July 22, 2012 3:06 PM
Update: overcoming and moving onMy last update - after coming home from the hospital - was titled Home, Healing and Hope, though now I see how pathetically small my hope really was. I see because the next day, God gave me a much-needed spiritual jump-start.
It came in the form of a cheerfully persistent occupational therapist who came to visit me Friday - part of Inova Hospital's comprehensive post-discharge program for patients like me who will finish recuperating at home. Thursday I had been to see both my primary care physician and my orthopedist and my recovery was judged to be doing fine - though since I can't take blood thinners until my abdominal hematoma is cleared up, that remains open-ended. Matt had set up my computer so I could write from my home/hospital bed, but I must admit I wasn't looking forward to writing a whole book in that position.
I'd received a couple calls from Joyce and not returned them. I must admit my first thought was Why Do I Need an OT? While they did dazzling work teaching our special needs kids, what could they do for a grownup like me? In the end, it was my respect for all they'd done for my kids and the humbling thought that for a while at least, I too have special needs - that led me to return the call.
So Joyce appeared at my door on Friday and began to do her best to shake up my world. And all I can say is that if you or a loved one are ever in a position that someone offers you occupational therapy, take it.
She did small simple things like changing the wheels on my walker - which is how I am currently moving about - from the outside to the inside so it would fit through narrow doorways. She went over the way I am doing things now - like getting up and down from bed and the toilet - to make sure I am safe and not putting any unnecessary strain anywhere else on my body. She made me understand why it's not okay for me to walk with the walking boot on one leg and barefoot on the other.
She taught me how to walk up and down seven stairs - belting me in for safety. This training is not complete and I am currently bumping up and down on my bottom every other day for a shower until she clears me to walk on my own.
But most of all, she took one look at my writing setup and said there was no reason for it. With Matt's help adjusting my ergonomic chair (a substantial investment I made 10 years ago - and which has been worth its weight in gold - metaphorically speaking), she made sure my posture would be well supported and that I was good to go. She urged me to get up and move around hourly, to eat meals at the table, and to use my hospital bed only at night or for brief intervals during the day.
Well, duh. What had I been thinking? That I would sit in bed for six weeks and then when recovered get up and go back to my normal life? How stupid was that? Of course getting better was a process and I should be pushing out of my comfort zone. Time to let go of my bundle of fears - What if I fall again? - and start living. After all, "God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind." (2 Timothy 1:7).
Since falling on June 30, I have been afraid. And ripping my pectoral muscle and the abdominal hematoma have been like confirmation that there is a lot to be afraid of. Not a good place for any believer to be - especially for someone with children like Josh and Hattie who have faced four years of cancer and complications that make my issues look like a stubbed toe. But I seemed unable to get myself out of it.
What turned the tide? I honestly think it was my acknowledgement that my setbacks may not just be coincidences and that I need a group of people committed to praying for my protection as I continue to do my small part in bringing truth and light through my writing. A couple dozen of you have responded and I have put together an email group that I will keep up-to-date on my specific needs. I will only send these requests to those who have specifically asked to be part of this group - so if you want to, please send me an email. I will be sending out something this afternoon.
God works through people. He worked through those of you who were praying. And he worked through an angel in disguise - an extremely competent,professional and kind OT named Joyce, who not surprisingly is a believer herself.
This weekend, our special guys went to Jill's House, leaving our house unusually quiet.
I picked up my manuscript and reread what I'd written so far- which I hadn't looked at since June 27, the day before Maddy and I left for California. I gathered the notes I'd written to myself over the past three weeks and sorted them on my storyboard (something I use to organize my work by chapters).
I began writing again.
My acquisitions editor wrote to say that the production team - there are so many minds that go into the finished product - had unanimously agreed to keep my working title, something she says just never happens. While I'm still keeping this under wraps to protect it, this news and the speed with which we've gotten this far in the publishing process makes me dare to think that perhaps my book might be poised to make a difference - no matter how small - and that the Enemy might have good reason to want to shut me up, whether through injury, discouragement or fear.
But with your help, I am ready to soldier on. Let me know if you want to be part of my prayer team - I will be needing you all in the days ahead.
