My God is Able!!

31 July 2012

The guy we met on Monday at the block party came to Journey for church this morning!! Said he was planning on coming more regularly! God has definitely been working in his heart this past week!!! :)

I Just Can't Help It

28 July 2012

Some people find their worth in their jobs, others in the clothes they wear.
And still others in their physical appearance.

What I have come to realize is that I don't feel like I get my worth from any of that.
I came to realize last night while watching the guys play another game or two of Ultimate was that I find my worth and my value in what I can do.
I have spent years doing and now I have people, specifically guys, who tell me to just relax and let them get it.
I am not used to it at all and it drives me crazy to just stand there.
Whether that's when we're playing a game or sports, or moving something or packing up a trailer.
I just have this urge to get in and do.
So when people tell me not to do something or to just watch I have a hard time just watching or not doing anything.
I get all fidgety and bouncy while standing there.

I never stopped to think about why I do that.
I didn't used to be that way when I was much younger.
But ever since my mom's accident I feel like i've become someone who does that.
So it's something that has happened in the last 5yrs or so.
(Or at least it seems that way.)
I put so much of who I am into what I can do, physically speaking, and so moving things, caring things, or going all out while playing a sport or a game is just who I am.
I attach my worth to other people to what I can do.
I know this isn't a good thing, but it's just part of who I am.
When I just sit around and watch I feel like i'm not worth anything to the people around me.
I feel like I am letting them down and making things difficult for them.
And when it comes to sports I just feel like I look weak when I have to sit and watch.
I hate this feeling.
Yet it so strong and such a part of me.
I know I should get my worth and my value from Jesus and not from man, but for some reason I still have this need to have my worth and value in other people's eyes be based on what I am physically able to do to help them.
I also hate that I get so frustrated and upset when people won't let me help out or play a sport.
I get all frustrated with the situation and it can get the best of me.

I felt terrible last night at Hidden Cove when the guys decided to play another couple games but wouldn't let me play because my arm was acting up.
I just kind of sat there with what I'm sure was either a facial expression that showed that I was angry or really upset.
And I feel terrible that I was having such a fit about it.
It's not mature to act that way nor is it beneficial to me in any way.
Chad and the guys were just taking precautions and putting my safety above my want to play.
Which is appreciated, even though it bothered me, because I've never really had anyone care about whether or not I played with an injury. 
(Other than my mom of course.)
I'm truly grateful for the fact that they all care enough to make me sit out when they think i'm likely to get hurt if I keep playing.
I don't necessarily always do a good job of stopping myself when I should.
I'll keep going until i'm really injured or in a ridiculous amount of pain.
That's just how I am.
Not my best quality, but ya know.
So when the guys wouldn't let me play I was really frustrated with them at first, but after sitting there a short while I got to thinking and that's where this post came from.
They were just looking out for me and they didn't deserve my frustration for it.
They were just doing what they all thought was best for me and I have to admit that it probably was a good thing for me to sit out.
[Yes guys, I just agreed with you...again :) ]
(And that's a whole 'nother post topic all stubbornness)

I just don't know how to get a balance of doing and not doing.
Especially since i've spent years equating my worth & value to what I can physically do.
I don't know what to do to make it balanced.
I feel stuck and I don't know what to do about it.
I don't like to stand still and watch, but at the same time I know there are times I should.
I just have a hard to figuring out which times I should help and which ones I shouldn't.
This is frustrating to me but i'm glad I've realized it.

Well now that i'm done ranting, I am going to try to keep myself entertained this morning.

It's All Coming To An End So Soon

25 July 2012

Can you believe it's August next week??
I can't.
The fact that it's August next week means a few things.

1. School starts in a month.
2. Summer is almost over.
 (and most importantly...)
3. The Summer Mission Team leaves.

The third thing hit me this week as the guys have been gone at a camp while Patrick and I have been working with the Arkansas mission group to do Block Parties in the community.
It feels like they just got here and we've all just started getting to know each other.
And now they are going to be leaving.
I just can't seem to wrap my mind around that fact.
I guess i'm just having a hard time accepting it.
(This is going to sound so girly and like i'm super attached to them all, but I don't care.)
I'm not ready for them to leave quite yet.

