17 different women, 36 crazy children, 0 babies in utero
Adventures, Advice and Questions from a group of Mormon women who met in Queens, NY and have now scattered all over the place.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Just me.

I am not terminally ill. I do not have a disability. I have nothing chronic. I embrace life and I try to eat healthy and exercise and though I always think I could be doing more, when I look around, I realize that compared to the average American, I am doing pretty good with my health and lifestyle. In fact, I might be the BEST at this (just kidding...that was sarcasm for Carrie).

I have noticed however that I have had a couple of setbacks to overcome in my short life. In junior high school I had pneumonia twice. I was diagnosed with a long list of allergies, which continue to afflict me and my list continues to grow. In college I got mono with a twist of hepatitis, and then I did pretty good until about 4 years later when I had me some viral meningitis. I have also battled depression a few times, the most recent bout being in 2006. The latest health setback was a grand mal seizure which resulted in a head concussion. I sometimes wonder why every handful of years I have to do this again, like what am I missing here?...but it turns out I have learned a thing or two.

To be a bit general about it, past lessons have included:

pneumonia/allergies: I am a singer and I need this health challenge to keep me humble and grounded and dependent on the Lord for my best health and best voice.

mono: a challenge to teach me how to set goals and achieve them. My to-do list after taking 2 weeks off of an already over-extended schedule, was so long. I learned how to take baby steps to a goal and the academic and organizational lessons I learned in those two weeks benefitted me throughout the next 2 years of college, and inevitably enabled me to finish a 4-year degree in 3 years.

meningitis: this experience taught me about family and friendship. My friends helped me so much and supported my family and me. I realized how close to death I could have been. I felt so blessed that I didn’t go deaf, lose my eye sight, that my heart didn’t stop. I think this energized me and gave me unlimited motivation to go, go and go some more...once I was healthy that is. I also gained a strong testimony of the power of prayer and fasting. I was unable to do that for myself, but countless people were including me in their prayers and their fasts and I felt the healing power of that.

And now I am here writing after a month of soul-searching after this life-stopping event. I have had to go to that place of everything being stripped away. What if I no longer have control over what my body could do at any given moment? This will limit my abilities to go places, raise my children, do my job, my calling, live my life. I know that with the right medicine everything that I felt was taken away by the one event, will be returned to me. And in the end, after I have had all the tests and gotten all the answers, I may realize that I am just the same as the day before I had the seizure. I will not have a seizure disorder, I will never have a seizure again, I will be back in control of everything in my life, won’t be on medication and it will be like it never happened.

Only it did happen. My plan for 2008 was to have a baby. I was going to get in as much work as I could before my physicality limited me. I was even planning on having a newborn during that time of the year where I have the fewest jobs and auditions. I was a little planner and I was going to continue with the fast pace that I have been on for quite a while. Then everything came to a stop and I realized that though I do pray and give the man upstairs a lot of credit for the blessings in my life, He is the one in control. He has given me the experiences and comforts and safeguards that allow me to learn these lessons and move on. He has prompted me to do the soul searching that is necessary for me to recover from this.

If I hadn’t taken quite some time to think about what it means to have another baby (prior to making the decision to try for one), I never would have been ok with possibly/probably giving up a portion of my career, sacrificing time with my other kids and spouse, and time for myself. The loss that the seizure potentially meant for me, would have been much more devastating if I hadn’t already decided to give much of it up for a third child.

But I have been given comfort that I am not my career. I am not my list of jobs. I am not my children’s mother, I am not my husband’s wife, I am not a role that I play and I am also not a seizure. I am just me. Even if it is all stripped away....I am still worth something and I am me. So, with or without a seizure disorder, with or without children or more children, with or without another job to my name or another exciting story or another blog to write, I can go on with joy in my heart because I am not my stuff...I am just me. And I am so grateful to have learned that.


  • Save this post forever. That was beautiful.
    posted by Blogger Linz at 4/15/2008 05:56:00 PM  

  • thanks for a great thought :)
    posted by Anonymous cchrissyy at 4/15/2008 06:34:00 PM  

  • I'm just finishing up my BA, getting married this summer and heading off to law school. I've been having seizures with increasing frequency and severity for the past year. And they terrify me. I'm not sure how I can be a good wife, student, lawyer, or even person when at any moment every part of me can be so completely out of my control. Thank you for reminding me that through it all I am still me. Regardless of what happens with the seizures, or my fiance, or school or career or all those things that seem so important and I'm so scared of losing, I can never lose me. And that is worth a lot.
    posted by Blogger Genavee at 4/15/2008 08:34:00 PM  

  • I loved the last paragraph, Kage.
    posted by Blogger Reluctant Nomad at 4/16/2008 12:11:00 AM  

  • Beautifully written. It continues to amaze me how these challenges work for our ultimate good. I love the idea you present: "I am me", that's hard to remember sometimes...thanks for the reminder.
    posted by Blogger Mother of the Wild Boys at 4/16/2008 08:52:00 AM  

  • Very touching. It's so amazing that you can point out blessings and lessons that have come from your difficult trials. Thanks so much for sharing. Like the movie "Dan in Real Life", I have realized that we should just "plan to be surprised"...

    Kage, you need to write a book someday!!
    posted by Blogger LJ at 4/16/2008 12:14:00 PM  

  • Very nicely written. It is so nice to read something in blogland that is so well done & has been given a lot of thought. I have found that the trials in my life have always brought me back to my relationship with Heavenly Father. The silver lining has always been hard for me to find & keep my eye on. I'm glad you have found your silver lining!
    posted by Blogger Jenn at 4/16/2008 01:32:00 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.
    posted by Blogger sales at 4/16/2008 02:06:00 PM  

  • This is an amazing perspective on life. :)
    posted by Blogger Beth at 4/16/2008 02:07:00 PM  

  • One of the things I have always loved and admired about you is your ability to be productively introspective. Thanks for sharing this life lesson that we all need to be reminded of.

    You are the best :).
    posted by Blogger TftCarrie at 4/16/2008 02:10:00 PM  

  • Well done, Kage :)
    posted by Blogger Chloe at 4/16/2008 05:09:00 PM  

  • I want to frame that last paragraph. Wonderful. thank you.
    posted by Anonymous m&m at 4/22/2008 11:26:00 AM  

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