God subtly gets his point across Print
Grand Mom
Thursday, Apr. 24, 2014 -- 12:00 AM

Throughout my life I have many times been reminded of Sister Gregory, my favorite teacher's comment that God has a sense of humor.

She claimed he must have created popcorn chuckling, "Wait 'til they see what happens when this stuff gets near the fire."

He works in His way

I recognized that sense of humor again recently when He broke my toe with an oxygen tank to demonstrate my careless use of medicine, thanks to my pride. Here's what happened:

It was January of 2013, and in addition to my three eye drops and two hearing aids, I was using two medical lozenges and three inhalers. (And that was just for my head.)

I was still struggling with my breathing, though. Just walking out the door to a waiting car had me gasping for at least five minutes.

So I went to my doctor (one of my former students) and asked to have my lungs examined. She thought my symptoms were also indicative of a heart attack, so sent me to my Madison cardiologist, who admitted me to Meriter right away. For nearly a week I was put through every heart test invented. No problems!

On to the next hurdle

Good! Now let’s look at the lungs.

When they did the biopsy, my lung collapsed and we had another emergency.

Then the results: lung cancer. But the spot was small and should not be causing that breathing problem. It appeared to be the slow growing kind, so we would check it every few months.

Meanwhile, I got hooked up to an oxygen tank, which I willingly hauled around my house, and when I had to leave, one of my kids hooked up a portable tank that fit nicely into my walker.

Needless to say, I didn't go far for the next few months, just to doctor appointments, and last Easter I made it to church and to my daughter's family dinner.

And the saga continues

In early summer I hired a painter to freshen up the walls of my condo.

I planned to stay with my daughter Kris and her husband Mark while the work was being done.

So the night before, I had a friend come in and remove all of the small things, but the next morning I sat down to watch TV while I waited to be picked up, and discovered the shawl was missing from my chair.

I found it high up on the shelf in the living room closet, so I pulled on it hard again and again, and finally a whole basket came crashing down, knocking over a portable oxygen tank on my foot. Ouch!

I yelled a little, prayed a little, and curled up in my chair wrapped in my shawl.

I didn't look at my foot until Mark got there, and the sight shocked us. It was purple and swollen like an eggplant.

The X-rays showed two broken bones, and I was fitted with a boot that caused me no end of trouble and landed me in Alden's Rehab in Jefferson for two months to cure an infection.

Inconvenience turns to good

Not only did I receive wonderful full nursing care, but excellent physical therapy as well.

One nurse, in particular, changed the pattern of my life when she brought me my inhalers the first time. She watched me put the little blue capsule into the Spiriva holder and put it to my mouth.

"Stop!" she said. "You didn’t break the capsule!"

"I thought it automatically broke when you closed the cover."

"No!" she said. "You must press the button on the side to puncture the capsule."

I did it, then inhaled, and was astonished.

I could hear bubbling sounds that I never had heard before. I had been "misusing" this medicine for over a year.

I vaguely recalled driving up to the pharmacy window and picking up my first Spiriva. The pharmacist was demonstrating and telling me how to use it. I have a hearing problem, so I guess I didn't hear it all.

Then when I got home, I tried reading the directions. They were ridiculous! Tiny print covering both sides of a large sheet of paper in language obviously meant for the pharmacist.

Only God's way!

To sum it up: God got my attention with an oxygen tank breaking my foot

  • which sent me to a rehab center to learn how to use the inhaler;
  • which took care of my breathing so that I have not needed oxygen since;
  • which I suppose shows God’s sense of humor;
  • or does it prove another one of Sister Gregory’s quotes: "God writes straight with crooked lines"?

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