I think the part that is really getting to me is that I have this feeling that i'll lose contact with them all as soon as they leave, just like what always happens with people.
They leave and that's it.
It really just makes it hard to say goodbye when that's the likely outcome.
Watch me be a girl and get all emotional when they leave.
(Highly unlikely, but there is always that slight possibility.)
Even though they'll be leaving I have to thank God for everything He has taught me through the guys this summer.
He has showed me show much through them and I wouldn't have been able to see any of it or learn anything had it not been for this group of guys that God put in my life.
Although I would much rather they didn't leave, I know that God has things in store for them as they all head back home and/or back to school.
God has some great plans for these guys I have no doubt and I hope that I get the chance to see what He does through them and for them in the future.
God has blessed many people through them this summer and they have made such an impact.
They may be leaving but what they did and the impact they made will not be forgotten.
God knew what He was doing when He brought those guys here.
It's been exciting to watch.
Now I am hoping that I will get to watch what He has planned in the near future.
I just pray that through whatever happens we will all be glorifying the Father in everything that we say and do.
May it all be for Him and His glory!

Just Needed To Share Something

24 July 2012

Ok, so I just wanted to share something and thought this was the perfect place.

This week we are doing Block Parties at parks throughout the community.
We have been joined this week by a missions team from Arkansas (about 30 people).
Patrick had quite a day yesterday organizing everything with the team throughout the day as well as getting things ready for the Block Party last night.
So after he came and got me we headed back to the park.
We get there and the mission team is out there just having a blast with everything.
They had different booths set up with various things.
They had a tent set up where Faith was doing balloon animals (and other things) and Naomi and some of the other girls were doing face painting.
Jerry was all about doing the cotton candy. Well at least he was when he wasn't going around to other booths and talking with us and the kids that were there.
Justin had a game set up and so did Jessica.
There were hot dogs, popcorn, and sno cones.
There was music going. (And some dancing every now and then as well.)
It was a great time getting to talk with some of the people from the neighborhood and even getting a chance to get better acquainted with the mission team from Arkansas.

Being me, I was watching the different people come and go and kinda watching how long they were lingering around and talking to people.
There was one couple that was there who i'd been watching, and apparently so had some of the Arkansas mission team.
This couple had gotten there when it started and they were definitely lingering.
I grabbed a card with some of our info and a little map of our location and then headed on over to talk to them some more.
I sat down and got to talking with them again.
Made some connections with them through Olivet, as well as through where we were from.
We then got to talking about some random things and then he asked me how I got connected with Journey Church.
So I told him how I started coming and how I really started getting involved.
I talked a little about the summer mission team.
And then he surprised me by sharing some of his church history.
As he shared that and I talked to him a little more about Journey, it was clear that he was interested in Journey and thinking about coming to church.
They both seemed very interested in the church and said they'd really like to check it out.

Talk about the whole crazy day being worth it.
And like Patrick made a point of, those two people may never have even considered going to church, specifically speaking ours, if we hadn't sat down and talked with them for two hours.
That process of building a relationship with them and building trust with them is what opens the doors to get them interested in the church and interested in learning more about God.
It was such a great opportunity to get to know them!
Seeing them warm up to us and to the possibility of coming to church as we were sitting there talking was incredible.
I'm praying that God will be working in their hearts this week through the seed that we planted last night.
And even if we don't see them at church, at least we know that we made an impact in there lives.
And that is why we are doing this.
That is what we are all about.

The devil may have tried to tear everyone down all day, but in the end God prevailed.
God was moving and He will continue to move this week!

I Will Go LORD, Send Me

22 July 2012

For years I have sat through church service after church service about missions.
I've listened to missionaries who were serving in all kinds of different world areas.
I've spent years wishing I could go to where they were and do what they were doing.
However, I always felt like I was getting a negative response from people about doing that.
It felt like people were trying to push me away from it.

So I haven't shared my thoughts about going overseas with very many people.
I would love to live overseas and to do mission work, especially with kids.
Or even doing something where I could work with my hands and help out.
I just want to be able to go do something.
Yet I feel like people will not understand when I tell them.

