A season of rest.  It has such a carefree ring to it, doesn’t it?  A time to relax and refresh.  Ahh.  Who could complain about that?

Well, apparently, I could.  A pain in my neck (a real one!) has been severely cramping my style lately. I tried my usual approach with new aches and pain –ignore it and hope it goes away on its own. Not surprisingly, that was unsuccessful.

After about 10 days of seeing the chiropractor, who suggested plenty of Rest, and enduring hours of ice packs, I finally went to the doctor. She prescribed Rest and high doses of ibuprofen for 5 days.  My idea of resting was to work with one hand while holding the ice pack on my neck with the other.  After the 5th day without any relief, I was reaching whining levels, so Doc upped the ante to a 6-day tapered dose of Prednisone. This was right about the time my aunt passed away and I needed to make an 8 hour drive to/from Portland for her service.  Flying the next day to Alaska didn’t exactly help my situation either.  Our seats were directly behind the emergency exit and didn’t even recline.relax

The excitement of the trip sustained me until the second night when I deteriorated.  Doc called in a prescription to a pharmacy in “how do you spell that?”, Alaska but my genious insurance company decided I hadn’t suffered through enough alternatives to approve this pain medication.  Mom had some leftover meds from various ailments and I eagerly downed them.  (Phooey on all the warnings about taking other people’s medications!)  Time was short before leaving, and being newly drugged, I didn’t want to ‘waste’ it on Resting.  Off we went to explore, watch Iditarod, and play fairy dress up!

My chair reclined on the flight home so I finally Rested on the plane.  Within an hour of landing at Sea-Tac though, I was on the MRI table.  The pain erased any hint of feeling claustrophobic.  I was instructed to lay there and not move, but I didn’t count this as Resting.

The results confirmed a herniated disk.  Doc recommended Physical Therapy and Rest.  I went to my first PT appointment and she said “You need to Rest!”

My husband had shoulder replacement surgery last summer and took 3 months off work to recover.  I scolded him every time he lifted a finger.  I knew it was important (and okay) for him to Rest.  He reminded me I was using a double standard and gently suggested it was my turn to Rest.  Sigh.

In order to ‘allow’ myself the luxury of restingI bribed myself with a pile of books. 

reading couch

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Oh, this did work wonders!  Once I got started, I just couldn’t stop.  I eagerly devoured my book pile!  After four days mostly spent on the couch actually resting, I began to feel better.  My reading list included the following:

Tender Graces by Kathryn Magendie – A wonderful (and in my case, timely) novel about discovering who we are when we find our way home.  Very moving and touching.

Two Hearts by Linda Hoye – A fantastic memoir detailing the unique journey of an adoptee, yet easily relatable in many ways.  Linda’s story will stick with me for many years.

These Things Hidden by Heather Gudenkauf An incredible story that you will never guess the ending. Family, grief, sacrifice, and love.

Hidden in Dreams by Davis Bunn -A well-written Christian psychological-suspense novel.

Touching the Void by Joe Simpson -A true story of survival in the climbing world.  I haven’t finished it yet, I’m having trouble with the terminology, but am hanging in there because critics praise the incredible relational healing between two climbing friends after a horrific accident.

The Paris Wife by Paula McLain I’m on the last chapter listening in the car on CD.  It’s a novel about Ernest Hemingway’s first marriage.  Very interesting, but a little slow.

Now that I’m up and about again, I’m thinking a Season of Rest wasn’t so bad after all!  Hopefully I won’t wait for a herniated disk for the next season!

How about you?  What does a Season of Rest look like for you?

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