And then on that Final Day,

When the earth shall pass away!

Lightning stroke from east to west,

Christ our Lord by all confessed!

There before Thy Great White Throne,

Devil, sin and death all gone!

From all evil things set free,

SAFE WITH GOD ETERNALLY!

“A Salvation History” v. 14 by Richard Haynes. Tune: Madrid

How have we come upon the last Sunday of the church year when 2015 has only just begun?

Similarly, I thought the doctor’s OK to walk would never come, and it did. Last Wednesday, at my 7-week appointment. I cannot see a single bit of difference between this (2 weeks)

Xray 2.2weeks

and this (7 weeks)

Xray_7weeks-sm

But I’m no orthopedic surgeon, and when he says I can begin walking again, I don’t ask questions. I just start tearing up and blinking hard because I’m so happy but don’t want to freak him out by crying. You may notice there’s still a broken bone in the back. Apparently the giant plate is plenty to hold it together, and the main bones I wasn’t supposed to walk on, located around that cluster of screws, are duly healed, so we’re going with it.

Of course, the “how” of walking is another matter. I literally didn’t know how to do it anymore, with the boot or without, and I was afraid to re-injure my just-healed ankle, so I waited till my PT appointment the next day to get the real goods.

And, oh, the PT came through in spades. I love them and am incredibly grateful, but now I’m in a whole new phase of pain and fatigue. That had all leveled off by the end of the healing period, but now they’re having me working muscles that have been locked into place for weeks and putting pressure on muscles and tendons and bones that are screaming for mercy and trying to make things move that resist like an immobile two-year-old having a floor tantrum. My nerve endings are extremely confused and are firing at will instead of with purpose, and the itchy surgery scars are nearly completely healed save for the spot the bone went through the skin that stubbornly refuses to close up.

The physical therapists are very much like gym trainers: they force you to go beyond what you think is your capacity. They do painful things on painful areas, all the while assuring you it’s for the greater good and the outcome. You believe them because your focal point during all this hard stuff is this testimonial on the wall, and you cling to the message because this is the outcome you want, too:

pt

Saturday we made Sophia’s birthday cake (homemade chocolate with homemade chocolate buttercream, always her choice), went to Knoxville for Kate’s third orchestra concert of the week (not to minimize it because she tried out for Junior Clinic and was chosen among the top orchestra musicians in East Tennessee to participate; we’re so proud of her), picked up Sophia’s friend for her birthday dinner, ate at Olive Garden, and got the kids to bed and then I stumbled there myself. By Sunday morning I woke up with a negative energy reserve and had to get through that day, which included Sunday school and church, physical therapy, and walking the mall for Sophia’s promised birthday present of “cute boots.”

And they are cute. So is she, for that matter.

sophia_9years

But boy am I grateful for today and tomorrow, quiet at home save my PT sessions, when I can chill for a bit before the four-day Thanksgiving weekend. I’ll be practicing my gait, which is currently old-lady-clutching-her-back-and-limping, and elevating and icing in between.

Yesterday someone told me a story of having pneumonia and being pregnant the week before Christmas, and how she mustered up the wherewithal to get through and “do” Christmas for the rest of her kids: shopping, cooking, cleaning, decorating, the whole bit. I was horrified by her story, although (and probably because) that’s my instinct, too. “It’s not worth it!” I wanted to say. I thought about it and realized I could still use it as a cautionary tale as we move into the crazy season.

Therefore, I declare: this year’s Thanksgiving and Christmas theme: Simplicity. And “Shopping by Amazon.”

Have a great Thanksgiving week, everyone.