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Earplugs + Sunglasses + Wheelchair = Ready to Go!

Hi everyone! Sorry for the Little Mermaid reference, but it’s very apropos. Going out is officially a rare, award-winning production. We’ve alluded to my homebound status in a few posts, and yesterday morning was an excellent example of just how much work goes into staying safe for a brief outing. I hope this step-by-step outline will prove both insightful and entertaining. 😉

Goal of mission: make it to and from church without having a seizure. I haven’t been able to attend church since early November.

  1. Noise-canceling earplugs, sunglasses, and travel wheelchair must all be in place BEFORE venturing out the door.
  2. Ivan brings the car to the complex’s loading zone so I don’t have to go in the parking garage (one time a combination of back-up lights and beeping triggered six back-to-back seizures plus an ER outing).
  3. We drive to church. I keep my “accessories” in place and look at my feet the whole time. It’s a foggy day, and sometimes headlights can trigger a seizure even through my protective sunglasses.
  4. WE MAKE IT TO CHURCH SEIZURE-FREE! I stay in the travel chair and keep my earplugs in and eyes on the floor (the powerpoint has triggered seizures before, too). We listen to most of the sermon (~25 min), but skip the music part and leave early to avoid noise and light triggers.
  5. Repeat the driving drill to get home.
  6. Ivan leaves the car in the loading zone to get me safely indoors, then parks in the garage.
  7. Once inside I can FINALLY ditch my earplugs and sunglasses and give thanks for a safe outing,

It’s ironic that although my brain injury is healing steadily, epilepsy introduces a whole new set of hazards to venturing past my apartment door. We were all caught off guard by the rapid development of this new condition…and even more shocked at how sensitive I’ve become to triggers that are unavoidable in daily life. Because the seizure electricity comes from the stroke area of my brain, I lose the ability to walk for about 3 hours after a seizure. This makes the travel chair a necessary safeguard for rare times I do venture outside.  The earplugs  are a lifesaver and the sunglasses make a measurable difference, but there are some triggers that are even stronger than they are. Although home is not 100% trigger-free, it’s a whole lot safer than going out. HOWEVER…as bleak as this all sounds, this post is not intended to be a “downer.” My goal is to give you all a micro peak  into the everyday side of life right now since most of our posts target macro developments. The good news is we are working actively with doctors to find a medication that is a good fit for my condition, and everyone is optimistic we can get there.  It would be great to have a fast-forward button on life and skip ahead to the nice part where I function normally again. But God gave us waiting periods for a reason, and we have to trust that. In addition to practicing patience we can find things to give thanks for – and laugh about – every day. “Laughter is the best medicine” is over-used because it’s true. I found the drama surrounding our church expedition yesterday morning quite funny, and I hope you can laugh with me about it too!

9 thoughts on “I wanna be where the people are!

  1. God Bless you Grace, Please Lord heal Grace, put her under your wings, let her fly again like a bird, let her be free of these Awful seizers. I ask if it is your will lord to heal my sister Grace, only you lord can do this, in Jesus name Amen

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  2. You may want to check for Cocoons sunglasses at either Kaiser or Bass Pro Shops. They make “fit-over” sunglasses which wrap around regular eyeglasses and come in multiple sizes. They cut the light and glare from all sides and might work nicely for you. Cost is about $40 and I can tell you that mine are worth every penny.

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  3. Your endurance and faith are so amazing. I love reading your blog and see how God is leading you in each step. We just wish those steps were bigger and faster but God knows what He has for your future.

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  4. #4 could be hilarious. Think of all the churches that manufacture triggers constantly! Praying for Gods continued protection for you both. Praying that as the healing continues you might become immune to the triggers, like both things could related, like taking a splinter out. In quietness and confidence shall be your strength is your message to me today.

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  5. Your journey even tho really tough is truly an inspiration. You both are walking with grace showing us it is ok to get frustrated yet have hope while God leads us through circumstances. Thank you for sharing.

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  6. Dear Grace,

    I so appreciate this post about what it takes to be able to go to church these days! One morning at church, I saw you and Ivan pass in front of my car on your way in. It was all I could do to not run up and give you a hug! I felt like I was seeing a movie star (it helps that you look like one)! Since we haven’t met in person, that would’ve been even more of a trigger. Instead, I gave Ivan a thumbs up and prayed right away for your morning of worship and teaching. Thank you both for your courage and your strength that comes from the Lord. May he give you grace for every step.

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