Tuesday, November 15, 2016

A broken wrist and a much needed break

The title for this blog post must be a little confusing but if you'll bear with me, I'll do my best to explain.

It was a bright and beautiful day. My daughter and granddaughter had come to visit. It's always fun to have them spend the day with me. At three years of age, Heather loves to be outside so I wasn't surprised when she came in and immediately wanted to go out to play. One of her favorite things to do is play with balls. Since I'm her favorite playmate, I never mind when her little hand reaches up and she says, "C'mon, Gigi." As we head outside, her tiny laughter melts my heart. We toss the ball back and forth for several minutes. Her eye hand coordination hasn't developed fully yet so she misses the ball often. Though she doesn't mind, she finds it funny to ask me to retrieve the ball whenever she misses. Being a good Gigi, I obey her gentle commands and chase after the rogue ball. This toss and miss game continues a little longer. We revel in laughter. Once more, she throws the ball my way and it skitters down a leaf strewn path. I run to gather the ball in my arms and in a split second, find myself on the ground. There had been a hole and I'd found it. As I lay upon the cold ground, my daughter runs over to see if I'm okay. I sit up but tell her I am not sure. I say I need to sit there a few minutes and gather my wits about me. A few minutes pass and I think I am probably just suffering hurt pride. When I try to stand, I felt searing pain in my left wrist. I look down at it and see it's abnormally shaped and swelling rapidly. At my daughter's insistence, we go to the doctor. After having my wrist x-rayed and examined, the verdict is a fractured wrist.

At close to sixty years of age, I'm no spring chicken. The next few days are filled with throbbing pain. I quickly find myself unable to do the most menial tasks and have to ask for help to do simple things. I don't like depending on others. I enjoy being independent. But now I have no choice.

The Spica brace the orthopedic doctor placed on my wrist is tight but holds the bones in place. It's uncomfortable to sleep in at night and I have to keep it elevated. This frustration added to my constant insomnia and agony from lymphedema seems to be adding fuel to a neverending fire. I didn't need this and I begin to wonder why God has allowed me to experience one more trial in my life.

Since retiring several years ago and after having gone through my breast cancer journey, I've spent my days writing. I blog. I write for breast cancer magazines and do book reviews for Christian companies. The writing has allowed me to do something I truly enjoy and has provided an outlet for me since I'm unable to work outside the home. I enjoy being paid for something I love to do but now, with a broken wrist, how can I do it?

God knew I needed a break is all I can figure. With so many deadlines and obligations on my calendar, I tend to get overwhelmed. Since the holidays are just around the corner, I don't need any extra added stress. As I thought about it, I had to look at the fracture as a blessing.

You may wonder how I'm typing this blog post today. Don't worry! I'm not using my broken wrist and I'm not typing with one hand. I have a voice activated program called Dragon Dramatically Speaking which allows me to speak as the computer types for me. It's an amazing program designed for the physically handicapped. A friend with multiple sclerosis told me about it many years ago. When I found the program on sale, I quickly purchased it and stuck it in a closet. Now, years later, I'm finding it useful.

It's not easy to face trials, especially physical ones, but I've learned over my life that God brings them at just the perfect time and for a special reason. While the breaking of the bones in my wrist were extremely painful, the break that injury afforded me was a much needed and welcome one.

Thanksgiving is just around the corner and I'm already thinking about all the ways God's blessed me this year. My middle daughter, Laura, has agreed to host the meal for us so I don't have to stress over that. My gratitude jar sits on my kitchen counter. It's filled with tiny slips of white paper on which I've jotted notes throughout the year. On Thanksgiving day, I'll open the jar and begin reading all the blessings God's given me. Being reminded of His goodness is so important to me and I've found myself spending my days learning to be intentionally grateful. Counting my blessings and naming them one by one reminds me of God's faithfulness. This afternoon, I'll add one more blessing to my gratitude jar - I'll thank God for my break (fracture) which led to a much needed break from demanding tasks. Learning to rest is hard for me and I think God's been trying to teach me that lesson for a very long time. Maybe I'll get the hang of it soon! For a type A personality, someone who's always busy going and doing, the lesson has been a hard one to learn. But I guess it's okay to take a breather now and then. Thank God also for the voice to typing program. It's been a lifesaver!

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