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Archive for the ‘skin graft surgery’ Category

Anyone who has never felt overwhelmed in the midst of life events is either not thinking or possibly under 2 years of age.  We can creatively sublimate our experiences, quote Bible verses until the proverbial cows come home, and stand positionally on God’s unquestionable faithfulness.  Yet there will be times in our humanity when we feel like we are being carried away in a flood—not as catastrophical as the Great Flood pictured above, but nonetheless a seemingly insurmountable flood of circumstances!

I experience an initial mental and emotional flood every time my husband, Joe, is caught up in a severe medical issue.  I’ve had my own medical concerns but they never wipe me out the way my husband’s issues do.  That’s because each time Joe has a crisis I feel overwhelmed by my responsibility as a caregiver.  I think, what if I made a mistake; what if I simply could not do what is expected of me? 

Many times over the years Joe has had challenges, healthwise, and somehow God has managed to get me through the times of stress and concern.  No episode has been more overwhelming than those events over the last 6 months since Joe’s untimely accident. 

Again and again I’ve thought, I can’t do this Lord!  I can’t change the dressing on Joe’s 4th degree burn as well as a professional nurse could.  I can’t sufficiently help him when he is unable to walk and one of his shoulders is agonizingly injured—as I might hurt him more. 

And yet with God’s grace, I have done these things.  I’ve dressed his wound for weeks, and I’ve been his legs and extra arm when needed.

The most recent flood washed over me last week.  Joe had surgery on the injured shoulder—an extensive rotator cuff repair.  In the hospital, I watched two nurses lift him in order to change his bedding.  I saw him struggle to his feet, as his muscle grafted leg wound was causing extra pain and weakness due to his overdoing of physical therapy the day before the surgery.

Joe needed to regain more strength on his leg before going home.  I needed to rest one more night (I now stay in the hospital with Joe when he is a patient) before facing the home care which I feared I wouldn’t be able to manage due to my own chronic pain issues. 

I told the medical staff that I was overwhelmed, and needed more time before going home!  Nevertheless, we came home.  Medicare and our supplementary insurance will not pay after all the (deemed necessary) procedures (tests, IVs, etc.) have been completed. 

It’s assumed that rest and recuperation can best be served at home.  Perhaps that’s true in some cases, but it never seems possible at the precarious moment of hospital discharge.  And if medical issues still threaten to present themselves, it would be far better for the patient to have just a bit more time under hospital supervision and care. 

After several days at home, Joe’s shoulder is amazingly pain free.  But the leg where Joe had the 4th degree burn has been swollen and extremely painful.  Yesterday’s visit to Joe’s plastic surgeon happily confirmed that there is no infection present.  His symptoms have been aggravated by fluids administered after surgery.  Diuretics have been prescribed, which are already working to alleviate the discomfort.

Yes, the floods can seem overwhelming.  But somehow the Lord keeps sustaining us and bringing us through the high waters—through whatever He allows in the circumstances of our lives!  Our Lord suffered unspeakable tortures on that cross, and He is risen!  Like Noah and his family who survived the Great Flood, those who enter God’s ark by trusting the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation are eternally sustained by His grace!

“For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.  So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen.  For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”  II Corinthians 4:17-18 (NIV)

Margaret L. Been, ©2011

(Public Domain image courtesy of Karen’s Whimsy.)

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“But thanks be unto God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of Him.”  2 Corinthians 2:14 (NIV)

Our little Christmas tree sparkles in our east window and reflects the dawn.   Glints of sunlight are precious on these bitter cold, Wisconsin December days.  In just a little over 2 weeks we’ll experience more glints every day, as the faithful sun returns to our northern land—reminding us of our ever faithful SON!

Beneath the Christmas tree is an assortment of gift bags, overflowing with tangible expressions of love.  As family members drop in for a visit, we will give them their gifts—thereby stretching  our Christmas festivities out over several weeks. 

This is a sensible and enjoyable way to celebrate a most unusual holiday season at the climax of a most unusual autumn which began with my spinal fusion surgery, followed by Joe’s accident and multiple procedures on his severe leg burns (which are healing nicely).

As autumn began with surgery, thus it will end.  Joe is scheduled for a skin graft on his 3rd degree burn next week, and on December 22nd I am having colon surgery.

Christmas Day in the hospital will not be a sad thing for me.  The beautiful new hospital where we go is only 8 minutes from our door, and we have family members all around.  I will have plenty of company.  And also, I’ll get a much needed rest.  Joe will “vacation” at our son Eric’s home during my hospital stay, and Eric will bring Joe to visit me.  With the presence of the Lord in one’s heart, every day is Christmas!

This morning I made a batch of soap, and scented it with sandalwood and rose fragrance oils.  Our home is redolent with sandalwood and rose.  I pray that, spiritually speaking, I can carry this fragrance with me over the next weeks—as I go to the hospital with Joe for his surgery, and as I check into the same hospital a week later for mine. 

May those of us who belong to the Lord Jesus Christ share the sweet fragrance of His love and saving grace wherever we go, in all circumstances—as long as we have time left on earth!

Merry Christmas!

Margaret L. Been ©2010

P. S.  Due to a rash of obnoxious spam, I am dis-allowing comments for awhile.  For friends and family members who read this blog, please email or call.  I love to hear from you!  MB

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