Sunday, September 25, 2011
That is how I felt -- often -- over the last ten months of working my arm back into condition after an injury. But I'm so glad I didn't quit, because I would have never known what was beyond.
In May, I wrote about being stretched. I'd had many painful appointments with a physical therapist and lots of diligent hours of exercise on my own. With little improvement, my doctor ordered an MRI which revealed a torn rotator cuff. He referred me to a surgeon who warned that it would be a long and arduous recovery: about six months more of this stretching and rehab would be expected after the surgery.
How would I go without my right hand for that long? I prayed God would give me the grace and strength I needed for the dreaded road ahead. To allow faster healing after the surgery, we were taught some exercises to improve my range of motion that Ted was to help me with.
But then, Ted became acutely ill in June, and it put everything on the back burner. I tried to do my stretches, but I was too distracted to do them consistently. So, for a few more months, my arm ached and my left arm continued compensating.
When Ted's health improved enough that he could help again, we faithfully did the painful stretching exercises with new grit and determination. We'd already been through a lot, so we could climb this mountain too, we said. It was hard to stay patient when day after day we saw no improvement and every exercise made me want to cry and quit.
Finally, how rejuvenating it was to start seeing progress a couple weeks ago! The pinched, achy muscles began to loosen up, a bit at a time. I can once again reach above my head, put on a jacket, tuck in my shirt and sleep on that side, without much pain at all. (I think it is yet another way God is teaching me patience.)
In my last post I told of our joy when we went canoeing last weekend... What sweet victory that was having both Ted and I healed to the point of lifting our 65-pound canoe on top of the car together! And with the nearly full range of motion I'm regaining, I have successfully avoided surgery! Yeah!
What if I would have given up too early? I would have never known the victory. It certainly would have meant more pain. I wonder if we quit too early with other things in life, instead of persevering in prayer?
God, you are good and you've surprised me again with your wonderful blessings. When we think we can't do it any longer, Lord, help us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith. (Heb.12:1 NIV) Help us to be joyful in hope, patient in affliction and faithful in prayer. (Rom. 12:12 NIV)