Saturday, January 20, 2018

Lessons I have learned because of a broken ankle...

"Make me to hear joy and gladness.  Let the bones which you have broken rejoice." -Psalms 51:8

When I broke my ankle in 3 places along with dislocated it on Oct. 3, 2017, I never dreamed recovery and rehab would be so hard or long.  Nor have I experienced such tremendous pain as I have had with this ankle.  Nor did I expect such depression.  I have had broken bones in the past (wrist) which healed in 6 weeks.  I thought this would be the same experience.  My life changed drastically on that day.

When I visited the orthopedist the day after my accident, I was told I would have to have surgery, be put in a splint for 2 weeks, then in a CAM boot.  This didn't seem like it was going to be bad at all or very long.  Little did I know what was ahead for me.

Warning: some photos not suitable for small children.

Here's photos from the accident.  I fell while going down a hill. Arms loaded with weights and a mat. My foot slipped on the dewy grass.


my leg was sideways

My x-ray before:


X-ray after the dislocated bone was pulled back into place.  I cannot read x-rays, but apparently there are 3 breaks in the tibia, and fibula.  My break is called a trimalleolar fracture with a dislocation.


I was told I would have one plate and three screws.  That was not what happened.  Here's the day after surgery in my splint.


Two weeks after surgery I got the splint off, and some of the stitches out...


See how my calf as atrophied?


Instead of one plate, I have 2 plates and 12 screws.  The left side photo, and left side of the x-ray was where the bone was in pieces.  (the shorter plate)

I wasn't allowed to bear weight on my foot for 8 weeks post surgery.  That meant I was either sitting in bed or on the couch.  This was not a time of just sitting.  I was in a lot of pain.  Like through the roof sort of pain.  Excruciating  pain.  It was constant pain.  Then came the depression, deep depression.  Somedays were worse than others.  I had to have a lot of talks with myself.  One friend suggested I see about getting something for the depression from the doctor.  For some, that may have been the way to healing.  For me, I felt the Lord wanted me trust Him.  I did not get anti-depressants.  Here is what I felt and know:  Our circumstances can change in the blink of an eye.  Mine did.  With that change came a choice.  I could let it get me down, or I could embrace it, and allow myself to be changed and allow the Lord to work that change. I know God is good.  He knows exactly how I felt, He saw my tears, my frustration, my depression.  He allowed this.  As much as I did not like it, maybe He had something He wanted to teach me through this experience.

Here's what I learned:
1.  Friends and family are like a healing balm.  They visited, brought food, made meals, cleaned my house, did my laundry, prayed for me, and sent me cards.

2.  I learned to search the Word more diligently looking for ways that God might want me to change.  I looked for what He was trying to say and teach to me.

3.  I listened to praise music.  The Bible tells me that God inhabits the praises of his people.  What better way to have Him in my presence than through praise music.  It truly lifted my soul.

The following lessons are from Alistair Begg's "Truth for Life" broadcast.  (November 16)

4.  Pain or sickness teaches us our nothingness.  Our pain/sickness is out there for everyone to see...there is no hiding it.  When we confront our pain/sickness in the middle of the night, or in front of the mirror (how awful I looked on some days), and in our loneliness, it is impossible for us to deny our uselessness, and our total helplessness.  I certainly was useless and totally helpless.  I must have looked pretty bad, even though I thought I looked sort of good.  People tell me today that "I look so much better."

5.  Pain/sickness forces us to cast all our cares on the Lord.  We may or may not get better.  While my hope is to be restored to full function, I may not be able to do all that I used to do.  I must consider that even though I work toward totally recovery.
Charles Spurgeon says this is but a dress rehearsal for when our life's work will be ended.
"...the reigns drop from the driver's hands.  The plowman forgets the furlough, the seed baskets hangs no longer on the sower's arm, and this experience cuts us loose from earthly shores, and provides us with a dress rehearsal when our life's work will be ended, and we will be no more."

6. Pain, if sanctified, creates tenderness towards others.  I cannot tell you how many people called, or wrote me to encourage me because they had been through a similar circumstance.  They were empathic and tender toward me.  Their softness towards me greatly humbled me, and inspired me to keep on keeping on.  And to be tender towards others in pain and sickness.

7.  Pain may cause us to become all the more focused and diligent when we are favored... I saw the favor and blessing of the Lord on my life as He sent me friends, family, words, songs, movies, etc. that made me grateful to be so ever present in His mind, and thoughts.  I am more grateful for little things.  I see the little things that make life extra-ordinary.  I don't take little things for granted.

Spurgeon, also, said, "The keys of men's hearts hang up in the narrow chamber of suffering."

What may have appeared as "wasted months" can be turned to something powerfully important in God's kingdom...Wasted months may turn out to be an economy of life if, in the years that God gives us, we are more earnest, more careful, more prayerful, more dependent upon God, or passionately committed to doing the work of the gospel more than when we went into the chamber and found the keys hanging on the hook.

