Wednesday, November 23, 2011

I'm Grateful

I have a lot to be grateful for. I am truly blessed.

I love my family. They are so amazing and are always there for me. I can count on them to comfort me, to laugh with me, and to accept me. Each member has special gifts and talents that add to the richness of our relationships. It's a beautiful thing.

I am grateful for all the experiences that have led me to where I am today—including the trials that test my most innate abilities. I'm grateful for the education I have and all the opportunities that came with it and the ones that are going to come because of it. I'm grateful that overall my health is good. I'm so happy that my knee surgery went well, and I am in recovery.

I'm grateful for good friends who enrich my life—those friends that truly know me and love me. They are the friends that know my quirks, and I know theirs. They are the friends I can laugh with about all our crazy memories. I'm grateful that no matter how far apart or how long we've been apart, we still let each other know that we care. And when we are reunited, we pick up right where we left off, like we've never been apart.

I know that all of these blessings would not be possible without my Father in Heaven. And for Him, I am grateful. I am grateful that He loves me. I am grateful that He consistently shows me He has a specific plan for me and is guiding me. His tender mercies are endless and perfectly tailored to my needs. It amazes me. I'm grateful that He sent His son to die for you and me. And I'm grateful that Christ was selfless and loving. He sacrificed His life to be obedient and to show His love for His Father and for His Father's children. Without that sacrifice, I would not be able to return into my Heavenly Father's presence.

I do my best to be this positive and grateful year round, but today, I am especially mindful of all I have been given.

Happy Thanksgiving.


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

New Perspectives

I started 2011 feeling completely independent. I'm ending 2011 completely dependent. Life is funny that way.

Remember my post about dislocating my knee cap? Last Thursday, I had surgery to hopefully fix that. My surgeon performed a medial patellofemoral ligament (MPFL) reconstruction, which will take about six weeks for initial recovery and six months for full recovery.

I was a little anxious during the days before the surgery, and my emotions went wacko. I guess underneath it all, I wanted to know that my sacrifices to get this surgery would be worth it. This desire was manifested in the little things when I got upset when situations didn't turn out the way I wanted. My desire and need to control knew it was facing a hiatus and overreacted. These were the last few days where I had some control over where I could go and what I could do. I knew that after surgery, I was going to be confined to the house and the doctor's office. But the night before surgery, I got a blessing from my dad and a good friend. For those that don't know what I mean by a "blessing," it's a special prayer for comfort and healing. I'm so grateful for that because it gave me a feeling of peace.

Next thing I know, I'm lying in Bed 4 in my blue hospital gown. I'm grateful that my mom was beside me up until they wheeled me away to the operating room. I remember being asked to slide from the gurney onto the operating table. I also remember looking up from the table and seeing several doctors pace the room, shouting off checklists. Kind of like I was watching a medical television show while drifting off to sleep, but this time, I was the guest star.

"OK, you can wake up now," was the next thing I remember. I was in the recovery room and everything was fuzzy. During the two and a half hours I was under the knife, I had an arthroscopy to map out the damage and to see if there was any scar tissue that needed to be removed. The rest of the procedure was open-knee surgery where my doctor took cadaver hamstring from "the freezer," drilled it into my knee cap and attached it to a different ligament in my inner-knee. I try not to think about it too much, because if I do, I get really grossed out.

I've spent the past several days in an electric chair with my leg elevated and iced. I've also been on Percocet, so please forgive any errors or incoherency in this post. It can be really painful to move my leg or get up, even without putting any pressure on it. When I try and get up, it feels like the inside of my knee is on fire and gravity is working extra hard to pull all those innards down.

Because of the pain and my restrictions, I've been relying on the selfless service of my surrounding family. I'm grateful for the company of my grandma and for her doing the things that she can to make sure I have what I need. I'm grateful for my grandpa making sure I am comfortable and bringing me treats from Trader Joe's. I'm grateful for my mom and her attention, which she gave selflessly as she sacrificed a few nights of good sleep to be by my side as I awoke every hour or two throughout the night. I'm grateful for my dad and his willingness to come to my aid and to play games with me to keep me entertained. I'm grateful for my sisters, who also play games with me, and whose presence is the highlight of my day. I'm also grateful for an aunt, uncle and cousin who wanted to come down and visit me, but unfortunately got sick.

I love you all. Your examples are wonderful and have helped give me a different perspective on service. To truly receive service, you have to set aside your ego and pride in order to see the love behind it. To give service is noble and worthy, to receive service is eye-opening and heart-warming.