There's one house that I try and avoid walking by when I'm out with Gator. Unless I want to take a REALLY long way home it's hard to avoid it so I often suck it up and forge ahead. In the backyard of this one particular house is another dog. A big, scary dog! I think it's some kind of hound dog. He's got a low, menacing bark. He has some sort of box that he jumps on so he can see over the fence. He puts his front paws on the fence and barks and the entire fence shakes like it is about to come down. Even Gator who tries to be ferocious to other dogs and people is humbled by this dog. I dread that one day the shaky fence will collapse and Cujo will come after us. (If you don't know who Cujo is, rent the Stephen King movie and you'll find out).
Since Gator is still with the trainer I've been riding my bike lately instead of walking. As I was riding one day this week I felt a presence behind me. I turned my head and saw Cujo right at my heels. For a moment I panicked. A car was driving by and asked, "Is that your dog?" I managed to squeak out "No." She threw her car in park and called, "Scout, come here!" Cujo (aka Scout) went right over to her car wagging his tail. By this time I had stopped my bike and was waiting for the next step. As the lady in the car corralled him to get him back home, I realized something. Scout was friendly, much smaller than I imagined and pretty obedient. WHAT?!? But, I've been terrified for months of this dog because he seemed so big and ferocious.
God reminded once again through this encounter that the things "behind the fence" are never as big as they seem. They're usually not as bad or troublesome as we make them out in our minds. God always knows what's back there and he always knows what's best for us. I guess as long as I'm human and have a finite brain he will have to keep teaching me these things.
I've written about the giants in my life before - how worrying about them doesn't do any good and how "we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose" (Romans 8:28). I'm assuming others are no different from me and also need these reminders.
I'm sure the next time I'm out walking and Scout starts barking and shaking the fence that I'll quicken my steps a little, just to be on the safe side... but hopefully more than that I'll remember that God made Scout, God knows the safety of the fence and God won't let anything happen to me that He doesn't control.
I've had a long stretch of more good days. I've had crummy ones here and there too, but the good ones have been really good - normal good. I was recently reading some of my journal from when this journey began and it made me ill to think of how bad it was at the beginning - when those vertigo attacks were coming fast and furiously and how horrifying they were. I talked to a lady this week who is in that phase right now. When I got off the phone I was close to tears. I can relate to everything she is going through and I know how desperate she is for relief right now. My friend, Summer, sent me an article recently on a study that was done on Meniere's patients with severe symptoms and their quality of life. One comment from the article stated, "Meniere's disease patients are among the most severely impaired non-hospitalized patients studied thus far." The study tracked the psychology impact of the condition on patients and results showed them on par regarding quality of life with patients with cancer and aids. It made me sad but also relieved to know that I'm not alone. I just pray that more families and doctors and friends will be aware of what a serious case of Meniere's Disease can do to people and the impact it can have. I am one of the very very fortunate ones who have had nothing but love, compassion and concern from my family, friends and even some strangers.
As always, I sincerely thank everyone praying for me. It is the most humbling experience when people I don't even know come up and tell me they're praying for me or send me a card in the mail. Such little gestures mean more than you know.