28 October 2008

Not for the Faint of Heart

I was blessed today. Two women from my church came over and cleaned my house. They came in with their own supplies and dusted, vacuumed and polished. It was a humbling and delightful. They even brought me some delicious chicken salad with yummy grapes and nuts in it and let me tell you, it is tasty stuff.

Just before they arrived my home health nurse came and checked my wound. It is looking better, praise God for antibiotics, but it is still open and oozy in a couple of places. While the two lovely women from my church went from room to room blessing me, my nurse decided it would be a good time to begin preparing me for the next stage of wound dressings and recovery. I think she was hoping I wouldn't create a scene with company there.

Currently each day I pull out about an inch of packing material from each open wound and cut it off and throw it away and then redress the top of the wound with gauze. It's quick and painless though somewhat gross. Think of a cross between excising a tapeworm and the movie Aliens. The nurse tells me that when all the packing material has been removed, we will be doing wet to dry dressings. We will be packing wet gauze into my wounds, allowing it dry and pulling it out. If you just got shivers going up and down your spine then you probably understood completely what I am talking about. I will be letting gauze dry in an open fresh wound....you know, so it sticks to the tender raw flesh and then pulling it out. And I will be doing that every day.

The nurse was right, I didn't create a scene while my friends were over. Make no mistake though, I wanted to. Instead I told the nurse that I was going to try to keep unsanctified words from flying off my tongue during that process. She smiled an apologetic smile and said, "I wanted to warn you so we could work up to it. It's going to hurt." Great. I will have nearly died because my pain tolerance is so high that I ignored the excruciating pain I was in for hours thinking, "It's just a reaction to the antibiotics, it will get better!" only to cry like a scared baby at the thought of having wounds dressed.

It's sad that the first thing I want to do is negotiate with God. "Did you save me just to torture me with bandage changes? Can't we talk about this? Isn't there another way?" So I am making myself count my blessings and instead of fretting over something I can't change, I decided to take action about something I could. I figure if I am going to go back to work in a room with 50 or more people, a flu shot is definitely a wise preventive measure. I called the clinic to see if they were still offering flu shot and then drove down to get one. No one was in the waiting room. I walked in, got my shot and walked out in less that 5 minutes. That's a huge blessing right there.

When I returned home I got my mail and in it was a bill for about $50, 000.00. It was the first one and only a partial bill for my surgery. In the box where it lists the amount of the bill the patient responsible for there was a great big, beautiful zero. My insurance is going to pay that bill. Again, what a huge blessing.

I go to the doctor who did the surgery on Friday and he will either clear me for work and keep me out longer. My job is waiting for me. Big blessing #3 there. It's going to get down to 25 degrees tonight. My house is not only clean but has a programmable thermostat that runs the heat. My animals and I will be comfy and warm and we will all snuggle beneath down blankets tonight. You may be thinking, so? Don't most houses have heat like that? I live in a place where many folks depend on a wood stove or fireplace to keep warm. I am remarkably spoiled.

Does acknowledging these blessings change how much it is going to hurt to keep changing the gauze in my wounds? Not a bit. BUT focusing on them should make it harder for me to complain to God and say silly things like, "Why me?" Why not me?

Romans 4:7-8

7 "Blessed are those whose lawless deeds have been forgiven, and whose sins have been covered.8 "Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will not take into account."(NAS)

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