Sometimes, all I need is a teaspoon of hope in the form of mini miracles.
Living with a chronic disease reminds me of some of my previous plane trips. I’d start off full of nervous anticipation, with a little fear of what lay ahead once on board. There were some smooth passages and then all of a sudden we’d hit almighty turbulence.
My disease has definitely hit “chronic illness” turbulence in recent times. The less pleasant part of my health journey.
Sometimes the overall picture of our chronic diseases can be quite a shock. It’s a case of tighten your seat belt and hold on tight.
We have been gathering all my test results (MRIs, Xrays, CTs, Bone Scan) from my time in hospital last year, to review my case due to a new line of investigations, plus a full review of my National Disability Insurance Scheme plan.
Turns out I have even more disease progression and fractures than I knew about. No wonder my medical team were concerned I may need to go into a nursing home when I was bedbound in hospital late last year!!
My current disease damage list is confronting. I can’t think of another word to describe it:
●Broken left and right femur
●Left sacral fracture
●Right ischial tuberosity (pelvic bone) osteoblastic activity with torn right hamstring
●Severe spinal stenosis C3/C5
●Severe bilateral foraminal spinal stenosis L4 to S1
● Cluster of nerves compressed at L4 left side
● Lumbar spine instability requiring full fusion surgery (which can’t be done due to poor integrity of the bones)
● Fibrous Dysplasia throught the spine
● Seven foot fractures
● and more..
Mini Miracles and Gifts
It’s an absolute miracle I have had any improvement since last year’s acute episode, requiring six weeks of being totally bedridden in hospital and six more at home.
It’s a miracle I can now sit upright at a 70 degree angle, for an hour, when I couldn’t sit upright at all.
It’s a miracle I can potter with my walker around the home for 15 mins at a time.
It’s a miracle I can stand for 10 mins holding onto something, when I couldn’t stand upright for more than 30 secs.
It’s a miracle I can have a quick shower, rather than bed baths.
It’s a miracle any of the above has been achieved, given none of my breaks and bone damage have healed. It’s all remained chronic and sometimes returns to acute.
Why am I sharing this?
Because sometimes we think miracles need to be large and require full healing, cures, treatments, no pain.
We can so often miss out on amazing mini miracles if we are only looking for the outright spectacular.
As lovely as that may be, celebrating our improvements, in the midst of diversity, is so important, especially when they are not expected. These little gifts mean so much, if we look for them and appreciate them.
Honestly when I look at the list of what’s going on in my body, I don’t know how I’m doing it.
It’s my miracle. It’s not easy, the pain is high and real, but to be able to move and do things for myself causes the pain to pale and be replaced with joy in achieving, in living.
I know many of my readers are doing it so tough.
The words of a favorite hymn echo in my mind, and provide me with a strong anchor, as I sing silently and pray for strength for tomorrow:
Will your anchor hold in the storms of life,
when the clouds unfold their wings of strife?
When the strong tides lift, and the cables strain,
will your anchor drift, or firm remain?
We have an anchor that keeps the soul
steadfast and sure while the billows roll;
fastened to the Rock which cannot move,
grounded firm and deep in the Saviour’s love
(Priscilla J Owens)
A Teaspoon of Hope
I’ve realized through my chronic illness journey, and through journeying with others who are living daily with the uncertainties of chronic illness, sometimes we don’t need the turbulence to disappear completely to be happy and at peace.
Sometimes, all we need is a teaspoon of hope, found in the things that are our anchors in life.
These anchors can be places and moments where we find certainty during the turbulence, knowing it will settle and calm will return. Finding mini miracle moments, and little gifts in our lives, to strengthen our hearts and minds are so important.
My faith in God continues to encourage me through both the calm and the turbulent passages of my health journey.
As I pray for strength and comfort, my answer often comes in simple ways.
Sometimes it’s via a friend or family member, simply sending an encouraging message, or phoning, when I least expect it and at just the right moment.
Sometimes it’s a song just perfect for my situation which immediately lifts me.
Sometimes it’s an unexpected hug from my husband.
Sometimes it’s the delight of refreshing rain, cooling a hot summers day.
Sometimes it’s an inspiring story of someone overcoming their own diversity.
Whatever turbulence you are journeying through, whether loss, health, work or family issues, look for a teaspoon of hope, look for mini miracles and little gifts in your life.
Our trials will not always be removed entirely. One thing I am certain of is, with a teaspoon of hope and faith, we will be more open to seeing the mini miracles we need in the storms of life. We just need to stop, listen and look around us for the answer.
Mini miracles give me the resolve to hope tomorrow will be a better day.
Don’t give up on yourself. Don’t lose hope. Mini miracles come in all shapes and sizes and they deserve to be celebrated. They offer hope. Look for them in the midst of your own adversity.
Medical Musings with Friends
If you’re looking for genuine support, care, understanding and friendship, you are so welcome to join my closed Facebook support forum, Medical Musings with Friends . It’s a safe place to connect with others living with chronic and complex diseases, who truly understand the daily challenges. A warm welcome awaits.
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