I have a serious case of brain block. To be honest, I'm struggling in the land of ambiguity, therefore I feel as if the self-preservation practice of not thinking has overtaken me.
As you know, after many tests, scans, pokes, and prods it was determined I had a stroke in August. My doctor referred me to a neurologist that I've seen a few times. He ordered more tests and scans to determine the cause of my stroke. During my last visit with him, he crossed his arms, leaned against the cabinet and said there seemed to be no known cause, that because of my age and the location of the stroke in my brain, he was concerned and wanted to send me to a specialist in Phoenix so another set of eyes could look over all my charts and information. That was over a month ago.
I've called the Phoenix doctor's assistant once or twice a week since then, but he is "still looking at my charts" whatever that means. Apparently, he isn't thinking about my brain as much as I am.
So I wait.
The waiting game is like a roller coaster for me. Sometimes it creates an out of sight out of mind attitude. I act like I didn't have a stroke, don't take my baby aspirin, and pack my schedule full of meetings and activities. This foolishness results in increased symptoms such as tears, headaches, and difficulty in speaking. Clearly, ignoring reality isn't a great practice for me.
Sometimes in the waiting game, I over think everything that has happened. I research online to find answers about having a stroke as a 39 year old woman in the right temporal lobe of the brain. You will not be surprised to know there is some scary information on the internet! I believe that being an advocate and educating myself is wise. I believe researching without a foundation of knowledge and an actual diagnosis is unwise and can lead to fear.
Sometimes in the waiting game, I avoid good things like blogging, reading books, thinking deeply about theology and how God is active in our world. Honestly, I think (ha) if I would engage in these activities I love, I may find some relief from ambiguity.
But, I'm afraid.
I'm afraid if I move on that I may forget something bad happened to me this summer.
I'm afraid if I move on my community will expect me to be the way I used to be, able to keep up with all of life's demands.
I'm afraid if I move on I will actually discover that I've just been being a baby.
I'm afraid if I move on I will never know any answers as to why I had a stroke in the first place and that there might actually be an answer AND if there is an answer we don't know about I'm afraid it may happen again.
I'm afraid if I move on and try to start reading deep books or have deep conversations I will be confronted with one of my worst fears that my brain has changed too much and I'm not smart enough remember or to keep up.
I'm afraid if I keep typing out all these fears I didn't know I even had I will be bawling my eyes out right in the middle of this Starbucks. The other patrons may feel awkward. Good news: I'm not afraid to be awkward. I'm a natural at awkwardness, but I should be considerate of others.
Oh fear, you suck. I can rationalize that you are irrational, but isn't that the point of most fears? Well, up yours! I am moving on, but not like you tell me I should by ignoring reality, researching to the point of fear, or sitting on the floor with my hands over my head hoping nothing else falls on me.
I'm taking Chad's and Lauren's advice in remembering that intensity is not the point. Daily devotion and consistency is the point. I know these truths in my brain, but once again, life circumstances are requiring me to move what was once easily lived out into a deeper, more experiential place in my heart and mind.
To live this out, I will try to read a couple of paragraphs of A Glorious Ruin by Tullian Tchividjian (Thanks, Alysa) three or four times a week. My goal/hope is to blog five times this December. To many of you that may not seem like much, but these are a big goals for me as blogging and reading are much more difficult than they used to be.
I will take my baby aspirin every day. I will continue to go on my morning walks and go to yoga class once a week. I will not overdo it in meeting with people, but I will have a few meetings each week.
The most difficult goal is to talk with a few friends about what I'm really processing concerning this dumb stroke. Ugh. This one is a hard one because being the overly intuitive person that I am, I often wrongly intuit that I'm bothering people. I know, I know. It's silly, but I'm a sinner and have wrong thinking sometimes. Thank goodness for Jesus' grace and the gentleness of friends.
I appreciate some of you are gearing yourself up to "hold me accountable." While I appreciate the offer, I think this public confession will be all the accountability I need. If all of the people that love me start asking if I'm reading every day I may punch someone in the face with harsh words and then you will feel sad and rejected and then I will have to apologize and then you'll wonder if I really love Jesus, so maybe just encourage and pray?? Is that fair? It's not that I don't need accountablity. It's just that I don't need it from all of you.
Whew. This blog post was a shock. I set out to write about why traditions are important to me and ended up telling you about some ickiness in my heart. I guess the good news is I have still have another topic to write about!