I think my title summarizes how I feel right now. Sure, its easy to praise God when stuff is going well, but it sure takes prayer, faith, and determination to praise Him when life seems like its in the crapper. Sorry if that offends anyone (not my intent). It seems like if I look over the past year, I have had plenty to be mad, sad, angry about, but with God next to me, He has allowed me to look past the confusion to the beautiful blessings He intended for me. Many people ask me why I think this happened to me... and all I can say is, why not? God had a lesson in store for me, and it took this thick headed girl a brain tumor to figure it out. Do I have it all figured out? Not in the least, but I am able to reflect on blessings I have been part of and rejoice in the goodness provided. Am I where I want to be? No! I still have more to work on, but I am grateful for this journey and what I have learned. I appreciate life more and am thankful for everyday I get. I no longer think I am entitled to each day, but am excited I get another.
This has been a remarkable journey! I hope I can remember it all as I would love to pen a book about this experience and the grace God has given me. I want to use this experience to encourage others who are struggling, to turn it around and search for the miracle. I am so thankful that God gave me a sense of humor because that has helped me through a lot of tough times. I have probably just presented to sunshine and rosy side to you because I would rather save you from listening to the depths that recovery presented to me. Its just not part of my personality to gravel and complain about how unfortunate or not my situation has been. I would rather shout my praises and have you rejoice with me.... so here goes....
GOD IS SOOOOOOO GOOD! After a year of no-eating, but tube dependant, God has freed me from that. I will admit this has been the hardest part of this experience for me. Our society is food obsessed and it seems that we have tied food to everything possible. So...being tube fed presented a few frustrations for me: date nights, family meals, birthday parties, friends get together, travel, etc. I was always the odd ball out, not only did it make me uncomfortable, but it noticeably made others around me uncomfortable. I have been slow to share progress in this area of recovery because it is slow and because it is scary to me. I was afraid if I told people I was starting to eat that it might go away. So here's what's happened recently... On New Years Eve, I finished my first mini container of ice cream. At the end of January, I joined the gym and as my reward to myself for going to workout at 5 am, I began my addiction to McDonald's Mocha Frappe's. Yummy! Hey, the high calorie drink is allowing me to gain some weight back ;0) On February 7th, I ate 1/2 a waffle soaked in syrup (a trick to helping you swallow is soak it in syrup or wash it down with a drink.) On Valentine's day, I enjoyed a piece of toast with sun dried tomato hummus. Remember at this point I am still doing my 5 cans of Jevity a day with any food I consume as extra. Then on the 16th of February, I tackle the Cinnamon Melts from McDonald's. The days after my birthday (19-20), I enjoy two meals of Fettuccine Alfredo. Then I plunge into the world of eating, trying everything I can: cereal, pop tarts, jelly beans, burritos, pizza, ice cream pie, etc. At this point I drop my Jevity consumption to maybe a can per day. The last time I used Jevity was February 19th, the day after my birthday. I used my tube for taking my medications, which are tube related and will go away when I have the tube pulled out. My speech therapist has given me the green light to initiate this, I am just making sure I have this eating thing down before I take away my safety net. I hope to have my doctors approval by the end of this month and an appointment with my gastroenterologist to remove my tube. I am a little scared of this all, but I have had fears at each cross road in this journey and God has been faithful to get me through it. I ate my first Subway sandwich yesterday and it was heavenly. It was only 6 inches and it took me an hour to eat, but I ATE IT! Praise God! I expect that my swallow will continue to get better and I look forward to the day I can eat out with my family.
Thank you to all of you who have been praying for me. Some of you have specifically been praying for my swallow and I thank you so much f0r being faithful.
Including pictures of the waffle, my 'breakfast of champions' from McDonald's, me being a pigo, and the beautiful flowers Darren gave to me to celebrate my first year with a touching note that read "Thanks for fighting for us! Love Darren, Zach & Kadin" Side note: I am SO BLESSED!