The last several months it seems as thought the topic of missions work has been a pretty steady and common part of my life.
I do not know why it just so happened to be at this time, but it did.
So for months I have been contemplating this idea.
I have looked at the websites of many a missions agencies lately.
The opportunities are numerous.
And I have found a few as of late that have a high focus on kids.
One is next summer in Jordan and I really, really want to go on that one.
The other is one that I want to do but don't plan on any time soon since it is a long term commitment.

There is just one thing that I am trying to figure out.
My major.
Currently I am studying Sociology and Criminal Justice.
Neither of those are exactly prime majors for doing missions work.
The thing is, I do not know what major to even consider for it.
And how do I go about getting my mom to agree with it.
And changing it now would be kind of crazy since I've already signed up for classes.
I just feel like I am totally and completely lost when it comes to this.
I've been asking God to show me what it is that He wants me to do, but I just really want to know what to do with all of this stuff going through my mind.

I have spent some time reading my Bible and I came across a verse that fit me.

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying,
"Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?"
And I said, "Here I am, Send me!"
-Isaiah 6:8

I just want to go where He wants me to go and I want to do what He wants me to do.
I just feel like i'm at a crossroad right now and I don't know what to do.
I am trusting that He will send me where He wants me.
I am praying that I'll be able to discern what it is He wants me to do.
It is all in His hands and I am anxious to find out what it all is.
(As soon as I typed 'anxious', Philippians 4:6 came to my mind. Irony.)

I have also been listening to (and signing) Starfield's song "I Will Go" a lot lately.

He needs people to go and I am willing.
I just wish I knew in what capacity He wants me to go in.
But like I said before, I am surrendering it all to Him and trusting in His plan.
It will all work out in accordance with His will and His timing.

The Great I Am

18 July 2012

My uncle is the worship leader at his church in St. Louis and he is always on the lookout for new worship music.
This happens to be one of the newest ones he has been playing.
I love it!!
I have been listening to it on repeat on my iPod for days.
Such a great song with an amazing message!!

Falling at the feet of my Heavenly Father

16 July 2012

These days it isn't uncommon in the least for children to not have a one or even both of their parents. In this world no one seems to think twice about it.
Divorce is common place and children grow up never knowing their parents.
It is more common for the father to leave, although it seems like this is changing these days.
The negatives of growing up without a father are constantly growing.

I myself have had to deal with this very issue.
Due to this I have had problems in my life, both in my relationships and my spiritual walk.
It is fairly easy to guess what the issues in relationships are.
However, it may not be so easy to see how it has impacted my relationship with Jesus.

Growing up without a positive fatherly image in my life has caused me to have trust issues along with many other issues I do not think are worth sharing at the moment.
This trust issue has caused me to not look positively at father figures.
Consequently this has made looking at God as a Father.
Trusting Him to be the Father that I have never had (and in all honesty could never have) is something that I have been struggling to do.
Many times throughout the past school year this was talked about by speakers in chapel.
It is something that I have been working on throughout this past year.
Many floor Bible studies also brought up the topic.
For some reason I just have trouble fully wrapping my mind around the thought that God is also my Heavenly Father.
I am not sure what keeps me from accepting it other than the fact that I previously mentioned.

I was reading my Bible today and ran across a couple verses that seemed to just click with me.

5A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling.
6God sets the lonely in families, he leads out the prisoners with singing.
-Psalm 68:5-6a

"I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty."
-2 Corinthians 6:18

Even though I may not have had a father in my life showing me how a father is supposed to treat his children, there is a God who wants to show me how a true Father is supposed to treat His children.
My Heavenly Father has shown me and continues to show me what it is like and how blessed I am to be His child.
He is constantly protecting me and blessing me.
Like the Psalm says, God has placed me in a family.
He has placed me in an adopted extended family that is absolutely incredible!!
(I also don't get to see often enough!! This past week of Family Reunion was a blessing!!)
On top of that He has placed me in an amazing church family at Journey that I am continuously being blessed by whenever I am with them!!
God has shown me what it is truly like to be a child of the one Father who loves me unconditionally, continuously shows me grace and mercy, and never leaves me.
He is my Father and He always will be.

An earthly father may fail but my Heavenly Father will never fail.

Though my father and mother forsake me, the LORD will receive me. -Psalm 27:10

Irrelevant Information...

 The link below is nothing that you need to click on and see, but rather just a way for me to save it so that I can get to it easily.
It is just a video of our family pictures put together by the photographer.

