Thanks for Nothing

I believe in the power of prayer simply because I've heard stories about miraculous healings, circumstances that defy logic, and shocking results to otherwise typical situations. But I'd not experienced any myself. One of the many blessings that came from my time in "rehab," was the chance to learn from other women and their addictions. I got a crash course in heroin and prescription pills. I knew addicts like them existed, but I'd never met one. I was educated quickly that addiction doesn't discriminate and that anyone can get hooked on anything, especially when they least expect it.

The story that haunts me the most was about a girl I'll call Leslie. She was a mother in her early 30's with three young, healthy children. She was happily married to her high school sweetheart. He had a good job and they lived comfortably in the suburbs. Complications from the delivery of her last child required a hysterectomy. She was prescribed prescription pain killers to ease the pain in her recovery. Shortly after, she hurt her ankle requiring another surgery to maintain her mobility. More pain meds were necessary.

By the time I met her, she was in her second treatment program for her addiction. She struggled with how and why. She was taking those meds as they were prescribed. They were legal. She wasn't out looking for a quick high. She was doing what a medical professional told her. It hadn't taken long, however, before she was spending majority of her time held hostage by her couch, too out of it to parent or keep house. She walked around for almost a year, hardly able to shower and eat, let alone engage her children. She'd gone from PTA volunteer to drug addict almost over night.

During that same time, I was learning more about my disease. I learned about the power of the mental obsession and the physical allergy. I was warned that most, if not all, alcoholics would obsess over any drug. If the drinks were taken away, we'd find something else. True, we had our "drug of choice," but we didn't discriminate either. If it made us feel good, we'd love it until it killed us.  I knew before I left there that I should avoid any prescription narcotics.

I knew after tearing my ACL back in February, I would need knee surgery. I'd heard horror stories about the intensity of the procedure. There are three ways to repair an ACL, each one a little different. The age and activity level of the person determines which procedure is best. We met with two different surgeons and talked to several people. We got more opinions than we did when we first learned we were pregnant with Ben!

After much deliberation, I opted for the patellar tendon graft. It was my best chance for resuming my regular level of activity. Of the three procedures, it induces more pain and swelling in the first two weeks. There is more difficulty regaining control of the quadricep because the extensor mechanism is used for surgery. But I never doubted this was the right one. I wanted the strongest repair for my best chance at resuming 100% of my active life style

"It's worse than childbirth," someone said.

"I'll be praying for you, it's the worst pain of your life."

"Oh! How terrible! I feel so sorry for you."

"Aren't you nervous? Have you ever been through anything like this before?!"

Needless to say, I expected the worse. But I'd elected to get through it without pain meds, I was confident God could handle it. I had a peace about enduring these supposedly torturous circumstances. I knew I couldn't risk going home with painkillers and I believed God would take care of me for being responsible and obedient.

A week leading up to surgery, people began asking if I was nervous, how I was doing. I explained that I didn't fear the surgery itself, just the two hours leading up to it. I hated the idea of laying and waiting. You have to wait for them to check your vitals, wait to speak to the anesthesiolgist, see the surgeon, listen to an explanation of the procedure, all the while answering the same questions over and over. There's an IV and different meds, heart sensors and needles. The waiting is brutal.

When I checked in Monday morning, I was quickly whisked back to a room. Four nurses surrounded me, poking and prodding firings off questions quicker than I could answer! They had so much energy for 7 am.

"He's running early this morning, we're taking you back as soon as we start your IV."

I didn't have to wait at all. I don't remember anything. Within minutes of slipping on that backless gown, I was falling asleep. The next thing I knew, the doctor was telling me it was over.

Today marks four days post-surgery. I haven't experienced any pain, only mild discomfort. I reported to physical therapy the morning after my surgery, prepared for the most excruciating pain. It never came. I was able to bend my knee further than they expected even putting some weight on my leg as I crutched out to the car.

It defies logic, really. How am I functioning so well? Why aren't I suffering, begging to be put out of my misery? I keep telling Carl how thankful I am that I haven't had any pain or suffered any major setbacks. Friends and family who call and check on me can't believe my responses. How am I doing so well?

The week before the operation, Carl asked if I was nervous and if I'd been praying. I hadn't. I was at peace with it all. I wasn't worried and I knew I couldn't control anything. There was no reason to get upset in advance! He told me that he HAD been praying quite a lot. He'd asked several friends to pray specifically for a quick and efficient hospital check-in, and an easy, painless recovery...