Facing the Giants

       Another battle fought and won respectively during our meeting with the director of the Governor’s Academy of Engineering.  For now, Daniel will stay in the program, because legally they can not remove him from the program for medical reasons. Had his grades been poor last year when he started feeling awful it would have been different, but we proved without a doubt that when he feels well his school work is excellent.  If someone would have told me a year ago that basically I’d be going up against the school system that I work for I would have quivered in my cute little flats.  Not anymore, it’s another day, another battle to fight and another way to advocate for our son whose health has spiraled to the bottom of the pit.

      I casually told a friend at work this past week that I feel like God has taken my whole personality and flipped it completely upside down.  The quiet, private woman I used to be is no where to be found.  Now, I face my giants with grit, determination and blanketed in prayer. This whole journey of trying to restore Daniel’s health has been a battlefield with me right on the front lines.  No, I would not have chosen this path for the obvious transformation God is weaving into my life, but it’s there, right in my face, and I have to deal with it one battle at a time. 

       Who would have guessed I would have to take a “giant” leap of faith out of my comfort zone of taking care of my family and working as a special education teacher?  Oh…it worked so well for over twenty years.  Now that comfort has been crumpled and tossed like a bawled up piece of paper flying in the air to make a basket in the nearest trash can. There are some days it is all I can do to get up and go to work, my energy is spent and I feel like a bathtub that has been drained of all the water.   Like the weary worn soldier who has no choice in the battlefield, I move on. 

     Comfort zones bring such a false sense of security and a peace that you think will last forever.  They also falsely identify what you think you can and can’t do.  Never in a million years, did I think I could fly to Cleveland, rent a car ( for the very first time) and drive in a city totally unknown to me.  Kicking me out of a comfort zone forced me to faced the lies I had told myself and radically destroy them.  Going through two heavy rounds of health insurance denial taught me that persistence and a little nastiness has to be used even when I don’t want to resort to that type of attitude.

     My most recent giant has nothing to do with Daniel at all.  We’re currently battling with the financial aid at Longwood.  Because of medical expenses, we qualify for “hardship circumstances” ( that doesn’t even begin to describe it!).  I have hand-delivered every medical receipt and our tax papers to the financial aid office. Apparently, paper copies are no longer accepted as valid and I had to request an electronic transcript.  So, after three tries of using the web tool the office told me to use, I gave up.  It kept saying that I was ineligible to use the IRS Retrieval Tool.  When I emailed the office to explain the situation, I was told the reason the tool did not work was because we had filed our taxes as “married”. Really? You have got to be kidding me…the “tool” won’t work if you’re MARRIED?  So, ended up having to call the IRS office toll free number, pushing 20 different numbers and finally getting the electronic copies sent to Longwood.  I usually am a very patient person, but pure stupidity gets on my last nerve!

     Now, our newest giant will be another trip to University of Virginia on Monday afternoon to see if there is a possible family pattern or genetic link to Daniel’s illness.  No fear, only weariness and a glimmer of hope that we will finally get to the root cause of his illness.  At our school meeting, one of the school administrators directly asked Daniel, ” Daniel, what do you want from all of this?” His honest response, “I want to feel better.” And, I will face every giant until he does.


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