Friday, February 19, 2021

Sick, sick, and tired of being sick!

Get ready to hear me b---- and moan because I'm going to do it. 

A few weeks ago, while attempting to get out of the tub, I missed raising my leg high enough to get over the side of the tub and twisted my knee in the wrong direction. Barely able to walk, I knew something was really wrong so I went to see an orthopedic doctor and he did xrays and an MRI finding I'd torn my lateral meniscus, had two weirdly named cysts in my knee, and a severe case of arthritis. So...he put me in an off loading knee brace in an attempt to allow my knee to repair itself over the next 6 weeks and, he said, if that doesn't happen, I'll need arthroscopic surgery and if that doesn't work, then a total knee replacement which I definitely don't want to do. 

The knee brace has been helping but is very uncomfortable. When I take it off late in the day (when I have had all I can stands and I can't stands no more - insert Popeye voice over here), I immediately feel pain and realize it's probably inevitable that some kind of surgery is in my future.


 On top of all that, I got some kind of crud and I mean CRUD! I've never had anything like this before. It's a cross between flu, bronchitis, pnuemonia, a really bad sinus infection, and fibromyalgia all rolled into one. No, I don't think it's Covid, although it could be. I haven't been tested so I don't know for sure, but I'm hoping it isn't. I've been doing homeopathic remedies for the past 9 days and yesterday had the slightest feeling that I needed to go in to see the doc because I wasn't getting any better. 

I called the doc expecting to be worked in but that wasn't the case. The receptionist said they weren't seeing anyone with upper respiratory illnesses right now but she'd patch me through to the nurse. While on hold, I fumed. Why wouldn't the primary care doc see me when I was sick??? Oh yeah...COVID, duh!

The nurse was kind. She asked my symptoms and I told her I'd been experiencing pain in my lower back just over my lungs, headaches, fatigue, inability to smell, nasal congestion, sore throat, and mild fever. (Sounds like Covid, right?) So she talked to the doc and they called out some meds - a Z pack and prednisone - typical upper respiratory regimen. Before we hung up, she said, if you don't start feeling better after a few days on these, you need to go to the hospital. Gee thanks...

I'm a pretty tough cookie when it comes to pain. I've been through an awful lot in my life, but whatever this is has knocked me for a loop. I sure hope the meds help. I am so over this junk but I will say, in the famous words of a wise old woman I knew, it could have been worse. I could have ended up in the hospital on a ventilator or other life saving equipment so I'm thankful that's not the case. 

Okay. My b---- fest is over. 

On a side note, and a little positivity here, I have lost 5 pounds - probably because I haven't had an appetite and haven't been able to smell anything. You always have to look for that silver lining right?

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Sowing fruit

Several weeks ago, my youngest daughter had told me about the Insta Cart service. She'd used it before and found it convenient so I thought I'd give it a try.

 I placed an order with Publix. Ordering was quick and easy. I was pleased and made a mental note to use them again. So today, when I'd been crazy busy and the day was half over, I realized I needed to go to the grocery store. We had no fresh produce in the house and anyone who knows me knows I love fresh fruit and veggies so I had to do something about that. 

Whipping out my phone, I pulled up the Insta Cart app and perused the various vendors. I didn't need a full grocery order, so I opted for Aldi. Although we'd only shopped there once or twice in the past, I wondered how their produce would be and decided to give them a try. 

After placing my order, I received a text stating my shopper's name was Dana. I shot her a quick message and thanked her for being willing to help me with my shopping today. She responded back quickly with the typical Chick Fil A type response, "My pleasure." I smiled and got back to work. 

About half an hour later, I got a message from Dana. She had made all my selections and was on her way. Within twenty minutes, she'd be at my house. 

Walking into my studio, I selected a painting I thought Dana might enjoy. I wrote a little note and slipped both the painting and the note in a large ziploc bag. I put the gift on top of the ice chest I'd placed outside the front door hoping Dana would see it as she opened the chest to slip our milk inside. 

When my personal shopper had pulled out of the driveway, I began the task of bringing the groceries inside. Dana had left all the bags neatly in a row out front on our porch. It was evident she'd taken good care of our food. 

 After I'd brought all the bags inside, I began the task of opening them and putting away the contents. I was surprised to find beautiful selections of fruit. There were no bruised or damaged items. I was pleased. 

Opening a box of strawberries, I picked up a ripe piece of fruit and held it in my hand. It was a gorgeous red, luscious berry, odd for this time of year - strawberries aren't in season here until May, but I knew the fruit was from another state, more than likely California. 

Next, I unpacked apples, bananas, mandarin oranges, kiwi, and all the lovely veggies. My counters were covered in an array of color and that's when part of a verse of Scripture hit me : "...you are to bear much fruit." The Bible says the fruits of the Spirit are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control, all of which are evidence of the nature of Christ in us. Had I born fruit today? 

