Last year I enjoyed a special outing with my sisters. As we were leaving I contorted myself out of my chair and managed to stand amidst the unfamiliar terrain of low tables and cushy seats (we were having tea and weren’t seated in a typical restaurant set-up). I gripped Leo the cane and pointed myself in the direction of the door, ready to follow my sisters to the exit, but our server stopped me, and took my free hand very sweetly. My sisters moved a discreet distance away but were careful to remain accessible in case I called them.
I don’t know what happened, our server said, still holding my hand, I don’t know anything about you – but I just feel like really good things are going to happen for you.
Sniff. I could tell she was holding back tears. Or maybe it was just me. But I rallied enough to say,
Thank you so much! You know, I think so, too – because I know Jesus Christ.
Amen! She said in response.
What a great moment. It was so kind of her to reach out to me like that. And when she did I just HAD to mention the Name. I agreed with her at the outset but needed to clarify that feelings can be tricky things, but my hope is built on solid ground.
I’m so glad I said something, because it turned out that she said what she said because she knows the Lord Jesus, too, and we enjoyed that moment of happy alignment. I didn’t want to validate her statement in case she was just going on a gut feeling, but we ended up in a conversation that was mutually encouraging.
A year later I returned to visit Boo Boo after going to Oregon. I told some friends at Ai Ai and Tim’s church about my OR trip during a coffee break and one of them said, It’s great that you went and saw all those people (at your hospitals). I bet it was a huge validation of their work.
I hadn’t thought about it like that, but it was. I am a living, breathing, walking, and talking example of what medical expertise and compassionate care can do. Some of the reactions I got from people were hysterical. I recognized their faces and knew their names as if no time had passed, but apparently I’m quite different. There was more than one jaw on the ground, and the look in several pairs of eyes was actually hungry as they scanned me over to gauge the healing that has occurred.
In retrospect these meetings, like my conversation with that lady, were mutually encouraging. They hadn’t seen me in three years, but when I came home after two months, my Trainers immediately saw a difference, too.
You look like you have a lot of energy, Coach R said. I’ve considered doing an entire post on Coach R-code. It would by a complete riot. But then again it might be one of those times when I crack myself up bc I’m prone to that but other people are not as amused.
But as time has passed my Trainers are still seeing changes even though I see them more often now, and there has been no hiatus to make any shifts obvious.
One day I sat at Trainer D’s desk as we worked out the month’s schedule. In all my born days I have never seen anything like that man loading his Outlook Calendar. I am still an administrative assistant at heart. It almost killed me. However, the bottom line is that he is gifted and I have told him point blank that the giftedness really is the only reason I tolerate him. But I must have been wearing a pained look on my face bc he decided to punish me by engaging Epic Training Mode.
There was a lot of sweating on my part, and a couple of days later Gen touched my shoulders and exclaimed, WHAT have you been lifting?!?! But as I did a certain exercise, Trainer D backed away a bit and assumed the critical observing stance so familiar to me now – they all do it.
Your movement has improved SO much, he said.
Coach R has told me my form has gotten better, too. We do this one exercise every week, so we can both tell how I’m doing bc of the reflection in the mirror, and how much pressure I need to exert on his hand.
Your balance is excellent, he commented after a set.
I’m gonna need you to engrave that on a plaque, I replied, switching to the other leg.
Mobility and muscle mass improvements are some of the gains I referred to in Monday’s post. Outside of the gym, though, my improvement has also been marked – and really, this is what this is all about. I know how to position myself to lift something, how to breathe and use my muscles to accomplish a certain task within X minutes (before I get too tired), and I’ve been told that I’m using all this [imagine I’m pointing to my head and torso] completely differently.
This is why I’m insisting on doing this. Perhaps the most encouraging meeting I had in Oregon was with my surgeon, Dr. Dogan. I was lucid this time, neither of us were wearing scrubs, and I came prepared with questions. I think the fact that I held a high level conversation with him, combined with the physical improvement he saw (I showed him my stance and gait) encouraged him. Although I wouldn’t say that I’m a “representative case” for the student he had in attendance, I am certainly a grateful example of why Dr. Dogan chose this profession and teaches others to do it. My interpretation of our meeting is that based on what he observed and his knowledge of the severity of my injury he could tell that something is different about this situation. He ascertained that something good is happening here so I’m supposed to keep on doing what I’m doing. And I am.