How long is the middle?

Today marks one month of Michelle being seizure free. We’re balancing out the meds and after being hit with every kind of bug you can think of, Michelle is finally on the mend. When it comes to viruses and bacteria the safest place in a hospital is usually outside the building. The dosage has been changed a bit on the anti-seizure meds. They still cause Michelle to be a bit slower than her usual self but it’s more manageable than it was. We’re ramping down one med and ramping up another that combats both migraine and seizures. Debilitating fatigue continues to be a problem. Sometimes stimulants (coffee, prescribed meds) just won’t do. The body needs rest. This has been a season of learning what is needed to get better and just do it. Mostly, this has consisted of sleeping as much as possible. There have been moments where Michelle has been able to go a short distance without her cane and she gets a glimpse of normal. The road to recovery has progressed but it feels like a very long road right now.

Friends and family have been helping with meals and the kids. Today I dropped the girls off with a family from church that has offered to watch the girls on Tuesdays for the month of March. Their boys were so happy to see Naomi and Natalie and there were so many toys to play with. Natalie went right to it. No separation anxiety for her. Naomi hasn’t been in that kind of environment before and considering she’s now school age, that’s certainly not the norm these days. She had a bit of anxiety this morning and didn’t want me to leave. Past experience with Jonny let me know that she would be just fine a little after I left.

The beginning for this season in our life was a month ago today. We anxiously await the end but the doctors don’t even know how far out that is. The question becomes, how long is the middle? How long do we live in this in between? Little victories have been won along the way and that helps. Last Sunday was our first Sunday back in church since January. We’ve been watching the stream online (Glad we attend a church that has the people savvy enough to make this happen. Thanks Pastor Craig! BTW, any chance we can get the streaming vendor to support HTML5 in addition to Flash?). Watching the stream is great, but it’s still not a good enough substitute for actually being there and seeing familiar faces. The message this past Sunday was relevant to what we’ve been going through. It was about being grateful for the journey even when the journey isn’t so great. We all have our challenges in life. Enduring them allows us to help others who will have to go down the same path some day. Some are more willing than others to talk about challenges. Michelle and I have always been open with our friends and family. We think it’s important to be genuine, honest and open with people. Always be yourself. You may never know what burden someone else is struggling under unless you are willing to be vulnerable and share. Sometimes people just need to know that they’re not alone in their sorrow or their struggles. There’s solace in not being alone.

I know God is really trying to get through to me when the same theme keeps coming up over and over again. I’ve been thinking about this for quite some time. Those of you that know us well know that we have been through an awful lot as a family. I’ve found that the challenging times have made us stronger people because of and not in spite of them. When we deal with adversity there is a choice. It can make us bitter and resentful or it can make us better for having gone through it. There are some things in life that can not be attained the easy way. If we knew the cost up front, we would often choose not to obtain them and be poorer in spirit as a result. We think we can not endure that kind of trial. On our own strength, that’s often the case. Michelle and I would not be able to endure this without our faith, the prayers of our friends and family and the strength that God provides daily.

Please continue to keep in touch. If you have time in the afternoon or evening to stop by and visit, call or text Michelle. She would love to see you. We’re also looking for someone that can pick up Jonathan from school in the afternoon on Mondays for the rest of the school year. If you think you can help call me or send a note on Facebook.

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2 thoughts on “How long is the middle?

  1. Dear Michelle,
    As you know, I experienced a stroke on the third of February. God “told” me how to get through the valley. He gave me three keys and I feel this will just be a confirmation of what He has shown you too. It may even seem simplistic but this is how I am making it through. First is to be thankful… Once I knew that others were praying for me I just started thanking God for everything big and little. Second is to stay in the moment, not to look back or to speculate into the future. His grace is promised for the moment. Third is to think of others, pray for them, do something if led, when I can’t seem to get past my stuff.

    I have been praying for you Michelle and I want you to know the blessing you have been to me. God’s grace is sufficient for you. You will have all you need to get through this. With love, Cindy Haugland

  2. Michael,

    Your words are beautiful. You should become a writer. Give the kids and Michelle a big hug for me. Love you, “Auntie” Laurie

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