Monday, July 20, 2009

I Am A Work in Progress

Today my blog title is one I "lifted" from a friend's blog, It is very fitting for me to use today and I hope he doesn't mind the plagiarism. I call Jason a friend, though I've never met him, only read of his trials and challenges on his blog. We have some things in common, but this man has endured much more than I ever have, and despite his difficult days, he pushes on.

Yesterday and today have been a bit difficult for me and the title of the post sums up the reasons why. Every day I know that I am blessed to have been part of many miracles, but like every one else, I still struggle with daily challenges. Right now, most of my challenges are related to the tumor and/or the surgery and all the side effects. At times I feel like I cannot be justified in having a bad day, knowing full well that my life is a blessing because I am still here. But, Jason summed it up when he said "I am a work in progress", helping me realize that my life is still not perfect, even if I have experienced a miracle.

I know this is hard for some people to hear. They would prefer to hear my standard "I am doing better and making progress every day" report. And so, this is what I often give. And, on most days I do have that attitude myself. However, my whole life is in a state of change and this is challenging for me. My home, routines, schedules and abilties are all being changed and challenged. My physical impairments, though improving, still cause me daily problems.

I honestly cannot see about 50% of the time because of my "bad" eye. The slightest bit of wind or air in my eye and it is painful, blurry and goopy for hours. My ear is in a constant "plugged" state and causes me to miss out on many parts of the conversations going on around me; it feels like my head is in a cloud and I am missing what goes on all around me. I still get headaches every day and they usually get worse as the day progresses. For the last 2 days, I have woken up with headaches, which is a bad sign for the rest of the day. My paralysis is improving but still causing problems with my mouth and skin. As some of you know, I also have PLMD, Periodic limb movement disorder (essentially Restless legs syndrome only with all my limbs, not just my legs). This is also a neurologic disorder that we were all hoping would be connected to the tumor, and therefore gone with the surgery, but no such luck. So, I don't sleep well because of my crazy limbs. Without sleep, all of life seems harder. On most days, I can handle any one of these inconviences, but at times, when they all kick in at once, it can be a challenge for me to deal with.

When I get discouraged because of these challenges, I have to remember that I am still here, a huge blessing considering I was on my deathbed six weeks ago. I guess what I am saying with all this rambling is that I must remember that my life and my physical abilities are all still a "Work in Progress", even though miracles have already happened. I need to be patient with myself, and ask that you be patient with me, as I continue to struggle with all the nuances that are now part of my life. Not every day will be perfect, but it is normal to cry or get discouraged, as long as we all keep plugging along, realizing tomorrow will be another day to try again.


Carol Liptrot said...

Jodi, Your honestly is touching. We know you are human too and getting through each day sometimes takes great courage. I was once given a card with a very appropriate quote by Mary Anne Radmacher and I would like to share it with you and let you use it each day.
Courage does not always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of day saying, "I will try again tomorrow".
Somedays your courage roars like a lion and others are too difficult and your courage is quiet and you know you'll try again tomorrow. You are an amazing lady.
Lots of Love, Carol Liptrot

Pam said...

I never have needed you to tell only good news, Jodi. Your genuineness is what draws me back day after day to read about your life. Your life is 100% real and so it will wander all around trying to find its new place in this world of new and often depressing challenges. Be happy, be sad, just tell us the truth about what's going on. That's where I've found all your blog's blessings--in its authenticity.

Nichole Giles said...

Yep, that is the crux of life, isn't it? No matter how blessed we are or what miracles we experience, each of us has bad days, and worse days, and hard things to deal with.

I can't even imagine the scope of what you're dealing with--but I do know you can handle it, otherwise, you wouldn't have to.

A few years ago, I realized something. Somehow, I thought I needed permission to be frustrated with life, or to do something for myself, or to cry for no reason (well, there are always reasons, you just don't always know which one you're crying about). But guess what? I really didn't. I don't need permission to take a day off and do nothing or to break down and cry, and neither do you.

But in case you feel like you need permission to be angry or frustrated, or whatever emotion you want to feel, here it is: You have my permission to break down and have a tantrum. Cry about all the injustices and all the frustrations, and everything else you've experienced. You've earned at least that much, and you'll feel better. (Well, maybe. Or it'll give you a headache...)

But it's okay to let it out, and healthy to do just that. So, go right ahead. No one will think less of you for it.

Love coming your way from Pleasant Grove!


Quote of the day:
“If you have tears, prepare to shed them now.” ~ William Shakespeare

Els Manning said...

hang in there.... we're keeping you in our thoughts and prayers...
Remember that saying..that you as a woman are like tea bags? You get stronger as you are in hot water for a longer time! obviously youve been in hot water for a while now. So imagine how strong you must be!
It will be so wonderful when you are done with this trial. How you will be able to understand others. God must have special missions for you in mind, and me looking from the outside, i am so proud to be able to say i know you... You inspire me to be a better person. And to look at my own blessings! Thank you...

Belinda said...


I don't have a profound thing to say (the messages you give and your friends leave are all inspiring)... but as I was complaining about my teeth getting worse yesterday - and how it would cost a lot to repair - Kelly reminded me....."Belinda, think about your friend Jodi... it could all change in a day!"
I am grateful for my blessings - and they are many! Even though I have not experienced a trial such as yours - it is still easy to get down and discouraged! You have every right to be disheartened when you have limitations to what you hope to do! Hang in there - you will do it and it will take time. Just know you are not alone at any part of this journey. I agree, that the truth is good to hear - we then know as friends when you need us the most. We all love you, Jodi x

Diane said...

We are all works in progress, aren't we? Just the other day, I emailed that statement to a friend who is going through a hard time. I love Carol's thoughts on courage. You are a great example of courage. Hang in there, and know that we are praying for you every day.

wjmom said...

I have no advice. I just have love. You are in my prayers. I think you're wonderful, difficult days and all!

Tami said...

I really think things in life just sometimes stink, doesn't it? Sometimes when I am frustrated I yell and stomp my feet...and funny enough I feel a little bit better! ;-)

britt said...

I soo appreciate you sharing your feelings, through the positive and discouraging times. It continues to be an inspiration and a boost for me. Miss you!!

Carolyn said...

Aloha Jodi,

The kids and I after a long six weeks of driving across the USA finally made it to Hawaii. We arrived a week ago yesterday. WOW! Hawaii is beautiful! The
Island is heaven on earth. I feel right at home here in Laie, and on the Island. We visited several beaches and will visit more as we discover them. I hope you and your family can come to visit in the future. It is very therapuetic!

I appreciate your frankness in sharing your thoughts as they are inspiration to others who may also be experiencing challenging moments, and how even doing the simple things can be frustrating at times. You are one courageous and genuine lady.

Even I have challenges to cope with some of my afflictions, however, I realize there is a greater power above who watches over us all. He Loves us all. It takes Faith and Miracles to get through each day. Jodi, you are a blessing and an inspiration to countless of family and friends who log on to read your blog. We continue to pray for your recovery.

lots of alohas,

Carolyn and family