Friday, September 13, 2013

Shades of Purple

Ten days ago, I was walking home with my friend, Leahy. We were talking, just enjoying each other's company. Earlier that day, we had our Special Needs Awareness Program. My knee hurt a little bit all day, just enough to let me know it was there (arthritis pain.) As we were walking, all of a sudden, I slipped and fell. Yes, on my hurting knee, but I tried to break the fall with my right hand. It was not a pretty sight! (We were walking on uneven ground that was covered with gravel.) The good news is that I was no longer aware of the arthritis pain in my knee! The bad news is that my right wrist was REALLY in pain!
I sat there for a moment. Leahy wanted to help me up. But, with bad knees and a very sore wrist, my big question was, "How will I ever be able to get up off the ground?" Again, it was not a pretty sight! After a couple of minutes, I did manage to get vertical once again and we finished the short walk to my house. Leahy was such a sweetheart, getting me ice and later putting an Ace Bandage on me. She even cooked dinner for me! I was planning on going to Wa the next day, so I put "get wrist x-rayed" on my Wa list.
The next morning, my wrist still hurt and was swollen quite a bit...did I really have a wrist in there someplace? I took the tro tro to Wa and a taxi to the hospital. I had to get a patient folder, so first, I had to pay for it and the consultation. Then, my vital signs were taken. I was instructed to go to Exam Room 6. Good! There were only 2 people ahead of me. But, ten minutes later, the physician left to go to surgery! Now what? A nurse took pity on me and took me directly into Exam Room 3. The doctor wrote an order for x-rays. I went to the x-ray department, showed them my folder. Then, I was given a slip of paper. I had to go and pay for the x-rays first. So, back to the Cashier. I paid for the x-rays, returned to the x-ray department and waited. Eventually, I was called and the x-rays taken. After they were developed, I asked the technician if he saw anything. He said everything looked fine. So, I took my folder and the x-rays to see the doctor again. This time there were twenty (20) people ahead of me. After fifteen (15) minutes and seeing that no one in the line moved, I returned my folder to where it belongs. My wrist wasn't broken. I would be waiting for hours to hear, "Take it easy. Put ice on it. Use an Ace Bandage. Elevate it. It will take anywhere from 2 to 10 weeks to completely heal." I didn't want to wait. So, I left.
For the most part, at least for the first few days, I followed that advice. My wrist, thumb, palm of my hand was very colorful for awhile. Now, not so much. It still hurts, but I can now brush my teeth with my right hand, with some pain. There are plenty of things that still hurt when I try to do them with my right hand. The pain is less each day. I am VERY grateful for all of Leahy's help and that my wrist did not break. I am not young anymore!!!! God is watching over me, in spite of myself!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Dee Dee

One of the hardest things for me here in Ghana, is hearing of the death of someone to whom I have been close and not being able to be with the family and others I have grown to love. Last night, I heard of the death of my dear friend, Dee Dee. When I moved to Munhall, PA, a very long time ago, Dee Dee took me "under her wing" and said she would be my "mother away from home." Dee Dee was much more than that.
Dee Dee was a woman of deep faith, prayer, and hope. She saw me through many good times. And, yes, many, many difficult times. Yet, she always believed, always hoped, never gave up. She always encouraged me to find God in each day, in each situation, no matter how much despair I was feeling. It was Dee Dee's prayers that got me through many days. And, it was Dee Dee who connected me with another woman of faith, Ava Steiner. Dee Dee and her husband, Jim, drove from Johnstown to Beaver Falls to be with me and celebrate with me when I was commissioned as a full time missionary. The day would not have been complete without them.
Many times, Dee Dee welcomed me into her house, made me feel at home. Sipping tea, and just brings back many memories. In her, I saw examples of such a Godly woman, mother, wife, grandmother...Christian. The last time I saw Dee Dee, she was just a shell of the woman I knew. The Parkinson's had taken its toll. Dementia was in residence. The love that her husband showed her was amazing...and, I cried all the way home - two hours!
I will remember Dee Dee for so many things. Part of her lives within me. And, one day, I will see her "on the other side." I love you, Dee Dee...for always!