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Posts Tagged ‘Rotator Cuff surgery’

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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He (the infamous “weather man”) was wrong again.  According to yesterday’s TV map, a rainy belt ran through our Southern Wisconsin counties, with snow piling up in the north. 

Joe and I have an entire day at home, with no clinic appointments.  This is a treat.  I’d planned to grab an umbrella, and walk in the rain.  Then I got up and looked out the window.  Well, I’ll just change the plan a bit and walk in the snow and ice yet one more time!  

Later today I’ll pull my little “rebellion and denial” act which consists of brewing super strong Earl Grey tea, cooling the tea, and pouring it over—you’ve got it—a tall glass full of ICE!  Iced tea is my very favorite beverage on the face of this earth.  Drinking iced tea on a cold, snowy day is a means for my rebel soul to say “Okay, life goes on—and I’m going to enjoy it!”

I’m recalling a Saturday back in 1999.  I ‘d arrived at Mitchell Field, supposedly to board a 7:00 a.m. flight to Denver for a week’s visit with our Colorado son and his family.  The weather was much like today, and conditions were odd.  Planes were taking off from Mitchell, but they were not able to land.  My plane to Denver was stalled just a few air minutes away, in Madison, Wisconsin—waiting for the “all clear” to land in Milwaukee.

It was a congenial bunch of people who sat in that concourse for—I kid you not—8 hours!  What else can you do, but make the most of a delay!  We read, snoozed, ate, and visited the day away.  It was like one of those novels where a bunch of diverse people are thrown together and become “friends” for a short, once-in-a-life period of time.  Stories are shared along with destinations and reasons for travel.  One is definitely “part of the human race” on a day like that!

But one woman could not relax and make the most the occasion.  She was dressed for the slopes, and had planned to meet friends in Breckenridge around noon.  The woman kept fidgeting, frowning, grousing, and running up to the check-in clerk—spilling out the reason why she had to get on a plane to Denver that very moment.  The clerk’s patience was legendary.  He kept apologizing (as if the weather conditions were his fault!) and trying to smooth the feathers of this woman who wouldn’t stop quacking.

Finally, I strolled up to the counter where the unhappy traveler was pestering the clerk and said to the woman, “You know, you are talking to the wrong person about the weather.”  I pointed heavenward and added, “You should talk to SOMEONE UP THERE!”

I don’t know whether or not my two cents worth made any difference in the unreasonable woman’s thinking, but I’m sure it helped the beleagered clerk know that he was not alone!  🙂

The weather is a microcosm of life!  Tomorrow Joe goes for his (we hope!) final surgery—a rotator cuff repair on the shoulder which literally stopped the front left wheel of our large, rolling HONDA® van last October.  Although the 4th degree burn on his leg has been the most life-threatening of Joe’s injuries, the 2 torn shoulder tendons have caused the most pain—excruciating pain! 

Facing surgery is like waiting at the airport for a plane to land or take off.  We select our surgeon, just as we select our airline—with research and that necessary degree of trust in human invention, as well as intervention!  But we relay all of our concerns, and our thoughts on the matter, to the ONE who is in control:  SOMEONE UP THERE!

Margaret L. Been, ©2011

Note:  Due to ubiquitous unwanted input on my 5 blogs, I am dis-allowing comments at present.  I can’t go back over 2 and 1/2 years of entries and dis-allow comments on each one, but I can start with the most current. 

It amazes me that so many people have nothing better to do than: 1) advertize where advertizing is banned; 2) promulgate trash; 3) indulge in arrogant pontification out of pure cussedness and a contentious spirit! 

So it’s “spam aloft”!  However, I am not sending the edible variety aloft.  I give my readers credit for being cerebral enough to eat all things circumspectly, delicately, sparingly, politely, graciously, fastidiously, thoughtfully, intelligently, and in moderation. 

If you enjoy your occasional canned product (or deli sandwich which often is equally packed with sodium) you will receive no supercillious judgments from me or anyone else on this page!

Regarding Hormel’s world famous product recently reviewed on this site, there’s an Israeli rendition of SPAM®—beef rather than pork shoulder, which inspires me to mention another once-in-awhile comfort food treat:  HEBREW NATIONAL HOT DOGS, blessed by a rabbi.  Mmmmmmm, good!  🙂   

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