So I was sitting in the parking lot of Baskin Robbins waiting on Andrew to come out with my double scoop of World Class Chocolate (since I was not dressed to grace even strangers with my presence), and I noticed this place next door that does massages, ear candling, body wraps and the last item on the window said, "infrared sauna" which caught my attention. What is an infrared sauna and what makes it different from a traditional sauna? I went home and googled it and found out that an infrared sauna uses infrared heaters to emit infrared radiant heat which is absorbed directly into the human body, unlike traditional saunas which heat the body indirectly via air or steam. It detoxifies and raises metabolism while penetrating muscles to reduce pain. It is also suppose to improve skin tone and reduce stress. So I thought I'd give it a whirl.
I went for the first time last Monday and made a big mistake by not bringing something to read. I nearly went mad without something to take my mind off the fact that I had paid money to sit in a box and sweat all over the place. So I went and bought a couple of books for the next session on Wednesday. Some soothing music plays and the sauna smells like cedar which takes me back to vacations in Colorado and New Mexico. There is just something about it that I cannot explain. It was just so relaxing to be alone and read, listen to the music and be absorbed in my book. It loosens my back muscles and increases circulation which what my discs need. The next day, I felt so great! I had so much more energy than I have had in a long time. It burns around 500 calories per session so I can't wait to see how this helps me as I start up my workouts again. If you need to de-stress or just grab some alone time or time with the Lord, I highly suggest trying it out!
So I've seen a new Chiropractor for the last 6 days. And yes, I am well aware that no one on earth cares to read about my back problems! But I wanted to make sure I write down my experience so I can remember it and track my progress. Just the quick re-cap of the last 6 months.
So after seeing a bad chiro who was afraid to adjust me and a neurosurgeon who didn't sound confident in anything helping, I did a TON of research on my own. I came across a Chiropractor in Little Elm. He had very extensive information on his website and graduated as the salutatorian of his class. And after much prayer, I felt like he was the one I should try. He incorporates a variety of treatments into his practice including spinal decompression, chiropractic adjustments, electrotherapy, cold laser therapy & physical therapy exercises.
After my consultation, I finally felt like I had found someone who truly cared about helping me. And it made me feel better knowing he would incorporate many things instead of just relying on one single treatment. (And for the last 2 months, I have been doing exercises and swimming faithfully and nothing seemed to help the pain for longer than a few hours.) He made it clear that it would be a hard 8 weeks and that would only stabilize my condition. However, he said, "I like a challenge and you are not the worst case I've seen". So I felt like I was in good hands.
So after 6 appointments, here are the things I have noticed:
I can stretch to my right side again without any pain!
(I couldn't bend to the right at all; my body just wouldn't budge!)
I don't wake up in the night!
(I used to wake up to lift myself up when I needed to change positions because of the pain)
I don't have any aching muscles in my neck or radiating down my butt or hamstrings!
(This is one of the most significant changes I've noticed. )
I now only feel pain in the disc area upon bending or moving certain ways. He says that it will start to heal now as we add in exercises and spinal decompression. Thank you to all who have prayed for healing. God IS truly at work and I know He will use this experience for His glory and purposes. Please pray that God would continue to heal my discs and that I would be able to get back to living my life! There are so many things I know I need to do but I know He's teaching me through this and I'm thankful that He knows what I need better than I do. I'm reminded of several verses:
Proverbs 14:12 - "There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death"
Isaiah 53:6 - "All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way"
Proverbs 19:21 - "Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the LORD's purpose that prevails."
My ways and previous decisions have failed. I put my trust in these previous doctors/chiros. Then I put my trust in myself that I could heal it with exercise and diet. I have had to relinquish every ounce of control to my creator and trust that He has a plan for me.
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future" Jeremiah 29:11
Last weekend, we took Caroline to see the new Hannah Montana movie. So just as I thought, it was cheesy and silly and unrealistic as most kid movies are. However, there was one part that caught my attention. After her dad has taken her out to the country to get her away from the rockstar lifestyle, she starts to realize how much her dad's done for her over the course of her life. She writes a song for him about a song he used to sing to her as a kid. It made me think of my parents. How much they must have sacrificed for my sister and I. I know they had each other but I know there had to have been difficult times. I'm sure there are even things they went through that I don't know about. But through everything my family endured, we always knew we had each other. I knew no one loved me like they did. Sitting in that hot, germ-infested theatre, God was showing me just how much He had blessed me. I was blessed with an example that most kids can only dream about. An example of love, protection, gentleness, discipline, hard work and Christ-centered purpose.
