Thursday, October 2, 2014

The Best Medicine



I’m a ‘do-something’ kind of person. I don’t like sitting around and I don’t like being non-constructive. I don’t see this as a fault, but it must be, because once again God has stirred up my life and has me stretching my faith and focus back on Him.

I’ve been knocked flat again by this painful disease. I was doing so well, with a renewed hope in life, energy and enough function to do a few things that made my days bright and worth living. Then suddenly, for no reason, my leg blew up overnight. Painfully swollen and abnormally large, I called the rheumy and they set me up for an MRI.

After the tests, it basically came back as 7 PARAGRAPHS of what was wrong with all the soft tissue in my knee, such as missing cartilage, torn cartilage, torn cruciate ligament, and subsequent x rays showed the bone situation not much better. A knee cap that is almost non existent and a joint that is worn, bone on bone. It all has to be replaced. I’ve been living with it for awhile, but with chronic pain and auto immune disease you tend to push away whatever pain isn’t stopping you. It's stopping me now.

I had two end-of-the-year visits that were important to me coming up and wanted to be as mobile as possible. I submitted to an injection in my joint in spite of my phobia and fear, just because it was that important. Unfortunately, I am the one in a million that reacts to that particular injection. Two days later I was in the emergency  hospital, screaming in pain, panicked because there was no relief, while suffering undergoing a live guided effusion, where a large needle was put into my joint to extract what was causing the reaction. I can’t even begin to describe how awful that was.

I had minimal relief, but maximum hope as they had me on morphine and Percocet to try and get the pain under control, pain exacerbated by the additional trauma of the effusion...I actually had several hours of rest and relief before I was informed that due to ACA’s ‘new guidelines’ I was not eligible for hospitalization and was forcibly discharged. Things have not improved much, other than I don’t panic right now. I’m tied to a recliner with my leg up, constant ice packs on it, unable to perform the most menial task in self care. I’ve been told the effects usually only last a couple of days but we are going on 2 weeks now, without noticeable improvement. I cannot visit the sheep, SushiMoo, the chickens, or even go watch the ducks in the yard because I have to have the leg elevated at all times or the pain is excruciating. My only view is a blank TV screen and a small window that looks out on a rock wall. Not too stimulating.

TheMan, as usual, has been amazing. He comes home every 4-6 hours to push me into the bathroom via my new rollie-walker, or bring me pain pills or lemonade. He’s taking care of the animals and lets the Maremma’s in for awhile each night because he knows I need their attention and I can usually relieve a lot of the agonizing loneliness and frustration by returning the shamelessly affectionate Potamus hugs.




He’s had to fix our broken washing machine and do laundry, feed us both and try to keep things picked up because we have very special visitors coming and I am usually darting around planning menus and what fun things there might be with the kids. It’s hard to just let go and trust, and it must be really hard for him to try and do all he does, while working his regular 24/7 job here, while I pine away in the chair unable to assist with anything, anything at all. He sets his alarm at night to wake up and make sure I’ve taken my pain medication, trying to stay ahead of it, hoping we’ll win. I know both from past experience and from knowing the limitlessness of God’s power, that this could all turn around in the blink of an eye. I am holding out hope that is what will happen and I can watch my granddaughters when they first see our ducks, waggling their tails and squawking as they line up for their turn in the ‘pool’. I draw on memories of past visits.



I want to see their faces when the Maremma’s come to greet them as they never seem to forget them from year to year. 



I long to see them giggle and pet on Captain Marbles when his curiosity gets to be too much and to see if SushiMoo can replace our dear Emma in their hearts.



 I feel laughter bubbling up in my chest as I visualize them trying to negotiate the meatie chick’s area while the fat, happy birds mug them, hoping for a handout.



 All this and so much more, but I also am trying to prepare myself to accept not getting better, and not being able to get up. My counterpart, the girls’ other grandma, will be coming too and that will surely ease things, as she is a precious, jolly woman who will help me, if necessary, being my hands and feet. She already plays this role as she lives closeby to them and we are so far away we only get to see them once or twice a year. She has loved them for me, and made my son’s family complete, even though we are absent. I know it is going to be a great time despite my current disability, because she loves to laugh. I am looking forward to my time just being around here as we try to navigate this week together. I want to see my kids and grandkids. I want them to have fun. I want this trip to be memorable because they had such a good time. Even if my role is nothing but observer.


