Sunday, August 26, 2007

Carpal Tunnel

The broken arm is mending. I'm not having so much trouble with the swelling as I was, though if I overdo, the cast still gets really tight, my fingers swell and my arm starts hurting. Then I have to lie down and elevate it. Still I was enjoying longer and longer times of doing chores and on Saturday, I even got back to writing.

Sunday, though, I awoke with carpal tunnel in my right hand -- pain and intermittent numbness from having to do the work of two hands combined with too much writing longhand and working with the mouse on Saturday. There'd been glimmers of this in the last week with bouts of the tingling and numbness in my thimb & forefinger, but I ignored it.

The end result: once again I have to scale back and do nothing "productive."

I'm learning patience, acceptance of God's timing and how to trust Him completely for this time and the book I'm unable to work on. I've also got an opportunity to focus on the blessings I'm still receiving, rather than the disappointments anf frustrations and enjoy my life -- even these slow and seemingly "wasted" days.

Because of the carpal tunnel though, I'm going to try to stay away from the computer, so I'll be taking a break from the blog this week. Check back next Tuesday (the day after Labor day) for my next post and a progress report. (Eventually, at least, I should have quite a run of movie and book reviews!)

Grace and peace,

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

CE and BCE

In researching the Maya today, I discovered that BC and AD are no longer the terms of choice for historical reckoning. Instead we have... CE. That stands for Common Era or Current Era or (if you really must) Christian Era. Years previous to that time are said to be BCE -- Before Common Era. I had to look it up. Wikipedia says...

"The term "Common Era" is preferred by some as an alternative to the overtly Christian "AD" and "BC," since "Common Era" does not use religious titles for Jesus such as "Christ" and "Lord," which are used in the BC-AD notation. Andrew Herrmann, writing in the Chicago Sun-Times, observes, "The changes — showing up at museums, in academic circles and in school textbooks — have been touted as more sensitive to people of faiths outside of Christianity."

After 2000 years of reckoning our years based on the life of Christ that is now coming to an end. Yet another indication that we are in the end times. Which seems weirdly apprpriate since once the rapture comes, it isn't going to be the "Christian era" any longer. The kingdom of darkness seems to be getting a head start on that now.


Sunday, August 19, 2007

Two-Handed Typing

Well I've come to the conclusion that whatever I do, it's not going to change the rate of my arm's healing. Whether I lie around all day or do things, it's going to hurt off and on, it's going to swell up or not, it's going to heal at its own pace and I must be content with that. And I am. In fact, it's a relief to realize I don't have to worry about that.

This weekend I finished Dean Koontz's Odd Thomas, and watched The Illusionist, for the second time -- I liked it better than the first time. All of this is feeding into research for Black Box.

And how cool is this? I just typed all that with 2 hands!

I can tell though that I won't be doing it for long, because I'm feeling growing pain in my wrist as I do it, but still. Two handed typing! Even if only for a few lines. Hooray!


Thursday, August 16, 2007

New Cast

Tuesday was a great day -- the swelling down, almost no pain. I got a lot done. Wednesday I paid for that. The swelling returned full force, and with it the pain. I could do nothing but lie around and ice my arm. I guess that is a common scenario. Today I saw the doctor and he removed the splint and replaced it with a light blue cast. It's great.

I saw the x-rays and things are coming along as they should be. I have three pins and they each looked about 4 inches long driven into the bone lengthwise. Now I know why I kept having pin pains in more than one place.

My fingers are still hampered by the swelling (they won't bend enough to type) and it is too painful to rotate my arm enough to get them lined up with the keyboard so I'll be doing the 1-handed method for awhile yet. And now it's time to go ice my arm.


Tuesday, August 14, 2007


Another day of healing. Another day to find some new small thing I can do because the pain is less and the bones are stronger. There are still plenty of things I can't do, but I'm really starting to get the importance of focusing on the positive and forgetting about the negative.

For example... yesterday I was starting to get restless with how much I was having to lie around and do nothing -- even reading was difficult since the books I wanted to read are too big to handle one-handed while lying flat on one's back with an arm & pillow on one's chest. Then I remembered: lying around and letting my mind wander is exactly what I need to do to work on the book! And I won't get carpal tunnel doing it.

