The surgeon’s words caught me and left me unbelieving, numb, and fearful. “The arthritis has eaten away the cartledge. It’s bone on bone. You need a hip replacement.”
This took me out of my comfort zone. I had no control over what the disease had stolen from me. I had no control over the needed surgery. When I asked if I could say “no” to all of this, I was asked if I wanted to continue to be able to walk. Saying no now would only postpone the inevitable. I’m in good health now. The timing for this surgery is right.
My fear fueled my disbelief. How could this be? The pain wasn’t that bad. Hip replacements are for much older and more seriously ill people. Actually I used the words “decrepit old people.” I surely didn’t see myself as one of those! When I look in the mirror I see a much younger woman than the years I’ve lived. That’s a good thing. Yet, are there places where I’m not embracing all of who I am, even my changing body?
Beneath the fear was loss of control. I would be placing myself in the hands of someone I barely knew. The bones that have sustained my walk for many years would be taken from me and replaced with cold steel. The photo of that exchange of bone for metal made me shudder.
And there would be pain, discomfort, recovery and uncertainty. What a perfect storm for me to stay in denial and fear — or to move into trust and hope. I have a choice. It’s my choice to make. Either way there are consequences. I can stay in control and deny surgery, and the outcome is clearly not good, long term. I can trust and hope, and I’m told I’ll be better than before — “as good as new” to quote the surgeon. I’ll live a longer and healthier life. I’ll be able to resume activities that I have missed over the past year or two.
What a picture of life……..control or trust. Control often gives me a clear picture of what will be. I’ve lived there and can most often predict the outcome of my control. Trust requires me to risk and hope for the good that is promised. To live in uncertainty for what is to come, believing God will walk the journey with me.
Valerie Avery treasures the journey of embracing all God has gifted her with including creating art and beauty using fibers, beads and nature. The bond of 46 years of marriage has created a legacy as mother to 5 and “Grammie” to 20. She is venturing into the world of writing and is grateful for a place to share stories of growth and hope. You can follow her other writings and doings on Facebook.