We Got A Lot Of "Stars" Here

13 July 2012

There are just days when I wonder why I didn't decided to be an Early Education major or some other such thing.
(Although it usually doesn't last long...)
I absolutely love kids!! And my cousins are no exception!!
They say some of the craziest things and can make you laugh even when you don't want to.
It was the perfect way to end a long hectic day that was only a hint of what today was like.

We were riding in the car on the way back from seeing Aladdin at The Muny and my cousin Hadley was riding in the car along with my cousins Alex & Vanessa, and myself.
Vanessa recently went on a trip to Rwanda and she came up with some code words.
I won't share a lot of details as to what they refer to, but basically there are three levels.

Gold Star= Good
Silver Star= Okay
Bronze Star= Bad
Hadley caught onto it quite quickly.
(She didn't hesitate at all to refer to Justin Beiber as a Bronze Star.)
She then proceeded to use these terms through out our conversation in the car.
I also got her saying sad cheese.
I must say that this was quite funny to hear.
I am also quite surprised by the words that Hadley knows at her age.
(She was regularly using discombobulated in conversation. As well as words such as irrational.)
Hadley is crazy smart and has an incredible for someone her age.

After a late night (got back around 12:30am), we had an early morning.
(It wouldn't have been so bad had I not woke up every 20mins all night.)
We left my grandparents house with the little kids at 7:30-7:45 this morning to head to the St. Louis Zoo in Forest Park.
The reason we went so early was so that we could get in to pet the Sharks and Sting Rays.
It was free to pet them for the first hour.
We probably spent around 45mins or so petting and feeding the Sting Rays.
I think I may have enjoyed it more than the kids.
We then walked around the Zoo until 11:30ish.

Grabbed a bite at Pappy's Smokehouse.
(Amazing BBQ!!!!)
Some people proceeded to go see the Cathedral Basilica.

I however am completely worn out and am in need off a break from all of the people and noise so I came back to my grandparents house for the afternoon early evening.
I don't know that it is going to be of much good to me seeing as everyone is going to be coming back here soon, but it sounded like a good idea at the time.
I may go all recluse and hide in the basement for a couple hours.
There may be a trip to the City Museum after dinner.
My energy level may be a little to low to handle the trip to the "Glorified Playground" later.
All in all it has been a crazy couple of days so far and a crazy couple to go yet.

Late Night Ramblings

11 July 2012

I know I posted earlier today but I just feel the need to share on here since there isn't really anyone here for me to talk to at the moment.

My mind has been going non-stop for several days now and about some of the same things over and over and over.
I do not know what to do about these things.
Some of them really are not worth contemplating so much at the present moment, while others probably are not worth the contemplation but I cannot help it.
I really just wish I had someone here to talk to about it all.
Someone with which to have a serious conversation for once.
I miss having those serious conversations about life.
Those are always some of the best memories and the best conversations.
You can learn a lot of things about someone when you have those serious conversations about life.

Well, I could rant on about how much I miss serious conversations but I do not want to bore those of you who actually make an effort to read my blog these days.
Also I have an early morning tomorrow as I am getting up at 6am in order to beat the other 15 people to the showers.
And i'm going to start the day with some French Toast Casserole.
I can't wait for the morning.
It's going to be a crazy day hanging out in Downtown St. Louis.
The Arch is on our list of activities for the afternoon along with a couple of other things in the area around there.

So as much as I would like to keep talking, I am going to cut this off and head to bed.
I definitely need the sleep and I am sure it won't come easy.

God Only Knows

You hear all about relationships these days.
Boyfriends & girlfriends, people who live together, friends with benefits, and on and on.
Some of these relationships, particularly boyfriend/girlfriend relationships, are encouraged at young ages these days.
Kids in elementary school think it is normal to have those relationships at those young ages.
I am not sure when this became acceptable for kids, let alone when adults started encouraging it.
I do know however that it is something that has been asked of me more times than I will ever be able to count in my lifetime.