So today I welcomed the time to lie still and watch my penguin mobile and the mental blankness began to give way to small thoughts, ideas and snatches of dialog as more and more things came together. I'm almost ready to start rewriting Chapter 9, I think.

Also, I noticed overall today a dramatic decrease in the swelling of my arm and the attendant pain and discomfort that comes with it, which removed a lot of distraction.


Monday, August 13, 2007


What with the pain, the awkward sleeping positions I must assume, and the pain meds I was taking last week -- which gave me strange dreams -- I've had opportunity to reflect on the similarity between being asleep and being out of fellowship/God's plan. Since the Bible talks about people in spiritual or temporal death as being asleep, this is not an unreasonable line of thought.

When we fall asleep we are no longer aware of reality. Instead we have dreams about a highly subjective set of circumstances and events -- things drawn from our own heads -- memories, desires, frustrations, concerns, etc. They make sense in the dream and might even seem very important... but when we wake up, we realize they made no sense at all and those things that seemed so important are trivial. In the dream, we've been completely cut off from reality, shut up in a reality of our own making.

Not only that, we awake to find that hours have passed in the real world! We've "lost" time.

In the same way, when we are out of fellowship, or the plan of God, we are all caught up in our own petty concerns, the illusions of the world, and the influence of other people who have sin natures and faulty thinking. God's word seems flat and irrelevant, and the Lord some dusty historical figure who has little connection to our lives.We've fallen asleep. We're no longer connected to the ultimate reality of the spiritual life. We need to wake up.

We need to ... rebound! :-)


Sunday, August 12, 2007


The biggest problem with typing isn't so much that I have to do it one-handed, it's that I have to keep the other hand elevated above my heart while I do it. Dropping below that level causes pain, swelling and throbbing. However, the pain is decreasing significantly these days -- I stopped taking pain meds (except for the occasional Tylenol) yesterday. In fact I stopped with the Percoset last Wednesday because it turns out I'm allergic to it.

In the effort to speed healing and reduce pain, I've been trying to lie around a lot, the easiest position in which to keep my injured wrist above my heart. If you're not on pain meds that keep you loopy, however, this gets old fast -- until I realized I could use the time to... READ!

Last week I finished Michael Crichton's State of Fear, and this week I'm almost finished with John Olson's Adrenaline, both read as forms of research for Black Box... I've also spent a lot of time on the phone and two friends on different days, independent of each other, dropped in around lunchtime with my favorite lunches. So it's been nice. We've also gone out to eat a lot, nor can I really do laundry or clean. A forced vacation, an assignment from the Lord, which I intend to fully enjoy.


Wednesday, August 08, 2007


Tuesday I went to the hospital to have my arm bones put back together. I would never have thought it would be fun to have surgery, but it was. The Lord was with me all the way.

Sometime after my husband and I arrived at 11:45am, after paperwork and bloodwork, I was brought back to a bed and given a gown to put on, whose ties I couldn't tie one-handed... I waited a long time there and then my friend Verna showed up. Since she is also a nurse who works in that very hospital, it was like having my own personal guide to surgery. She could explain what all was going on, go check the schedules to see when I was slated and she even went and got Stu from the waiting room so we could all visit together.

The other nurses were fun, too and no one much liked my falling off the walking path story, so we worked on coming up with a new one. Something along the lines of swimming off the coast of San Diego and encountering a shark... Verna was even able to come into the pre-op waiting area (and she told me my anesthesiologist was excellent, which is always nice to know.) After that the anesthesiologist put a mask over my face and I woke up to pain in my arm and then painkillers. The rest of the evening was spent in loopy land where I was more or less asleep. But still, for the most part, it was a fun day.

There was another thing, too, a funny, little thing the Lord did between Him and me. The day before I'd been working with my pencils and markers and thinking how it would be nice if I could get a second box to divide them up, markers in one box, pencils in the other. Just a passing thought. Then at the hospital, I realized I'd forgotten my glasses case and the nurse said they had a case, one I could keep, in fact -- it was a pencil and marker box with a wash cloth in it! I just laughed and no one there knew what had just happened but me and the Lord.

