Summer Hiking

Summer Hiking
Mt. Constitution

Monday, September 29, 2014

Recovering at Home

I haven't spent much time thinking about it, but today reality sets in.....I'll be homebound for six more weeks!  The good thing about that is I have time to pray, reflect, and count my blessings.  I have a morning prayer routine, but often just breeze through the prayers, not taking time to reflect on their meaning in my life.  Today I read a portion of Psalm 138:

     I thank you, Lord, with all my heart
     you have heard the words of my mouth
     On the day I called, you answered me;
     you increased the strength of my soul
     You give me life though I walk amid affliction;
     With your right hand you save me.
     O Lord, your merciful love is eternal....

I'm filled with God's spirit and feelings of gratitude that one week at home has already passed....  I so appreciate all the angels that are hovering near by.  I had visitors and/or got out of the house everyday.  I expect it will continue, because my friends don't want me to miss a thing.  Even before I got home four angels deadheaded all my flowers and pruned the ivy!  Such love.
Thank you Mary Lou, Betty, Kathy, and the photographer, Regina
My dear sister, Marilyn, left yesterday.  She spent a whole week with me and reminded me that we'd really been together for 25 days, having left for Boston on September 3rd.  Marilyn's really good at sitting and I learned to watch more TV, look at more stuff on my IPAD, take naps, and relax.  She knows how to make me laugh!  It seems we are always trying to figure out why our families and friends do things different than we do or why they don't do things our way!  I don't know why we think we have any control over all that stuff, but it makes for great conversations!
I now have two walkers in my house.  This little one belongs to my friend, Mary Lou, and she is letting me borrow it so I'll have a walker upstairs and one in the basement.  It originally belonged to Mary Lou's mom, Lena.  I really like this walker because of all the holy hands that have used it to get around.  Mary Lou has lent it to our friend, Fred, and many others recovering from surgery.  I especially like the girl's bicycle basket that holds my phones, eyeglasses and tissues.
I forgot to tape the PBS series on the Roosevelts so Marilyn and I have been watching it, streamed in, via the IPAD.  Amazing technology! My dear friend, Delores, gave me the lovely fall pumpkin bouquet.

I woke up during the night and a little fear overtook me when I thought to myself, "what in the world will I do all day as my ankle heals and those bones begin to knit together?"  I remembered this wedding ring quilt, never finished, nestled among my Mom's quilts on a shelf in the basement.  I'm quite sure I purchased the fabric 25 years the mauve and blue phase of decorating!  Mary Catherine Role, a local physician's wife, owned a small quilt shop in Morgan's Alley, and she helped me pick out the fabric.  I finished the piecing of it in 1995, when I lived in an apartment in Eagle.  I probably began the hand quilting when I lived in Grangeville.  There are 56 blocks and 20 are not finished.  I'm quite excited to think I will finish this quilt before I can walk again!
Gratefully, the thread, patterns, and thimble were in a little bag, tucked inside the quilt.  I thought I could just start quilting, as I once did.  But no, things are different now.  My eyesight for one, and the small stitches for another.   I cannot see well enough, even with my cheater eyeglasses, to thread a needle.  I thanked God with all my heart when I found one of these little magic things called a needle threader!
I'm all nestled in the couch with all the essentials close by.
And, I have a prayer shawl that can be finished as well during this time...
Scenes like this, shared with my good friend, Marcia, increase the strength of my soul.  Marcia knew I might be sad after Marilyn left so she invited me to share her salmon dinner on Sunday night.  I think God blessed us with this beautiful sunset, showing how eternal His love is for us.  

Saturday, September 27, 2014

There is an appointed time for everything.....

I've always loved the scripture reading from the Book of Ecclesiastes that outlines a time for everything...a time to weep, a time to dance......  For me there was an appointed time to walk, hike, ride a bike, kayak, drive my car, and be smug because of my perfect health!  But, in a flash that all changed in Acadia National Park near Bar Harbor, Maine.

In a matter of minutes I went from this picture of health in front of Bubble Pond
to this after I fell off my bike
God sent several angels to make sure I'd get to the hospital safely.  The man on the right told me he was an EMT and also volunteered for Ski Patrol.  The man on the left is an anethesiologist who got a floor mat out of his car to rig up a splint for the trip to the hospital. 
I never once felt any pain!  
Mt. Desert Island Hospital - Karen said she knew it was a small hospital because the Main Entrance and the ER entrance are through the same door!
Pain Free through the check in process.
Seeing the X-Ray made it seem more real.  How lucky could I be that the 25 bed hospital had a full time orthopedic surgeon on call day and night?  Dr. Stuart Davidson performed surgery around 6 PM,  stabilized my ankle with plates and lots of screws!

