Let pain be your guide

teacuppamelaJust as I’d left it the night before, my parking space was waiting for me to pull in.  Up the elevator and down the hall, as  I rounded the corner I heard my husband talking on the phone.  Wait.  What?  He’s making an order. Is he on the phone with Leisure? Leisure is a division of Keller Supply in Seattle.  Yes, yes, he is… he is making an order for pool parts for the boys.  Of course he is.

At that moment, I realized he was going to be fine.  O, I’d have tentative moments of wavering over the next few weeks, but walking into his room, seeing him all wired up — to his computer, cell phone/blue-tooth and multiple lines to the IV tree, all I could do was nod my head… and observe that had that not been happening, at some point I’d probably begin to worry that that boy was not going to be fine.

So how are you, sweetheart?  The hoarse reply was a bit stronger than the day before, Good, good.  Getting on top of the pain.  Wow, I was thinking, any more on top of it and you’ll be wanting to run laps around this place.

The vent had caused quite a sore throat and pain was managed most of the time… well, at least until close to the next dose.  That day was also filled with activity and visits from different therapists — respiratory, physical, and occupational.  Though great strides were made with each one, minor setbacks would serve to remind him of his limitations.

Down the hallway of that floor led to a wall of floor to ceiling windows which provided a spectacular view of the Snohomish valley and the Cascade mountains.  It was a tremendously rewarding blessing and great motivation for the next walk.

Each time we stood at those windows… the incredible view, brilliant sun streaming in… strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow: I thought of the many times the Lord has carried us in the valleys and the many times He’s set us on mountaintops — we’ve walked through the valley in floods and dry land, we’ve gazed at those mountains each day through the windows of our home in that valley, we climbed the very mountains we could see in the distance and we’ve stood at the top overlooking that valley.


Throughout that day Wes would talk with our boys; sitting there in his hospital bed, the pool biz was carrying on.  Those boys all took time off from their own jobs, sacrificed their time, sunup to sundown, each day doing the work they’d grown up doing — work Wes could only talk about.  It was remarkable to me each day I’d return home and see yet another pool package or two was missing from the line-up next to Wes’s shop.  Each day I’d say, Surely the Lord does all things well; Surely our times are in His hands.  Those sons were carrying on for their daddy… amazing… not surprising, but amazing!

When the occupational therapist came back in later that day, there were more exercises to perform, tasks to accomplish, boxes to check. We got along real well with her — spent lots of time talking together.  She asked if we had any more questions.  Uh, when can we…?  And, not missing a beat,  she carried the question from there,  Remember sternal precautions, Let pain be your guide, if you are feeling well enough, then go for it; just let pain be your guide… no lifting; nothing over 7 pounds for eight weeks.   Be careful, remember your sternal precautions, let pain be your guide.  You have to know that she gets that question pretty often.  It seemed from that moment on, the lights were all turning green… yes, it was time to start thinking about getting ready to go home!

Sternal precautions… ah, yes, sternal precautions… let pain be your guide.  I wonder how that works in life: let pain be your guide?

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