Tomorrow (or the day after, or... whenever I manage to get it typed...), the recovery...


Monday, August 06, 2007

Distraction for August

Well, the distraction for August arrived promptly. Last Wednesday night, August 1, Stu and I were walking around the park at a good clip, and were almost done when I accidentally stepped on the edge of the asphalt path, which is about four or five inches higher than the surrounding hard-packed dirt. It threw me off-balance, I took a big lunge to recover, then another, and another, trying desperately to regain my balance. Alas, I failed and went down hard, all of my weight falling on my outstretched left hand. My arm/wrist broke on impact (along with my watchband) -- both bones, one of them in two places. Surgery is scheduled, so a pin can be put in. Which means I’ve another 6 – 8 weeks of dealing with broken bones.

This is considerably worse than the fibula, both in terms of pain and in terms of being disabled: I don't type very fast one-handed. But I know without a doubt that this is a part of God’s plan for my life, chosen deliberately for me in eternity past for my highest and best. He will provide all I need to go through this. I have already learned much about severe pain, for one thing, and am learning even more about waiting…this will no doubt show up in a book!

And since I finished ch 8 the morning before the accident, I was just about to start contemplating what I have to do in ch 9. Looks like I'll have lots of time to do that, now…


Sunday, August 05, 2007

What about Yielding?

So, I started this little series because the recent power outages caused me to remember how at the beginning of my Christian life I'd wanted to know how to yield. I knew yielding was basically giving my life over to God and letting Him run it. The question was how did I do that? A lot of people think that if they just want it to happen and "will" it to happen then it happens. One person told me he believes that if he wants the Spirit to control him, then the Spirit will.

The Bible says something else, and concentrated study can break it down into two simple means of application. We have to be filled with the Spirit and we have to learn and apply the word of God.

To walk (live our lives) by means of the Spirit (or filled/controlled by Him) is a command and it starts the ball rolling. When a person believes in Jesus as Savior, he is immediately filled with the Spirit (as well as indwelt). But soon after he loses the filling (by sinning) so, since the Spirit is required for understanding anything about the Word of God, it's important to learn how to reacquire the filling. Confession of sin, as per I Jn 1:9 or judging ourselves as in I Cor 11:31, is the way to do that.

Once filled with the Spirit, we learn the word of God to have our thinking transformed, and in that way we not only learn what sin is so we can know what to name, we also learn who God is and what His will for our lives is. Knowing that, we can begin to avoid more and more often both grieving and quenching the Spirit. That's yielding. And we don't have to burn any papers to do it.

In His Grace,

Thursday, August 02, 2007


The word that Pastor Thieme coined to describe the process of regaining fellowship is "rebound," because it's a quick word that not only encapsulates the entire process but provides a nice visual as well: when you get out of fellowship, you've fallen on your face spiritually speaking, and are basically lying there on the ground during all the time you spend in the power of your flesh. But with God's grace provision in place you can quickly bounce back up and get going again -- you just 'rebound.'

The word for confess in I Jn 1:9 is "homologeo" which means to name or to cite a court case (that would be the indictment of the justice of God against mankind as sinners, and the penalty of spiritual death, which Jesus paid on the cross in our stead). To do so you just admit that you did the sin. You name it. You acknowledge it. It's a sin. Jesus paid for it.

And you're filled with the Spirit again. Simple.

The reason I like "rebound" better than "confess" is because confess seems to imply feeling sorry, or bad about the sin, or doing some sort of penance to make up for it. If that were needed, then Jesus's work would not have been enough. But it was. We don't have to do any penance. Penance or feeling sorry isn't grace.

You don't have to make a big production out of it. You just name the sin. (You certainly don't have to promise you'll never do it again, because odds are you will, and now you have lying and thinking more highly of yourself than you ought to, to add to your list of sins to confess). It's incredibly simple for us, though it wasn't at all for Jesus. Every sin we name He already bore, and all the one's we're going to name as well. He did all the work. We receive the blessing. That's what grace is all about.