Sidewalk Prophtes: Closer

Friday, July 15, 2016

On the Inside Looking Out




I know I have vanished “into thin air”…..Not really into thin air but into heavy, humid, insufferably hot air.  I am in a massive county run rehab facility in Orange County NY.(and the AC doesn't work in my room).  It is an immense building full of the forgotten.  There are newly disabled people here and people who have been disabled most or all of their lives. There are the elderly---those with committed loving families and those whose families are long gone or who have put them here and left them to deal with illness and encroaching age alone.

I am in the very odd position of being a “youngster” among my white haired cronies here.  I am considered to be a mere youth…yesterday a sweet lady asked my age and expressed surprise when I told her “53” because she thought I was “in your 20’s” LOL.  I do consider myself to be blessed because I am not yet at the point in my life where this is a one way admission….I’m not yet here to live out my remaining days.  However, I am disabled enough for this to be a little “too close to home.”  

It is a different way of life here.  One thing I must say.  Paint is fading. Floor tiles are cracked and chipped.  But the smiles of the staff are shiny and bright.  They like their jobs. They enjoy their coworkers.  They care about making life comfortable for these inhabitants.  There is kindness, humor, and concern.  I  cannot speak highly enough of this wonderful bunch of people.

I do not know how long I will be here.  It depends on how quickly I can figure out a way to get myself up the 6 deck steps leading to my front door at home.  At best, it will be a week or two; at worst, another 4 weeks.  This has put a huge dent in my resolve to bring this endeavor to completion. My original plan was to have this surgery; recover; and then repeat on my right foot as well. However, I never anticipated the level of disruption to my life that this would entail.  It never occurred to me that I might be taken from my life and placed on the sidelines for weeks.  The degree of recovery this would require never occurred to me.  

It is true that I was extremely weakened even prior to my surgery due to the weeks and months I’d spent in my recliner when my muscles were deteriorating and flexibility and strength were waning because I was in too much pain to walk or work out. I am now trying to retrieve that lost strength.  My physical therapist here told me, “Yes, get strong and have the other surgery and don’t let it throw you to the degree this has.”  If only that was possible! I’m not saying it isn’t … I just need to creatively approach a method of adapting the stair rails at home so that I might lift myself with my arms….It might even be possible to do with crutches.  I don’t know. What I do know is that a strong body will go far in buying me independence.  It is my goal to work to attain that strength while I’m here.  I know that, despite the hardships I have faced here, I have gained strength, courage and resolve from my stay here...as well as made some valuable new friends.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

The Cutting Edge

It's 4:40 PM...in less than 12 hours I will be leaving my house with a wonderful driver who committed to take me even though it meant leaving at such an hour.
Early in the day I was worked up....anxious, packing in a frenzy, taking care of all the little things that needed to be done at home before I leave.  And just when I had reached a panic point I saw a piece of paper on my desk.  It was in my handwriting but I have no recollection of ever having seen it before.  It said "You do not walk into a dark future alone and without provision."  wow.  Peace flooded my heart and then came a feeling of being loved.  A feeling that, for once, was not lonely and alone.  My  husband will be at work during my surgery (in the same hospital where my surgery is)...I don't know if I will see him there...and that is a terribly lonely feeling.  

But I am not going into this alone..  

I don't know what is going to happen to me tomorrow after the surgery.  It is critical to get me admitted --preferably initially in the hospital and then to be transferred to a nursing home/rehab --but it may happen that I go straight from the hospital into the nursing home.  In any case, I cannot come home as there is no one there who is willing or able to take care of me for the first week or two  when I will desperately need care.

I think that God "wrote" that note to me and he placed it where I would see it...in my greatest hour of need.  I am not alone.  I am not unloved.  I am not without recourse or resource.  He will make a way---where there seems to be no way.  

After the surgery I will need rides --to the doctor and then to Physical Therapy.   I undertook this surgery as a matter of faith.  I'm charting into a large sea in a boat without sails.  I really had no choice. Severe pain has kept me a prisoner...not going out anywhere ...dreading each step I take for many months now.  My pastor encouraged me to take it one need at a time; one ride at a time.  So I did. I am going into this surgery not really having anything much lined up  This is either faith....or stupidity.

I will not be pain free -even after these surgeries are done.  My elbows, shoulders, cervical spine, lumbar and sacral spine, knees, fingers, wrists are all in very bad shape and hurt a lot.  But this surgery will return to me some lost freedom as life gets very  hard when walking just plain hurts and I can't even get a wheelchair around in my home.

Friends...please pray for me.  There are a lot of LARGE hurdles ahead of me and many waves in this ocean.  But I do not walk into it alone without provision.  amen.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Housekeeping

So.
I am scheduled to have surgery on Wed. to fuse my destroyed ankle joint into a 90 degree angle.
However there has been all kinds of confusion about whether or not I can be admitted after the surgery. I do not even know if I am approved by the insurance company for the surgery yet or not.

As for my medical clearance: my blood work was a bit of a mess. Low sodium. Low potassium.  So the doctor has me on a supercharged regime of Potassium pills and is cutting back on one of my diuretic pills for high blood pressure.  And even before that cut, my BP was 175/90.

And I do not feel good...sneezing, coughing and just feeling sick.  The "sick" feeling could be just from all of the joints that are hurting this morning.  The overall aches and ouchies make me feel like I have the flu but I  am sure I do not. This morning I'm so tired. I was up a 1:30 and got up then to went back to bed after a while.  Then I slept til 4:30 and in the chair dozed until 5:30.  That brings me here.  Now.

So sorry for the litany of aches and pains.  Like who really cares?
 My husband hates it when I talk about my pain.  Maybe you all do too.  If so, I apologize.

Please stop and listen to the new video I have posted above.  I love this song...it is the cry of my heart.

Recently there is a man in our church who has been deathly ill for quite a while.  He had sepsis and kidney failure and a litany of problems.  Really, no one expected him to live.  However last week I was sitting on the porch shucking corn and the Spirit took hold of me and put prayer into my mouth on his behalf ...I prayed out loud...POWERFULLY ...I don't remember what I said now but I was shaken by the experience.  And a couple of days ago, came the word...They had taken him off dialysis and he did a turn around ...there was no lasting kidney damage and all of the other ailments were the result of the kidney failure.
PRAISE GOD!!

I do not claim credit for his healing. It very well could be that God moved other people to powerful prayer also.  But I know that PART of his healing was due to my prayer and that is such an awesome privilege.

So my surgery is scheduled for Wednesday.  I will try to leave a note on here once I hear definitely. ...Please friends, pray for me.  I will most likely be transferred to a nursing home or rehab to recover.  It's a painful surgery to recover from....I'm really not looking forward to it. And once the two month recovery time is over, I will be getting the other ankle done as well.  So it will be four long months before I can hope to see some relief.  It sounds like a long time to be in pain.  But then twenty years has been a long time too.  God will give me the strength to get through it.  To those of you who pray for me, THANK YOU!  I need those prayers.  Pray for strength and persistence and courage and for rapid recovery.

God bless each of you.