Friday, September 13, 2013

September 13, 2013

The Lost Art of Letter Writing
September 13, 2013

Many people no longer write letters to friends.  They may send an email or a Facebook message.  They may pick up the phone and call a friend.  All of these are good ways to stay connected in the midst of our very busy lives.  There is just something about a letter that someone sat down and wrote in their own hand writing, that makes it special to me.  I hold the paper they held, and somehow, the way they shaped the letters or underlined a word, helps me more closely feel the emotion they felt when they wrote it. 

Don't misunderstand, I LOVE emails and Facebook and use them often.  I check them first thing in the morning and last thing at night.  During this difficult year, they have been my lifeline to the outside world when I have not been able to hear verbal communications.  But going to the mailbox and pulling out a note, a card, or a letter, is special.  Today I received one of those special letters.  The lady who sent it is just a little older than I am.  It had to be God's plan that we became friends  while I was in junior high school and she was in high school.  We were total opposites, but God had a plan.

Her letter started out by thanking me for inviting her to my church where she clearly heard the gospel preached.  That was almost 55 years ago.   I remember her spending the night at my house and asking me to go through my Bible and show her EVERY verse I had underlined, and to tell her why that  verse was important to me.  I remember us waking my Mom up in the middle of the night to have Mom explain some spiritual concept better than I could.  She loved our home and my parents. 

My friend accepted Christ as her Savior just before she left for college.  Her relationship with the Lord has been often rocky over the years, but she knows God never changed or waivered, but she did.  Now, her life is fully Christ centered and she says she is so happy.  Health issues are a  problem, but God is always there.   What a treasure that letter is to me.  God knew I needed that letter today. 

My day started with an hour at the office preparing reports for the accountant.  I was able to email him some of the information and mail the rest of it before I headed to Physical Therapy.  The physical therapist again did the evaluation he had done before the last round of treatments.  The grip strength that started at 8 pounds in the damaged arm at the start of the last set of sessions and ended at 21 pounds, now is at 3 pounds.  I was not even able to lift the device alone today.  I have a long hard road ahead.  The good arm started the last session at 50 pounds and is starting this one at 48 pounds.  The general inactivity of this past summer is catching up with me.

Although today was not an actual physical therapy session, he had the therapist, David, start me on a variety of motion exercises to limber up the arm.  I am to do no lifting, pulling, or pushing with the damaged arm.  So I wondered what they could come up with to help me.  David had me squeeze the rubber "egg" and do a little squeezing on a grip strengthening device.  Then he started me working with a pulley.  I would pull the handle attached to  a rope, using my good arm, and with it, raise the left arm.  The left arm was to do no work; just go along for the ride.  He set the timer for 10 minutes.  That ten minutes seemed like at least twenty!

From there he moved me to the exercise bike to do a similar exercise.  I would use the right hand to peddle the bike while letting the left just go along for the ride.  I had to stop a couple of times during the ten minute workout.  This is hard for me.  I have always gone long and hard, and dealing with slow and painful is a real adjustment.  The other therapist, Carlos must had detected my struggle because at one time he came over and talked to me about adjusting.  I know he is right.  I just told him I want to be able to take the turkey out of the oven by Thanksgiving.  He laughed and patted my back and said they would try. 

The exercises were followed up with the heat treatment along with the electrical stimulation device.  I was exhausted when I left.  And a little discouraged.  Not totally down, because I could tell improvement in just the time I was there today, but at starting over below where I had started a couple of months ago.  I know if I do the work, it will get better.  I intend to do the work. was hard.
The little Budgie is trying to make a home in this crack in a tree since
the woodpecker wouldn't give up his home for the little guy.

When I got home, I ate a quick lunch and curled up in the recliner and slept for almost three hours.  I woke up, turned a little and slept another hour.  So maybe you see why that letter I got this afternoon meant so much to me.  My friend, over the years, would slide back into old habit patterns, and pick herself up and try again to follow God's plan.  Sometimes she would slip lower than before, but she kept going back to what she knew would give her strength (in her case, dealing spiritual strength - turning to God's Word).  In my case, what I am needing is physical strength.  Neither spiritual or physical strength comes without commitment and daily work to grow stronger.

Tonight we were treated to some outstanding physical food.  Our friend Chris Slager  sent use a very physically nourishing supper, delivered by her helpful husband Bob.  Our friends are taking good care of us, seeing that our physical needs are being met.  We are more used to being on the giving end instead of the receiving end, but the meals that have been provided are helping me not over do with my weak arm.  I can't peel a potato, slice meat, open jars or cans; even opening a Ziplock bag is a challenge.  This help is a blessing.  Thank you all.

1 comment:

  1. Hands together for you!!!It will be slow but you don't want to rush it & not get optimal results. Remember that the surgeon "messed" with all the muscles,etc & they temporarily lose their ability to respond so fast. They have to calm down before you'll get visible results every PT appt. When you get discouraged, visualize all these muscles, tendons, nerves doing an angry dance inside your body!! "I used red ants in my visual "fit"!!) Soon I realized that the red ants were doing happy dances instead of "fits". I know it is hard for you to not be able to do much for yourself but sometimes you need to slow down & let others do for you & try to enjoy it!! With PT you'll hit a plateau that seems like nothing is happening but it is!! You just have to trust the PT person to work well with you. You have a good relationship with them & that's worth its weight in gold. They know you will work hard with them & that your comments are ones they need to take to heart. Keep an open line between you & them so you can feel free to express your needs, hurts, & suggestions.

    Hope this next week is one of uplifting joy for you. Thanks for sharing with us. Hands together for you!!