The question of whether or not I had a boyfriend was asked off me throughout middle school and high school by family members and people from church.
The answer was always no however, since I never did date anyone.
Even if I had wanted to in middle school or the first two years of high school I couldn't have.
Why couldn't I have dated someone at that point?
Because my mom was strict about the rule of no dating before I was 16.
Not that it mattered much seeing as I didn't date anyone my last two years of high school either.
I got a lot of flack for it, but there wasn't any time for a boyfriend and there wasn't anyone in town that I would have even considered.
It wasn't necessarily that I didn't want to have a boyfriend, but rather that I was preoccupied with family issues and there were not many Christian guys in my town.
Although I managed to get through high school without people worrying about it, that didn't seem to last long after I left for college last August.
You wouldn't believe the number of people who asked if I was dating someone once I got to college.
Literally within the first two weeks my mom was already getting asked about it.
And the fact that I wasn't dating someone and still am not just about blows people's minds.
I have a group of friends that I hand out with and in that group there are only two couples.
My mom gets weird looks and questions from people about whether she is ok with that situation, and if so, why she finds it ok.

This just does not make much sense to me.
All people are worried about is whether or not I am dating someone.
Why doesn't someone ask about how things with school or church are going??
All this focus on dating makes it really hard to be ok with the fact that you're not dating anyone.
Even more so when it seems like everyone else is.
Why so much pressure for me to date someone?

I feel content to wait for God to bring the right man into my life, but it seems as though no one else is content to wait for that to happen.
God's timing is always perfect and I have no doubt it will be in this situation as well.
It is just hard to trust Him when everyone is constantly pushing.
They encourage trusting God, yet at the same time want to push me to date someone just because.
I feel like it is fairly contradicting.

Yes, I think it would be nice to date someone and have someone to share life with.
However, I do not think that I would make the correct choice in who to date if I were the one making the choice of which guy to date.
I also feel like I need to be content with myself and my walk with God before I get into a relationship.
I feel like i'm in that place but God hasn't brought a guy into my life who has made a move towards dating me.
Maybe there is a chance somewhere in the near future.
Maybe not for a few years down the road.
I am just waiting for God's timing.
He knows when the right guy will come along and He will make it work.
It is all about trusting in His will and perfect timing.
God has a plan for my life and my future relationships that I can't even imagine and I am extremely curious to know what His plan is.

Some Things Are Not As Dead As They Seem

09 July 2012

I'm really not sure how to go about starting out this post.
I have some good things to share and some not so good as well.
I guess I will start with the good.

God has blessed me tremendously!
I have a church family in Illinois that has accepted me as I am and where I am.
They have more than opened their arms to me.
They have wrapped me up in the church family.
I feel like I am truly accepted by my church family and I haven't felt that way in a church in many, many years.
(Yes, I call them my church family. This may seem weird to those of you in Nebraska, and maybe even to a degree it may seem as though I am turning my back on you all. I still love you all, but this is a new chapter in my life and I have my own life in Illinois and this includes my church.)
God has placed me amongst a church family that is truly amazing.
Without them this summer would have been a very long, lonely, boring summer.
They have made Bourbonnais feel like home.
I couldn't have ever asked for what they have given me.
I appreciate it all and I am extremely thankful to everyone for what they have done for me.

I have to talk about the Mission Team again.
They are all amazing and I am grateful to have this summer with them.
I have to focus on the guys because I have spent the most time with them.
These guys are such a great influence in my life and I think God has put them in my life for a reason, possibly multiple reasons.
These guys blow the phrase "Chivalry is dead" out of the water.
They never fail to go out of their way to make sure the females that are with them at the time are taken care of first or put first in general.
This is something that I haven't grown up with and am not used to.
I have to make a conscious effort not to chastise them about it because I know that they are doing exactly what they are supposed to and it is my job to encourage them as their sister in Christ.
I may not have grown up with it, but it is something that I am slowly getting used to.
It is becoming something that I expect.
These guys have been such a positive influence in my life in how I view men.
I have never had this example of chivalry or of guys being gentleman before.
It is nice to know that there are guys who are still being raised with those standards.
It just makes me hope that I will end up marrying a man who is like this guys and who will be the example of a true chivalrous gentleman to any kids he is around or helps raise.
The guys on the mission team have no idea how high they have made me raise my standards.
They're just making it that much harder for a guy to get me to date him.
I appreciate all of their influence more than they can imagine.
I am and have been truly blessed by these Godly men on the mission team.

