A change of attitude

Today I went to my primary doctor for a follow up visit from my ER visit. You may remember the little “mishap” I had on New Year’s Day. It has left my left leg constantly elevated for the last week.

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At this visit we learned that my injuries are much worse than we first anticipated. My doctor is pretty sure that I have a broken bone(s) in my foot. The bruising leads her to believe that it is much more than a typical sprain. She is also concerned about the possibility of torn ligaments. Once she mentioned her discovery my head started to spin.

I knew it wasn’t healing as quickly I thought it should, but I didn’t realize it was this bad. When she told me it would be at least 8 weeks before I could drive, walk, and even longer to run, I started to cry. Running has been my outlet. It has been my “freedom.” I had planned to run in at least 3 races at some point during this year. One of which is in a few months. I am plus sized and I run slow, but I run and I enjoy it. Just the day before my mishap I purchased new running shoes. This news hurt.

As I waited to get more x-rays of my ankle an employee came over to give me my military ID. She noticed my tears and asked why I was crying. I mentioned my frustration over my inability to drive or run for at least 2 months. She came around and started to tell me about her bout with chemotherapy. She told me that she has to be happy every day, even if she has to find a reason to be happy. She proceeded to tell me that she was not going to leave until she saw me smiling and my “green eyes light up.” She reminded me that God gave me reasons to be happy, and that my pain was going to be temporary.

Ouch.

I was being schooled by a woman with cancer. My injuries may take up to a year to fully heal, she has been trying for sever years to heal from hers. And she may never recover.

Ouch.

I was still in mental and physical pain, but her cheerful attitude did not leave me. I mulled over it even as tears found their way down my eyes again. When I opened Facebook I found the words from Lysa TerKeurst “God, whatever my circumstances, I will find reasons to praise You. Even when I feel disappointed by what life brings, I will trust You to bring good out of bad. ”

I can see what God is doing here. He is reminding me that I can find joy even when things happen that are not part of *my* plan.

How ironic I discover this after an injury that happens on the day we discuss our “JOY” goals of the year. Every year on New Year’s Day we discuss our goals to serve J- Jesus, O-Others, Y-yourself. This year I truly want to find joy in EVERY circumstance. I want to be thankful in EVERY thing.

For the next 8 weeks as I wear this cast (or whatever cast ends up on my left foot), I am going to document the joy I find that day. It may be small and simple, or it may be monumental. Either way, I will find joy and praise Him.

Today I found joy in a kind stranger whose only goal was to bring me joy and remind me to find joy everyday. Thank you Patricia, I am praying for you and your cancer journey.

Updated: January 8, 2014 — 10:21 pm

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  1. Attitude is the key to how you feel. Most people don’t know that every single day of my life I’m in pain–most days not excruciating, but every day from now until my perfect body I will hurt because of the many diseases I have–they don’t know because a long time ago I came to the realization that I had two choices: lie in bed in misery or take up my cross and follow Jesus. Choosing JOY isn’t always easy, but it’s ALWAYS worth it! I’m so glad you had your “ah-ha!” moment.
    P.S. I did what you did to your foot and showed John the picture you first posted and said I don’t know how it’s not broken and even if it isn’t what she did to the ligaments is going to take longer to heal than broken bones (*because that’s exactly what my doctor said to me–he said, “You would have been better off breaking every bone in your foot, than the damage done by the sprain.”). It doesn’t surprise me that it was worse than the ER thought because my foot looked like that–actually worse because I waited four days to go to the doctor (never went to the ER). By the time I went, infection had set in and my ankle was the size of a small soccer ball. He said, that if they couldn’t get the infection under control they’d have to amputate, not exactly encouraging news. Praise God, they gave me major antibiotics (shots) and a week later they were able to get the swelling down small enough to soft cast it. Then a week after that, I got my fiberglass cast. I never walked on it with the cast and I had my cast on for one week short of FOUR months.

  2. Wow, an infection??? That sounds painful!
    I am sorry to hear that you regularly deal with pain Ariele.
    I do try to keep a good attitude through most circumstances. It bothers me when I can’t serve my family or others. It REALLY bothers me when I can’t take care of myself. It has taken a lot of motivation to get I to running again (I used to run in races 10 years ago), but I know I can get back into it again.

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