Thursday, January 21, 2010

Update 1/21/10 Day 74

Dear friends,

David John called today "away-tion fixation". I dubbed it "fixator freedom fiesta day". "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet". Doesn't matter what we call it, the pins are out of the legs and the hunk of metal is being recycled (hopefully to Haiti). We have another signpost on our road to freedom, and we must be merry despite the long road still ahead. Greatest of all, the Mighty One has been with us every moment of every day, and He must be so very glad as freedom is always on His agenda. When His own people left Egypt, can you imagine the party in heaven? When a soul finds the spiritual freedom that the Savior provides from shame and guilt, can you hear the angels rollicking in the highest? In a little way, don't you think there's a joy parade as the fixator, a material minister of good, loses its necessity to the next rung on the ladder? Simply put, Oh Happy Day.

Dr. Bagchi, my favorite carpenter, (by the way, they do have drills, saws and screwdrivers in the operating room. Yikes!) gave me the low down after today's surgery. Stephen will wear the brace to keep those bones in place, though they are healing nicely! Another month or so and he'll be weight bearing. His knee was repositioned and can bend about 135 degrees (while he's under anesthesia). Dr. B. wasn't able to put it exactly in the right place, so there will be some limitation in range of motion, but the risk of further damage was too great to push it any further. The glass was also removed from Stephen's hand (a reminder of how all this happened). I told "Bob the Builder" that I was glad he is here, but they could sure use his help in Haiti. He said he is contemplating a trip down there. They would be so blessed to have him! Dr. B.'s last note to me was to have the physical therapists "aggressively treat for range of motion." That adjective "aggressively" gets my man a little worried. Can't say as I blame him.

Thank goodness for Vicodin. Stephen had quite a bit of pain in the knee from all that rearranging. As you know, he barely takes Tylenol. But in this case a narcotic is a blessing. And tonite, he'll be able to turn over in bed and won't have to sleep solely on his back for the first time in 2 and a half months. Yipee!

On the way home from the Ambulatory Surgery Suite we stopped at Panera to pick up some take out soup for Hercules. Out of nowhere, I started to cry at the counter. I stood there alone, waiting to order his chicken noodle, and a lady I don't know simply smiled at me and left. That started the floodgates. I felt happy, sad, relieved and overwhelmed all at the same time. It was her small act of kindness that unleashed a whirlwind of emotions that came from the invisible place inside that only the Great One sees. "Man judges by the outward appearance, but God sees the heart..." I haven't sorted out what that was all about, but it's been such a new and uncharted road we're on that I never know what emotion will pop out from around some bend on this highway. Maybe someday I'll get it. Maybe not. I'm too close to it to see it, if you know what I mean.

I heard Pastor Chuck Swindoll on the radio today say something I've pondered: "Confidence in God does not mean we tell Him what to do..." God forbid we should try. I am so confident in His purpose to show Himself strong through this trouble, and to make a "public spectacle of the powers and principalities, triumphing over them by the cross..." The only thing is, I don't know how it will all play out. It unfolds day by day. I think if I was of a mind to "tell Him what to do" I might have planned a different road. But no way would I dream of it. He knows best, and I have trouble stacking the plastic containers, so wisdom dictates I let Him tell me what to do. Yeah, I think that's the way to go.

Thinking about Coast Guard Beach today, and the sound of the surf pounding on the warm sand around my bare feet. We're going to get there, friends, and if I know you, you"ll keep banging on heaven's door til we do. So aggressive physical therapy it will be, because we are going to run with endurance this race marked out before us, and we're going to play paddle ball on the world's most charming beach. And we are going to seek and find the suffering and bring light and we are going to uncover injustice and bring truth. When I say we I mean all of you too. I love the "we" we've all become. We're ordinary people, but we have a Great and Awesome God.

Thanks to dear cyber friend Kate who has an extra vacuum cleaner she's giving us! The love just keeps coming. I'm speechless (almost- well, as close as I can get...).

Started reading "The Count of Monte Cristo" today at the recommendation of our dear Brooklyn Hugh. I'm already crazy about the hero (after only 8 chapters, and this is one long momma of a book), and I'm already seeing the cosmic story in this earthly story.