 I am forever grateful for what she brings into their lives, especially because I can’t. Maybe that is what this lesson is about. Can’t. I hate the word and hate the idea of what it represents. But clearly, there are things I can’t do. Many. Hundreds. Thousands even. Nothing is really in my power, so I have to lean on the One who can and ask Him to see to it that the love I have for them will be expressed to them someway, even without my presence. Through life, through opportunity, through others, through Himself.

Pretty much as He has been doing for me, loving me through TheMan, our family, our ranch family and even my online family. During this same period, a Celebration of Life for my Sister in law will be going on down south. She was the only family member with this same disease (well almost the same. I guess being so type "A" I had to add complications to mine) We lost her over Easter. She was pretty much a role model of living this nightmare with courage and grace, with a heart for others that always grew bigger than her own suffering. I regret that I cannot be there for her memorial, but if anyone understands, it would be her. The time withour living family here is not to be taken lightly and every minute we are given to share with them is priceless.

Though right now it feels that everything has been taken, much is given. Let me not forget that, once I am restored…which I hope is very, very soon. 

I will see part of my family in just a couple more days, and that, is going to be the best medicine.


PS  Please pray for a wheelchair for me during this visit. The chances are I will still not be able to stand, but a real wheelchair would at least allow me into the kitchen to help out and to the back deck where I can at least see them all from afar...




17 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing ... the pain & the hope.

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    1. Thank YOU for taking the time to comment. It helps somehow, to know someone listens ;)

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  2. Sending you love and envisioning a wheel chair to make your current life easier. So glad you will be surrounded by those you love - both two-footed and four.

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    1. Thank you!! My prayers have been answered an both pain control and a wheelchair are headed to the ranch as we speak!!!

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  3. Glad to hear that a wheelchair and pain control are on the way!
    I've been sent the lesson of realizing I'm not really in control a few times the past few months. The first morning I woke up and couldn't get up, I was reminded that it really is an act of grace that I can get up as often as I do.
    I'll keep you in my thoughts and prayers :-)

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  4. It's funny isn't it. There are so many things I will tell 'younger me' if I was able, and not one of them relates to anything I thought was important back then….

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  5. You are in my thoughts, I hope you have a wonderful visit :-)

    Also sending cyber {{{hugs}}}

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  6. Praying for your health, your happiness and peace to you.

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  7. Oh Dear I have been busy for a few days and did not stop by to check on you. I am so sorry to hear that you have had constant pain. :( But VERY happy you will soon have a chair and family visitors. Hugs and prayers.

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  8. Thank you! Justin got here with the pain patches, which I think may have quite literally saved my life. The intensity and relentlessness of this pain was becoming more than I could bear. The chair is here and I cannot begin to tell you how much I appreciate not having to wait 4-6 hr to get to a potty!!

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  9. I got tackled really hard by an opponent the other day. My head and eyeballs must have stayed in place while the rest of my body slammed to the turf. I know my breath stayed up there with my head and eyes. I rolled a few times barely conscious of anything except pain. The ball thrown my way bounced off his hands and high in the air but I was unaware of it. I landed face upward and curled my knees to avoid more pain. My eyes were shut trying to keep dry...when the ball landed on my chest. What? My opponent made an ugly face and then cried, "No way." I started laughing...another way to hide the tears...then so did he. Soon everyone was laughing. Just a couple of dopes playing a game hard. I got up and trotted to our bench for the rest of the game. I hate to think of you in pain...but I wish you could get up and trot to the bench...or at least laugh at someone who did. People might say I'm wishing you pain but I'm not...I know someday we're going to wake in a new land and trot to our home bench and pain will be a stranger. This is kind of long but I can't talk to you any other way, lx

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    1. God bless you for making me laugh!!! And thank you for your empathy. I'm much better today than I have been and hope I can work my way through it.

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  10. Well Petey... I sure glad that you have your faith. It's so hard to deal with chronic pain... and a belief in the mercy of God can be as helpful as Morphine, when dealing with this kind of constant pain. But...take those drugs, get the damage repaired and always remember how much you love this lifestyle and the place where you live. Incentive to heal comes from being strong, but also from wanted to continue the life that you've chosen. There will be a light at the end of the tunnel soon. Keep that leg up and take care. It's time to slow down... for a while.C.

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  11. I'm so sorry Petey, I'm thankful that you have your pain meds and wheelchair. I'll be praying for you.

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  12. Thank you for your post. It was timely for me. I have a knee issue and can't do the things I have always been able to. I have my bad times and good times, much like you. Your strength and attitude help me to rise up and see what is good about each day! While you suffer, you also help others. Wishing you much less pain and joy with your family visit.

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