Push On

A little over seven months ago I hopped onto a hard narrow table as I listened to the methodical beeps of a heart monitor and I nervously fell asleep for a time unknown. I woke up very dazed and  with a cut in my leg about eight inches long, two titanium screws in my femur, and a refurnished hip socket. I went through this odd process of giving someone permission to cut open my body and take away and add things as needed so I could be free of pain that was crippling my ability as an athlete and slowly taking my identity. I knew that I had to make this decision to fix my hip immediately, but that did not make it easy.

Months before the surgery I went through Physical Therapy hoping surgery wasn't an option. It didn't work. I took a cortisone shot that helped it almost immediately. Good news right? Nope, if the cortisone took a few weeks to help then I would continue that process and PT, because it helped immediately it meant my joint had an issue. The MRI confirmed that I needed  hip surgery. For a month I continued my life normally and I tried to avoid things that hurt, which was pretty hard when it is summer and all I wanted was to do things with my healthy friends.

After surgery, I spent the most uncomfortable night of my life in a bed with a tube in my leg, not to mention being woken up every couple hours to take pain meds. The next morning I had the nerve block taken out of my leg, passed the crutch test, and left the hospital. I was incredibly nervous just getting in the car. I had no idea how I was going to be able to follow all my precautions and not hurt myself again. The first couple months of recovery were awful, I had no idea how much you could actually miss being active. I began to hate lying in bed all day, having my parents help me with everything, and feeling so helpless. Then I went to a football practice to see my teammates and let the coaches know how I was doing, this was an awful idea, because I remembered how much I missed being out in the hot sun with my brothers fighting for each other and trying to be the best we could be. I began to really hate being so helpless and inactive. Then the two months of crutching began and I really did not believe that I was going to make it without a mental breakdown.

After a few months of feeling weak and dependent on other people, I took my first steps and felt nothing but joy. When I got home all I wanted to do was walk around and show people what I could do. But something was still off. I didn't feel like myself. I was still kind of depressed because I felt like I wasn't me. Then I started to work more on my drawings and on how I can try to connect more with God. I never blamed God about my misfortune or asked him "why?" but for some reason I felt disconnected and I felt like we were growing apart because all I cared about was getting better. But because I was struggling I could try to find ways to connect with God more and ways I could see him in the world. Every single PT exercise I did I tried to find a meaning behind it. Every milestone I tried to see God at the next one ahead of me and chase it as boldly as I could.

I got to the point where I could run and I could not be happier. I felt like I was finally on the right path and I started to kind of lose sight of God at the next milestone. I went back to not working as hard and focusing more on other people and less important things. Then when my PT told me what I needed to do before I could be cleared, I felt like I would never be ready. At that moment it was almost like I heard God say "You're not there yet, keep on pushing." And that is what I have done for the past couple months. I've been pushing and working hard trying to get back to the point where I was before my injury. Today I take the test that determines if that work was worth anything and gives me the permission to regain a part of my identity. I can see God at the next milestone, reaching out ready to grab my hand and congratulate me and push me on my way to the next moment of my life.

I pray for everyone and their health and I pray that no matter what ailment they are struggling with, physical or emotional, God will be there telling you "You're not there yet, keep on pushing." 

Brooks R. Jacobs

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