I had been off work since December of 2015. The drop attacks and vertigo were cause for alarm for the district that I worked for and rightfully so. My 8th graders that year were exceptional, however. If they learned nothing else that year, they learned to be empathetic.
A dear friend of mine stepped in and took over my class for the rest of the year, as well as the beginning of the next school year. I will never forget that she stepped up in such a big way.
The goal was for me to return to the classroom in October. That would have given me roughly 8 weeks to recover. Sadly, I would not return to a classroom at Brabham. Stuart knew that I wasn’t recovering as fast as we thought I would. A classroom full of kids would be a recipe for disaster, through no fault of those kiddos. I made one of the hardest decisions ever with the full support and understanding of Stuart. He in fact had told me early on he didn’t think I was going to be able to return to the classroom. I wanted to prove him wrong. I did not.
In October of 2016, I resigned from my full time teaching position of 13 years. My heart broke. A little part of my soul shriveled up. I felt useless. What would I do with myself? I was created to teach. Now what?
The next few months were dismal, at best.
It took me four months to start feeling human again. I was able to drive, although not too far from home. At the end of November, it was highly suggested that I have a partial hysterectomy. It seemed like the hits just kept coming. The end of that chapter, one of the best decisions I ever made, the pages throughout the chapter, unfreaking real.
Only I could go into a routine hysterectomy and come out more damaged than when I went in. At some point during the hysterectomy, my ureter tube was nicked. What should have been a day surgery turned into a nightmare.
Surgery was November 30th. It wasn’t until December 5th under emergency conditions that a urologist on call discovered the origin of my pain. The nick in the ureter inflamed the tube. My right kidney was not draining at all. I knew immediately that something wasn’t right. Long story short, I came home with a ureter stent that remained in place until February.
Thinking I was on the mend, only to be knocked flat on my face again. What the heck was I supposed to be learning through all of this? I was one of two patients in twenty plus years of practicing that experienced damage at the hands of this surgeon. One of two, folks. Unfreaking real!
From December to February, I assessed my relationship with God. Blaming Him for my new physical hell. Reasoning with Him. “Come on now, I thought we got passed all of this rock bottom crap. Why me, why now? When is it going to stop?”
At some point, I realized God was trying to prepare me for something big. Well, clinging to that sentiment is how I coped, at least. I’m not sure I believed it until I started seeing the whole story come together.
We only think we are writing our own stories. I do believe that we “choose our own adventure” like the books we all read in middle school. In my life I’ve experienced God opening and closing doors. The choices we make and the way we react when the doors are thrown open or slammed shut, therein lies the story.
It is my humble opinion that God didn’t make the surgeon damage my ureter tube. God, although He created me, didn’t curse me with Chiari. It is what it is. Life just kinda sucks sometimes. You have heard it asked time and time again, why do bad things happen to good people? Why did she die so young? Why does so and so have cancer? Heck, I have asked those questions and more. I think the plain and simple answer is “it is what it is.”
Can God intervene? Absolutely. I believe that I am a walking miracle, even on my worst days.
There are those that will argue, saying “it is what it is” is well, a cop out for believers. A load of crap if you will. I can totally see that point of view if you haven’t experienced a miracle yourself. Some might say that my “miracle” isn’t a miracle at all. It “is what it is.” I can see that point of view also. That is the beauty of salvation. It is a gift and a choice.
Salvation is not a cure all by any means. When you sign up, there isn’t a promise made that life is going to be smooth sailing. The relationship that you foster with your creator, if you chose to do so, is what gets you through the crap storms. He is there for the girl who needs a momma. The lonely widow. The kids whose parents have given up on them. Every scenario you can think of, I believe He is there.
You and I can never screw up bad enough to make Him turn His back on us. In our darkest moments when we have hit rock bottom, He is there, open arms.
I said in the beginning, you do you and I’ll do me, respecting each other’s beliefs along the way. I am holding true to that. I am not trying to proselytize anyone. My story however, is impossible to tell without giving credit where I wholeheartedly believe credit is due.
By February, the worst was behind me and the best was yet to come.