Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Making it the New Normal

One of the symptoms I struggle with, besides the not walking thing, is spasticity. It has been around since I was first diagnosed. It mostly affects my legs, making them shake and/or go rigid pretty much every time I move. Besides all the energy it uses, it would make sleeping difficult. If I needed to change positions, my legs would just go, shaking me and our bed like crazy. I would ask Marc, "Did you put a quarter in the bed?"

The medicine I take for it was not helping anymore so we decided to have a pump surgically implanted that would give the medicine directly to my spinal cord. I had the surgery 1 month ago. It was outpatient, but it was no small thing. The pump is the size of a hockey puck and is under the skin in my abdomen. It has a catheter that had to be "tunneled" around my side and then inserted into the spinal fluid that surrounds the spinal cord. The first  2 weeks were pretty rough. I got a monster spinal headache so I had to be flat on my back for 5 days. And I wasn't really seeing a lot of improvement in my spasticity.

I was really a mess, physically, emotionally and spiritually. I kept going around in circles in my head, wondering if I really did the right thing, did I wait for God's answer or did I just presume I was supposed to do it, why did I ever think it was a good idea to have this crazy thing done to my body, and was this thing even on??? I put up all my walls, and reverted to my default emotion--anger. It's always easier for me to be angry when things get crazy. But what I was really feeling was afraid, because my MS was getting worse and I just didn't know what would happen next. So I kind of shut everyone out, including Jesus. That is no good place to be.

Two weeks after the surgery, I got up and went to Jesus. As I poured out my heart to Him, He poured out His grace and love and forgiveness and healing all over me. He gave me the strength to accept and embrace His will for my life. Even if that includes a whole bunch of suffering. What matters most is that He loves me and is using all of it to draw me closer to Himself. And honestly, there is no place I'd rather be.

When I was still walking and I had to start using a cane, that became my new normal. And the same with my wheelchair and now with my pump (which IS on and working very nicely). I have found that when I give to Jesus my complete surrender, He gives to me His peace and His grace so that no matter what comes my way, it can be my new normal.


  1. Ylisa, I am soooooo sorry that I didn't realize how bad it got for you! I feel like I called you a few times and left you hanging. Please, please, hard as it might be, I want to be there for you even if it's just to hear you vent or a shoulder to cry on! I know we've only known each other a short time, but I truly do want to be there for you! That's it, i'm coming over right now!!! Oh wait, I can't.....don't have the car! :( Anyways, my friend...I'm glad it's working very nicely now and am sad that I wasn't there for you more! :) Luv ya bunches!!

  2. This is a fabulous reminder!! While I never want to see struggles in your life, I love to hear about how accept them and still show the ability to Praise Him for it.

  3. The quarter thing cracked me up. So glad you're feeling better. :) Love ya.