I was doing due diligence and had scheduled to have a dermatology full body scan as there were a few places that appeared questionable. Sure enough there was a basal cell carcinoma on my chest. This was removed and I was sent on my way. However, after four days, instead of showing signs of healing, a red, raised, angry circle began to form around the incision site. It was Friday and I realized I needed to have the doctor look at it. I called the doctor’s office in the early afternoon and was told that while she was not in, the MA (Medical Assistant) would call me back. By 4:30, I knew it was not going to happen. In fact, when I called the office back, the phones had already been turned over to the answering service!
Moving is challenging physically, emotionally and mentally. But I was confident that we were up to the task. After all, I had moved many times in my life. In fact, at an early age my mom taught us to pack up our own rooms so I was rather confident, okay cocky that although I was much older I was up to the task.
We made it to Oviedo, FL in fine shape but two days later I wondered into the office and noticed that a small box housing the grandmother clock weights was by my desk and I thought, “That box should be by the clock!.” I bent down to lift and turn and my left hip slipped right out causing the leg to retract about 5 inches and my knee to turn towards the right knee. I was a pain-ridden flamingo standing on one leg screaming “Thad, Thad!” Now unbeknownst to me Thad was having a moment of his own with an attack of colitis which had him tied to the chamber pot. Hearing me scream in pain he responded, “I’m coming, I’m coming! This yelling “Thad, Thad!” and “I’m Coming, I’m Coming!” went on for what seemed to be forever but was realistically probably 20-30 seconds.
It’s funny where your mind goes as you try to handle the pain, and try to get your body to somewhere safe like an office chair rather than fall. I thought – “What must the neighbors be thinking about their new retirees that moved in next door?” I know, you know what I mean.
I thought if I could just lie down on the bed, it might go back in. So Thad wheeled me and my desk chair into the bedroom where I quickly realized I wasn’t able to stretch out. My clear thinking husband suggested (horrors!) that we call 911 to which I replied “I didn’t shower last night – I have to shower!!” As he pushed me towards the shower I was dismayed to realize that there was no way I could step down into the shower and that me and my stinky body were about to go to the emergency room.
An ambulance ride to the hospital, x-rays to rule out a fracture, Propofol for pain, and a resetting of the hip and I was good as new. Or so I thought.
Twenty days later, while conquering the last frontier by unpacking the garage supplies I bent over to put two boxes of side walk chalk on a bottom shelf and a repeat performance occurred. I was stunned! I lay on the garage floor waiting for the ambulance in total disbelief I was thinking “This can’t be happening” and “Why, God, why?”
Medically, I understand that each time the hip is dislocated the ligaments become stretched and reoccurrence becomes more probable. But mentally, I have been trying to come to terms with this new limitation. Trying to find the reasons why and more importantly adjust to a new way of moving without compromising my lifestyle.
Not an easy task for a “type A”, goal oriented, I can do all things —
Uh, Oh. Somehow I forgot about the “Through Christ who strengthens me” Philippians 4:13! It took two dislocations to make me realize that while I am good at packing and moving and that God created these amazing bodies I have not always been a good steward of it. In fact, I have worn many of my parts out as evidence by the arthritis that has taken up residence in my back, kneck, hands and fingers; making itself know to me daily.
So why did this happen? I fell back into my old ways and became obsessed with doing and forgot to be; giving little respect to my body-God’s Temple (1 Cor 6:19). I needed to be humbled. I needed to slow down. I was over extending myself physically to meet my own self-absorbed, self-dictated goals. I was spending more time organizing our home than time in our Father’s home and in His word. I needed to learn to do things differently and some things not at all. My mind was not where it should have been and because of this my body and my soul became dislocated.
A sign in the x-ray department read:
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. – Romans 15:13 NIV
While I do not believe God created this scenario I do believe that if we seek Him throughout our days, He will use these events to strengthen us and guide us. I am thankful that our God is a God of grace, patience and mercy. He gives us second chances to heal not only a dislocated hip but a dislocated soul.
Thanks be to God.
God, make a fresh start in me, shape a Genesis week from the chaos of my life. Psalm 51:10 (The Message Bible)
I am going to discuss a matter that is usually shared with your spouse, mother, father, or close friend. But I am willing to do this because it is the perfect example of making a mountain out of a mole hill and letting my mind madly rummage through the “What ifs”.
Over the last couple of months I have been plagued with symptoms that no matter what I did, they did not go away. I had significantly changed my diet in the past 10 months and attributed them as side effects. However, the side effects were becoming painful, frustrating, exhausting and quite frankly making me cranky. Just ask my husband, Thad.
Recently a longtime acquaintance saw me and was so surprise that I had lost weight that she couldn’t seem to be happy for me. Her surprise seemed to over shadow her ability to believe that I had finally succeeded. She didn’t think I would ever do it.
Frankly neither did I.
A friend of mine is battling stage IV metastatic breast cancer that has metastasized to her bones. The disease was diagnosed almost ten years ago but she didn’t start to fight her disease until this past year.
Fear can be a great mobilizer or paralyzer. Fear can be a destructive, mind numbing feeling or it can propel us to seek solutions for the problems we face. In my friends case the words “You will need an operation and chemotherapy” caused her to seize and choose to ignore the diagnosis for fear of the operation, chemotherapy and loss of hair. Left untreated she didn’t think it could be any worse than her fear.
And there lies the fallacy of fear.
Have you heard about a friend, a family member, or a work mate whose medical care was so poorly administered that its consequences were life threatening or lethal? I think we all have.
I had been receiving antibiotic infusions for the last ten days and had not seen a doctor since that first late afternoon when I presented to their office with cellulitis of the breast. I was feeling like a cow that was brought in to be milked daily. The IV nurses were wonderful and they know what they are doing. I had met some nice people who are, like me, receiving treatment for one type of infection or another. Dutifully, we came in at our appointed time and got “hooked up and juiced”. We’d chat, commiserate, and wish each other good health and new energy.
But I wondered: when was I going to see a doctor, get the results of my blood cultures and how long was I going to need treatment?