Mom and Dad, thank you for always doing your best to be an example of Christ's love in your world. You have blessed so many lives other than just mine. Thank you for always encouraging me to achieve my dreams and use my gifts to glorify God; to be an example to others and a light to this dark world. Thank you for your commitment to each other and to our family. I'm so blessed yet feel unworthy of such love.
In honor of Valentine's Day, I thought I'd put together a list of all the things I love. Here's my top 20 - not in any particular order however, I think you'll know which ones are most important to me :)
Well, we're gearing up for my grandmother's 90th birthday and I'm excited to be able to celebrate that occasion with her and alongside my family. So tonight, I was on the phone with my mom for a long time talking about our crazy wacked out dreams and what they could possibly mean. She has this dream that she finds out that her dad is alive and in the hospital (he actually died when when she was 8) and she's just now realizing that she missed all this time with him. And she's angry and upset that most of her life has been spent without him. So I think that this is maybe a suppressed fear she's having because she was so young when he died. She really wasn't able to comprehend or experience the anger or depression that you would typically experience when you loose a loved one because she, in her words, "was too busy trying to make everyone else happy". To hear my mom talk about what she was feeling and going through, it just breaks my heart. It's just unimaginable.
So in talking about what she went through loosing her dad, I also found out that when he died, my grandma was out of town because her mother had just died the day before! So there she is dealing with the loss of her mother and the very next day, she learns of her husband's sudden death. So she has to leave and was not able to attend her mother's funeral because she had to come back and deal with the loss of her husband. I can't even imagine going through something like that. It's almost like a movie script. Unbelievable.
While thinking about this, my mom started to mention all her mother had been through before that. She and my grandpa Jack were high school sweet hearts and he left to go to Howard Payne University two years before she graduated. In the mean time her family had to move to Lampass from Bradshaw. She lived 12 miles out from school so she and her brother drove the only car into town. When her brother Carolton made the football team, he had to stay late for practice so she got a job as a waitress in a cafe after school. Then she and her brother moved out of their parents house. Her mother helped take care of an old lady so that she and Carlton could have room and board at her house.
Grandpa Jack had not written her in about two years. During this time, my grandmother met a man while she was a waitress. One day, a friend of grandpa Jack's came by and asked if she was dating and she told him she was. He told her not to do anything stupid because he knew that Jack still loved her. He finally wrote her himself and told her the same thing. He had also told her when they were dating that he would NEVER marry a divorced woman. She wrote back and told him she was very lonely because all her friends had moved on or were married and so she married this new guy. My aunt SueAnn was born a year after they married and then he left them.
When Jack came home from Howard Payne, my great-grandmother was asking him when he was going to settle down since he was 28 and he told her the only girl he ever cared about was my grandmother. She told him that she knew where she was working and drove Jack over to see her. My grandmother said that when she saw him after 7 years her heart stopped. she had always hoped he would come back into her life but she knew that he said he'd never marry someone who had been married before. That day he asked her to marry him! After they were married, they had daughter, then a son and then their surprise - my mom when my grandmother was 40 years old!
It's so interesting and amazing to hear your family stories and the things that could have been if just one thing had been done differently. If her first husband hadn't left her, I wouldn't be here. If my grandpa hadn't wanted to be an instant dad, I wouldn't be here. It's also amazing to think of a woman who has been through so much and seen so much in her lifetime and is still an extremely active citizen of her town. She still goes to church. She is a active part of the senior adult choir. She drives her friends (who are much younger than her and scared of loop 289) to the Lubbock airport. She works in her yard, which is one of the best kept yards on the block in my opinion. She plays cards with her friends every Thursday. It's pretty incredible given she's turning 90 soon. What an incredible journey to not only live through the heartache and trials she's experienced but to persevere. To keep on living, no matter how hard it may be. To remember that Jesus is Lord; that he will protect and comfort us no matter what this life may bring. What an amazing testimony of God's grace and faithfulness.