Surgery and After
Finally, after interruptions and another surgery, I am back to writing this series.
It has become harder, the farther away I am from this time of my life, to remember things accurately. I didn’t realize that until months after my initial surgery. One day, when I was recovered enough to get around, I found a bedpan in the laundry room and had no idea why it was there. I had forgotten much of those first weeks between breaking my leg and following my surgery. My memory loss was more than likely due to the fact I was on pain medication and was sleeping a lot. My spot was flat on my back on the couch with my ankles iced and highly elevated. Yes, ankles. My right ankle was sprained as well as my left broken, making it difficult to get to the bathroom, among other things! Thus the need for a bedpan….
My view from the couch.
When I came home from the emergency room late that night, we were sent home with the name of a surgeon they were passing me on to. I was very concerned that I would not get in touch with the surgeon and get the surgery done quick enough. So I called on Monday to get a hold of someone, and then found we were sent to a different surgeon.
The accident happened on Saturday; surgery was scheduled for Wednesday of the next week. I was eager to get on to the healing part, but it was a strange feeling to submit my leg to someone who I did not know anything about. It never occurred to me at that time to Google and get that info! After my initial surgery to repair the broken bones, I learned that my surgeon had a reputation in Wichita of being a premier trauma ortho surgeon. Thank you Lord!
My husband and I arrived at the hospital on surgery day by 5:30 am to check in. It was a bit of a shock to find out what we owed financially before surgery could happen (Gulp! Thank goodness for HSA accounts.) I was wheeled away to get prepped for surgery and soon my family joined me in waiting.
When the surgeon arrived he informed us that in addition to the two broken bones at my left ankle (tibia and fibula) my ligaments were badly torn so he could not guarantee that they would fully recover. He didn’t outright say it – I had to ask a few questions after he implied it (a man of few words) – and that gave me pause to realize that this may be a game changer for me. How much would my ankle heal? And always the concern, how will I respond to anesthesia? Yet as I lay there getting ready for surgery, something I have not experienced before, God gave me peace as I maintained my focus on Jesus by praying the Jesus Prayer,
“Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me.”
A version of the well known quote by Julian of Norwich was also on my mind,
“With God all is well and all will be well.”
I gave myself into God’s care, safe no matter what the outcome. After a short ride to the OR, sliding onto the surgery table for the 1 1/2 hour surgery, I was out in a few minutes. Before I knew it, I was waking up in recovery.
“In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
We live in a broken world, a world marred by sin. Accidents, illness, harm happens to all of us sooner or later. Suffering occurs. I am one that has spent a great deal of time trying to avoid suffering in my life. As a young adult, during a “wilderness” time spiritually, I ran across (was guided by the Holy Spirit) Jesus’ words to his disciples quoted above. When troubles come, Jesus says, we should not be surprised. Strengthen your heart! Jesus has overcome.
What troubles have come your way? Are you discouraged? Weary? Full of anxiety?
I invite you to turn to Jesus in the midst of whatever you are experiencing. Sometimes, however, we simply can’t prayer. “Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me” is a form of what is sometimes called the Jesus Prayer, Centering Prayer, or Breath Prayer. It was first prayed by a man who was blind, Bartimaeus (Mark 10:47), as he called out to Jesus. Consider praying this prayer to center your thoughts on Jesus, particularly when you are feeling the weight of your troubles. It can help to focus on your breathing. As you pray, “Lord Jesus Christ”, slowly breath in, “have mercy on me”, slowly breath out.
The actual quote by Julian of Norwich is, “All shall be well, and all shall be well and all manner of things shall be well…you shall not be overcome.”