To bear spiritual fruit is evidence that we love and honor Christ. When we do this, we bring Him glory. I thought back over my day. I'd passed out a little love and kindness as I gifted Dana with a piece of art and as I'd thanked her for her service in a text message, but other than that, I hadn't shared lasting fruit with her. But maybe, just maybe, that tiny bit of love and kindness had sown a little seed of hope where she needed it most. 

The fruit we bear is to feed others, to bring the gift of life in Christ to spiritually starved humanity. To bear much fruit means to take what we have been given and use it to reach the lost. As we ‘seed’ ourselves into the world around us, the Spirit quickens and empowers us. Real faith must manifest in works, but the works are not the fruit. We may bear much fruit through kingdom work, but it is the fruit that glorifies God, not the works. When we bear much fruit, our fruit is the visible evidence of our discipleship. The fruit we bear indicates the nature and depth of our relationship with Christ. 

Dana probably didn't think much about selecting my fruit today. She was just doing a job that brought in a paycheck, but hopefully, as she left my house today, she was touched by a tiny little act the Holy Spirit prompted me to do. 

As I share this today, please don't think I'm patting myself on the back for a job well done - that is not my intention. I'm merely sharing it to give you a practical example of how easy it is to bear fruit in these hectic days. 

I pray God was glorified and that Dana, if she doesn't know the Father, will wonder why a complete stranger gave her a beautiful oil painting today and, I hope she'll be blessed by the verse of Scripture written on the back of it, that she might hunger to know Him, that she would "taste and see that the Lord is good." 

 "By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples." (John 15:8) ©Bonnie Annis Everyday Devotions

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

We take a lot for granted

 

The Don Joy Off Loading Knee Brace

Yesterday, I went to the orthopedic surgeon for the results of my recent MRI. 

I was hesitant to hear what he had to say and speculated the worst - knee replacement surgery, but thankfully, that's not in the cards just yet. 

He did say I have a lateral meniscus tear, two subchondral pseudocysts, and severe arthritis. After giving me that news, he left the room, a nurse entered and drew up a syringe with Cortisone. I watched as she carefully laid out the bandages, a numbing spray, the long needled syringe, and some antiseptic wipes. As she left the room, I turned to my husband and grimaced. 

I'd had a cortisone injection in my ankle joint last year. It was extremely painful. I wasn't looking forward to another injection but knew it was coming. 

About five minutes later, the doctor came back into the room and had me sit on the exam table, pants rolled up, as he lifted the needle. "Just imagine yourself sitting on a dock dangling your feet over the edge of the water..." And then he jabbed me! Oh, gravy!!! The numbing spray helped some but there was intense pressure and pain. 

A couple of minutes later, he was done and ordering the nurse to take me over to the physical therapy department to be fitted with an off loading knee brace. He said we'd see how I did over the next 6 weeks and if I wasn't much better when I came back, he'd do arthroscopic surgery to remove the damaged tissue and hopefully keep me from having to have a total replacement. 

The off loading knee brace is a weird looking structure - a thick flexible plastic webbing with several large velcro straps. It's supposed to take the pressure off of the "bad" side of my knee and transfer it to the "good" side. 

As I walked/hobbled out of the doctor's office, I realized how much I take for granted. Being unable to bend my knee caused me to remember the days of immobility I suffered after a bad accident in 1991. During that time, I was confined to a wheelchair and couldn't walk for over 3 years. 

I knew my knees had been suffering. The creaks and groans they made when bending or stretching reminded me I was aging, but I didn't expect to suffer such damage just getting out of the bathtub. In one split moment, my knee was damaged. 

So today, as I maneuver through my house with my lovely brace on and a handy, dandy walker in tow, I think I need to be more cognizant of my health. I need to thank God for the parts that are still functioning and forget about the parts I've lost. 

It's really strange when you think about how a broken and scarred body can still function without so many parts - I've not only lost both breasts to cancer, I've lost my thyroid gland, my gallbladder, and my uterus. 

As a child, I remember playing the game "Operation." As I'd work carefully to keep from setting off the buzzer as I removed tiny, white, play bones, I never imagined a body could live without vital organs or parts. 

But I'm still here and I'm proof it is doable. 

I'm hoping I don't end up losing my knees in the near future. I've heard terrible things about knee replacement surgeries. Maybe this brace, the walker, the pain meds, and time will help my wounds heal and maybe, I'll focus on being a little more grateful for the pieces and parts I still have left inside of me. 

Life is so short and I still have much to do. I need functioning knees to help me accomplish those goals. Please pray I get to keep them.

Where do the wounded go?

  Where Do They Go? By Bonnie Annis   Where do the wounded go when the cut is fresh and deep?  Where do they hide to keep others f...