Strength and Shield

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In an hour I will leave for a follow-up appointment with my surgeon. Of the six incisions from my recent total ankle fusion, only one set of stitches remains. Two weeks after surgery the others came out, however, the ones in my heel weren’t ready to come out, so they put the cast on and told me they would remove them later.

The pain from the removal of the stitches was excruciating . . . I laid there biting my fist, tears streaming down my face, and the nails from my other hand digging into the wall. I thought my pain tolerance would have been high after 11 surgeries. So, the thought of the stitches being removed from my heel today after 6 weeks of my skin having healed around them made me a bit nervous. Not to mention I would have a new cast put on, which isn’t pleasant in and of itself. Sawing off the cast is the worst, as I have severe nerve damage in my foot, so the slightest vibration sends shooting pain through my body. I’ve taken a pain pill for the first time in over 2 weeks to prepare me for this. (Although I was on them when they took the other ones out and they clearly didn’t help.) I hate those pills . . .

Surprisingly though, I’m not very nervous. I have peace about it. I know that God has me in the palm of His hand, and He is whispering to me “do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10) I’m still believing for my miracle. Each time I go to an appointment I am ready for the moment when they take off my cast or do an x-ray and I have FULL motion in my ankle, and ALL hardware has dissolved. I imagine the testimony that would be to the hundreds of doctors, nurses, and x-ray technicians who have treated me in the past six years. But it’s all on God’s timetable, not mine. In the meantime I will continue to trust in Him as my strength and my shield, just as this verse reminded me during my Bible study this morning:

The Lord is my strength and my shield;
my heart trusts in him, and he helps me.
My heart leaps for joy,
and with my song I praise him.
-Psalm 28:7

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14 thoughts on “Strength and Shield

    • Thanks! I actually barely felt anything when they removed the stitches, lol. My doctor said, “You took a dilaudid for that?” That’s exactly what I was thinking! Especially because I got a BAD wave of nausea from the pill while waiting for the doctor… Lol.

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  1. Hi….I just wanted to tell you that I am also praying for your healing…full and complete fusion. I had my ankle fused over 40 years ago, when I was 9 years old. It was challenging, painful, but I had many good, good years of activity with that fused ankle after the cast was removed. God is good, and He will give you what you need for each day. I love your blog….very encouraging. 🙂 Lisa

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      • Jennifer,

        I had just my ankle fused, not the sub-talar. I broke my fibula on the growth plate, and it didn’t grow at all from age 5 to age 9, leading to instability in the ankle. They took a hip graft and fused it to the tibia for stability. After a few months post-cast of stiffness and some pain, I adapted very well. For me, it’s been really important to wear supportive shoes, custom orthotics as I’ve grown older (although I didn’t need them for the first 20 years post-op.) It’s been 40 years postop, and now I’m developing arthritis in my hip/knee due to compensation and arch ligament deteriation. But remember, I was very active (light mountain hiking, lots of walking, ice skating, roller skating, for almost 40 years with my fusion! So, with your faith and time….God’s healing…..you are going to do great! It does take time when you get out of the cast….be as patient as you can with yourself. Water/swimming has been wonderful for me, as well as Wolky Golda lace-up boots…..my orthotic fits in them, and it holds my foot right in place like a dream. http://www.onlineshoes.com Any other questions, be sure to write. Love, Lisa

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      • Thanks again for the info and encouragement. I am hoping/praying that I won’t need to wear a specific type pf shoe (especially MBT’s!) lol. My doctor seems to think I will be able to wear sandals and possibly a small wedge heel. I don’t know how I would wear the latter though, since my foot is fused slightly upward to assist with “rolling” onto my forefoot. It’s really sad knowing that I’ll never wear heels again, as they always made me feel “pretty”. But I know where my true identity lies, and I am still believing for a miracle! 🙂 The main thing will be learning how to walk again, and trying not to have too much compensation on my knee, as I’ve already had issues with it for years due to an injury right out of boot camp. :-/ BUT, God is in control, and I thank Him for the blessings I DO have (like surviving my accident!) 🙂 Thanks again Lisa. I pray healing over your body so that you don’t have to go under the knife again. Be blessed! Love, Jen

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      • Jennifer, I just thought….if you had both kinds of fusion, maybe a rocker sole will do well for you when the doc gives the ok….allegria & drew shoes seem good and accept custom orthotics also.

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  2. Wow you are so brave! I’ve been told that I would need it if my ankle kept swelling the way it has been. I was born crippled and didn’t walk until I was 4 years old. I’ve been shying away from it as much as possible. Many surgeries… Papa is our strength and shield. Definitely 😀

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