It’s been a hard couple of weeks. We expected the healing process from a total hip replacement would be difficult, however, the distinct difference between expecting and knowing is living it day by day, which makes the actual experience a reality.
As I was searching for the perfect thought to go along with my last story and tip concerning true grit, I found a quote from John Wayne. “Life is tough, but it’s tougher when you’re stupid.” I chuckled when I read it, but it haunted me through our “tough” week. I couldn’t stop wondering if we took a ridiculous chance or made a senseless choice in choosing major surgery for Mark.
We took months to decide. Vacillating back and forth nearly drove me crazy. When I was reluctant, Mark was assured and visa-versa. The stiffness and painful ache was bound to get worse over time and with the results of his bone density test, we realized if he was going to have the surgery we needed to do it now. After much prayer and discussions about risks and concerns, the surgery felt like the best solution for helping Mark to sit comfortably and move better as well as making it easier for me to transfer him in and out of his wheelchair. We were hoping this would bring an improved quality of life for both of us. I’ve wondered if the uncertainty was a sign we shouldn’t go through with the surgery, yet we couldn’t let go of the a hope for improvement.
Since the day of the car accident, I’ve felt responsible for Mark’s care. It isn’t because I want to be in control of his life, but while he was in a coma, I was forced into that position. It overwhelms me to be in charge of another person well-being and I guess I could have shirked from the responsibility, but my love for him wouldn’t allow me to do so. I hated the circumstances and would have loved to escape from having to make many decisions—however, obligation felt like the right choice.
In a rehab center, it’s easy to notice another person who’s had the same surgery near or on the same date who’s healing and progressing at a much faster pace. Some of the patients here who came about the same time we did have already gone home or are getting ready to do so in the next week. It isn’t that they’ve worked harder or more diligently, but they had a physical advantage to start with.
I’ve wondered if we made the right choice or if we just made our life harder. Sure, Mark’s gained movement, but he’s lost strength and so far the improved movement doesn’t make up for the lack of strength, which makes transfers even harder than before. He’s far from ready to come home and that’s discouraging. We’re praying he’ll turn a corner soon and his recovery will speed up, but in the meantime, I’m trying to be patient and positive.
Every Sunday they have a short church service at the rehab center for anyone who’d like to participate. Today the opening hymn was, I Need Thee Every Hour. I fought the tears as the words seemed especially significant and reminded me how much I needed God to calm the raging storms in my life. Noticing a few others who also had tears, reminded me that our anguish can either humble us or make us bitter.
Looking around the room, I saw others with more serious problems than my own. Realizing my fortune gave me strength and desire to lighten their loads. It amazes me what some of these people endure with a smile. They have taught me I can focus on what’s right or what’s wrong in my life. It’s my choice.
Life is hard, and making stupid choices makes it harder. Sometimes I’m right and other times I’m wrong, but I’m always trying to do what’s best. For me life is easier and I have more confidence when I rely on the Lord.