I can't believe I haven't written in so long. Here's an update on life in the Gregory home.
We had a good Christmas. We tried to scale back on gifts so that we could focus on the gift of Jesus. I can't say that we completely succeeded but I feel confident that we reminded our children enough that hopefully some of the message sunk in. Beau did pray often during the week of Christmas, "it's not about the gifts but it's about you Jesus." Even though he talked about gifts A LOT the message did get through as much as possible for a 6 year old.
I wish I could give a great health report. The truth is, I haven't written in several weeks because I have been feeling really bad. It started Christmas Eve and most days since haven't been especially great. I've had some good days and good times during days but overall I am still dizzy much of the time. The nights have gotten worse and the days have actually been a little worse too. I finally found a way that I think describes how I go through the day... the next time you are doing something (brushing your teeth, eating a meal, cooking, shopping, playing with your kids, reading a book, working), stop what you're doing and spin (either standing or if you're in a chair that spins) about 10 times fast and then immediately resume what you were doing. That's pretty much how I feel all day, every day - sometimes it's as though I've just spun around once or twice and it's a dull dizziness; other times it's like I've spun around 20 times and it's crazy dizziness. When you do it, it wears off after a few seconds. With me that feeling lingers in my brain always. Hopefully that can give everyone a better idea of what I fight all day, every day just to function. Try it just as you're climbing in to bed to sleep. At night the spinning usually lasts about an hour before I can fall asleep. I'm not writing all this so you'll feel sorry for me. I just want to try and let you experience my world and understand when I say I'm dizzy all the time.
In addition to the dizzies not going away, my headaches have been much more frequent. My primary contact at Mayo, Dr. Staab, is conferring with my neurologist at Mayo this week. He feels we need a plan to address the headaches. Please pray with me that we will find an answer soon. I have been on Zoloft and have been doing my therapy for 12 weeks. To be where I am this far in is extremely frustrating for me and it's obviously taking it's toll on my family. I feel so bad for Jonathan - he's pulled in 100 directions between work, errands, groceries, kids' activities and all the other little things that come up. And my mom continues to do way more than her fair-share for us. She is always willing and says it's a blessing, but she's a human with physical needs for rest too! I totally understand now why the elderly will drive until they are completely blind and senile. Losing your independence and relying on others for so much is tough. The real blessing is I have become a savvy and pro at on-line shopping. People are shocked when I tell them I do everything but groceries on-line: toothpaste, toilet paper, cleaning supplies, soap, dog food, kids' clothes... imagine a life without stepping foot in Wal-Mart. That's my life and for that blessing I AM extremely grateful!
The kids are going through some health issues too. Beau has been in/out of doctor's offices for the past 5 months with chronic ear infections. They hurt so bad he sobs and throws up from the pain. It is crushing to see him suffer. He is having tubes re-inserted in his ears next week along with a tonsillectomy. This will put him out of school and "down" for 2 weeks. It will be well worth it but I feel sorry the little guy has to go through such a painful surgery. Lydia had her tonsils out 3 years ago so at least we know what to expect and we know the much-improved-health post-surgery is all worth it.
Lydia has had some on-going issues and we were recently referred to a doctor at LSU-Shreveport. In his 30+ years of practice he hasn't seen this. He said he's "puzzled" (his word) by Lydia's symptoms. So we have several tests and visits to Shreveport scheduled. Again, another stressor on Jonathan to take time off work to transport us all back and forth. Lydia's condition isn't life-threatening or painful but it could cause serious problems down the road if we don't find out what's going on.
So, that's life with the Gregory's - 3 out of 4 dealing with health issues and the 4th bearing the brunt of all of it. I am struggling with the spiritual aspect in all of this. I know God has a plan for us, I know God loves us. But I honestly don't wake up every day with a zip in my step and a song in my heart. I try and I pray fervently to keep the right perspective. I feel at peace that God doesn't expect me to whistle and smile my way through life. He knows this is tough. I picture myself in a violent storm where the rain is coming straight down and the wind is all around me. The sky is black and I can barely take a step forward because my boots are buried in the muck. It takes all of my energy to walk just a few steps and by the end of those days I am physically, mentally and spiritually exhausted. But yesterday I visualized me flowing through a meadow in the bright sunshine. I was barefoot and floated along. That's not today's reality but I cling to the hope that it will be soon.
I know that so many of you continue to pray for us daily and it is overwhelming to know we are thought of so often. Please know that I still realize our problems are nothing compared to so many others. I know God is good and God loves us. But on those muddy, rainy days it just takes a little more energy and effort to remember that.