My boys.
I got to spend time with two of the boys that I have babysat since they were born.
I took them out to dinner this evening and then we watched some AFV and cuddled on the couch after we took a ton of pictures.
I love those boys like crazy and hate to have to say goodbye.
It's hard to say goodbye and watch them get mad because you're leaving again.
It makes it really hard.
I cannot wait until October when I get to come back and see them again.

Ok, so now for the lengthy section of not so good stuff.

I grew up in the Nazarene church (I got to a baptist church now).
I grew up in the church my grandpa pastored.
When I was a kid I loved going to my church and I loved all the people there.
This lasted until probably around 5th grade.
At this point I realized how much the church and those in leadership positions were concerned about the politics of the church. Most of the time the politics of the church were viewed as more important than the church itself.
Now maybe it's just me, but I don't think that that is how God wants the church to be.
I learned a lot of lessons from the church and the people in it over the next 7 years.
Although I have to say that the majority of them were not positive like you might expect.
I learned a lot of lessons I figured I would learn from the world rather than the church.
Some of the things that I learned are:
-People are not necessarily to be trusted (with personal matters or otherwise)
-People  will tear you down and rip you apart to get what they want
-If you don't suck up to people then you mean nothing to them
-People don't really care what you have to say or what you think
-Emotions are also highly overrated
-If you are a child of a pastor (senior, youth, etc.) you're automatically held to a much higher standard than everyone else and the slightest slip means you get looked down upon by everyone
-And many other lessons could be listed.

As you can see I didn't really learn anything positive from the church here.
It's hard to come home and go to the church here.
I feel like I should be excited to come back here and see everyone at church, but in all honesty I have a hard time even making myself go to church here.
I haven't had a connection with anyone here in years.
I hardly even went my last two years of high school.
It wasn't that I didn't want to go to church, because I really did.
Rather I didn't want to go because every time I was there I felt like I was being stared at and judged by everyone there. It didn't feel welcoming at all.
And ever since I left for school last August, the only people from the church who have contacted me at all are the parents of the kids I babysat.
No one else contacted me at all, but they were constantly talking to and conversing with the other college students from the church.
I can tell you why that is but I will refrain because it would end up being a rather lengthy description.

It was just hard being at church this Sunday because I felt very much like people would have even noticed I was there had it not been for the 3 adults that actually did care and make an effort to keep up on how I am doing while i'm in Illinois.
I really just wanted to leave within minutes of being there.
Had it not been for one of my boys coming and sitting with me during service it would have been a very long morning.
It also helped when I got a text from McKenzie.
After asking about the trip back here, he told me that everyone at Journey was asking where I was.
People have no idea how much that means to me.
The fact that they noticed that I wasn't there since i've only been going for about 5 months is something I wouldn't have expected.
The church here that I went to for 13 years didn't even ask that the first Sunday I was away at college. Not a single one of them.
Journey has been a blessing and I hope to stay apart of the church and their ministry for the next few years at least.

Now to get to family stuff.
If only I could share everything that is on my mind relating to this topic.
I can't do so because some of it shouldn't be shared and there is just far too much on my mind regarding the subject.
The main thing right now has to deal with my mom.
I like to come back here to visit for a few days, but it is very hard to come back.
When i'm at school my mom encourages all of the things I do and has not an issue with any of it.
Soon as i'm back here she treats me like i'm in middle school still.
I'm going to be 20yrs old in 6 months.
I am an adult but she treats me like a kid all the time when i'm home.
It makes it really hard to come back here to visit.
It's making me really consider just staying in Illinois for the summers and for a while after graduating.
I don't know that I will come back to Nebraska to live.
I love Nebraska but I just can't do it anymore.

Well, that is as far as I am going to go into those topics on here for the evening.
I really just wish there was someone I could talk to.
I feel the need to just have an actual conversation and discuss things face to face with someone.
Oh well, I do not have that opportunity at the moment.

It's going to be a long night of packing, listening/singing to music, and praying.
God has gotten me this far and I have no doubt that He will get me through whatever is coming.
It is through Him that I can do all things!!

Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome (RSDS)/ Chrnic Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS)

02 July 2012

As of late I have been asked quite frequently about my mom's disorder.
After explaining it multiple times, I figured that it might be beneficial to just make a quick post about it.

