April 23, 2020: Everyone has their own feelings- for sure. And certainly your past experiences help shape how you feel about the present, whether positive or negative or changing by the minute. I was sitting down tonight filling out an affidavit from a Baylor Police detective and this just hit me. I have been on cloud nine ever since my surgery. For sure. I mean, who wouldn't be, after being able to walk up stairs without being short of breath for essentially the first time in 7 years! The difference is incredible! I could not be more grateful.
But life is not all positive. Not at all. In the hospital, I was all by myself. No problem until I had sudden signs of a stroke 24 hours after surgery after one of my lines was flushed, and the nurses standing right there, two of them, did nothing. Can you say, scary?!! Or when the doctor talked to me about one of my phrenic nerves that was seriously impacted by the surgery. It is the only nerve that makes your diaphragm work, which is your breathing muscle. Not sure how long that issue will last, but... Or a week later when I learned my credit card info was stolen. Not sure yet today if it was while I was in the hospital by myself by a staff member going through my purse while I was sleeping, or if it had been done on-line. The police are still investigating. There was a charge made at a Plano, TX establishment right where my surgery was done just 3 days after my surgery, so who knows. Then I received a letter in the mail that personal medical data was stolen from a different hospital record from a visit 3 years earlier due to a hard-drive left in a stolen car. Our vehicle that we had planned to fix now needs complete replacement. My business, while doing quite well, is facing the same future unknown as everyone else's. Tim's job and our income has been impacted as well. Our family had to cancel, for the 4th or 5th time (I've lost track), the Disney trip we have been trying to take for 2 years now as well. We would have been leaving next week. No idea when Disney will even re-open.
We all have a choice in life for sure. And I can tell you that 10 years ago, I might have felt completely different than I do now about each one of those events listed above. But all of my past not-so-great experiences have given me a different perspective as to what is truly important in life. What seems like a critical blow now may not even be remembered in one year. What seems like an impossible problem no doubt in 3 months will not seem nearly as difficult. This is life.
Perhaps that is why the Apostle Paul, when imprisoned with nothing, said things like, "Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:" Phil 1:6. "According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain." Phil 1:20-21."Do all things without murmurings and disputings: That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world." Phil 2:14-15. "Yea, and if I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy, and rejoice with you all. For the same cause also do ye joy, and rejoice with me." Phil 2:17-18. The amazing words just keep going in Chapters 3 and 4 of Philippians- too much to even post here, but definitely worth reading for encouragement!
I was also thinking tonight just how amazing my kids have been. I don't tend to brag on my kids alot, but they have been amazing through all of the challenges our family has faced. They have lost much too just recently- not just my trials but their own too just like everyone else's kids- friends, routines, school, sports, special events, and summer camps. But I am watching and waiting for the melt downs- and there just aren't any. No complaining to report. My kids have also experienced my trials with me, and of course, our Disney trip being canceled, well, all the time. And they just keep learning, and growing, and rolling with the punches. They work on their school work independently and without whining. Their flexibility to adjust to life's changes is inspiring. They need very little support and input, I think because they have learned to problem solve for themselves and be responsible for their own homework, because my trials forced them to in the past. My experiences, our family's experiences have shaped them too, into something better than what they were before. And they know they are capable, and they know that there will be both good and bad in life- to embrace the good, and forget about the bad. They have learned to accept that life brings both, and God gives us the strength we need to overcome.
Bottom line is that we will all get through this, and with this experience gain perspective that these tough times too will soon be gone and find joy in newfound places. And like our grandparents who lived through the Great Depression as kids, we will learn to find joy in the little things that really matter that don't cost a thing, and in the time we spend with those we love. And more trials will come no doubt, but we will get through those too with God's help!
Jill Murphy is a Doctor of Physical Therapy and founder of MotionWorks Physical Therapy and an advocate for patient-centered care. A Christian wife and mother of three, she survived a seven year journey through the broken American healthcare system in search for an answer to a heart arrhythmia that appeared during pregnancy. A stroke, open heart surgery for constrictive pericarditis, and several other surgeries later, Jill is telling her story of unfailing resilience in her upcoming book, Doctor Heal Thyself.
Having grown up on a dairy farm 40 minutes from Lambeau Field, Jill is an avid Green Bay Packers and Wisconsin Badgers fan, and is up for any outdoor activity with her husband Tim and three children, including walking, biking, throwing the football around, hiking in scenic locales, gardening, and coaching a middle school basketball game or two.