It looks as if we are coming to the end of a long journey. My husband knew his knee needed help August a year ago. He saw an orthopedist who scheduled surgery for January…quite a wait. The road to this surgery was rocky. As a nurse I think the physician did not want to do this surgery since for the next four months he came up with one hurdle after another. Feeling this was not the right path we cancelled and made an appointment with the Mayo Clinic. We had to wait until June for an appointment but since then things have gone smoothly and his surgery will be next Tuesday.
This has been a long journey for us both. The knee fix is complex and we are definitely at the right place. We have both had to endure stress, frustration and a worsening of my husband’s pain.
The year also posed some family crises and other stressful times. The good news is that, God willing, we are heading to some healing.
The other good news is that in spite of all the things this year put in front of me I got through it. There have been some times of anxiety and physical symptoms but each one was conquered and I was able to move on. Writing helped and I find that it is an outlet for the things that come up day to day. It will continue to be my place for reflection and ideas. It is a joy to have others read and respond.
Now I will face the next week with the hope that all will go well. Then we can begin the process of picking up the pieces and moving forward.
Someone said recently “old wounds never heal.” I so disagree with that statement. In medicine, there are wounds that are difficult to heal. Some may take a great deal of time and attention. With work they will heal.
I think that the wounds we encounter in life do heal. At least if we let them. It is possible to keep picking at a wound and re-opening it. We may not want to turn loose of that hurt. It is possible to keep it going forever. However, what good does this do us? Just having the wound is painful and offers the possibility of infection. Infection is when the hurt digs down inside of us and causes, not only mental pain, but also physical symptoms. Deliberately holding on to wounds hurts no one but ourselves.
So what happens to wounds? They heal. There may be a scar to show that something happened to us but it may not even be noticeable. It may stay there forever but most of the time we will not even notice it. The healed scar may also help us to see the things that we have overcome. It can give us courage to face the next thing that appears. We can also use our scars to prove to others that healing is possible and give them hope.
Don’t keep wounds open. Let them heal and move on.
Today I was very disappointed. On Tuesday’s I have lunch with two wonderful people from the church where I worked. While there I asked the pastor (who is an interim) if the “weekly” (lands in the pews each week) could include the address of my devotional blog Hear God in Other Voices. (heargodinothervoices.blog) He said that other people had asked that their addresses be included and that it couldn’t be done. This is not his being unkind but it is just policy and probably shouldn’t be his call at this time anyway. New pastors are coming in August and it really is up to them.
It did, however, make me sad. For many of the 20 years that I was there I wrote and published devotionals for the church. People were very complimentary and I was asked by many to continue doing it.
I guess this just (again) brought home to me how disconnected I am from those years of work. Part of this is (of course) my own fault for not attending church there but I felt it was the right thing to do to help people adjust to my not being there after so long.
I am sad and will send a link to some church members I suspect would enjoy the blog but that doesn’t really help how I feel. I know that this is part of the changes we face in life but at times it can really hurt. I am so thankful that the church I attend with my husband is happy to include the link in the newsletter.
Life moves on and we have to move with it or we are left in a past that is no longer there. My life will continue to be fulfilling as I branch out into new paths. My writing is a blessing to me and is healing in itself. We each have to find the things that provide solace and healing when we are down and remember to use them.
Medicine is what we do to keep the patient amused whilst nature takes its course. Voltaire
I heard this today and thought how true it is. Medicine can do a great deal but it can’t fix everything. How someone responds to the help that medicine gives relies on so many things. If we have damage somewhere how do we feel about it? People have died just because of a belief that they would. People who were supposed to die have survived because they believed in something more.
We are not a bunch of single parts cobbled together. We are deeply integrated organisms composed of body, mind, soul and spirit. We cannot separate any part from the whole. One of the mistakes that medicine makes is to think that fixing the mechanics only can solve the problem. Our system has been based on this belief for too long. Some doctors and hospitals are beginning to come around to the idea of treating the whole person. When this happens the chance of complete healing increases exponentially.
We are such intricate beings. There is much more to us than is usually considered. Medicine that is beginning to function holistically is a positive change.
It is so easy to forget that the words whole and holistic are all connected to the word holy. As a living being we are holy and should always be treated with love, respect and awe. When we reach the time when this is done we will be truly healing.
Down somewhere deep inside we know what we would like/need to do be healed. If we are afraid of social situations we know, on some level, that exposure could help us. If we have anxiety because we spend our time thinking ahead and imagining a dreadful future we know that we have to find ways to shut down that kind of thinking. If we have to count how many steps there are from our kitchen to the dining room in order to eat then we need to find ways to let that go.
We may not know or have the answers but we know that healing is needed. We don’t know how we got this way but we want to change. Sometimes the thought that it may never change can spiral us into a swirling chaos.
The truth is that change is possible. It can happen just a moment at a time. Too slow to even be noticed but it does happen. We have to cling with every ounce of strength we have that hope.
I am proof that things can be different. I hope that knowing I survive no matter what and move forward to the next day will give someone courage to keep on. After 77 years I am still here and life is worth living!
For weeks I have been gathering the information my husband needs for his doctor at the Mayo Clinic. I need to take this burden from him since I am so familiar with how the medical systems work (or don’t work). This has been so frustrating for me and I have realized how having to confront people over and over to get what I need brings on my anxiety. The funny thing is that I can do it for others but when it is my own family I fall apart. Now we need more records and tomorrow I have to ask to speak to an office manager that I have called on so many times (and she has been so nice) that I am embarrassed and anxious about having to do it again.
I know this is silly and part of my incipient anxiety but there it is. I will force myself to do this tomorrow and I know I will suffer through it and come home drained. I just pray that my IBD will not flare up and cause me to seek every bathroom I can find. Why is it that to do this as part of my former job was not a problem but it is for my husband.
Worrying about what someone will think of me is still an issue at my age. It doesn’t get me all the time but these kind of situations will cause it to rear its ugly head. I have just connected this specific incident and now understand why I keep wanting to put it off.
This is a trigger that I haven’t noticed before but now that I am aware of it I will ready myself, use my learned tools and get it done.
Over the years learning ways to cope with my anxiety and manage the situations that I need to get through has changed my life. So many things that were triggers no longer bother me. I think in some ways I have de-synthesized myself and this has been a blessing.
Have faith. You are able to grow and find new ways to move forward. My 77 years have proved it. A good life is possible. Everyone lives with limitations it is just that each person’s are different.
Keep growing, keep learning, keep trying. You can do it.