A”knee”ta’s surgery and recovery

160410_SadFaceApril 10 – A strange thought, but I have just about come to the conclusion that as far as sickness, pain, surgery, quick recoveries, and all the rest, are concerned, there are but two categories in which all of the folks face the above mentioned items. They face each day with a smile no matter how bad they are feeling, or just the opposite. I know some folks who talk about illness and pain just as if they’re the only ones who ever suffer, and no matter what, they keep reminding us that, “I really have a lot of pain today, well not just today, but every day. Ever since I was a kid. My mother was like that, too. I wonder if I will ever feel better.”

Now, on the other hand, some folks I know are in pain every day, but never mention that fact. Their smiles are broad, and they are always happy. “You know, it could have been worse,” they say. “Lots of people have a harder time than I do!”

We try to get around to check on friends when we hear that they are having a hard time physically. When we leave their house to go home, we feel one of two ways. “Can you imagine how well he/she is handling that? It must be really hard to do so much sitting and sitting and more sitting when she has been so active!” Or on the other hand, we hear that, “I wonder if I’ll ever get over this latest surgery. ‘I am really in pain all day and night when I’m not sleeping! Wish I were like lots of folks I know, who are never sick and never have to go to the doctor. Life really isn’t fair!’”


[ Anita and Chris ]

Just a few days ago, we stopped in for a short visit to our good friend Anita, who was home after knee surgery. She has had problems with her knees for a long time but continued on with her work at the school where I first learned to love and admire her. Finally, she decided that she should have surgery. You might chuckle at this, but it all sounds just like Anita. She scheduled the first surgery during spring break, so she wouldn’t miss so many duties! And the second one will be in June during summer vacation!

When we rang the door bell, no one came to the door for awhile. Then the door opened, and Anita welcomed us with joy. I think she was not supposed to go to the door, but we didn’t know that at the time. Anita has come through the knee surgery in good shape. I’m sure that the surgeon, Dr. Tackus, was impressed with her desire to put all of the pain and concern behind her and get on with her life. I well remember a note that she wrote. “Eleven days after surgery, and ready for dancing with the stars!” We all knew that she wouldn’t be down and out very long.


[ Get-well gifts for Anita ]

As we passed by a big table, we noticed lots of interesting items. Beautiful flowers. Books, an Easter basket, and other gifts from friends. How good it was to learn that the family has been given supper fixings every night since she came home from St. Luke’s East Hospital! The teachers and staff at the school have provided all of this with joy, as they think of all that Anita has done for them in the past. Somebody once told me, “She knows and loves everybody, and everybody knows and loves her!”

While talking about what she does to keep her mind busy, Anita showed us an “adult” coloring book in which flowers, birds, Bible verses, food pictures, and many more are ready to be colored and enjoyed. I’d never heard of adult coloring, but it’s a great idea.

Anita isn’t overly concerned about her usual tasks being taken care of at the school. Know why? Her daughter Missi has taken over for her until it’s time for her to return. She is working hard doing the exercises and participating in treatment by the physical therapist. Long before the surgery, I told Dale that she wouldn’t be down as long as most folks are because her attitude is, “I can do this. The Lord will help me!”


[ Blackberries from Anita last summer ]

Along with her strong determination and attention to these exercises, she says that she knows God can do all things. And why is she doing so well? “Prayers, prayers, and more prayers,” she says. “Even people in other churches have ladies’ groups who are praying for me. So many friends ask God to take care of me. How could I not get back to my old life before these knees decided to give me a hard time?”

Her sense of humor continues as before. Tied to her walker is a kids’ horn, a shiny pink one that really responds with a “Honk! Honk!” whenever she needs someone’s attention. That horn is especially useful when she hasn’t slept much during the night, and wants a little attention from the family before they go off to work. Its message is, “Come on now. Get up a little early and give me a bit of your time.”

Anita is a perfect example of one who doesn’t let the pain or inactivity because of illness or surgery keeps her down! Her attitude of thankfulness will continue to speed up the process of recovery. – CHRIS

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