Your Story

Today’s a new day day! Don’t let the world tell you suffering is the end of your story. Your suffering could be the start of a beautiful miracle. ~OC

Be Smart, But Don’t Live In Fear

In an earlier post concerning the coronavirus, I shared I would not live in fear. That I would continue to live life. Several people reached out to me, sharing their concerns about my post. I want to ensure everyone that I am taking this crisis seriously. I will not knowingly put myself in danger. I will take the appropriate precautions as needed. I will stay updated on all the latest news. If I wake up with a fever or feel under the weather, I will stay home and check with my doctors. With that said, I will attend church this weekend if the doors are open. I will hang with friends if the opportunity presents itself.

I encourage everyone to make the best decisions for you and your family. If you are not feeling well, stay home. If you feel like you might have been exposed to the coronavirus, reach out to your doctor. Stay informed. Just don’t live in fear. ~OC

Not Living In Fear

All the major sports have closed down. Disney World has closed its gates. Universities and and Colleges are moving everything online. I wonder if movie theaters and malls will begin to close their doors? Will places of worship decide to close their doors? These are the questions we are asking ourselves as we walk through this season.

I understand the concern. We all need to make sure we are taking the proper precautions. But I for one, am not going to allow this virus from keeping me from living life. I am going to continue hanging out with friends. I am going to continue attending church. I am going to the movies, if there is something worth seeing. I will take precautions if needed. The thing I will not do is live in Fear. I did not live in fear during my 17.5 year crazy beautiful health journey. So, I will not live in fear as we face the coronavirus. I will live smart, but not in fear. ~OC

Ten Years In the Making

In March 2009, I ran my last 5k. A few weeks later, I was told I only had 24 hours to live. For the next ten years, I would be fighting for my life. On November 3, 2019, I experienced an incredible miracle healing from God. This morning, I completed my first competitive 5k in over 10 years. The Miracle continues. ~OC

How To Help

During my 17 year crazy beautiful health journey, I was often asked how people could help Laura and I. Here are a few suggestions:

Stay in Contact: Nothing brightens a patient’s day more than hearing from friends. It could be a phone call, visit or a simple text. Even when I could not eat or drink, I loved the interaction with friends. So never be afraid to call that loved one or friend. Also the doctors have shared keeping a person’s mind active is very important. So, when you are thinking about someone, take that opportunity to reach out to them. Do not miss out on a beautiful memory.

Remember to Check On The Caregiver: The caregiver can get lost during the journey. As my caregiver, Laura had the toughest job. Working full-time and taking care of me could be overwhelming. And remember, she did this for over 17 years. So, make sure you are asking about the caregivers physical, mental and emotional well-being. One of my main concerns during my journey, was that Laura take care of herself and enjoy life. A caregiver can always use a night out.

Don’t Start a Pity Party: Dealing with health issues is tough enough. At times people want to go crawl in a hole and isolate. Don’t let them do it. Offer some words of encouragement. Get them out of the house. Go make some memories. My journey was a tough one, but so many people had it tougher than me. Remember, a lady gave birth in a tree. True story!

Just listen: Sometimes hurting people just need someone to listen. Not to fix. Not to have all the answers. Just listening is a beautiful gift.

Be Flexible: The one thing about illness is everyday is different. My health issues bought new challenges each day. Sometimes each hour. So be flexible when dealing with a family member or friend struggling with health issues.

Learn About the Illness: Some people are dealing with illnesses we have never heard of, but asking questions and maybe a quick Google search can help. This can help you better support that loved one. Just don’t believe everything you read online.

Be Available: People dealing with health issues face different challenges. So be available to help when possible. That help could come in the form of bringing someone meals, sitting with someone during their treatment, visiting them in the hospital or transportation. For years, I could not drive based on my health issues. So, having rides to my appointments were important. I am thankful for my team of drivers during my journey. Getting out of the house and enjoying live is so important.

The Long Haul: Be there for your family and friends. Did I ever think my journey would last 17 years? No way! But what I learned was that some friends put an expiration date on how long they could endure my new normal. Having friends that have stuck it out and supported me has been a true blessing.

Acceptance: Stop comparing who someone was before they got sick, to the person they are now. Simply accept that who someone was and who they are now has changed. So when that family member or friend has a life changing experience, embrace the new them.

I hope this helps. There is really not a blueprint for this stuff. So don’t beat yourself up, if you say or do the wrong thing. The most important thing you can do is be present and engaged. ~OC

Miracle Mile

The last time I ran was in March 2009. Shortly after that my body started shutting down. For the last ten years, I have basically been fighting for my life. The dream of running again was just that. A dream. The mind was willing, but the body was not.

Then on November 3, 2019, I experienced a beautiful miracle. During a prayer and healing service, several people prayed over me. I instantly felt my body was being healed. Being Restored. I was able to eat and speak again. Could I possibly run again? Could that dream become reality.

Yesterday 11/30/19, I went to the store to buy a new pair of running shoes. I wanted to see if this dream could become reality. Later that day, I decided the time had come. I needed to see if I could truly run again. Below is the video of my first run in over ten years. God is still the God of miracles. Never give up praying and believing. ~OC

www.facebook.com/toddeshoemaker/videos/10221424108098704

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