Sunday, September 8, 2013

Since the Previous Episode of Monday Multitudes. . .

Has it really been 3 weeks since my last gratitude post here? Y'all don't know how many partial drafts of posts I've written in my head over that time, but offline life has been full. Mostly the good sort of full, but full enough that my to-do list has been the boss of me more than usual, and when I have a whole day at home with no appointments, it's time to catch up on laundry, household administrative tasks, and trying to reestablish 20 minutes a day to read for pleasure when I'm not reading myself to sleep in the dark.

"So what has filled your cup so full?" you might be asking. Or you might not. Either way, I'm about to tell you, so it's your last chance to close the browser tab and step away from the computer. Really, I'm warning you. Update in 3. . . 2. . . 1. . .

In the health category, I exhausted my insurance coverage (and probably my therapist) for physical therapy for the year 2013. We were working primarily on my shoulder this time, and Dave the therapist hopes I can succeed independently at the rest of the strengthening process. I have an out-of-pocket appointment at the end of the month scheduled in case I need it.

I also had an MRI and appointment to follow up on my ankle pain, which is still not resolved after 9 months. The new diagnosis is posterior tibial tendinitis, and the prescription is 4 more weeks of special bonding time with my old friend the walking boot, my newer pals the elastic ankle brace and orthotics, and my newest buddy the Even-Up to raise the uninjured foot closer to the level of the boot. The good news is no more hiking boots for now, and so far the Lord is granting our requests that my back pain would hold fairly steady and not spike as badly as it did the last time I had a boot.

In other boring health news (I did warn you), Amore's root canal went as well as such things can. He wasn't even loopy on the pain medicine so I could take video and completely embarrass him here, not that I would ever do such a thing. Just saying.

Oh, and I have apparently driven my new rheumatologist over the brink. Since she's the chair of her department and a professor at a major teaching hospital, we were stunned at the news she is closing her practice here. This has added several new items to my task lists, and it still remains to choose my next victim rheumatologist. Since I need a new-patient appointment by early November, this is a pretty high priority. We think we have the list narrowed down to 2. It started with 4. (I used to be indecisive, but now I'm not so sure. . . . That's not originally my phrase, but the shoe definitely fits.)

That's the end of the health update, in case you were scanning through to get to the personal stuff. I won't say "good stuff," because that's probably overstating the case.

In other news, we had a lovely 30-hour anniversary holiday, the first time in 3 1/2 years I've been able to take even a short overnight road trip without significantly increased pain and illness, thanks be to God. The following weekend, we enjoyed attending a Fernando Ortega concert at my church. Amore, I believe, introduced me to his music. The two concerts I remember attending in our first year of marriage were Fernando Ortega and STOMP. (Take a minute to get your head around that one. I'll wait.) Now I'm actually the bigger Ortega fan and often turn to his music, especially his hymn arrangements, when I'm anxious or upset, as during my skin cancer surgery in November. Having him in concert for free at my church a mile from our house was the perfect finishing touch to a very good week.

In the last 3 weeks, my ladies' Bible study has also met twice, which adds homework and that weekly appointment back into my routine. We're studying Ephesians the first part of the fall semester. In the last year or so since I've been drawing my memory work from that letter, it has become one of my favorite epistles.

Family and friends have also kept things interesting and kept me on my knees, with an unexpected hour and a half on the phone with a dear friend, catching up on 6 or 7 years of news since we'd spoken last; concern over a throat infection which is keeping my grandmother off her feet; more prayerful concern over a young mom in Bible study who is in her second trimester of pregnancy and was hospitalized (but is now home) for West Nile Virus and meningitis; a terribly disappointing development in other friends' ministry; heart-squeezing, tough challenges, changes, and decisions for a friend caring for parents in deteriorating health; and a job interview for a loved one in urgent need of an employment change. And. . . drum roll please. . . my mother graduated from her physical therapy for her shoulder rehabilitation!

So. That's where I've been. September looks pretty full of medical appointments as well, and I make no promises my gratitude posts will become more consistent soon. The private journal continues, but it's a horse of a different color to put something together here. With school recently resuming for most in the United States, many of you crumbles know that from experience and may not even have noticed my tardiness with another gratitude post or update on pending prayer requests. I'm still discerning as I go along how the blog fits with life now that I'm out in the world more and free for quiet reflection less, even when I'm home.

Now for the important part. Thank You, Father God, for Your many gracious gifts to us, the happy and the hard. All are good and chosen for us in love. Thank You for
Your constant faithfulness to us,
Your love and pursuit of us as our Bridegroom,
Your Word
and friends with whom to share it,
old hymns
and new arrangements of them,

a lovely anniversary celebration,
chocolate covered strawberries,
one red rose just like the one I carried 14 years ago,
an unexpected hotel room upgrade,

the Fernando Ortega concert,
time with family,
time on the phone renewing an old friendship,
the kind of friends who understand without having everything spelled out,

clear ankle diagnosis,
walking boot not aggravating my back much so far,
three more physical therapy sessions completed,
Your sovereign redirection towards a different rheumatologist,
Mom's improved health,

my friend's perseverance through exhaustion in caring for her parents well,
my ministry friend's peaceful, admirable e-mail relating their sad news,
my Bible study friend's release from hospital,
good news so far about the health of the baby she carries,
the opportunity to participate truly in Your work in these lives through prayer,
abundant work for Mezzo this semester,
and a hopeful job interview for another loved one.

You are good, and Your steadfast love endures forever. All thanks and praise to You, Lord God!
(gratitude list #1758-1784)

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