Saturday, July 26, 2014

Reflections after seven weeks on a sofa...

Part 1- Blessings
  • I have so much to be thankful for. My life, here and later. My constant companion, Jesus. My husband. My family. My friends. My foot's progress.
  • Air-conditioning. Oh my gracious- I cannot imagine this without it. In the early days/weeks, my body temp would go from cold to hot in a second. Freeze, burn up. Repeat. Thank you Lord for a cool home. And limited power outages. Summertime in Coastal Virginia. You never know.
  • Friends who cook. No kidding, the first weeks when I couldn't really be thinking about how to organize food for three men, my friends showed up. With MEALS. Not just easy stuff- I'm talking The Real Deal. New definition of Comfort Food.
  • Modern. Day. Medicine. Nerve blocks, pain medication, alternatives to medications that do not work, Benadryl (for when you become allergic to the fancy paper gown they make you wear for the surgery). Anesthesia. Oxygen. Antibiotic that you are NOT allergic to. All of it. Every bit. Good stuff, the stuff we have these days.
  • Netflix. Pain meds tend to blur your vision. Big TVs compensate for that and offer you endless British dramas and series. Steady on.

Part 2- Things to have on hand if you ever have foot surgery
  • The walker bag ( if you use a walker) This invention was already sweet because it was a gift from a dear friend, and sweeter because it was made by her aunt who is now with the Lord, but y'all I cannot possibly say all the words needed to tell you how much easier this made my life! Things in there right now: tissues, lip gloss, jewelry (b/c I want it on to make me feel normal but then it gets on my nerves), hair brush, crackers, hand sanitizer. More stuff that I am too embarrassed to tell you about. I stuff my phone into its pocket when I go from room to room just in case I fall and have to call for help. I am nothing if not realistic. In the morning it holds magazines or books; by lunchtime it becomes a picnic basket. I slide my cup into it when I go to the kitchen. While there I load it with the yogurt or the cookies or the apple. Yes, I slid cookies in there. Don't judge until you've hobbled a mile on my walker. See what I did there? 
 But honestly this thing is a must-have item.

  • The shower chair. Didn't know if/when I would need it but Divine Intervention led me to it at Bed Bath and Beyond. It was the best $35 investment I made in a long time. I use it to get in and out of the house because crutches=instant death. I use it at the top of the stairs to initiate descent and landing. Oh, yeah, and I use it for what it is actually intended for. I'm thinking of keeping it around because it's just been so helpful. I am not graceful; I cannot be too prepared.
  • The Bible. Print, apps, online. Have them all. You will reach for them often. Amen.
  • Soft pillows. Lots of them.
  • Freshening wipes. Preferably cold.
  • Hand sanitizer. Not only for your hands but for the walker grips. Ew.
  • A good cross-body bag. I am using one from Blue Avocado. It's made from recycled t-shirts by previously impoverished and exploited women. I may be down, but I can still do my part. Here's the link:
  • And if your little girl ever shows an interest in gymnastics or dance-- feed that! Sign her up! And while you are sitting and waiting for her to finish yet another practice/performance/recital, know that one day if she has foot surgery she will whisper thanks while washing her hands, brushing her teeth, and getting dressed. The skill of balancing on one leg for an inordinate length of time will become invaluable. Friends, flamingoes have nothing on me at this point.

I got this.
Part 3- Lessons Learned
  • Rely on God. He is your strength. Philippians 4:13 has never been more true in my life. He is my "Walker." I lean on Him when I rise and when I rest. He is my Firm Foundation. He is my Rock. He is my source of peace and discernment. Draw near, friend.
  • Do not underestimate yourself. Refer to above. Literally and figuratively.
  • You will become stronger. Not just spiritually, I mean. Being non-weight bearing means that something is going to be bearing the weight, just not that foot. So, it's a choice between your good foot and your arms. Basically, you need to be prepared to lift yourself every time you take a step. Yeah. Good for the carpal tunnel issue. Ha! Not really.
  • This changed me. This hiatus, I mean. People had said to me "Well, maybe this will help you slow down a little." Are you kidding me?? I didn't SLOW DOWN, I flat-out STOPPED. In my Sketchers at 5:30 AM and on the sofa by 1:30 PM. For the next month and a half. That does weird things to you, when you are used to going ANYWHERE YOU WANT ALL THE TIME. Now I understand how the monks feel when they are silent. No, I'm not alone all the time or silent all the time, but there is an element of solitude to life when you are limited. I thought I would become stir-crazy. I thought I would be anxious and edgy and impatient. And there are times when I have felt that way. But there is a greater sense of...calm. A peace. I see all the things happening around me and I...observe. The recent series of Big Storms that we have had greatly affected me. Dark skies, gusty winds, hail and sharp lightning are reasons for caution. Now greet them in a room alone with your walker as your only means of immediate escape. Tends to make a person become more introspective.
        James tells us to be "slow to speak" and I know I will. But I will also be
       less reluctant. I am more concerned with things like truth. Kindness. Joy.
Part 4- Things to Do
  • Follow instructions. Not only from your doctor, but from those you love and who love you.
  • Take your pain medication. Don't worry about becoming addicted. You won't need it that long and it will help you rest and not drive everyone around you insane.
  • Ask for help. I am so bad at this. At least I was. Not now.
  • Be honest. If it hurts, say so. If you want to have quiet, ask for it. No one minds. If they do, they are able to get up and go to another place; you can't, therefore you win for now.
  • Gather all the comfy clothes and prepare to wear them for a long time. It's not a fashion show--it's time to be relaxed.
  • Blog.
  • Pray. Pray for your own healing. Pray for those who are caring for you. Just spend time with the Father because you need to and He wants it. Take prayer requests; nothing helps you heal more than focusing on the needs of others.
Part 5- Things Not to Do
  • Don't use lotion on your hands before you need to use the walker.  
  • Don't use the walker on a wet floor.
Some of these things I know first-hand; others I just think are logical conclusions. You can decide which is which.

  • Don't try to rush things.
  • Don't take yourself too seriously. You will be reduced to needing help with almost everything. Hear me again, ALMOST EVERYTHING. Remember, "Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall." Proverbs 16:18 (KJV) The last thing you need is destruction or a fall.
So as my week comes to a close and I anticipate my next doctor's appointment, I am hopeful that I will get the green light on Partial Weight Bearing. That term concerns me a bit, since I am not really a "partial" kind of person.
As one friend put it when I voiced my concerns to her: "Ya don't say."
I mean, tell me to sit and I'll sit. Tell me to get up and I'm up. But partial?? 
YouTube isn't a whole lot of help either. Seems everyone understands the application of this but me. I know, I just KNOW, that I am going to put all the weight on this thing. But if I do I'll remember that there is One Who wants, even desires all of my burdens. All of the things that weigh me down.
Matthew 11:28-30
28 “Come to Me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 All of you, take up My yoke and learn from Me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for yourselves. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
When I lean on Jesus, He always holds me up.

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