November 16, 2004
I thank the Lord for the progress I’m making here in the rehabilitation center after my knee replacement on November 8. I now only need Percocet for the pain every three hours, which my stomach can tolerate after I eat a snack. I enjoyed 7 whole hours of sleep last night!
I did better in Physical Therapy (PT) today when I walked with a straight cane rather than a walker, but I still wobble. The Occupational Therapist (OT) taught me how to put on my support hose with a sock aide so now I can shower and dress independently. They even had me marching and raising my knees high. I met the recreational therapist and enjoyed doing an oil painting to distract me from the pain for a while. She said my church choir could come here to sing for the residents any time they like. I appreciate the visitors from church and their sweet encouragement to me. I never realized before how much visitors help.
November 21, 2004 – Sunday
I’m awake for now so I want to record snapshots from the past few days. I only need Percocet pills every 5-6 hours to relieve the pain. At my request, they added magnesium and calcium to my medications. An hour after I took them, the deep burning pain went away and I walked more easily. I missed church so much this morning, so I turned on the TV and watched a couple of pastors. My nursing assistant walked in and said she enjoyed hearing these men preach and that she had received Jesus Christ as her personal Savior.
I asked her if she knew of any other patient who would like to sing, pray, and read the Bible with me? Thirty minutes later she brought Teresa to my room and the three of us had a precious time together. We sang “How Great Thou Art”, and “Rejoice in the Lord” and then I read Romans 5 from the Bible. Teresa had some questions about eternal security, so I tried to help her with that. Then we sang “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus” and “It Is Well With My Soul” and Angela closed us in prayer. Teresa has cancer and will meet with her doctor and family tomorrow. She asked me to come to her room tomorrow and sing hymns again with her.
November 24, 2004 – Thanksgiving Eve
Home sweet home! Mary brought me home yesterday afternoon. We enjoyed the most wonderful dinner together. I slept fairly well last night, but it’s a little tough to get out of bed. Today PT comes. A friend will take me to the Thanksgiving service at church tonight and another friend has invited me to her house for Thanksgiving dinner. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the year. Two other families invited me for Thanksgiving dinner, so I asked them to bring their leftovers on Friday and Saturday nights so I have three dinners in a row and fellowship with my friends. Dear Lord, You are so wonderful. Thank You so much for saving my soul, for Your loving kindness, and for all the help from my brothers and sisters in Christ. Amen.
December 8, 2004
I had a good postoperative visit with Dr. R. He was pleased with my progress in bending my knee to 100 degrees now, doing straight leg raises, and climbing steps with 50% of my weight on the handrails. He said I could go to aqua therapy since my incision is healed. I can also drive again even though I’m still taking Percocet for the pain. He wants me to take the entire 12 weeks off from work so I heal well. If I go back earlier, I’ll be stiff, sore, and swollen and may have a setback. My home PT showed me how to do all the water exercises at the local indoor pool, so that will save me money. I only pay $33 per month at the pool compared to $20 for each PT session three times a week.
The warm whirlpool felt so delightful that I almost cried tears of joy. I am exactly one month out today from my surgery. We had an ice storm yesterday, so I had to cancel my doctor’s appointment. I don’t dare walk on the ice or snow yet because I certainly don’t want to slip and fall.
December 18, 2004
It has been a rough week. I’m having so much pain at night that I can’t sleep. I decided to go to outpatient PT to see if she can help me. She evaluated me and said I still have swelling, I’m doing too many exercises, and I need to rest more. She instructed me to only do 2 sets of 10 repetitions of each exercise just once daily in the pool or on land. She reminded me that a knee replacement is extremely painful and takes time to heal. I’m thankful that tomorrow I complete my twice daily Lovenox shots in my abdomen to prevent blood clots. My stomach is all bruised and tender from them. My boss kindly mailed me two fun books for Christmas.
And so 2004 ended. It was a year of stretching with two surgeries, an international trip to China, and my adrenal collapse. But through it all, I could see how much God caused me to know Him better through these trials. He filters everything through His loving hands for His glory and our good.
“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing this, that the testing of your faith works patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that you may be perfect (mature) and complete, lacking nothing.” James 1:2-4 (NKJV)