Write In Between

Monday, July 14, 2008

Hip Trip: In search of a good leg to stand on, Part 4

The best medicines come from the Divine Physician: The Sacraments and the Word of God.

The weekend before my surgery, I received not only the Eucharist, but the Sacrament of Anointing, also known as the Sacrament of the Sick. I was anointed and prayed with by one of the priests of my parish. That, and keeping Psalm 16 on my lips got me through the pre-op preliminaries.

As I kissed my husband goodbye and was wheeled into the operating room, I met my anesthetists, Dr. Meredith and Dr. Christine, who gladly read lines (that I had prepared on a card) from Psalm 16 over me as I "went under".

On Day 2, while still attached to my IV pole, I met my helpful physical therapist, Kate, who coaxed me out of bed long enough to stand upright on my new hip with the aid of a walker. Her good humor kept my spirits up as I traversed across the room to the door and back down to bed. An ancient Chinese proverb came to mind: "a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." I had taken that first step, and frankly, it was exhausting. I prayed for strength. And the next day it was granted to me.

On Day 3, the morphine pump was disconnected and I started taking IV and oral pain medications. After I bathed, I was sitting in bed, praying and reading the scriptures from the Mass of the day in my Magnificat. Still a little hazy from the pain and medications, I read this line from the lectionary of the responsorial psalm from that day, Psalm 59:23:

To the upright I will show the power of God.

That was exactly the encouragement I needed! I certainly was praying for strength to live in the land of the vertically upright, so, OK Jesus, bring on the physical therapy!
(Now, of course, I realize that I'm taking that verse somewhat out of context--it really relates to one's obedience and righteousness before God, which I am working on! But a woman withdrawing from morphine, and about to take more steps on a new hip needs encouragement from wherever it flows from!)

A few minutes later, I had a visit from the kindly woman who was an extraordinary minister of the Eucharist who offered myself and my roommate prayer and communion.

By the time Kate arrived for my physical therapy appointment, she took one look at me and called for a set of crutches instead of a walker! To the upright I will show the power of God. In minutes, we were crutching out in the hall and up my first flight of stairs!

By the time my husband arrived to visit me that day, I was sitting up in a chair, enjoying my lunch, crutches at my side.

By Day 4, I had made enough progress to be sent home! To the upright I will show the power of God.

Thanks God!

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  • And part of today's reading is,"Those who offer praise as a sacrifice honor me; to the obedient I will show the salvation of God. (Psalm 50:23)"
    Thanks for posting while on the mend - great way to to offer praise! Peace. ~~~mary

    By Blogger ~~~mary, at 8:31 PM  

  • It's cool that we are praying that verse twice in two weeks!

    By Blogger Pat Gohn, at 9:06 AM  

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