Wednesday, November 10, 2021

There Is Hope

 On October 29th, shortly after 9 p.m., I had a freak accident in my home. Slipping on water as I entered the bathroom, my leg folded underneath and behind me as I crashed to the floor. I instantly knew my leg was broken, as they were never intended to bend in that direction. I started screaming immediately not only from pain, but also fear set in. I couldn't believe what had happened in a blink of an eye. I summoned the courage to roll and get my bent leg out from underneath me. My family came running towards my screams and entered the bathroom just as I was lifting my leg and placing it on the floor.  

All that followed was horrible. An entire night in the ER because a bed wasn't available.  4 mega doses of narcotics and the pain was so intense, I questioned if anything had been administered. Poor communication among nurses, doctors and x-ray techs. No one really knew what had been communicated to me.  Information was communicated incorrectly. And I was still writhing in pain for nearly 8 hours. I wanted to go home and attempt to sleep in my own bed.

With an immobilization brace that stretches the entire length of my left leg, I have been instructed to not bear weight even if I can, to always use my crutches, conserve my strength and focus on swelling reduction and healing. All of this without pain meds due to GI issues and the fact that they rarely help me.

Last Wednesday, I saw the Orthopedic Specialist and was thrilled to find out that my tibia plateau fracture is broken with a indentation next to it rather than broken with shattered bone. Shattered bone would mean surgery with two long pins and a plate that would stay in my leg forever. Indentation of the bone means no weight, immobile, tons of rest and hopefully slowly transitioning to a hinged brace by 6-8 weeks and hopefully off crutches by 12 weeks with a hinged brace and then I would begin physical therapy. Yes, arthritis will set in. Yes, I will need a knee replacement in the future. But not now.  When I questioned the Orthopedic Specialist about how many patients spend these next 6-8 weeks and don't improve significantly and then he ends up having to do surgery anyway. He explained it has never happened and he wouldn't make the recommendation to avoid surgery now if it wouldn't benefit me in the long run. And he heard me when I said I need to get myself back to a point where I can take two walks a day with my dog swim whenever I want. 

So what do I do now until I see the specialist again on the 17th of November? Exactly what he said. Nothing. I move from couch to bed to chair and back again.  I am not a patient patient. I hate sitting and laying all day when I see so many things that need to be taken care of. Being completely helpless is completely humbling. 

I unfortunately have also developed a severe allergic reaction to something and my body is covered in hives. It makes me miserable and am dealing with itchy, burning skin and and many bloody sores. I look like a pin cushion and have tried every over the counter and prescription med under the sun. Two more meds were called in today to the pharmacy from a TeleMed Doctor. It is painful, disheartening and frustrating as the broken leg was already more than I can handle. 

But what have I discovered in the throes of misery? Kindness, beautiful servant hearts and that my local community is ready to serve others at a moment's notice. Jessica started a meal train and countless friends have signed up to bring meals into the month of December. Dawn brought me a desperately needed wheelchair.  Sharon and Emily have come to my home midday for the last 6 weekdays to care for me. Cassie has come every day for the last 6 weekdays to let my dog outside at 10 a.m. Michele jumped out of her car to walk with Josh and I on my first walk this past Sunday in the wheelchair. Alice asked me about my favorite foods from Trader Joes. And Jennifer picked up grocery essentials. Each of these dear people helped me and I am eternally grateful.

Was this all by chance? No. Never. It was orchestrated by a God who cares about the details. He cares about dogs needing to go outside. He cares about loneliness setting in and sending friends at the right time. He cares about nourishment and blessing a family when everything seems to be too much. And He cares about physical safety and provides help to walk on stairs and move pillows and adjust painful brace straps. God cares about each and every detail, because he loves and cares for us. He enables people to bless someone during their time of need.

While I am so grateful, I hope to also encourage you as the reader. If you are ever given the opportunity to help someone in need, do it. Without hesitation. Make that meal, hold someone's hand and pray with them, help with children and car rides. Be the one that selflessly fills in the gaps. 

I have a long road ahead of me, but I am so happy to know that help is there. My needs are great. I can not shower or dress on my own and I can't reach all of my wounds which need medication and bandages applied. But I also know that these needs will not always be present. And I look forward to a day when the pain is less, I am more mobile and everyday life becomes a bit less challenging. I am hopeful as I know how faithful God has been and will always be.

  • Why, my soul, are you downcast?
    Why so disturbed within me?
    Put your hope in God,
    for I will yet praise him,
    my Savior and my God.
  • May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
  • Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

I Know What That Means- By: Kelli J Gavin for Writers Unite!

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