Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Thanks for the Prayers

I’ve developed a new appreciation for the handicapped and disabled over the last month and a half. Hip surgery did not go as well as hoped for me with some complications arising. A few were life threatening, but because of my relative youth I pulled out of them. As planned I did spend a few weeks in the All About Life Rehabilitation Center in Fond du Lac. That followed a couple of hospital stays.

It wasn’t easy being one of the youngest occupants in the Center. In the dining room I was paired up with Ray and Jerome at a table. Ray is 73-years-old and Jerome a sprite 102. Jerome is also known as “The Candy Man” because of his penchant for passing out candy to other residents and staff. Although it wasn’t easy to understand what he was saying I found out that if you took the time to listen you could.

It’s not easy going through therapy to learn how to walk again. Basically that’s why I was there. It started out slow, but progressed from there. Progress is measured in feet and inches and how much heart you have for it.

I draw some of my strength from a therapy session in which I witnessed both courage and despair. A woman named “Kathy” was depressed about how far she’s come in her therapy. Tears streamed down her cheeks as she talked with her therapist. I’m not sure on the details, but she broke something in her back in January. Her therapist detailed her progress mentioning that someone who might not have been expected to walk again was now able to walk over a hundred feet with the aid of a walker and some help. I hope her therapy continues to go well.

It was also encouraging to get so much support from friends and listeners. Cards, e-mails, and phone calls came to the hospitals and rehab center I stayed at. One friend brought a box of candy, another the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue. There were flowers and more. On occasion I got a chance to meet some of our great listeners from an older woman who volunteers at St. Agnes Hospital to a teenage girl, “Anna Rose”, whose mother cuts and styles hair at All About Life.

There were plenty who also had me in their prayers and I hope some day to return that favor for them.

Visitors are important in the healing process. Remember that if someone close to you is going through a hospital stay or convalescent process. More important than the flowers and cards they bring is the encouragement and hope.

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