Art Note: Guido Reni's Michael (in Santa Maria della Concezione church, Rome, 1636) tramples Satan. A mosaic of the same painting decorates St. Michael's Altar in St. Peter's Basilica.
Splendid post. To quote Padre Pio: "Pray. Hope. Don't worry." To quote God: "Do not be afraid."
Not easy, I agree. Please keep me informed. Love.
P.S. Just broke my toe. Have to have facial surgery for skin cancer. The only time I ever really heard directly from God (I think) he said: "My people. I love you. Do not be afraid." More love.
Posted by: dottie | July 22, 2012 6:03 PM
I, too have a great amount of respect and owe a huge debt of gratitude to many of the people who work in the medical profession. They often care for us in our darkest moments, and their good attitudes can bring us hope.
Thank you so much for your transparency in your testimony. It is encouraging to hear that you are no longer feeling fearful, but ready to live in faith. I am looking forward to seeing what God will do next in your life... you are an encouragement to many!
Posted by: Lisa | July 22, 2012 7:35 PM
I just rejoined Facebook and been so sorry to read about your present health challenges. I would love to be part of your prayer team. You are a brave woman with much faith so I have no doubt you will come through this shining as gold.
love in Him,
Posted by: Sharon Morgan | July 22, 2012 9:45 PM
Yes, Barbara, I want to know how the prayers are turning out...you are on my heart daily.
Posted by: Tenney Singer | July 22, 2012 11:46 PM
Oh yes please include me on your team!
Posted by: Kelly | July 23, 2012 10:07 AM
I'm sorry to hear about your troubles. You are in my prayers. My family has been going through our own employment "issues" and my faith has been taking some hits of it's own, but if I can be of any help please let me know. Please add me to your email list. I'm happy to pray for you and since I live in the area any concrete needs you may have that I can help with I would be happy to help.
Posted by: Diane | July 23, 2012 11:35 AM
You've inspired me so often. I'd like to return the favor a little. Please put me on your prayer team.
Posted by: Denise | July 23, 2012 1:36 PM
Barbara, I am praying for you and admire your courage. You are an inspiration to me.
Posted by: Maria | July 23, 2012 1:42 PM
OT - Fantastic and a fantastic therapist. I'm out of town - rarely a chance to check online but am praying.
Posted by: Judy | July 23, 2012 2:24 PM
Thanks for the update! SO glad that things are turning around, your post gladdened my heart. :-)
Posted by: Anne | July 23, 2012 4:44 PM
What a triumphant post! Thank you ... and I promise many prayers from your Alaskan fan base. We love you, Barbara.
Posted by: Tiffany | July 23, 2012 7:25 PM
Please include me as one of those who will be praying for you. St. Michael pray for us!
Posted by: Chris | July 23, 2012 10:14 PM
So glad to hear what a success the OT visit was! I can see you "scooting" around your house now :-)
As always, I love your transparency! It's what drew me to you in the beginning.
Fears are like prejudices--we all have them. We have to recognize them to do anything about them.
I'm confident that your working through all of the issues associated with your injuries, work, and healing will be a testimony to others who will deal with similar issues. How many times have we said to ourselves, "Well, if so-in-so can trust God through their issue(s), then I can trust Him, too." Or, just the witness of seeing God as work, from a distance or through cyberspace :-).
I haven't received the mentioned e-mail with your prayer needs yet, but know that you are often in my thoughts and prayers.
Remember, God is all powerful!
Posted by: von | July 23, 2012 11:02 PM
My prayers are with you! Am so relieved that you are well enough to be back writing to us. Add me to your list of prayer warriors.
Posted by: Karen | July 24, 2012 1:25 PM
I would be honored to be a part of your prayer team.
We are going through a bit of a difficult time in our family, and I have seen the hand of God in mighty and awesome ways over the past week or so. By His grace, we are all able to praise Him in the storm! I can testify personally to His goodness, and the peace that passeth understanding - it is REAL. I hope that you are feeling that same peace in your situation.
Posted by: Nana | July 25, 2012 9:09 AM
Make me part of your prayer team, Barb!xo
Posted by: Eileen | July 26, 2012 12:29 AM