Wednesday, July 20, 2011

My Biggest Test. Vulnerability.

I’ve had my fair share of “tests” in life. With 9 yrs. of college and being a “go-to” athlete of some sort since about 3rd grade, I’ve not only had thousands of school test, physical test, but mental tests as well. I make my living in a job everyday where my test and split second decisions could or could not send another human being to their grave. I love being tested! As a matter of fact, I thrive on the pressure. If the game came down to the last second and a 3 point shot was needed to win, I wanted to take the shot. Sure, I’ve missed that game winning shot before and the heartache was unbearable, but I’ve also made that shot and the feeling is unmatched. A couple years ago I needed to win 3 straight late season ovcx races to meet my goal of winning the overall elite series and I think I was maybe the only person who believed I could win all 3 after being beat consistently by my main competitor earlier in the year... but I focused on each race one at a time and ended up winning each one with ease. Leading me to win the overall title!
I’ve had much bigger tests; ones that involve assuring I made the right choice to manage my pt’s life safe and sound, but I think that pressure is why I love my job so much. I always felt that of all my tests in life I was in some sort of control. I manage my fate and I thrive on the control. Anybody that knows the field of anesthesia knows we are very type A people and knowing you have a big control over a patient matches right up with that. We don’t ever think we are playing God, but we definitely have a temporary management of people’s lives. So I would say I have that type A personality as do many other cyclist as well.

So there I was, in the ICU. Not as the person that was called in to help manage a patient. I WAS the patient. I was poked, prodded, exposed, and had to give my whole life’s history, and mostly to people I have known for several years. I was given my test results by my medical staff and since I was so sick and hypoxic, I really had no understanding of what was being told to me even tough it was information I knew inside and out. I felt confused and a bit helpless not understanding. I was completely at the mercy of others. I was 100% vulnerable. Not a place I am often.

But my test wasn’t in the vularablity of myself to others around me.
It was my vulnerability to God.
This was a major test in my faith.

I had to accept that I could die. So I did. That was a test. I had to accept that wether I were to live or die was His decision. I did. I had to accept that it was also His choice of where I would go if I did die. I did. I’m a sinner and I believe and have given myself to the Lord. I admitted that I would die and it was okay. Big test question answered.
His decision:
I got to live.

I’ve always had faith, but I always questioned God’s choices here and there. But this time, I gave my life over to Him without any questions and I was very calm about whatever his decision might be. I was vulnerable to the BIGGEST person I could ever face, with the biggest repercussions ... and I was calm. He made me calm. It was the best feeling I have ever had. I knew He would make the best choice for whatever my Christian purpose would be. To face death directly, feel physically horrible, be vulnerable, and have an overwhelming calmness was bigger than any other test I will ever face. I know I can always look to God to help me through anything else in the future.

So I’m not a Bible beater by any means, but I really hope you all have some faith of some sort. It's really hard to go through so many challenges and make the right choices everyday, have tough things happen, and not question the love of God for you, but He does love us. Look at His son Jesus. I thought it was tough for my parents to watch my illness... but God and Jesus! I couldn’t imagine what it would have been like to go through that without my faith. God is for real people and I’m living proof of that!

I am now at my home and able to take care of myself (mostly). I have only been able to get out a few times since it is just too exhausting for me. My lungs are doing better, but I still get short of breath with simple activities or talking too much. Some days are “good” some days are bad. Some days I feel like I got hit by a truck and others I feel pretty okay to sit around and watch the Tour and drink coffee and dream of racing cyclocross. My ankle is also doing much better. It is healing nicely and I no longer am tormented with the terrible nerve pain I had before surgery. I'm so thankful for that! I have started some light therapy to get it back to being stronger and taking it day by day with it also. I am still awaiting the final results of the myasthenia gravis antibody testing and won’t find out more until the 26th. The magnitude of what I’ve been through and what I may be dealing with in the future is starting to set in with me now that I can think a little straighter. I am just taking life day by day and trusting that this will all work out somehow. I am not able to work (not even close) and will not even get to discuss when I can go back until the end of the month., which adds a whole other stress. This all leaves me in a very dependent position. Not something I’m at all used to. I remain vulnerable to others. People to go to the store, mow my yard, take out my trash, stuff that I would have done with ease; and I’m slowly accepting that better. I'm so used to be being the giver that it's made me a stronger person to allow so many good people to help me. I’m so thankful to everyone that has taken on so much for me or even just a little. It's amazing how just a little note or text from others really can lift me up from time to time. From a note, card, dinner, or yard work I'm so thankful for those things and I thank God for you everyday. Your all my little earthly angels.

Plus, I am now realizing that my cx season will be a miracle to even show up to the line this year. I’ve been through a lot and still have a mountain to climb.

That’s okay. I do believe in miracles, and I do love challenges!
And the view from atop that mountain will be priceless!

Time to start climbing back up to check out the view!

(Looking forward and staying positive for a chance to race cross again!)