I was told that I would need to make major lifestyle changes. One of the most important areas to manage would be stress. It’s okay. I laughed, too. It’s easier said than done. I was advised to consider leaving “the ministry” or modifying my involvement.
I chose not to leave ministry but rather to pursue additional education so that, in the future if necessary, I could minister from home. My insurance provided me with a custom wheelchair and scooter. I’ve been told to use them to help prevent pain, fatigue, etc. I loan them out as much as possible (just out of stubbornness, I guess).
Crutches have been my primary means of transportation for nearly 15 years. I’m faster on them than off them. At one time I thought little about the wear and tear that takes place from getting around this way. However, it began to take its toll a few years ago. I’d also grown aware that every day spent in the cast was washing my bones out, not to mention, locking them up. That's never good.
After searching for an alternative, and finding nothing that would accommodate my twisted limb, I decided to take off the cast. I was told this would never be possible. I’d be in a cast “for life.” There was a huge risk involved but my decision was prayerfully made.
It helped that I was in a bi-valved cast, for a change, while recovering from a fractured femur. What can I say? I like climbing on things. A split cast meant that I didn't have to saw the thing off and could put it back on if necessary.
With that in mind, on a hot summer day in 2010, I spent a few hours without the cast. Hours that turned into days, and weeks, and months. The amazing thing is that nearly a year later I remain infection free. That is nothing short of a miracle. I thank God for His healing touch.
|I snapped this picture at the beach on my first day without a cast. How wonderful to feel the sand between my toes.|
I must say, I’ve enjoy not having to lug seven pounds of fiberglass around. It has given me some freedom. It has also given me more time to think about MS. Especially since I am experiencing more symptoms as time goes by.
Until a few years ago I remained in denial. Slowly I have been working my way to a place of education and awareness about this devastating disease. Not just for myself but for many of my friends who suffer far more than I do.
Recently I saw a commercial for the 2011 MS Walk. I’ve never considered participating before. Dragging a cast around on crutches for miles never seemed to fit the definition of “walking.” But this year my situation is different.
I’ve shed the cast. I’m in a pair of shoes, although only one foot hits the floor fully, so I am without excuse. Besides I can’t think of a better way to celebrate what God has done and is doing in my life. Not to mention the fact that I'll be walking with my husband.
Together, this Saturday, we’ll be casting off on a three mile walk to raise awareness and funds for continued research for MS. Some of you have very generously given to help my team “Melinda’s Mission” meet the goal of raising $200. I can’t thank you enough. Most of you have never met me but I will carry you close to my heart during this event. Your support is my encouragement. God will be my strength. Please pray that I will crutch to the finish line.
And above all else pray for a cure. People's lives depend upon it.
PS: If you would like to make a donation to my team you can do so here.