Archive for June, 2010

“THUMB REPAIR”

June 21, 2010

I’ve been a little lax in posting lately.  Longhorn baseball has taken quite a bit of my time.  First, we had the regional tournament.  Then we played bad enough to end our season at the super-regional tournament.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

   Because of my plumbing experience using the wrong tools, I injured my thumbs.  The right thumb continued to get worse with an arthritic condition, so I opted for corrective surgery.  In this surgery, a bone called the trapezium is removed.  A portion of a tendon is then woven into the space to replace the painful degenerated joint.  A portion of another tendon is attached to one of the thumb joints for stabilization.  If you would like a better understanding, you can go to:  http://www.cedarhand.com/basaljoint.html.

My surgery was originally scheduled for 8:30 AM, needing to be there at 6:45AM.  This means I must arise a 4 AM so I can leave home at 5.  I was re-scheduled for 11 AM so we didn’t have to tumble out of bed so early.  (I wonder where “tumble out of bed” originated, because I definitely don’t tumble.)

We arrived on time after a momentary loss of direction (my fault).  I checked in and my nurse escorted me back to the operating wing.  This is when you receive your surgical gown and put your clothes in a locker.  The nurse locked the locker and kept the key…I had no pockets for keeping keys.  She told me to put on the gown with the opening in the back and not tie the strings.  Little did she know that I have trouble tying shoes like a normal human being.  I get them tied, it’s just not a pretty thing to watch.  So, for to even attempt to tie the strings behind me is out of the question.  I wondered why bother with a gown if I am going to walk down the hall with my backside exposed (I did have on my shorts).  NO PICTURES ARE AVAILABLE!!!!

Pam was allowed to be with me after they hooked me up to all necessary medical connections.  The air conditioning unit for my assigned OR was not working properly, so my surgery was delayed for quite a while.  My doctor will not operate until all conditions are just right.  High temperature and humidity carry an unacceptable risk of infection.  So, as we waited, I needed to make a return trip to the rest room.  The nurse brought  mobile apparatus for all my medical connections.  I didn’t wait for her to level my bed…BAD MISTAKE.  I placed my right hand on the bed railing, put my weight on it so I could exit the bed.  I exited rather quickly.  The railing wasn’t locked in place (not my fault) so I bounced off Pam’s right hand and lap before I almost landed on my face.  She kept me from landing on my head, but she has an injured right thumb also.

The surgery took 2 hours and the doctor said all went well.  I will return to the doctor today (Monday) for the removal of stitches and a cast for my hand.  I will have to wear the cast for four weeks and then start physical therapy.

I started this post on Friday at work and finally understand the joke about the one-armed paper hanger.  But, I am learning to use my left hand in ways that I had never imagined.  Please overlook verbage and spelling.

When we are unable to use all of the body parts given us when God created us, we very quickly realize the impossibility evolution.  Only God could create such a complicated being.  Just think for a moment about how each part of our body works individually, yet coordinated with others to make us whole.  When one part is not working, another part is able to be used to compensate for the loss.

This is also true of our Spiritual Gifts.  Each of us have been given special gifts that we are to use in coordination with other people’s gifts to accomplish God’s Work and glorify Him.  It is in our weakness that God can show His Strength.

 

 

 

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“MARKERS”

June 3, 2010

 

 During our lives, we have events or things that bring back memories to us.  Each spring when the Hydrangeas bloom I remember the daughter of good friends.  This is her favorite flower and it reminds me of her wedding anniversary.  I don’t ever remember the exact date, but when the Hydrangeas bloom I know it is close.  So, it’s a reminder to ask her the exact date.  The date is May 27th and this was her 10th anniversary.  Each year I have a mental picture of the wedding ceremony, the beautiful Hyndranges decorating the house, and of the many friends that attended.

This Magnolia tree reminds me of when we bought our home.  The tree was about 6 feet tall at the time.  When I look in the back yard, I remember the excitement of buying the house…it was just a house then, but Pam made it a home for us over the years.  Pam uses the leaves to decorate for the Christmas holidays.  When it blooms, it is a beautiful tree.

We have a White Poplar tree in the front yard.  It is probably 40 feet high now.  Lyndsey came home from kindergarten (I think) around Arbor Day with the tree to plant.  I thought it was the same type poplar in our yard when I was growing up.  We had the tall slim poplar.  I planted Lindsey’s tree behind the mail box thinking I would have a tall slim tree.  White Poplar trees spread out similar to the Magnolia tree above.  So, this tree reminds me a “little Lyndsey” and her Arbor Day planting.

When Pam and I are traveling, I often see a restaurant and ask Pam if she remembers the time we stopped there for mexican food, chicken-fried stead, bar-b-que, etc.  She normally just looks at me and says no.  When we were in Austin this spring with Lyndsey, we ate at a restaurant that we had visited when she was in college.  I had a mental picture of that day and remember the table where we sat.