I'd like to share a message a friend texted to me that touched my heart in so many good ways.

"The life circumstances that you are journeying through may appear to moving at a snail's pace, but remember that the snail always has contact with the path it is journeying upon.  While traveling at sub-speed enjoy looking around and taking in God's creation from where you reside.  There is no way, no matter how slow your pace that you can see, retain, and share all that you observe.  It is like God's word, there is just too much to effectively communicate all that is before your eyes, but please try.  Enjoy enlightening those around you with what God allows you to see."

I am now almost 16 weeks out from my accident.  I would have liked to have been Wonder Woman and had my recovery go faster than it has, but obviously that is not the case.  My mind wants me healed faster, but my body has a different plan.  I am learning to be more patient with everything, and appreciate each milestone.  I have to share one such milestone that is probably too much information.  Nonetheless, it is an illustration of progress.  After surgery, I had a pain pump attached to a tube that was inserted inside my leg to bathe the nerve endings with pain meds.  The pump was outside my body in a pouch that was housed in a small sack looking much like a cross-body purse.  The first day we were home, my hubby, was helping me in the bathroom.  It was very complicated to get my pj's down, along with my underwear with all the tubing, pump, and strap. Finally, he said, "that's it, I have a solution for this."  He got some scissors, and cut my underwear off.  He said, you don't need these.  I went around "commando" style of a couple of months.  It was milestone when I could wear underwear again. ;)

My journey thus far:



November 30


I was allowed to start 25% weight bearing and gradually increase the weight put on my foot.


 12 Weeks... completely weight bearing...CAM boot only.  Christmas Day.

The cowboy boot allows my hips to be at the same level which helps me with an even gait instead of a limp. 


I started swimming as often as I could...


January 4, 2018.  I was given an ankle brace, and told to start weaning off the CAM boot.


I could not wear any of my shoes with this ankle brace.  I went shopping for shoes.  These are what I found that work because they are cut low around the ankle.


January 18, 2018.  I put the crutches away.


I am getting there, slowly but steadily.  I could not have done it without my friends.

top left: Sharon gave me ice packs, socks, visits, and a meal. Top right: Sarah, cleaned my house, brought food, and had many visits. Bottom left: All these girls texted encouraging words, came to pick me up for coffee.  Darlene, the one in the center wit the pink scarf also came with Sarah to clean my house, brought meals, and visited on many occasions.  Bottom right: the lady in the blue sweater with the blonde hair brought yarn, knitting needles and taught me to knit.  The lady with the red hair sent me cards, and daily texts and emails.  She had a broken leg and knew exactly how I felt.  Everyone of them prayed for me.  I love them all dearly.  
Or this marvelous man, my hubby.

This man did it all since I could not do anything.  He was my nurse, cook, maid, laundry man, and a very good "wife."

Most of all, I thank my God who sustained me and still sustains me.  He is my life, and my all.  I am nothing without Him.  Praise God from whom all blessings flow.  
"Attitude is the difference between an ordeal and an adventure."  It has been quite an adventure and it is not over yet!  Hugs to all.



Sunday, January 7, 2018

Gratitude...Hope...Trust

"We come this far by faith. We go step by step by faith."

I like this quote, and I am sorry I cannot read my writing as to who the author is to give credit to him or her.  Last Sunday I was able to attend church...which I have not been able to do since October 3 when I fell and broke my ankle to pieces.  It was wonderful...refreshing...enjoyable...to be able to be among a body of believers.  It is like God picked me up, and gave me a hug!  I had a friend ask me why I thought I had to go through what I did with my broken ankle...what was the purpose of all that pain and suffering?  In the next few days, I hope to reveal how God spoke to me through all this ordeal.  And what I learned.  I am not sure I will ever fully understand the why.  And perhaps I am not to know until I meet God face to face.

"Life is difficult.  Yes it is-for all of us to some degree-but we get to chose how we walk through it." -M. Scott Peck, The Road Less Traveled

Steve Brown was the visiting speaker at church.  He spoke on Hope.  Hope defined is: "an unfulfilled desire that is accompanied sometimes , but not always, with a reasonable expectation that the hope will be fulfilled." -American Dictionary

Hope for the New Year!  Isn't that what we all desire in the midst of all the turmoil we find ourselves surrounded by in this world?  We are defined by our hope.  In what do you put your hope?  I put my in the Lord, Jesus Christ.  Steve Brown says:

  • Hope is given by God- it is in our DNA.  

   Blaise Pascal said, “There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of every person, and it  can never be filled by any created thing.  It can only be filled by God, made known through Jesus Christ.” 

  • Hope is defined by forgiveness.
  • Hope is guaranteed by authority...Christ's authority.  

