What do you mean you won’t do surgery? You’re a doctor! You’re supposed to be surgery happy! Won’t that get you more money? Please just fix my knee!
I’d gone to my orthopedic appointment with my mind made up.
I’m getting the surgery.
I’d put it off for 4 months, trying to heal on my own, but now, enough is enough. Cut me open and fix me doctor. I can be healed by the hands of a surgeon too.
All I need is this quick laparoscopic day surgery, 6 weeks of recovery and boom! I’ll be back to life at the speed of Kandis.
“You don’t need surgery, would you like another steroid shot?”
What do you mean I don’t need surgery? How do I not need surgery? It’s been four months and I’m still not better!
“You only answered ‘yes’ to two of the five questions. You have to answer ‘yes’ to at least four for me to do surgery.”
Flipping through my mental Rolodex, I searched every moment of every day for the past four months and eleven days, hoping I’d overlooked a missed ‘yes’ to the series of questions the doctor just asked.
I could only find two of the five culprits.
Am I really disappointed that I can’t have surgery?
Yes. Yes, I am. And with good reason!
I’d be back to myself before the fall if he’d just operate on me. Without surgery you’re telling me I have a much longer journey ahead than I can even guess or calculate.
There are so many unknowns without surgery.
Leaving my doctor’s office with the weight of defeat, I walked next door to check in with my physical therapist.
He looked at my scrawny left leg he’d once described as a “shriveled brown avocado” (although he now denies using such verbiage, that’s a statement a person can’t just make up or forget).
“It looks better,” he said. “You’re still about an inch of muscle off. It’s probably going to take you eight months to rebuild it.”
You’re telling me eight more months of this when I could’ve just gotten surgery and been fixed in six weeks?
I don’t even know what to do with myself.
I could basically grow and give birth to a baby in eight months.
The seasons will have changed twice, almost three times, in eight months.
I could almost have a second masters degree in eight months!
My optimism was tanked.
My journey, extended.
My motivation, destroyed.
I just want to go home and eat ice cream now.
I texted a couple friends to tell them the depressing update.
One of them responded: “Wow, eight months is not for the faint of heart…”
No it’s not and I’m not sure I can…
“But that statement doesn’t include you. You are making progress.”
Yes, I’m making progress but not enough, it’s been four months and…
“Think about it. You used to crutch up my stairs and now you walk gracefully and individually.”
Yes, I can do stairs now, but…
I looked it up.
“Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.”
Maybe I should look up the message version because what I just read is making me think I have to die and go to Heaven before this gets better.
“Anyone who meets a testing challenge head-on and manages to stick it out is mighty fortunate. For such persons loyally in love with God, the reward is life and more life.”
Fortunate. Mighty fortunate.
Manages to stick it out.
Loyally in love with God.
Life and more life.
These words circled through my mind as I meditated on the scripture and sorted my thoughts with God.
Help me trade my outlook for yours, Jesus. Help me trust that there is a reward at the end of this. Help me believe that I will be completely healed and able to run, jump, and pray on my knees again. I can’t see it on my own right now.
I’m not writing this from the other side of this prayer. I’m not writing this from the other side of the disappointment and pain.
I am in the thick of it. Feeling every physical and emotional pain. Experiencing every disappointment.
Perhaps you are too. You probably aren’t dealing with a torn meniscus, but you may be facing a disappointment or some discouraging news from somewhere today.
I get it. I understand. And I’m sorry.
I don’t have an answer for you, but I can guarantee that this pain won’t last us forever.
I can promise you there is a God who isn’t moved or intimidated by our faint-hearted tendencies.
And I know that we don’t have to remain in our sulky mindsets.
I threw an adult fit today and that’s ok.
Because on the road to recovery, sometimes you do want to quit.
Sometimes you do want to kick, scream and cry.
But what we can’t do is give up.
I’m going to take this time (perhaps the whole day) to be upset, but I’m not going to allow myself to remain here.
That would keep me from pushing through the pain and doing my exercises. That would keep me from icing my knee at night to aid in the recovery process.
I’m not going to compound the issue by adding neglect to the mix.
That will only lead to more pain.
So today, lets choose to be sad, hurt, disappointed, for a moment, but lets also choose to persevere and move towards our goals of restoration and healing.
Thank God we have Him as our help in times of weakness and need. Thank God He doesn’t create in us a quitting heart and a weak spirit. And thank God for ice cream because it fixes just about everything.
Cookies and Cream, I’m on my way.