Dr. Davidson overseeing the outcome of his work!
By 9 AM the next day I was ready to get up and walk with this cute therapist.  He seemed impressed that I already knew how to use a walker.  "Well, I learned something over 25 years as a director of skilled nursing and assisted living facilities," I told him.  I often reminded the residents who struggled with their walkers to get close in, don't stretch too far etc.  The morphine and hydros really kept me pain free and vitals were good so we exited this sweet hospital around 2 PM and headed to Cape Cod in Dena's rented car.  

I breathed a sigh of gratitude when Karen and Dena were willing to continue our planned trip to Cape Cod.  I'd rented a house and the three of us planned to continue exploring, biking, and watching sunsets on the historic Cape.  We talked about other options, but I could not imagine getting on an airplane and enduring that journey right after surgery.  So, Dena, our angel project manager, took to the wheel and drove seven hours in the rain to Dennis Port, Cape Cod!  The house proved to be perfect for my recovery.  We each had our own bedroom and they gave me the biggest, most comfortable bed.  I felt so loved and cared for - lots of time to sleep, rest, and enjoy their stories of walking in the neighborhood, finding their way to several beaches, and discovering the best clam chowder I've ever eaten.
The house, a typical Cape Cod style, built in the 1960's provided so much comfort for the 3 days we stayed there.  The owner, Jerry, called us several times on the house land line.  He offered several suggestions for sight seeing - places I could enjoy.  
Dena took this picture of turkeys in a house close by and the morning view of Haigis Beach.
West Dennis Beach
Karen loved the sweet houses, many with colored shutters and doors.
I didn't miss a thing!  We rented a wheelchair one day and drove up the Cape to Provincetown!  Someone in our group had Lobster everyday.

On Tuesday Karen and Dena rented bicycles and rode the Cape Cod Rail Trail.  I enjoyed it with them via the pictures that were taken.  
We saw some gorgeous sunsets!  Dena took this lovely picture of the Harwich Port Harbor the night before we left. 

Back home now I have a lot of time to sit and reflect on the blessings of my life, the daily scripture readings, and the "if only I would've stayed on the trail."  The traumatic episode taught me to focus on God's incredible love for me and I found myself relieving my anxiety by breathing in God's love and breathing out gratitude for all the people caring for me.  I've learned it does no good to re-live the event and criticize myself for getting off the bike trail and taking a short cut through the trees.  I can't have a do-over.   Today I read a section of Psalm 90 - a message about the beautiful fragility of human life.  Quoting from Macrina Weiderkehr's reflection, "For God, time is just a yesterday--a day gone by--but for human beings, time can be problematic.  We are always losing it, wasting it, trying to make it last forever.  It does not last forever....while there is yet time, embrace it just as God embraces the hours of our lives."  I heard Macrina's suggestion for me as I prepare for weeks of healing, "walk through these weeks, enjoying the daybreaks, the rising and setting sun.  Honor the wisdom you are gathering each day.  While you still have the breath of life, honor that breath.  Breathe with awareness."  The scripture and reflection helps me to know that this healing time will be a precious time of awareness.  How often do I really enjoy the daybreak?  Or appreciate a phone call and visit from family and friends?  Now I have time to rest, to work on projects never finished, do a little writing, and truly pray for family and friends suffering in many ways.  I pray for the strength to embrace the gift of time and breathe with awareness!  

Monday, September 15, 2014

Monday September 15

Dena and Karen just changed my dressing!  How sweet - they gave me a towel to cover my eyes..for some reason the thought of looking at all that made me feel a little woozy.  Now I've got peas on the ankle to keep the swelling down.

Dena said  it all looks good, just a few staples, we are going on a little trip to Provincetown today - a well know gay community, full of artists.  Last night we drove to West Dennis Beach to enjoy the sunset!  Gorgeous, then drove through the quaint little towns trying to find a place to buy some soup to take home.   We hit the jackpot - the lady told Dena they sell it by the quart.  The best clam chowder I've ever tasted - maybe because it's the first real meal I've had since Friday.  Jerry, the owner of this VRBO, calls us every day with new sights that he thinks I can see and will enjoy.  We love this sweet beachy house, built in 1960, 952 sq feet, 3 bedrooms, one bath, full basement and outdoor shower.  

We experience the feeling of living on Cape Cod - quiet neighborhood, houses from the 60's, beaches within walking distance...the bike path too, darn it.  But Karen found Jerry's bike in the basement an rode to the beach yesterday.  They talk about renting some cruisers and seeing the sights tomorrow.  I am so comfortable and grateful they were willing to come to Cape Cod to relax and rest before the plan ride back to Spokane!  The best news I got all weekend is that Marilyn will spend a whole week with me in Lewiston.  What could be better!

I'm only sad because I can't drink wine, but I have my hydros so I'm feeling no pain at all.  Life is good!