Living through the most physically and emotionally painful days of your life gives you a appreciation for normality. The back surgery in August was meant to be simple, with two weeks of intense pain, and then with some physical therapy, I would be back to normal. But in my case, there were complications, namely the surgeon irritated a nerve, leaving me 10 weeks later still on oxycodone two to three times a day.
That I can sit and write this post today signifies progress. I have cried a few tears, until I remember that some people have no legs or are fighting cancer with all their energy. The physical therapist today promoted me from a walker, which makes me feel old, to a cane, which is so much easier to maneuver.
This has been the hardest and most painful time of my life, leaving me dependent on others to help me do the tasks, like showering, that I once took for granted. Yet, I have also had a lot of time for reflection and meditation. I learned a lot about myself and God’s gift of resilience.
We too often take life for granted, that the chores and work of our everyday routines will always be! So, when suffering of any kind comes, we learn whether we are a wimp or winner. Yes, I have dark days on the days when I have fallen, such as when I fell on the floor trying to sit in the shower chair and I had to remain on the floor wait until Douglas heard my shouts for help. But I also have days when I can laugh at myself because I need Douglas to lift my left leg and help me into the car or the bed.
Enduring the difficult days in life reminds us that we are stronger than we thought, resilient, and capable of enduring great pain. Thankfully, God didn’t make us to be disposable after one illness. So, today, I am thankful that I can sit in a chair and write this post when I couldn’t do so before. I still have a long road to go, but the surgery did stop the sciatica from running down my right leg day and night, which changed my personality and made me into a person no one would have wanted to be around.
The complication from this type of back surgery is quite rare. I had the other patients at physical therapy laughing when I said that it seems that this year, if something bad can happen, it will happen to me! In joining in the laughter, I realized that enduring the most painful physical and emotional times of our lives can be a gift that reminds us to not take any moment for granted, to realize that we are “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14), and it gives us an appreciation for spouses who are always near to catch us or pick us up when we fall (Thank you, God, for Douglas!).
It’s good to write again! I have a part of my old normality back. My new normality is often hard and brings me to tears, but I am one of the lucky ones because I am not in a wheelchair or a hospital bed today. Endurance teaches us to grasp just how blessed we truly are, despite the pain.