                    Everything was created by Jesus
                        Jesus is the radiance of the glory of God
                        The universe is held together by His word

I bought myself some flowers in honor of the New Year.  They were so gorgeous, I could not help but take photos of them.  And I tried out some new edits...ones I usually would never choose to do.  But, hey, it's a new year.  Time to try new things.

I left church feeling overwhelming loved!


 Full of hope...



Full of gratitude for many things, but most of all for...


My man...who fixed meals, cleaned the house, did the laundry, the grocery shopping...He did everything that needed to be done for months while I convalesced.


My trust is in God because I know His greatness is unsearchable, He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, great in lovingkindness, good, raises up those who are bowed down.  He is my covering, strength, passion, helper healer, provider, glory, faithful friend, counselor, hope, love, and life.


And of course, there is Maggie.  An added joy to my life.  She is the icing on my cake of life.


To quote Rosamunde Pilcher...one of my favorite authors...
"I felt philosophic.  And then suddenly very happy.  This happiness caught me unawares, as I used to be caught unawares by the random ecstasies of childhood." The Carousel

Hugs...

Monday, January 1, 2018

New Year's Day...

"Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the hand of God...
That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way."
        -Minnie Louise Haskins, "Year of the Gate."

New beginnings...2018.  In case you have not noticed, I updated my blog slideshow to reflect my life today.  New pictures.  Of course, my son, Mark, had to help me get everything working properly.  I sort of knew how to do it...he really knew how to get things situated and working like I wanted it.  So thank you, Mark.

One of my goals for 2018 is to get back into calligraphy.  I did tons of calligraphy shortly after my college years.  Then it sort of died out.  It seems to be coming back, so I thought I would be more diligent about practicing the art of calligraphy.



Sunday, December 31, 2017

New Year's Eve...

"The bad news is time flies.  The good news is you're the pilot."
                                            -Michael Altshula

On Christmas Day, I walked without any crutches.  Just my CAM boot.  A milestone, and progress!


Selfies with family are hard to get, because everyone is a clown...but mostly it's Luke.  I wanted to commemorate the holiday...here's how my family cooperates.





Finally, everyone cooperated...Plus Luke gave us a lesson in how to take a decent selfie. After all the clowning around.


So today we say good-bye to 2017.  So long...


It was rather a tough year...

sleeping was pretty hard...

Things are looking good for 2018...


Happy New Year! 


May you have the best year ever!

Saturday, December 30, 2017

A little winter fun...

"When snow falls, nature listens." -Antoinette VanKleef

Pecan Orchards, Roswell, NM

"Snow provokes responses that reach right back to childhood." 
                                                      -Andy Goldsworthy

Grandkids

Happy Winter!





Sunday, December 24, 2017

Christmas Eve...


The Magic of Christmas is not in the presents but...
in HIS presence.



Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Amazing Christmas card...

"...and He will be called Wonderful counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace..."Isaiah 9:6b

I enjoy Christmas cards, do you?  I got one yesterday from a friend, and it has to be my all time favorite card...favorite as in all the years of my past life, which is getting to be many years.  This card is the best one ever.  It will probably remain so for the rest of my life.  It says it all...what Christ did for us.



As I was listening to a news report last night, they reported on a survey saying only 29% of people think of Christmas as a "religious" holiday.  That broke my heart.  Christmas is because of Christ.  Our whole calendar is based upon His birth (B.C.) and death. (A.D.)  I wonder if they have taken the whole concept of our calendar out of public school now.  In this house, we observe CHRISTmas.  "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord!"Joshua 24:15.  Be Blessed.  Hugs.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

My cat and Christmas...December 13

"Cats are like Christmas...they always keep their shine." -unknown

I am not doing very well keeping up with the December Daily, but that doesn't bother me.  I do what I  can, and I am content with that.  I think I have mentioned before, but I cannot take photos like I would like to due to my limited mobility because of my broken ankle.  I am somewhat more mobile not so doing a simple photo project around the house is quite a thrill for me.  Last year I bought some star lights in the after Christmas sale.  I put them away and forgot about them until I was going through one of my drawers in my dining room buffet.  I can do a photo shoot using them as a prop.  Since my cat spends much of her time lounging around on the bed, chair, or in the sun,  she is a prime candidate to wrap in the star lights.  She just sits there somewhat curious about what these shining things are.  I had some little Christmas tree ornaments as well.  She loves to bat around little balls.  I thought as long as she remains still, I think I can get some fun photos.  And I was right.

This is Maggie...my awesome cat.  She's looking at me like...What now?

Hmmm...this looks like a pretty nice toy...

And this star isn't too bad either...

Do I look angelic?

How about a profile shot?...

And an adoration shot?...

Can we be done now?
I hope this helped get you more into the Christmas Spirit.  Hugs to all. 
 
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