First of all, let me thank all who prayed for me. I will be eternally grateful. I continue to improve.
The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our sons forever, that we may observe all the words of this law.
(Deuteronomy 29:29 NASB)
On May 27, 2021, I was released from Upland Rehabilitation Hospital to recover at home from my horrific bout with Covid. It has been one year since Mary drove me home. It has been one year since the fabulous celebration on Sapphire Avenue where 100 family and friends welcomed me home. It has been one year of recovery and recuperation.
In my study of the Bible, I came across the verse above from Deuteronomy. So something I started doing in this year is listening very intently what people say to me. Over 30 people have said to me, “I guess God isn’t finished with you, yet” or something along these lines. This caused me to wonder what exactly is He not finished doing. I began asking God, “What now? What next?” When I shared this with one person, she said very quietly, “You are still healing.” I listened. My doctor (in fact, several doctors) told me my recovery might take more than a year. So, I continue to walk by faith, one step at a time, and heal.
My previous updates detailed the journey through six months. After six months, my remarkable recovery continued, but at a slower pace, and I began a steady upward trend of growing stronger and stronger. I have many, many good days, and, occasionally, face a tough day mostly characterized by fogginess and fatigue. But on the whole, I am getting better and better. My recovery has been remarkable. Many have not fared as well as I.
People who see me for the first time since I had Covid tell me I look great. That must be an improvement from before because they never told me I looked great before I got Covid. I have gained five pounds since the last update and now weigh in at 180. This is still 38 pounds lighter than when I entered the hospital, but I like this weight – and I can see my belt buckle! I used to have a weird disc in my neck that caused me great discomfort every time I threw a ball overhand. Now, I can play catch with my grandson (hardball) and I feel fine the next day. My broken nose healed straighter than it used to be, and most people can’t even tell I have a tracheotomy scar – thanks to P.A. Rhonda Burno’s fine care in removing all keloid material. I used to pass out while tying my shoes, so Mary got me some shoes with Velcro straps, but this month I bought some walking shoes with laces;.
My daily walks to Starbucks and back home aided in my rapid recovery. The daily exercise of walking built up essential leg and back muscles and strengthened muscles debilitated by the pressure sores. I immediately noticed improvement. Some of you know that Alta Loma was built on a hill, so half of my walk is always uphill. Six months ago, I weaned myself from using a cane. One of my neighbors saw me walking with a cane and assumed that I had a hip replacement. I have been able to share my story of God’s grace and healing with a dozen of my neighbors and walking partners.
GOLF and GUITARS
I began playing golf in March in the Alta Loma Teachers League. The nine-hole games were perfect for a transition back to the links. The course is relatively flat, so I did not have too much climbing to do. On top of that, my partner and I came in 3rd place out of a field of twenty-four golfers. My tee shots have a tendency to slice, so I used a three wood most of the time. At least, I could hit it straight.
This month, I rejoined The Silverados for my first concert. I have to sit while I play due to numbness in my feet, and my voice has not returned to the place where I want it featured. The numbness in my left arm and right hand has disappeared. Enough hand strength has returned so I can bend strings and strum hard enough to do the job without getting winded. I can even play the harmonica parts essential to a couple of songs.
I have returned to my monthly dates of leading worship for Celebrate Recovery at my church. In May, I led it all by myself (No band!) God has been gracious to return me to this ministry.
THE PESKY VIRUS
The “severe acute respiratory syndrome novel coronavirus 2” did some damage that still affects me. 1) I do not have feeling in the tops of my feet. When I walk, I can feel more sensation, but immediately after stopping the numbness recurs. It is slightly better than it was in May, 2021, but remains one of the effects that bothers me the most. 2) I have some lung scarring caused by the Covid pneumonia and, at times, I have to focus on my breathing. The rib bruising caused by the chest tube on my left side has fully healed. I feel no more discomfort. 3) I bruise easily. I notice this most when I bang my hands or arms against something. I did not have this before Covid, but some older people bruise easily, so maybe it was just my time for this to occur. 4) I still have trouble remembering certain words. My peers tell me this is normal for them, too, but for a retired language arts teacher it is especially difficult. I can remember what letter the word starts with and its definition, but the word just won’t form on my tongue. This is especially discouraging when I am trying to play along with Jeopardy and the young whipper-snappers keep beating me. Thankfully, I can pause the game until I formulate the word. 5) Now, I know that many of you have said “Give it time,” but my voice has not returned. I think the damage done by the NG feeding tube is beyond healing without throat surgery… which I do not want to do. I can croak out some songs as long as I get enough air and they are not too high, but I’m in the same boat as Elton John – too old and too late.
From here, I plan to keep healing and keep seeking God about what is next… day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute, second by second.
May God bless all who read this. Thank you, again.