Nothing, really

Kind of a day to remember in the cochlear implant journey. Today I had my stitches taken out. Woo. Hoo. And now I can *gently* take a shower. I still have the bending and lifting restrictions for two more weeks, but I’m finding ways to work around them. Mike reattached the arm to my glasses, so I’m good there. Just need my hair to grow back behind my ear and I should be all back to “normal”.

The next step in this journey is to turn the thing on. Which will happen in 31 days. Four and a half weeks. Once we are introduced, I plan to purchase a skin or two to decorate it. Paisley, Wonder Woman, Detroit Tigers, etc.

Oh, and then? Then the mapping (programming) begins, and I take regular trips to the audiologist to get the thing trained to work with my brain. From what I hear (lol), it can take a good six months to be comfortable with it and feel like I’m hearing somewhat normally.

The doctor sent me home today with an appointment card for November. So come next winter, we’ll be talking about a second surgery to get an implant behind the left ear. Which seems impossible to think of right now, but oh well. We just keep moving forward, don’t we?

I don’t have much else on my mind lately, but I expect that’s just a result of the recent craziness of surgery and throwing birthday parties. I’ve been reading a really old book called Waiting On God, and it’s been interesting. Talks about *how* to wait, and the purpose and importance of it. I like it. I’m also reading Jesus At Walmart – The Cost, which is the second book in a trilogy. It has some dialog that is comically unrealistic, but I like the story and the spiritual content, and that’s why I decided to continue reading after I finished the first book.

Other than all that, I’m enjoying watching baseball. It’s the only thing on television I am able to enjoy without hearing. I can see what’s happening, who is playing, what the score is, etc. It’s very nice. And it doesn’t hurt that my Tigers are rockin’ it so far this season!

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Enjoy the people

ImageToday was Luke’s birthday party. In the past, I have experienced much anxiety over gatherings that involved more than, say, the four of us. But this year I am changing. This year I am learning to relax and enjoy the moment. Enjoy the people. And today I had a great opportunity to put that new lesson into practice. Luke was joined by wonderful friends and they played games (thanks Sarah!) and opened presents (Luke’s favorite), and even ate some ice cream and cake (thanks Daddy). The celebration didn’t look at all like what I had expected a few weeks ago, but I let go of those expectations and it all worked out. Everyone seemed to have a wonderful time, and no one left crying. I think I might even have the courage to do it again when the next birthday rolls around!

A good wine takes time

Image 2 Corinthians 4:7-9 says “We have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed. Perplexed, but not despairing. Persecuted, but not forsaken. Struck down, but not destroyed.”

Verse 16 goes on to say, “Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison.”

It’s true, I feel pretty crummy on the outside. I feel like a decaying clay jar. Cracked and dirty, beyond repair. We all have our ailments. Just today I found out a friend of mine is mostly deaf in one ear. I have many friends with MS.  I have another dear friend who is dying of ALS. But let’s be real. We’re all getting older, we are all headed for the grave sooner or later. And yet, this is just temporary. Life on this physical earth is so short compared to the eternity in heaven promised to those who believe. And if that gift wasn’t good enough, God assures us that while our physical bodies decay here on earth, our spirits – our inner bodies – are being continually renewed and storing up glory for future redemption. As my spirit is being renewed, I am storing up treasures in heaven. It’s an investment with a guaranteed return.

I think most of all, these verses remind me that while I feel stuck in a crummy, helpless situation, God can still use me for good. And certainly, if any good comes from me, I can take no credit. I’m just a clay pot, remember? If the wine tastes good, you know who made it.

 

 

 

Double the Blessings

The Lord says, “Today I declare that I will restore to you double.”

– Zechariah 9:12 (NRSV)

This was the verse in today’s devotional from The Upper Room. As we often experience loss in life, God’s desire is for restoration. He wants to give us more than we have lost. My husband and I struggled with infertility for seven years. But now we have an amazing son (turned 7 today) AND a daughter. They are both amazing, and miraculous. A double blessing, when we thought for years we couldn’t have any.

I lost my hearing last August, and some vision a month later in September. I just received my first cochlear implant last week, and in June it will be activated. In June, I will be hearing again! Becoming deaf was a huge loss, but the lessons I have learned through it and the life it has brought me to are huge blessings. Blessings I wouldn’t trade for anything.

My vision has improved slightly, but not enough to allow me to drive again. This has been quite a loss, one I’m not too proud to admit I am angered over. (Just now, as I read this, it occurs to me that perhaps God is angry over it too. Angry that He had to let it happen. Food for thought, but I know there is a divine purpose in here somewhere.) God knows how I feel. Yet God knows that even in my anger, I still praise Him and serve Him with all that I am. And I am holding to the promise He gave, that He is fighting for me, and that I will be healed.

Life comes with all sorts of heartaches and disappointments, but it also comes with great blessings and JOY. I have come to learn the beauty and joy in focusing on the positive, on the gifts we are given each day. Carpe Diem!!

Post-Surgery Day 6

Yesterday was post-surgery day 6. I did get a bath earlier this week, but haven’t washed my hair since the morning of the surgery. I’m not supposed to get the incision area wet, so it’s quite a challenge, and nearly impossible to do on my own. I had not expected to be able to wash it until next Monday after I see the surgeon for follow-up (note that is one day after my son’s birthday party).

So when my dear husband offered to wash it for me, I jumped at the chance (not literally of course, given my restrictions). So I washed myself up in the bathtub and then Mike came in and very carefully, yet thoroughly, washed my hair. When your spouse is willing to help you bathe yourself, it makes it crystal clear why your marriage has lasted as long as it has.