I saw something really cool today on TV in the surgical waiting room. There's apparently this place in Quebec called the "Ice Hotel". People actually carve it out every winter, and folks stay there overnight. This is some groovy thing! I never heard of it before. Anyone out there familiar with this. Way nifty!

Thanks to the many of you who celebrated with us today with our small victory. I'm praying for you for yours, large or little.

I'll be back tomorrow, to report on the physical therapy, the visit from brother Don, Hannah's neurology check up, and other various and sundry details, important and mundane. I so look forward to "talking" to you each night. I love you to bits! Thanks for sharing the wonder of it all!

Your friend on the pilgrim road,



Mary Louise said...

Do you realize that yesterday, "fixator freedom fiesta day" was the first day of sunlight, real, bright, all day sunlight in months? I celebrated with you by taking my first outdoor walk around the neighborhood in months. I felt the sun on my face and rejoiced. I know Steve's not quite ready for a walk around the block but IT'S COMING.

Diane said...

Loriann, we rejoice with you over this milestone in Steve's recovery, for uninterrupted (at least less interrupted) sleep, and for a good report from the Dr.!!! I can imagine that many emotions are on the brink of overflowing and I'm glad you could cry (I've cried in that same Panera over this whole thing!)

on a much more mundane note, I do know about the Ice Hotel - Ed and I ventured up to Quebec City after Christmas and he actually contemplated us staying there because of the novelty of it! People just wear parkas the whole time - even the glasses you drink out of are made of ice! They rebuild it every year - if you go to their website there's a video about it - very interesting:)

I am praying along with all of you for that week at the beach, and for each day in between.



Anonymous said...

Dear Smiths- Each day- anew "Halleluia!"
I celebrated along with you by getting rid of "impedimenta"(otherwise known as "housecleaning").Let's see...fixator or "stuff"?Both once useful-now the material of the universal recycle bin .Well,we both set aside some weight that so easily besets us .Now ,we look forward to the Author and Finisher. Have a wonderful , "lighter" day,today.Soon enough,Hercules will be a runnin'... In Him- Joan ,the Gardener

Susan said...

Dear Smiths,

I was thinking it sounded like a Roman official:"Consul Quirinius Fixator of the Province of Greenbush." (Ha!).

I didn't know about the Ice Hotel in Quebec, but there's one in Finland that's there all year, I believe--have been wanting to visit!

On a more practical note, I've been mentioning Steve to the head of the the physical therapist group I see for hard-to-treat people and he said they help people with serious injuries do better with Sunnyview-type rehab with a 2-visit or so prep kind of thing. If you'd like to look into that, let me know because he's been known to wave or reduce fees on occasion. If not, I'd be more than happy to pay for one of the 2 sessions if your insurance doesn't participate (they take most, but not all.


Susan K.

Anonymous said...

We had taco salad for dinner on fixator freedom fiesta day! (you know- the fiesta!) We made it a groupa affair!
SO SO happy for all the news, good bad and in between!


johandav said...

My dear commenters,

Mary Louise, how is it you always show up at just the right time to bring encouragement? Thinking of you walking in the sunshine makes me smile! Diane, how I miss you! You and Ed are peaches, and I mean the sweet kind, but you have no pits! I can't believe you adventurous folks didn't stay in the ice hotel! Perhaps because your warm hearts would melt the dang thing... Joan, my poetic friend, thank you for celebrating with us. I question your fiesta choice of housecleaning, but hey, I get a kick out of getting an oil change. Susan, I fell on the floor with your Roman official comment. I mean, that is so clever, it belongs in a Wodehouse novel. Thank you for all your care all this time. We love you K's. Happy Birthday to Heather! Cara, now taco salad is up there on my list of the good stuff. I hope we can have some together someday. Blessings to you and yours, sweet friend.

Your friend on the pilgrim road,


Anonymous said...

When I saw the sunshine yesterday I had to smile as I thought about the fixator coming off - what a celebration indeed! I wasn't quick enough to let you know we had a spare vacuum. My husband has one that he only used twice in three years (pretty scary eh?) that I believe his parents have. So if this one goes, it's yours.

My brother and his family are going to the ice hotel in Feb. If they still go I'll have to share what they experience. Sounds like quite an experience. There is nothing as refreshing as the sound of water washing along the beach. Until then we shall wait with you along this mountain we climb of life.

Love Karen & Mike