Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Happy Brain Surgery Anniversary

Its hard to believe it's been a year since my brain surgery.
A whole year.
365 days.
52 weeks.
8,760 hours.
525,600 minutes.
It's hard to wrap my head around that number.
In some ways it feels like it happened yesterday 
and I can vividly remember my terror and pain (oh the pain!) 
and then in other ways it seems like it's been a really long time.

I get asked often how I feel.
And I've often struggled with what to say.

Physically it's fairly easy to explain:
  • My right eye still doesn't tear {one eyed ugly crying still} & the right side of my mouth doesn't produce enough saliva so I use eye drops and a special mouthwash several times a day to help.
  • I struggle with some pretty awful headaches- especially when I'm overly tired and stressed. These aren't normal headaches- they are always on the side where my surgery was and nothing really helps to get rid of them except time and rest. I think that one lesson I needed to learn was to slow down and say no sometimes and the headaches remind me of that lesson when I forget.
  • I'm totally deaf in my right ear and that's probably been the largest daily reminder. Best part of being deaf in one ear? Put your good ear on the pillow when you go to sleep and you sleep LIKE A BABY! Learning where to sit in a place with lots of people talking {restaurants, conferences, church, etc} and learning to walk on the right side when walking with someone is becoming more normal as time passes. In super noisy spaces I have a really hard time hearing people talking to me which I hate but I'm learning to deal with. Getting used to everything being so stinkin' loud has definitely taken getting used to. I expected the opposite to be true- that everything would be super quiet but instead everything is loud- especially people on the phone. It's because all sounds are funneled into one ear instead of balanced out among two.

Emotionally it's almost impossible to explain.
Do I feel grateful? Absolutely.
Do I feel thankful? Definitely.
Do I feel relieved? So very much.
Do I feel blessed? Beyond measure.
But there's so much more to it.

As I was reading Ann Voskamp over this past year
{I heart her so!}
a word she uses often struck me as the perfect word to describe how I feel.

Quick definition from Ann:
The root word of eucharisteo is charis, meaning “grace.” Jesus took the bread and saw it as grace and gave thanks. He took the bread and knew it to be gift and gave thanks. Eucharisteo, thanksgiving, envelopes the Greek word for grace, charis. But it also holds its derivative, the Greek word chara, meaning “joy.” Charis. Grace. Eucharisteo. Thanksgiving. Chara. Joy.


As I write this this morning, I am weepy and overwhelmed with thanksgiving. 
I am thankful that God is able and that He carries us when we can't walk on our own. 
I am thankful for my amazing friends and family that walked me through one of the darkest times in my life. For every prayer uttered on my behalf, for every meal brought to feed my family, 
for every minute sat in the hospital waiting as I was in surgery, 
for every sweet note, text, or email, for every sweet gift given to me, 
for every hug I am thankful. 

I am thankful for every awful headache I get, because it's a reminder that I am still here, 
that the outcome could have been so very different. 
I'm thankful that my story has a happy ending 
but am even more thankful for a God that is good and able 
even when the ending is not as we have hoped and prayed.
He is able.