Caring Bridge Journal Entry — Mar 24, 2018

My surgeon told us that most of his patients feel 80% better at 4 weeks post-op. My 4 week post-op mark was one week ago, and I did NOT feel 80% better. I spent that day writing imaginary letters to my doctor telling him how I felt about his 80%!

But today is my 5 week post-op mark and I DO feel 80% better. What does 80% feel like?

  • my hair has stopped falling out in chunks (a consequence of anesthesia)

  • I'm sleeping through the night...pain is not waking me up

  • my skin has stopped peeling (a consequence of mega-doses of steroids)

  • I can take a shower standing up (no more shower seat)

  • getting dressed happens in stages (I shower, then sit, put on clothes, then sit, brush my teeth, then sit, put on shoes, then sit.... It gets done.)

  • I can take a deep breath without feeling like rubber bands are constricting my ribs

  • almost all the steri-strips have fallen off my incision- I'm not covering my broken rib with ice packs but I do protect it from the weight of my bed blankets (Did I mention that the surgeon intentionally broke one rib in order to get access to my lungs? Yep, he did.)

My surgeon said the last 20% could take months to recover. Okay.

Now is the time patient endurance is called for. I think of Abraham and Sarah who waited 100 years for their firstborn child. We don't wait like that anymore. We have instant coffee and Google in our pockets. We have credit cards that allow us to buy what we want whenever we want. We have Amazon! (Need I say more?) None of that will help me now.

I'm reminded of another Sara Groves song. (I know, I know. I already shared a Sara Groves song. But truly, I could live on a desert island as long as I had my Bible and my complete collection of Sara Groves and Jon Foreman songs. Ok, and a toothbrush!)

This cup, this cup I wanna drink it up To be right here, in the middle of it Right here, right here This challenging reality Is better than fear or fantasy. ("This Cup" by Sara Groves)

My life IS a challenging reality.  But my reality, with all its long sufferings, is better than fear or fantasy.  I can imagine a lot of horrible things happening to me.  I can wish for a lot of magical healing things.  But my reality is in God's hands.  And He will give me the strength to endure.  That is the cup He has given me to drink.  It won't be easy but it will be good, because it is from Him and for Him.  And so, I drink this cup gladly.As we approach Easter, I am reminded of the struggle Jesus had with the cup God the Father gave him.

Going a little ahead, he fell to the ground and prayed for a way out:

“Papa, Father, you can—can’t you?—get me out of this. Take this cup away from me. But please, not what I want—what do you want?” - Mark 14:36 (The Message Version)

That is my prayer too.  "Father God, not what I want, but what you want for me."