Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Bell's Palsy (and Other Detours) - Part 2

This blog is a continuation of  Bell's Palsy - Part 1  and picks up where it left off.

I sat down here several times to write this blog.  I wrote two or three paragraphs two or three different times. Each time, I detailed the pain of the corneal ulcer I developed as a complication of my Bell's Palsy.  I recounted the back to back to back doctor's appointments which culminated in having to have my eye partially sewn shut to hopefully speed the healing of the ulcer that threatens to take the sight
from my left eye.  Then each time, after I read the words on the page, they just sounded full of whining and complaining, so I erased the words.  I had to erase the words, because this post is not a sob story about my bad luck, nor is it a feel-bad-for-me pity party post.  No, this blog is about hope and perseverance, patience and prayer.  I can't wallow in the muck; life is way too short for that.

There is always a reason for a bad turn of events in our lives.  Well, maybe not a reason for the bad turn as much as an upswing to counterbalance it, which gives the bad turn meaning and reason.  Just as in gravity - what goes up much come down, there is a similar, albeit converse, situation with life, in that when emotions go down, at some point they have to come back up.  It is imperative that this happen in order for us to make any sense of our lives and in the interest of us becoming well rounded emotional beings.  And so it has been for me during this period of illness and challenge.

As I lay in my bed all last week, unable to see much of anything out of my left eye, unable to read a book, look at a computer screen, watch TV or drive or shop - unable to do any of the things that I enjoy and make me, me I had a lot of time to think about life and what it really is.  Am I the things that I do?  Am I defined by the things I read, the words that I write?  Am I still me if I can no longer drive my kids to school, shop for food and cook their meals?  Even more scary than answering those questions is the one that comes after it - If I am none of those things, then who am I?

I don't know if I have quite yet answered all of those questions for myself.  It is so hard to know where our being leaves off, and who we truly are takes over.  Perhaps it is a bit like the nature versus nurture debate and in the end it is a little of both.  What I do know, what I did find out, is that I am more than I thought I was.  That is to say, I have more in me than I thought I did.  I am braver than I knew I was.  I am able to surrender more than I ever thought possible.  I have patience I never knew I had.  And along with that I found that I have more than I realized.  I have more support, good friends, wonderful family members and goodwill in my court than I will ever deserve.

Yes, those are the things I know for sure, and I will never stop thanking my God for the blessed beyond measure life that I have.  This journey is not yet over.  As it stands I still have Bell's Palsy, I still have a corneal ulcer.  I still can't see out of my left eye.  Recovery seems to be slow and difficult, but I remain ever optimistic that it will resolve at some point.  And while I am recovering, I think it is best that I focus on the positive lessons I have already learned and press on toward even more enlightening lessons along the way.  Life isn't always easy, but it can always be rewarding, we just have to look at it through the right frame.

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction and faithful in prayer. ~Romans 12:12