Thursday, September 8, 2011

SURRENDER, PART FOUR

"Given the choice between the experience of pain and nothing, I would choose pain." ~William Faulkner

I came home after my surgery with two options, neither one what I'd hoped for. I could have another surgery, an osteotomy, where they would go back in and make controlled breaks in my joint, and then reshape it. The success rate was about fifty percent. It also came with a two to three month recovery period. I was a mom with young children. I didn't want to be absent from our home for such a long period of time. And the odds weren't all that appealing.

I chose the second option: a severe regiment of physical therapy to get my muscles so strong they would hold my hip joint together. The doctor warned me that the program would be rigorous and painful. He said that a goal of being pain-free wasn't realistic for me. I was always going to have pain. At this point, reducing my level of pain sounded good, and I was determined to make it work.

I spent, on average, four hours a day in physical therapy building up my hip muscles. Add in the stretching and the ice therapy, and that summed up my days. I kept up this routine for ten weeks, then returned to San Francisco for a follow-up visit. I couldn't wait for the doctor to see the progress I had made.

After examining me, he said that I had made good progress, but that I had only begun to climb to the level of fitness I would need to achieve in order for this to work.  He said that it would be quite a huge task for me to get to where I needed to be; and then, I would have the daunting task of maintaining it. He painted a very bleak picture...a lifelong process of what I had only begun to do. He recommended I reconsider the surgery. But I held strong to my decision, and was more determined than ever to succeed.

Meanwhile, my life at home was falling apart. I had no time for everything else that deserved my time and attention. My relationships were suffering. I began to feel like a failure as a wife and a mom. I began to wrestle with bouts of anxiety. One of them landed me in the Emergency Room. The doctor who was on duty told me that I had to re-evaluate my life, because the stress was going to kill me.

A cloud of hopelessness settled in all around me. I kept at my routine, but inside, I was growing weaker as the outside kept getting stronger. Then one day that spring, it was as if the fog just lifted. I don't know how else to explain it. I just got this strong feeling inside of me that I had been in a desert season ~ a low point ~ and that the season was coming to an end. Ahead of me was a bright and spacious place, and my hope returned.

I had no idea what was about to unfold...had I been told, I wouldn't have believed it...

"Convert difficulties into opportunities, for difficulties are divine surgeries to make you better."  ~Author Unknown

"He's not impressed with horsepower; the size of our muscles mean little to him. Those who fear God get God's attention; they can depend on his strength." ~Psalm 147:10,11  The Message
    

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