life on life's terms

it has taken me four days to write this. i guess i am still processing and sorting things out in my head so instead of trying to make it a perfect blog post, i am just going to write my heart. maybe i will be back later to check out grammar and style, but for now, i just need to let you know what is going on.

during my attendance at AA meetings, i have discovered that i have many character defects (oh, don't act surprised...) and am doing my best to work them out in fear in trembling with God, my sponsor, and some really close friends i have acquired along the way. i have been doing well so far in dealing with the challenges of life without wanting to have a drink to numb whatever-that-feeling-is away.

until this week.

my now 15 year-old daughter and i went to see an orthopedic specialist from duPont, who maintains a satellite office in southern new jersey because she didn't fare well in her scoliosis screening during the last week of school. we took her to her pediatrician who then recommended this specialist and our appointment was on thursday.

we had been on molly for some time about her posture (over the last year, it was looking a bit worse) and when these visits were recommended, we thought there may be some merit to looking into it. quite frankly, i thought perhaps a brace would be sufficient.

upon meeting with Dr. Holden and looking at molly's x-rays, it was determined that she did, in fact, have scoliosis (which disorder starts to appear in teens as they begin puberty) and that a brace would not suffice as she was moderate to severe.

she recommended spinal surgery and she suggested we go see her surgical partner in Delaware who performs these surgeries all the time and goes around the country lecturing.

let me say that again: spinal surgery.

the balance of what she said was basically a blur as i couldn't believe my ears, but my eyes knew how to react and tears sprang to them hot and fast before they welled their way over my lower lid and slid down my cheeks. my daughter was flabbergasted -- not that she was just told she would need major surgery, but that i was crying!! (you gotta love teenagers)

they were trying to reach the surgeon's scheduling assistant for molly's initial consultation, and since he is away until july 16th, they were having a difficult time getting her in "right away." i have since found out she will be seen on july 17th, so we get to meet him right away, under their terms. her surgery may not be for another 4 to 5 months. that is a long time for me to be in freak-out mode.

this is heavy stuff and my first thought after "she has to have spinal surgery???", noble as i am, was "omg, how am i not going to drink through this?" and that was followed with "...or have a cigarette???" as much as i am worried about my daughter, i am worried about myself because this isn't a root canal. my daughter, however, in her 15 year-old wisdom, has told me she will not worry about until it is time to worry about it.

ah, to be 15 again.

so here i sit, slogging through the initial feelings and emotions, keeping in close contact with my friends and my sponsor. wendy gave me the perfect advice: keep my world "close." keep things close and centered. enjoy the summer. recognize that God is all over this, and since this is "life on life's terms," it is one of those circumstances in which we don't pick up a drink. and that while all the rhetoric of Alcoholics Anonymous comes in quite handy, i am to know deep down that God not only has things in control, He is the One who will keep me sober. His grace abounds and His timing is perfect.

(God, i hope so.)

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