Keep on Trucking

Tuesday morning, I woke up to this drive to my Doctor appointment:


I recently fell down our back steps (again) and injured my ankle (again).  I needed to get to the Doctor for my checkup (and we all know how easy it is to reschedule with Doctors).

I was terrified during my first few minutes of driving – the visibility was horrible (worse than in the picture) and, in some places, I could hardly make out where the road was.  There were also large drifts of blown snow every once in a while that my little car was not well equipped to handle.  I just kept searching for tire tracks to help guide me to approximately where I needed to steer … looking for some sort of idea of where the road was and where I needed to follow.  And, I was praying – hard.  No music, just praying, “we can do this, Lord”.  Sometimes I could only see a few feet in front  of me, but I knew that after I made it past those few feet, I would be able to tackle the next few feet ahead, once those feet came into view.

This drive really got me thinking – navigating life after a diagnosis of any kind is much like driving in scary, treacherous, unknown conditions.  You barely know where you are supposed to be on the road, you try desperately to find any beacon to follow, and you have to concentrate COMPLETELY on the task of navigating the road ahead.  When you first get a diagnosis for your child, be it Scoliosis or another type of illness, the first few miles of the road are terrifying.  But, once you get your wits about you and get a little used to navigating the road, somehow it seems to get a bit easier.  The weather hasn’t changed, but you get better at navigating the road in the poor conditions that you’ve been placed in.  You can only see one day or one week in the distance, so you get through those days, knowing that you will just have to keep tackling and plowing through the days that follow, no matter what lies on your path.  Every problem must be driven through until you reach your destination.

The other interesting thing is that, after a few miles, you get more confident – you start to pick up tricks and tips to help you along the way (Where were those tire tracks again?).  You might follow a vehicle that is in front of you, or you might have to forge your own tracks, but, either way, after the miles start to pass, something miraculous happens – your fingers start to loosen their death grip on the steering wheel bit by bit.

On my drive home, I was so surprised how much easier it was coming back than going.  I was much more relaxed and confident that I would be able to handle what would come my way.  As you navigate the treacherous path of illness for yourself (or a child), remember a few things:

  1. Take it slow in the beginning.  Get your bearings and assess the situation.  Find the tools you need to get further down the road
  2. Come up with a route that is best for your situation. And, if you get part way there and find that it’s too treacherous to pass, turn around and take an alternate route.
  3. Pray for peace and guidance as you go.
  4. Remember that the road is long, that you can only tackle what you can see right in front of you.  But, eventually, as your confidence rises, you will be more comfortable navigating the rough roads.