Tuesday, June 2, 2009

This Old Man . . .

. . . he played 3. He played knick knack on my knee!

I've been hanging out at the house with a bum knee. Has anyone had knee surgery out there? This will be #3 for me.

My first was in 1995. I was a freshman in college and had total knee reconstruction. I was in so much pain before and after surgery that I would have gladly agreed to an amputation. I would have even done it myself. It was excruciating. A 4 or 5 hour surgery that involved wire, a bar, a screw, some stitches. I went through 6 months of therapy, going 2 or sometimes 3 times a week and staying on average about 1 1/2 hours. Plus, I did daily exercises and had a machine that I used twice daily to build up the muscles.

Truthfully, even though I was in severe pain, I was very much aware of God's presence. Many rallied around and helped me out. I saw God wherever I went. My friend next door to me in the dorm came over and helped me with exercises. One simple exercise involved simply sitting down on the floor with my legs stretched out in front of me. All I had to do was lean back on my elbows and lift my leg. It sounds easy enough; however, I had no leg muscles. They were destroyed, and I needed to build them back up. I would try to lift my leg, but nothing would move. My friend would come over, place her hand under my foot, and help me lift my leg. I needed help with everything - getting food, doing laundry. You name it, I needed help with it.

That time in my life really showed me my vulnerability, my need for others, and the concern and support that was all around me if I simply stated my needs. Stating needs isn't always so easy when you try and want to do things on your own. However, that time in my life really showed me my need for others. It also showed me how much others are willing to help.

That was my first surgery. I had surgery again in 1998 to repair some of the stitching that had come undone. When I had that surgery, the doctor removed all the hardware in my knee. That surgery wasn't so bad. I honestly don't remember much about it. I remember being on crutches, but the pain wasn't as bad, nor was the surgery or recovery very long.

Now in 2009, I'm having knee surgery once again. I'm really not trying for a record here, I just apparently have bad knees. This time it's on my left knee - my so called "good knee." What I'll remember about this surgery is having to wait so long and that all my plans have been messed up. You know, they say a good way to make God laugh is to tell God your plans. This has been a lesson in patience and waiting. In going with the flow and being at peace (at least trying to be at peace) with having everything up in the air. A lesson in not being in control and relying on other people.

I guess there are lessons in everything if we're open to see them. It reminds me of that prayer that says something like, I asked God for patience and I received situations where I needed to be patient. Something like that. Unfortunately, it seems we don't always have life's lessons just handed to us. We have to work at it.

Praise God we're not alone. Blessings to all you bad knee people.

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