Leg Work: a bit of bone surgery


The 21st of February, the very day after I turned 46, I had my 31st surgery. God has been good to me in that I made it through another one.

This was the easiest surgery I’ve ever had on my leg. Dr. Karl Raynor went in and removed 2″ from my left distal fibula (smaller lower leg bone) and the internal bone stimulator that was placed in there when my ankle was totally fused in May of 2006.

You can see the wires sticking out of where the devise had been. See that sharp bone sticking out of the back of the leg? That is the place to which my fibula was cut this time (where some tendon attach). It was about 2″ longer but had grown toward the tibia to try to make a pseudo-joint which was causing unbearable bone pain for me.

The wires from the bone stim were wrapped around the ankle area along with some bone removed from my fibula to help attain a solid fusion. Though the bone stim is supposed to stimulate bone growth in the area where the wires are located, apparently some EMFs encouraged some bone growth at the end of my fibula that we didn’t want.

You can see that I have a metal rod and a couple of long screws that bind things together. It looks rather robotic on xray, but kind of nasty in real life. I have a crookedy lower left leg with no outer ankle protrusion at all. It’s flat and majorly scarred.

Still . . . I have my own leg and foot. I even have most of my sensory nerve functions so that I feel thing with that foot which is amazing given all that it’s been through.

I joke with people who can’t believe how many surgeries I’ve survived by saying, ” When God does finally take me home, it will probably be from an infection from a paper cut or something small like that.”

Seriously, the prayers of my friends have helped sustain me through everything. It is especially important since I am allergic to all the main pain medications.

I went into surgery at about 11 a.m.. My nurse’s name was also Ellen (43 y.o.) and she also likes to long distance run. Therefore she understood when I said I take the pain and push it aside like when you are waiting for your “second wind”. Still the different people including the anesthesiologist found it hard to believe that I was not taking anything for the intense pain.

I came out of surgery in record time and was very talkative even before I could open my eyes. I heard Dr. Summers (the anesthesiologist) check on me before he left. I asked him to please give us some “Summer” weather. It was a bad joke, but he laughed anyway.

At 1 p.m. I was home in my own bed! The nerve block that they gave me in surgery worked so well that I felt no bone pain, just sharp cut of the incision. The On-Q Pain med ball was in place to drip Marcaine right into the surgical site, and was a godsend for the three days it worked!

With my leg elevated in the wheelchair, I am finally able to get back to my computer to catch up (if that’s EVEN possible) with all the things I need to attend to. [Yes, I ended that sentence with a preposition because that’s how I would speak naturally].

Currently, I am using lydocaine pain patches next to the incision for 12 hours a day to help with the pain. I am to be non-weightbearing until at least Monday when I get the stitches out.

The most frustrating thing is that I can’t do housework that I want, cook supper, or be much help around here. AND I am lonely, since I am unable to go out just yet. Thank God for phone calls and book reading, cause there’s hardly anything worth watching on TV.

Well, I’m gonna call it quits for this post. I’ll just be “kickin’ back” and recovering for a bit.

Weathering the Storm


Right now the wind is really howling outside my office window. It makes me think about the storms of life and about the sermon at church today.

The sermon was about Jonah and how he hired a boat to take him in the opposite direction of where God had told him to go. Jonah understood that God was telling him to go to Ninevah to give them the message to repent from their great wickedness and that God would then show mercy on them. Jonah understood, but that is not what he wanted. He wanted God to punish their evil, not show mercy. So when faced with doing something other than what he knew he should do, Noah ran away.

How many times does that happen to you? You have already set your course and God throws a Ninevah assignment at you.

What did happen to Jonah? Well, the poor sailors that were transporting him were threatened by the very same tremendous storm that God brought up to stop Jonah’s defiance. Once it was revealed that it was Jonah’s fault that they were in danger, the sailors asked Jonah what they must do to appease God’s wrath. Jonah instructed them to throw him into the turbulent sea.

You see, Jonah would rather die than just tell the sailors to turn the boat around and sail to Ninevah. But God kept pursuing Jonah and helped him complete His assignment by providing alternate transportation in the form of a giant fish that swallowed Jonah whole.

Swallow a man whole you say? There isn’t a fish that big. Well, my God is the God of all creation and I believe that His Word is true, so I believe that He did send that giant fish on a mission of its own. I would imagine that the fish wasn’t real keen on swallowing this guy, but at least he obeyed.

So three days of pondering in the belly of that great fish probably had some impact on Jonah’s acceptance of the mission. And the fact that when he was spit out by the fish, it was onto the shore of the land God had told him to travel in the first place… well, that should have been a major clue. No matter what YOU want, it’s what God says that needs to get done.

So here are some questions to ponder:
What assignment have you been sent on with which you have refused to comply?
Why not just do it? Fear…. stuborness… inconvenience… pride?
Do you see sudden storms or alternate routes arise due to your defiance or denial of who is really in charge?
What is it going to take for you to accept the mission?

As I am about to go through another surgery, I am viewing it as an assignment. I am laying aside what I was striving to do: “I NEED to get a paying job, do more for my family, pay endless bills, clean up my office, update my computer, clean up the clutter and prepare our taxes.”

Yep, it’s time to turn this ship around . . . it’s going to be God’s way. I’ve never been very keen on the smell of fish.