Last Wednesday I had surgery on my shoulder. It had been causing me a lot of pain for several months, and I was unable to move my right arm above my head. Actually, my right arm was basically useless because of the pain and because my shoulder had become frozen.
I was nervous about surgery. But, God being so full of compassion and grace towards me gradually brought me to a place of peace. The day of the surgery I did not feel afraid. I was eager to get the job done! And, even though I still needed to ask my surgeon whether or not he knew exactly what he was doing, he was more amused than offended.
In surgery more issues were discovered than originally thought. He first worked on unfreezing my shoulder, and that was a lot of effort on his part. He said it was the worst frozen shoulder he's ever worked on. I believe it too after seeing all my bruises from his hands and tools after working on me.
He also found calcium deposits in the tendons of the rotator cuff which he removed. And, then he removed a bone spur and arthritis on my collar bone. And, repaired a tear in the rotator cuff.
It felt like a lot, but I then understood where all the pain was coming from.
The first few days of being home went very smooth for me. Even with my trip to physical therapy the day after surgery, I managed to stay on my feet pretty well. But physical therapy is NOT fun!
Now, as I am moving in the second week, and I have reduced the intake of pain medication, I am feeling more emotional.
My husband is traveling. My shoulder is hurting. My day yesterday was dripping with nausea and pain.
This feels like a very long story!
Through all of this, I have learned to value certain gifts even more.
It is challenging to live with chronic pain. It's challenging to pretend like it isn't there, and I think some people do. I know several people that have chronic pain, and they walk a lonely walk.
But now that I have had months of shoulder pain, I am asking myself the question, "What would have helped?"
And, how can I help others that are in similar situations?
Can I help with the house work once a week?
Can I help with the laundry once a week?
Can I go buy groceries for them?
Can I continue to bring them a weekly meal?
Can I help with the yard work?
What are practical ways I can serve someone in chronic pain that will ease their way of life?
Today is a better day for me, than yesterday. I'm thankful for that. God has blessed me with many friends and family to help me through the next couple of weeks, and I am so grateful.
I would not have been able to go through this surgery and the days following without their help and support. This brings me back to the many people living in chronic pain. I think they need more support, more daily help, more of God's Kingdom people to walk beside them day by day.
We are all searching for strength and nourishment. I am finding it is so much easier to choose the path of delight when faced with adversity if I am surrounded with the support and love of family and friends, then strength and nourishment fill my soul and my heart reaches out to others to give them all that I have received.
Jesus, You have deeply rooted me, and You continue to strengthen me. I praise you through the pain, and the gain.
I will Say That Again!