Part 4 – What a predicament

“As many of you know I have been documenting what happened in the run up to, and aftermath of, my recent hip operation. Here we are on day three with a moment I don’t’ think I will forget in a long time…”

Day three – having shuffled to the end of day two it was time to embark on a day of serious progress. 

I was determined to negotiate the whole length of the ward but I was acutely aware that this was going to be a very public spectacle. The central area of the ward is flanked by six beds, three either side, so it becomes the source of interest as much of what happens on the ward emanates from this area. Also, as the ward accommodates orthopaedic patients who have all had knee or hip surgery, this central area becomes a bit of a theatre where the main act is the rehab of patients. We all watch with baited breath as first steps are taken or applause is offered for milestone achievements.

Sustained by two slices of brown toast and butter and two cups of tea I was ready for action. My means of support would be my study Zimmer frame. I did have the option of two walking sticks that were expectantly propped up against my bedside cupboard, but for now I needed to learn how to walk before trying to run. 

I eased myself carefully off my bed but as my feet touched the floor I suddenly felt the restrictive tugging of the catheter tube that I was still attached to – and the bag was on the other side of the bed. I concluded that I was going nowhere fast, so pivoting on my backside I gently raised my legs to a comfortable position so as to consider my predicament.

 Aware that I had to exit the bed from the left-hand side, I needed to simply transfer the bag from one side to the other and attach it to the Zimmer frame by means of the hooks that held it to the bed-frame. As I carefully lifted the bag, there seem to be some resistance, I concluded that there may well be another fixing point, either that, or the unimaginable was about to confront me. Sure enough, as the bag came into view, I became all too aware that it had not been emptied for quite some time. The moment of disgust faded as I applied my considered medical opinion on the matter and concluded that I really ought to drink more water! 

Another dilemma came to mind that for the sake of brevity I shall simply call the “wave dynamic” or “sloshing”. This occurs in a vehicle containing liquid where the motion of the vehicle causes the liquid to move creating instability. The vehicle in my case a Zimmer frame, the liquid, a rather full catheter bag, could this end in disaster I thought to myself? 

Having now attached the bag to the Zimmer I rose to full height and set out on my short journey. All eyes were on me as I made steady progress. The bag hung precariously in front of me swinging in a rather threatening manner. Then all of a sudden, the unthinkable happened, the bag became detached from the Zimmer frame crashing to the floor, my only thought, “had it burst?” I stood in the centre of the ward helpless, the shocked look on people’s faces was evident as all eyes were on the bag on the floor. I began to feel vulnerable, and exposed, as I stood helpless in the centre of the ward not daring to look down, there was nowhere to hide…..

It always amazes me how fragile we can be, how quickly our pride can be shattered by moments that expose us to the opinion of those around us. What people think of us matters, those opinions will either strengthen or weaken our self-image. The truth is unless we are motivated by a greater well-respected opinion concerning our worth than those who currently assess our behaviour, our actions, history or ambitions, we become fair game to the onlooker. 

The Bible teaches if God is for us then who can be against us likewise there is nothing on earth, under the Earth, or in the heavens above that will ever separate us from God’s love for us in Christ Jesus. The greatest opinion of who you are, what you have done or will do, has already been declared by the greatest voice in all of history and is never in question.

A man once stood in an art gallery in front of the Vincent Van Gough painting called Sunflowers. With a concerned look on his face he mumbled quietly “that is surely not worth millions my kid brother could paint better – I’ll give you thirty quid for it.” He was overheard by the curator who interrupted the man’s thoughts by saying: “The value of this painting is not in question sir however, what is in question is your ability to see its value.” 

Our assessment of another person’s value can be based on her own vulnerabilities from which we are not able to see another’s true worth, we can secretly be thankful that there is someone worse off than ourselves. Maybe we need to learn to see one another through Gods eyes, we may just get to see a masterpiece

I am so grateful because all that I have become and all that I will ever become is formed by God’s opinion of my value, from which I can live boldly in spite of challenge or predicament or great success because nothing will either add to God’s opinion of me, and nothing will take away from God’s opinion of me, not even my current predicament.

I looked down at my feet expecting the worst but to my surprise the bag was still intact, maybe it’s time to beat a hasty retreat to the safety of my bed. However, if only it was that simple. I couldn’t bend at the waist, my arms where certainly not long enough to reach, I wasn’t going to try and drag it, I was going nowhere fast. 

Help, can someone help me, nurse I need you I seem to be rather stuck……