|Me and Hyrum at Disneyland with my parents|
Why I Didn't Ask Why
|Me and my sweet prince on his chariot|
My name is Stacia, which means Resurrection or “one who will walk again.” That’s ironic because I’ve been paralyzed twice in my life. At 10-years-old I was diagnosed with Guillain Barre Syndrome, an auto-immune disease where your immune system attacks your nervous system. I was completely paralyzed and weak from head to toe, my lungs collapsed (diaphragm was paralyzed), couldn’t swallow (those muscles didn’t work) and had double vision (eye muscles wouldn’t focus). I spent two months in ICU and two years recovering.
I relapsed at 33 in February 2011. At its worst I had weakness and paralysis in my legs, hands and double vision. I was diagnosed with CIDP (Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy), the chronic form of GBS, meaning this would always be there.
The First Signs
I’d felt gradually weaker during our visit to my parents’ house Christmas 2010 in Texas. At the airport as I got off the escalator on our way home to California, I tripped, falling to my knees as I held our 2-year-old son in my arms. I looked up at my husband in horror and cried, “I can’t feel my legs!” I was terrified to realize I was numb from the waist down. This could not be happening again.
My sweet husband, Layne was left solely to care for me, including bathing and dressing me as well as caring for our son and the house. He even flew in my mother to help that first week. Later after working all day in Long Beach, he would drive to Irvine to pick me up from work, an hour and half round trip. Other family helped as well, but Layne shouldered most of it. I was worried he would hate me for the burden I’d become. When I asked him about it, he confided that his love for me had deepened BECAUSE he’d had to care for me. In turn, I learned that I could trust and love this man even deeper than before.
A Tender Mercy
While still coping with my disability, I was devastated to learn that I’d miscarried our second child at 14 weeks. When I returned to work the next day, a celebrity, Bethany Hamilton, was visiting our corporate office. She was very kind to me, pausing to talk longer than she had the rest. I didn’t even notice that she was missing an arm. Later I learned she was the person the movie, “Soul Surfer,” was based on, a surfer from Hawaii who went on to become a pro surfer after losing her arm in a shark attack. Meeting her that day was a reminder that triumph could come from loss and that my journey wasn’t finished.
After I’d lost my baby, my dad called to check on me. He wondered if I’d asked the Lord why all this was happening. I told him no because asking why wouldn’t change anything. It wouldn’t heal my body and it wouldn’t bring my baby back. I thought asking why would tell the Lord that I didn’t trust Him, that I didn’t feel secure in His care. I trusted Him then and I still do. I know that I have a Father in Heaven who loves me, who has plans for me and who can perform miracles.
A Happier Ending
Two years later as I write this, I am almost entirely better. I still have some limits, but I can do most of the things I could before. The Lord has healed me twice and though a relapse always looms, I know He could heal me again. I have the most beautiful husband and son, and we’re trying for more. Although I was laid off from that job in February 2012, I literally received a job offer the very next day, making more money closer to home. The Lord is always aware of us. He knows our pains and sorrows more acutely than anyone, and no one is better at caring for us than He. Perhaps now I’ll be better at recognizing the enormous blessing our trials really are.