Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Walking Wounded

I can't believe that I haven't written anything on here since the surfing incident. I've wanted to so many times but haven't been able to find the words. 

Frankly, this last month has sucked.

How's that for an opener? Just thought I'd lay it all out there. 

There have been times when I've felt helpless, depressed, and filled with fear. A month ago I was in such a great place. I'd found my groove; life was steady and I was feeling completely confident in preparing for this trip to Asia. I felt strong in so many ways. 

It's almost funny how fast things can change.

As she took the stitches out of my leg ten days after the accident I started to feel sick. I expected an ugly scar, not the wobbly, fleshy jello that I was looking at. The doctor said she thought it would probably be a good idea for me to go see a wound care specialist. They'd get me in sometime in the next couple days. I talked with a few people who said it was important for me to see someone within the first 24 hours, which started a series of phone calls that left me in a situation in which I had absolutely no control or power. For a week straight, several times a day, I would alternate between talking with the nurse handling my case and our insurance company. I've never experienced so much frustration in my life. 

It was like I had no voice.

I had this big, open wound that needed to heal, and no one would help me. I was literally crying on the phone to these people to please just do something so I could get the care that I needed. Instead, I got red tape. And everyone and their brother gave me advice about what they would do if they were me. 

It didn't help. 

I consider myself a somewhat intelligent, capable person, and I had to fight like crazy to receive the proper care. At the same time, my mom was in the hospital as well, dealing with all kinds of similar issues. Both my brothers and father were there every step of the way to advocate for her. I can't imagine what it's like for those in the margins; they don't have a chance. Through a ridiculous series of events (that did NOT include either the insurance company or the nurse I was working with) I was able to get into the wound care specialist. Coincidently, (or not) I was already his patient; he was the same doctor who administered my travel vaccines. 

The first doctor put strips over the wound to keep it together. This doctor ripped it open again in order for it to heal properly. Then he plucked out the internal stitches that were causing the problem. 

For the past month I've been processing the incredible way we were created and what it means to heal from the inside out. Oh the symbolism that has characterized my life. 

I thought I was so strong and heading in the right direction, but then life happened. The interruptions that came brought fear that I once again had to do battle with. We can have plans and time tables, lists and ideas, but the harder we work to control the circumstances of our lives, the less power we actually have. Life is filled with too many game-changing interruptions that leave us scrambling to figure out what in the world to make of it all.  It's never just your own life that you're dealing with either. Add the emotions, personalities, hopes, and fears of others to the equation and suddenly there's the potential for complete chaos.

I have trouble living in the interruptions because I'm a fixer. Honestly, that's probably just a nice way of saying I'm a controller. Just realizing that. Yet, there's no comfort in the massive scramble to control what's out of our hands as it is. Whether it's circumstances or relationships, I want things accomplished in my time frame. 

I want healing NOW. 

Unfortunately, that's not a realistic view of life. Wounds take time to heal. No matter how often I look at the hole in my leg, it's not going to just go away.

It takes time.
And work. 

It's constantly scraping the dead skin off to make space for the new growth. It's such a process. Even as the new skin forms, it won't heal in a way that will look the same as it was before. There will be a scar. Sure, it will fade over time, but it will always be there as a reminder. 

To not live in fear.
To know that the only control I have is my response to what's thrown at me.
To push forward and believe that we are created to heal. 
To honor the time that it takes.

And most of all, to advocate for those whose wounds seem hopeless. To speak up for those that cannot speak for themselves. To not accept no for an answer, and to refuse to throw in the towel when things get too hard or scary. 

God gives us glimpses of green, glimpses of renewal, to hope in that we won't have to live in our dead skin forever.


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