Friday, April 17, 2009

Little Steps

For those of you who may not know, I had surgery on my foot about 4 1/2 weeks ago to correct a painful bunion.  Having never broken a bone in my life, this has been a real learning experience.  I had talked to people who had the surgery and so I kind of new what to expect but there is nothing like actually experiencing something yourself.  The week before my surgery I came down with a bad case of the flu and ended up in bed for the whole week.  There was even some question as to whether I should go ahead with the surgery since I had a fever for most of that time.  Fortunately, the fever had lifted by surgery day and I did go ahead with it.  

There are a few things that this experience has taught me.  First, laying in bed for three weeks and hobbling around on crutches has given me a new appreciation for what it must be like to be handicapped.  I have a great deal of empathy for people who need crutches, wheelchairs, walkers, etc. to get around all the time.  Fortunately for me, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.  But for those who have chronic illnesses and conditions that make getting around difficult, my heart goes out to them.

Second, I have always been an independent person, so relying on others to help take care of me is not an easy thing for me to do.  Through this experience, I have realized how little it takes to lose our self-reliance, and how fortunate I am to have such a wonderful husband, who took time off work during an extremely busy time, to look after me.  I am also grateful for good friends & family who took time out of their busy days to call me, bring over meals, sit and visit, play games, bring me flowers and magazines, and take me out for a drive and lunch.  I feel deep gratitude for these kindnesses and have a renewed desire to try and be more aware of things I can do to be a better person myself.

Third, I have developed a new appreciation for the miracle of life and the wonder of the human body.  It amazes me that when injured, the body knows exactly what to do to heal itself.  All I have to do are a few things to help facilitate this healing, like keeping my foot elevated, staying off of it, applying ice to reduce swelling, and keeping the incision clean.  My body takes care of the rest!  I am not sure I will ever understand how it does that, but just knowing that it does convinces me that there is a God in heaven who created us.

The last thing that I have learned is that "by small things are great things are brought to pass".  There have been many little milestones along the way.  Coming off the anti-inflammatory medication, getting rid of the ice boot, getting my stitches out, getting the pin out, having my first shower without the protective boot, replacing big gauze bandages with bandaids, walking without crutches, etc.  These are all little things, but each milestone has given me something to look forward to, and looking back over the last 4 1/2 weeks, I realize I have really made a lot of progress.  I have learned that in life, some things take time, and that I need to be satisfied with every small step of achievement along the way, for that is how great things happen.

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