When I see people dressed in green on St. Patrick’s Day, I am reminded that our wedding anniversary is the next day.  It’s just a reminder…I will never forget the day that Pam and I were married.

These are “markers” that bring back memories of events in our life.  These may be good or bad memories.

God gives us “Spiritual Markers” to use as we develope our relationship with Him.  Just as He gave Israel a marker when they crossed the Red Sea on their exodus from Egypt.  Many times when God’s presence was evident in their lives, the Israelites built an altar as a reminder of what God did at that time. 

As we encounter blessings and/or difficulties in life, God gives us Spiritual Markers to remind us of His love, power, and glory.  Just like Israel built physical altars, we receive Spiritual Markers from God to remind us of how He handled each circumstance and that we can always depend on His presence when He is needed.  Events and circumstances that are too big for us are small things to God.  Regardless of the size, large or small, God wants a part of each circumstance we encounter.

“IN NEED OF HELP”

June 1, 2010

After watching the Longhorn baseball team play their third below par game on Saturday, Pam and I drove to Nederland to support the Jasper Bulldog baseball team in the regional semi-final, best of three series against Bridge City.  Jasper lost the first game on Thursday by a score of 10-5.  The game was scheduled for 5 PM with a second game to follow, if necessary.  Jasper won the first game and the second game as well.  They will now advance to the regional finals against Orangefield.  We took everything necessary for a tail-gating adventure between games.  During the break, we went to the parking lot and ate sandwiches, accompanied by soft drinks.  While we were having our break, I heard this CLICK…CLK…CLK…CLK…CLK…CLK.  For those who don’t understand, this is the sound of someone with a dead battery trying to start their vehicle.  If you have never heard this sound, you are one of the fortunate.  When I had finished eating, I walked through the parking lot in the direction of the dreadful sound.  I found a teenage boy sitting in his truck speaking on his cell phone.  I don’t know whether he was calling for help or just enjoying a conversation with his friends.  He opened the truck door when I approached and I asked him if he was having battery problems.  He said, “I think so.”  I told him I knew the sound and that he was definitely having battery problems…like your battery is DEAD.  I always carry booster cables for such an occasion as this.

I drove my Escalade over to his truck, retrieved my booster cables from their bag.  I told him to connect the cables to his battery…red to red and black to black.  I watched him as he tried to connect the cables.  He said, “do I connect them something like this?”  I could tell he was on unfamiliar ground so I made the necessary connections to our batteries.  His vehicle started up the first try.  He got out and gave me a very grateful handshake.

The reason I carry booster cables is not just for myself.  I have been in the same dilemma as this young man.  When in trouble, you always wonder where help will come from…or if help will come.  The picture above is a 1974 International Scout similar to the one I owned when I was on a deer lease in East Texas.  It is only similar because mine was dark green and had more than one experience getting banged about in the woods…like mine had numerous dents and scratches.

I remember one occasion when I was in need of help on the deer lease.  Our deer lease was in the pineywoods and covered over 7,000 acres.  I went to the lease one Saturday to do a little work around my stands.  It was not during the deer season and I knew I may be the only person there.  My Scout stalled for no apparent reason.  I raised the hood and checked all I knew to check with my limited mechanical abilities.  I thought it may be flooded, but that was not the case.  The battery was still strong, so that wasn’t the problem.  After trying to start the engine a few times, I finally sat on the fender and said, “Lord, you know I need a little help.”  I don’t mean that’s what I thought.  I mean that’s what I said…and very loud.  In less that 5 minutes, I heard the sound of a vehicle coming my way.  To make a long story short, a man stopped and asked if I needed help.  God didn’t just send me help, HE SENT ME A MECHANIC…a professional mechanic.  He found my problem, fixed it, and I was soon on my way.

A couple of years ago, we were returning from a weekend in Galveston.  I stopped for gas in Beaumont and when I tried to start the engine, I heard CLICK…CLK…CLK…CLK…CLK!  It was raining “cats and dogs” and I wondered where my help would come from.  There was only one other vehicle at the gas station.  I asked him if he could give me a boost.  He was very gracious and we both got wet as we connected the booster cables.  My battery was beyond help.  This man was a mechanic for the Beaumont schools and kept his tools with him at all times.  He took my battery off, drove me to an auto parts store, and installed a new battery for me.  As we visited on the way to the auto parts store, I found out he was really running late getting home.  Now, I really appreciated him setting aside his schedule and helping me with my problems.  During our conversation, he told me one of his children had just entered college.  When he had finished installing my new battery, I offered to pay and he refused.  I gave him some money and told him to apply it to his child’s college fund.

So, that’s why I carry booster cables.  I know how it feels to be “in need of help.”  When I asked God for help on the deer lease, He didn’t just send help.  He sent the qualified help that was needed.  Maybe the young man at the ballpark parking lot will buy some booster cables…and learn how to connect them.  Then he will be able to be used when someone else asks for God’s help.  We should never hesitate to ask our God for help in all situations.  He stands ready to answer our call and He sends the help that is needed.