By: Cindy Stepanek (Guest Blogger)
Yesterday my husband, Jeff, took me to the surgeon for my post op visit after a total knee replacement. Although the surgeon was pleased with my progress, he informed me that the therapist had not been aggressive enough. He then proceeded to show me. I am not a screamer, but as I lay on my back, the surgeon took my leg and bent it beyond the pre-surgery point. My back twisted off the table. With tears in my eyes I screamed in pain. I even argued with him on how to count to ten. My husband sat quietly in the corner not moving. Neither one of us had been through anything like this before and had no idea what to expect. I wanted my husband to do something to stop the doctor, but I had no idea what I wanted.
The surgeon warned me that therapy was going to be brutal. If I didn’t scream in pain I wasn’t working hard enough. I went home and spent the rest of the day trying to get more range of motion into my knee before therapy the next morning.
Today Jeff took me to my physical therapy appointment. Once again I was on the exam table. As the therapist started his evaluation, I could tell things were going to get ugly soon. I asked my husband to close the door. I had made up my mind that no matter how hard therapy was, I was not going to scream. I planned on silently saying a prayer from childhood. “Jesus, Mary and Joseph, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen.” After all, it worked when I was a child. Instead, as the therapist torqued my leg, not twerked, beyond my pain tolerance, I heard myself yell and say the “F” word. Unfortunately, I say bad words and I find it embarrassing, but I surely didn’t want to say that.
There was a part of me that wanted my husband to do something to protect me from the pain, but he didn’t. He just stood there and held my hand. He later gave me his handkerchief to wipe my tears.
I have replayed that scene over and over in my head today because I have been frustrated with my husband. I know that is irrational and that he cannot protect me. This is something I must go through. There is no going back or around it. The only way out is to go through it.
As I push past my irrational self, once again my husband’s silent support taught an important lesson about God. God does not always come in with guns blazing like Rambo to protect me. Sometimes the only way to get to the other side is to go through the fire. In those times, He is there with me silently holding my hand and offering a handkerchief to wipe my tears.