As the title says, this is Part 2 of this post. So if you haven’t seen Part 1 yet, make sure you read it first. Then you will be up to speed with the whole story. This is about my knee replacement surgery, which took place on April 6, 2011. God gave me a medical miracle rather than a supernatural healing and He showed me His presence and power in a very special way through my recovery.
Last time we left off at day two in the hospital. It ended much like day one. I was pretty comfortable, in a great mood, but I could not sleep at all. Of course having someone come in to check your vital signs every hour does not really create an atmosphere for sleep. It made for some great fellowship with the staff though and the time didn’t drag on too much.
Day 3 – On My Feet
As day three dawned upon the hospital I was visited by a physical therapist. She wanted me to sit on the edge of the bed and dangle those legs over the side. No problem with that. It just took a little bit of wiggle power to get there. It felt good to be in a different position. After a few minutes of doing that, she wanted me to get out of the bed and stand on those Oxinium knees (Oxidized Zirconium – amazing technology). Surprisingly, that was very easy to do. No real pain, just stiffness. The therapist had me sit in a wheel chair and I stayed there about 3 hours. I liked that. It was great being out of the bed. I pushed myself around my private room, looked out the window, sat by the door to see what was going on on the floor and just had a good old time.
When the therapist returned she wanted me to try walking. I got up, but the muscles in those legs didn’t really want to move so I had to push past that. I had a nurse on each side of me for stability and my hands on a walker. I took a step, then another, and one more. I was impressed. The staff was too, so they asked me to try a few more. We were soon at the door of my room and out in the hall. Then we turned around and came back to the bed. I had walked about 35 feet.
Speedy Recovery Attracts Attention
Everyone was blown away by my ability to accomplish all this on day three. Rumors of my success began to spread throughout the surgical wing of the hospital and sometimes staff would comment on that when there was a shift change. God was all over me, granting me a speedy recovery. I was overwhelmed with a sense of His goodness and strength. I still didn’t get any sleep really, but I watched a lot of reality TV and eagerly anticipated what lay ahead. What was really cool was the fact that I got to give Him all the credit publicly for my progress and people were interested in what was happening.
Day four had me walking a lot in the hallway. That was challenging but fun. When I wasn’t walking I was rolling myself around in the wheelchair just so I could keep up with activity on the floor and see some people. The therapists were coming twice a day now and were teaching me exercises I could do in bed. I was even inventing some on my own to help increase my flexibility. Every passing hour was bringing more progress.
What I discovered about dealing with the knee replacement was that if I bent them to the point of some pain and then bent them a little more past it, it stretched everything out and made it easier to do that movement next time. There’s a spiritual lesson in that, too. Sometimes life has pain. It is so much better to face it, use your faith to push past it by doing what you need to do (even though you don’t feel like it). Then you can keep track of all the progress you are making by dealing with the pain instead of complaining about it.
Later that evening I had a really funny experience with one of the nurses. She was really pretty and quite young. She had to give me a shot in my stomach to administer a medicine that was to prevent nausea that could be caused from the other meds I was getting. As she jabbed the needle into my belly she told me, “You have such beautiful eyes. I bet you get told that a lot!” I told her that she was correct, I do get told that a lot. I never understood that either, because I always thought my eyes looked weird because they don’t open all the way. It turned out she was very jealous of my long eye lashes. The next day two other nurses made a similar comment. So now I was the guy with the new knees and the beautiful eyes that was accomplishing amazing things. The lesson is, don’t always believe your negative opinions about yourself, especially when others compliment you for those things.
Great Progress Continues
Day five was much the same: great progress, minor discomfort, eat, walk, wheelchair trips, TV, visitors, no sleep. Day six was my very first ambulance ride. I was transferred to an inpatient rehab facility. That was a fun trip. No siren or lights (rats – I was hoping for that), but the crew was so friendly. We kept each other laughing all the way up the hill. Then they wheeled me into my room. I was given the best room (it was private too, just like I had at the hospital), with the best view (the beautiful hills of the Mohawk Valley), and the farthest distance from the dining hall (which I had to walk to every day – great exercise). It was perfect. God was working out everything for my good (Romans 8:28). I was quite impressed.
On day seven I had my first 45 minute intensive therapy session. There were 4 of those every day. Before the day was out I climbed 20 stairs, went down an elevator, walked outside, and staff supervision of activities I did in my room was lifted. I was now independent. The only assistance I had was walking in the halls. The staff was amazed. One of the therapists said that they only get a knee patient that can do what I was doing about once a year.
The next day I was walking with no walker or cane. The day after that I was reclassified as totally independent, needing no supervision anywhere and no assisting devices. Therapy sessions went extremely well and I exceeded all expectations. I climbed four flights of stairs, toured the halls, went back outside and had some great interactions with staff and some of the patients at meal times. I was getting very specific questions about my life as a Christian and a minister and had multiple opportunities to share about God’s greatness and love during my time at inpatient therapy.
The Happy Patient
In less than 24 hours I would be on my way home, a few days earlier than most who have double knee replacement, or even single replacement. This verse applies so well to my experience with this surgery:
Proverbs 15:30 NIV A cheerful look brings joy to the heart, and good news gives health to the bones.
I was a happy patient. I looked good because of His joy in my heart. People noticed and commented on it. I felt good because He was with me and blessing me and people were praying for me. My leg bones and oxinium knees were very healthy as good news surrounded me every day. God was good to me. No doubt about it. Was it an awesome healing? Oh yeah. Was it supernatural? I would say so, just differently than I expected. Nurses and therapists were amazed. I was amazed. Sure, it would have been easier to have gotten healed in a prayer line at some church, but I’m telling you, this was an awesome experience for me. And I love it that I got to share HIM so much and meet some really wonderful people.
Seven more weeks of outpatient therapy were yet to come (3 times per week). More challenges and goals to achieve. I was released last Friday from all that. They couldn’t justify my need to come anymore because I was doing so good. My knee replacement made history there, too. My success and rapid recovery also made me very popular with the other patients. They asked me a lot of questions about what I went through. Many of them were facing knee replacement as well and they were very concerned about it.
Reach Out to God in Faith
So let me close with this. When you have a physical need in your body reach out to God through the power of the name of His Son Jesus. Expect results (that’s faith), but don’t dictate to God how He should meet your need. He may do a supernatural, immediate work. He may touch you through a short medical process like He did me. He may work in you over a long period of time. You may experience your release through death and enjoy ultimate healing in the eternal Kingdom. You ask in faith for healing and trust Him for the results. As He works out the answer to your prayer, remember this: keep your mind fixed on HIM.
Isaiah 26:3-4 NLT You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in You, all whose thoughts are fixed on You! (4) Trust in the LORD always, for the LORD GOD is the eternal Rock.
He is your ROCK. You can build your life securely on Him no matter what you are going through.
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