africa

Gaining Strength {Stronger: Word of the Year}

In October, on Halloween, I had a little accident, involving me tripping and falling. A normal occurrence for me, but that day it was a little different. I ended up breaking my arm, badly enough that it needed surgery. Mind you, I was living abroad in South Africa at the time, so all this was happening in a strange place.

A few weeks later, Peace Corps decided to send me home. The end of my supposed-to-be-three-years living in Africa. Abruptly ending.

This decision was made with the idea that I could receive better treatment (PT) in the states than I could in South Africa. I had also been recently diagnosed with a neurological condition called Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT). Having nothing to do with teeth, CMT affects the peripheral nerves, resulting in loss of strength, sensation, and coordination. It was determined that CMT caused my fall through decreased strength in my feet and legs, and Peace Corps felt I could literally be in danger of another serious accident if I remained in my village.

This was all hard news to swallow, but after a visit to a neurologist and getting leg braces fitted at an orthotist, I started focusing on my arm and shoulder.

It was time to regain strength.

Stronger is my word of the year, stemming from a desire to strengthen my body after this accident, and continuing to strengthen my relationship with the Lord and my trust in Him.

stronger

I’ve been going to physical therapy since November, which has been a frustrating and painful experience. It’s been a more difficult recovery than I had after my knee surgery a few years back. Gaining back mobility, let alone strength, has been very difficult.

But things started changing last week, dramatically so. I now have MUCH more mobility, praise the Lord. It was enough that my physical therapist did a literal happy dance. 🙂

Now it’s time to focus on gaining strength. My body is now able to handle it, and I pray the Lord helps me stay dedicated.

-Jen

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