People say that things come in threes. It’s usually connected to bad events that happen in our lives: deaths, broken appliances, home repairs, health issues. I think I am in one of those times.
While my hip surgery was planned, expected and turned out well, the flu virus I got while in the hospital was anything but. It was most challenging to have to spend time “on the throne” after hip surgery but even harder when both body exits are in concert together – and not in a good way. Two days later, I developed pain and swelling in the arch of my right foot radiating down to my toes and up my ankle bone (same side as the operated hip). While I was now walking without the aid of a walker or a cane, I was severely crippled by the pain in my foot! The anti-inflammatory was not touching the pain and I was getting frustrated and crabby. That’s the Christian description of “I don’t want this, I can’t handle this, I want it to go away now!” attitude.
So, I called my rheumatologist thinking that maybe it was fasciitis. Then the worry wart in me thinks what if I have a hairline fracture? How can this be? I haven’t done anything but physical therapy and some mild and very slow walking up and down my street. Even my 15 and 13 year old dogs walk faster than me right now.
The rheumatologist thought it was Reflex Neurovascular Dystrophy (RND), also called Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), or Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) but commonly called Causalgia. I think the medical industry is conflicted about what to call it. However, I was not conflicted. I call it painful! RND, CRPS, RDS or Causalgia is a rare sympathetic nervous system disorder characterized by severe chronic pain and swelling. Causalgia often occurs after the body has experienced a trauma. Yep, cutting into the muscle of my hip, removing bone and replacing it with a titanium implant could be considered a trauma. There is no known explanation for this except that it is the body’s response to surgery. It can become chronic if not caught early. I was given Corticosteroids and told to see how it goes. But when I went to have my stitches removed, the nurse practitioner said that my symptoms weren’t in line with RND and she thought it was good old fasciitis. Her treatment? Corticosteroids. Since the treatment was the same, I decided that it’s fasciitis. It has the best outcome, allows me to expect the best and not dwell on the worst.
How do I expect the best and not dwell on the worst?
- Be determined not to let my mind wander into the waste land of worry and fear nor let circumstances color my reaction or attitude (not easy for this Italian).
- Put it in perspective and realize that “this too, shall pass”. Is it life threatening? Will it matter in an hour, a month, a year? Life is not static but fluid.
- Rely on God. Live each day with hope and promise for it is God’s promise that is the balm for my pain. I know that God’s got this and it is this promise that should fill my mind and heart. I remember all that I have been through and how God has walked me through each and every moment. My body may be a roadmap of scars but they are merely reminders of where I’ve been and not where I am going.
- Put God in front, beside, and in back of me. Let Him surround me. I have a friend who when feels the devil is knocking at her door will often say “Jesus, will you get that?”
- Affirm Gods ability to do all, even the impossible (Philippians 4:13). It is His strength that slays the enemy. I am, through faith, stronger than ever. I will expect and praise God for the work He will do through this and in spite of this. As my focus on Christ increases, my fear decreases.
Yes, if it’s not one thing, it’s another and I am okay with it because God is drawing me closer to him. And as my daughter tells me, He is giving me more fodder for my writing. And that’s a good thing, too.
For as he thinks in his heart, so is he. Proverbs 23:7
But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings of eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:31
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer. Romans 12:12