So I am going to try to make this a fairly short post, but I will also be trying to cover the main points that should be known about RSDS/CRPS.

My mom was diagnosed 5 years ago (this September) with Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome (RSDS) or Chronic/Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS).
This is a disease of the Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS).
It basically means that the SNS is not working properly. Nerves are misfiring, so they are constantly sending pain signals to the brain.
This disease can be caused by a traumatic injury or just a bump on a table.
The disease does not appear to be linked to the severity/magnitude of the injury.
There is no exact cause that has been noted.
There are many symptoms that accompany the disease, some of which are:
-Severe burning pain
(My mom refers to it as burning pain and pins & needles pain, but like 10 times worse than what we would experience normally. But it is constant and never ending.)
-Extreme sensitivity to touch, light, water, hot/cold, etc.
-Tissue swelling
-Frequent changes in skin color and temperature
-Contracture (limited limb movement due to tightening of the muscles and tendons)
-Muscular Atrophy
There are many other symptoms of the disease but it can get to be a long list that few people actually want to read.
There are two types of CRPS.
Type 1 is due to injuries that have no direct link to any nerve damage.
Type 2 is due to injuries that caused direct nerve damage.
There are treatments available, although most of them are focused on pain management since there is not cure for the disease at the present moment.
Pain medication and antidepressants are some of the most common treatments.
Nerve Blocks, Intrathecal Drug Pumps, Spinal Cord Stimulation, and physical/occupational therapy are other treatment options used frequently.
Surgical Sympathectomy can be used, but it is not guaranteed and it could cause the disease to worsen in the limb and/or spread to other areas of the body.

This disease is 2-3 times more likely for females than males and it affects 200,00 to 1.2million Americans.

My mom got this disease as the result of a cat bite she got at work.
Yes, you read that right. 
A cat bite.
At the time she was working at an Assisted Living Facility back home and they have two cats that they keep for the residents.
My mom was working nights and one night she was cleaning the lobby.
One of the cats came up behind her and laid down.
Not realizing that the cat was behind her, she stood up and stepped backwards.
She stepped on the cat who in turn bit the back of her left ankle.
This was completely in defense and my mom thought nothing of it, especially since she grew up around cats and had been bitten many of times before.
However, by the time she got of work at 6am she could not walk on her left foot at all.
She went to the ER and they just gave her pain medication and crutches.
The ER doctors did not know what was going on.
Within about a week or two her left foot started to turn inwards.
Seeing as this is not normal, she went into the doctor and they gave her this boot thing to wear to try and keep the foot straight.
This was worn for a while, but it eventually got to the point that she couldn't stand to wear it any longer.
My mom was in severe pain and the sensitivity to just about everything was crazy. 
She went to several doctors and it took a while before any of them made the connection to RSDS.
In September 2007 my mom was put in a wheelchair.
She has been in the wheelchair ever since and she will never walk again unless a major miracle happens.

The first couple years were kind of crazy due to the fact that we did not know much about the disease and she did not know how to handle the nonstop pain that accompanies the disease.
It was a very stressful couple of years with everything that was going on.
At 14 I was thrown into the position of being an adult and it was a hard adjustment.
Not to mention an extremely fast one.
I watched my mom go through a lot and got used to knowing which medication she needed when and what days she went to which doctors or therapy sessions.
It became pretty much the central focus of life.

I watched as my mom came extremely close to dying several times as a result of different treatments that were being tried.
I remember the 2am ER trips via ambulance because the disease was acting up.
I remember the port being put in so she could get medicine more easily injected when she went to the hospital. The numerous days that she was in pain because of it.
I remember the port being taken out and the week or so of pain that came from that.
I remember so many of these things.

I wish I could go on and in more detail, but I do mot want to bore anyone.
I am more than willing to share more if you contact me.
I will probably share more in the future without a doubt since it is a major part of my life.
But I am going to leave it at this for tonight.
Like I said, if you want to feel free to contact with me questions.
I will willingly answer them if I know or do my best to get an answer for you.

God has brought my mom, my sisters, and I through this for almost 5yrs now.
I have no doubt that He will continue to lead us and provide for us in the coming years.
We only go this far because of Him.
God is good!!

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