surely her car had broken down because I couldn't fathom why anyone would do that on purpose. This experience is starting to feel like that.
The only races I have ever run were sprints and I live life a bit like that too. I accomplish my goal, check it off (or draw a big line through it) and then quickly move onto the next thing. So yesterday when Maggie moved her arm, I found myself immediately focused on what wasn't improved yet. Then it occurred to me that this is not a series of sprints. It is a marathon. A marathon I would have never signed up for but now have to figure out how to run in a way that I survive and then hopefully even honor God in the process. In other words, I need to be less focused on the finish line and more focused on celebrating the mile behind us and then taking just the next step.
So I think we have 2-3 miles under our belt here at the end of Saturday. Maggie has moved her left arm and leg over the last two days. She briefly opened her eyes a few times today and is even eating some applesauce. When I get tired, God sends along an energy boost in the form of a friend or encouraging word and we keep running. I can't see the finish line but I trust it is there and I trust it is good because He says it is.
Heb 12:1- Therefore since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
So that is where I am spiritually. Here is where we are medically and please forgive me for having yet another illustration. I am married to a pastor so it goes with the territory.
In physical therapy world (my real profession) we have objective goals and we have functional goals. Objective goals are the language we speak and functional goals are the language our patients speak. If you reach a functional goal, then you can assume a slew of objective goals were achieved to make that possible. Here is my point- It is similar with Maggie's prayer requests. I have objective requests that reflect the language and tests that are my every moment up here as her care coordinator, but I also have mommy's heart requests that reflect the deepest places of my heart where it is most raw and unstable right now. So I will share both and you can know where we really are.
Objective prayer requests:
1. We still need to know what is the clot generator. At any moment she could have another clot and another stroke until we find an answer and address it.
2. We need the swelling on her brain and on her body to get under control. They are taking crazy aggressive steps to try and do this without having to drill into her head.
3. We need her to be in less pain. She hurts and it is evident. She has scratched up her chest and pulls at her hair while screaming in response to her pain. Sometimes she is completely inconsolable.
4. We need her eyes to be open and for her to be able to focus. They fear she has lost her right field of vision. We need this to be healed.
Mommy's Heart Requests:
1. I want to be able to read to her and have her listen like she used to and repeat words that I say. I want to hear her say "read book monkey" for me to read 8 Little Monkeys again and again.
2. I want to hear her sing "Let it Go" again.
3. I want her to rip me a new one in Chinese when she doesn't get her way and then get mad when I laugh at her in response.
4. I want her to know that we are celebrating her birthday on Tuesday and feel celebrated.
5. I want her to pat me on the back again when I pat her on the back.
6. I want to hear her grunt "I Love You" back at me in that slow, determined voice.
7. I want her to smile at me again where all 10 dimples show and her eyes completely disappear.
Oh there is so much more but these would certainly take me to the 1/2 marathon mark.
Praises from the last mile:
1. Her trunk control is improved and she is rolling more.
2. She has more extremity movement.
3. She is trying to open her eyes.
4. They moved us to a private room.
5. We got a hotel room across the street so we can trade off sleeping more easily.
6. We have had no new clots.
Thank you all again for loving my girl and praying for her. Several of you have asked what we need and I can honestly say that our biggest need by far is prayer for Maggie to be healed. Please just keep praying and that is the best way you can minister to our family.