Update from Pillow Mountain

Hello, 2011! Though recovery from shoulder surgery is no fun, I am happy to be typing with two hands today thanks to my new friend Mr. Vicodin and a big pillow propping my right forearm. Many people have been praying for me, and that prayer support has translated into a different kind of big pillow during the last few days.

Here’s a brief photo update:
Years ago, I had a friend who worked at a trophy factory. She made me this bowling trophy look-a-like plaque that reads: “The Eternal God is your refuge and underneath are the Everlasting Arms – Deut. 33:27”. I shot a picture of it on top of the icing machine I am using several times a day. I have sensed God’s strong arms carrying me through some long, hard days, thanks to the prayers of many. I know I can trust him as I continue to move through the weeks of recovery still ahead.
I call this Pillow Mountain. Because I need to sleep and rest in a mostly-upright position, this is where I’ve been hanging out. The cat staked out her turf on the hillside as soon as I stood up.
The doctor gave me three pages of pictures from the surgery so he could show me what they did. It turns out that I did not have a rotator cuff tear after all. When I asked why I’d been in so much pain all these months, the Physician’s Assistant said, “Just because there was no tear doesn’t mean you weren’t in a lot of pain.” The pictures showed some serious arthritis, geode-like bone spurs and a lot of inflammation. (The biceps shot above is a good example. The tissue is not supposed to be bright red, but white.) They assured me that surgery was absolutely the right decision in this case. 

The day before the surgery, I just so happened to read Hebrews 4:12-13 (“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.”) Even though I have watched a record amount of TV, I have simultaneously found myself returning to these sobering words over the last few days. Just as the surgeon’s arthroscopic tools were used to clean, scrape and re-engineer my unhealthy shoulder joint, so is God’s living scalpel meant to expose and heal me so I can love him with my heart, soul, mind and strength. 


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2 thoughts on “Update from Pillow Mountain”

  1. Michelle, I'm so glad for an update. I've been praying daily for you and hoping to hear soon. Your post-surgery conversations were revealing and kind of surprising, sort of like when God leads us somewhere and we think we know why but then He surprises us with new and/or different reasons. God is GOOD ~ and so is that double-edged sword.

  2. Jane – I have a vague memory that you called last week to check in on me, but I've been pretty drugged until today. THANK YOU so much for praying and caring.

    If you've got a bit of time in the next few weeks, I'd love to visit with you. A cup of tea on a dreary January day sounds good, doesn't it?

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