Monday, May 18, 2015

Seeing the Lord's Hand: Ryan's Back

I listened to the talk "O Remember, Remember" by Elder Eyring a few months ago. In the talk, he tells of how he kept a daily journal of how he saw the Lord's hand in his life or in the life of his children that day. When his children were grown, he gave them a copy of the journal. After I listened to the talk, I sat down and wrote ways I'd seen the Lord's hand in my life that day, and resolved to do better at recognizing the Lord's hand. I haven't exactly done that. At all. But I want to start to do it and hopefully to record on this blog some of the blessings I see.

The other day I was kind of randomly thinking about Ryan's back injury. When we were both in college and before we had any kids, Ryan and I were both servers at Sizzler. It was a very physical job and honestly one of my least favorite jobs, ever, but it paid the bills and helped us make our way through our undergrads debt-free. One day, Ryan and I were moving all the furniture around in our tiny house. Ryan ended up moving the mattress by himself--why wasn't I helping? I don't remember. In the process, he hurt his back. Badly.

Ryan couldn't walk. Literally. The next morning he woke up in so much pain he was crying. I had never seen Ryan crying from pain before (I had seen him crying because we watched the movie Rudy)--so I knew it must be bad. We called one of his mission buddies (Trejo), who came over and gave him a blessing. The blessing did promise that he would be healed. Later that afternoon, another friend (Bryan Baker) came to drive us over to quick care, where they gave Ryan a muscle relaxing shot. I don't think it helped.

The next few weeks were awful. Ryan couldn't go to work. Ryan couldn't even go to school because he couldn't walk or sit upright. He also couldn't lay flat. He basically lived on our couch in a half-reclined position, because that's the only way he could kind of be okay. He used our rolling chair to sit in to roll between the couch and the bathroom. And beside that, he was stuck. We only had a stick shift car at the time, which I couldn't drive, so I had to rely on friends and coworkers to get me to and from work. After more time than we had hoped for passed, Ryan had to drop all his classes past the drop deadline, which is the point where you can't get a refund for tuition any more. I had health insurance through BYU, but at that time Ryan had no coverage--so any medical help we got come straight out of our pocket.

Throughout it all, though, we were so blessed. Here's how:

+ I made more in tips during that time period than EVER before--and ever after. What could have been a disaster for us financially was fine.
+ I was able to talk to the dean of Ryan's college, who gave us a full tuition refund for the semester
+ We lived close enough to campus and to the creamery that I could walk to and from school and to and from the grocery store.
+ We didn't live close enough to work for me to walk there--but SO many different people offered me rides. It was amazing.
+ Our friends supported us with blessings and prayers and our ward supported us with blessings, prayers, and bringing the sacrament to Ryan.
+ We were able to realize that it was not okay for Ryan to be without health insurance with a health scare that, ultimately, wasn't nearly as expensive as something else could have been. We added him to my BYU health plan very soon thereafter.

Then, after I truly can't remember how long a period of time, Ryan's back was healed. I remember that he woke me up one night to tell me that he had just WALKED to the bathroom--with the help of our rolling chair as a cane of sorts. We both were just bawling because we were so relieved and grateful.  Eventually, he was able to walk without the chair and return to work and to school the next semester. I think his big toe is actually still partially numb as a very long lingering effect, but other than that, he's fine. 

It's amazing to me to see blessings I've been given when I actually look back and try to see them. Too often, I get too busy to ponder and I wonder how many blessings I've missed. Hopefully, I'll be better at recording the blessings we receive and, in turn, noticing the blessings we have. 

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