Week 24 – Photo of L4 L5 Fusion Scar after 5 months, Still putting on my brace!

My recovery is still going very well.  It has been approximately 5 and a half months since my back surgery and I feel great.  I don’t think I took any pain meds past the third week.  I would have to go back and check the blog to know the exact day for sure, but to borrow a phrase from Mr. James Brown, “I feeeel good!  Hah!”  Below is a photo of the scar from the incision from the surgery.

If you look close you can see the criss-cross pattern from the modified brace I have been wearing since month # 3.  The brace has been modified because I was able to remove the big plastic plates at my three month check up.  That helped with the heat factor and also with the comfort level when I sit in certain chairs but alas it does leave that interesting pattern on one’s back.  The pattern kind of looks like a Belgian waffle.  But I figure waffles go along rather nicely with the muffin top I have developed from not running for the last 24 weeks.

I am looking forward to the day when I get released to run, lift weights, pick up grandbabies and do all the things I did before my surgery which includes not wearing a brace.  At first, I was not used to putting the brace on every morning but now it has become almost second nature.  It has simply become one of those things that I now do instinctively as a part of my routine every day.  I am as unlikely to leave home without putting it on as I would be my socks or my shoes.  Well, there was that one day that I was in a hurry and I got dressed and rushed out of the door and jumped in the car before I noticed I wasn’t wearing it.  I was two blocks away before I noticed that something just didn’t feel right!

Running out of the door without having everything I need for the day has happened to me before.  I don’t mean just forgetting my billfold or my lunch but also forgetting other things; things like patience, kindness, and other wholesome qualities.  God’s word reminds me that I make a concentrated effort to remember to put these things on each day.  In the book of Colossians Paul writes

“So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience…and beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.’’  Colossians 3:12 – 14  

I am afraid that too many times I have indeed run out of the door without praying and asking the Lord to help me put on the compassion, kindness and humility that I need to get through the day.  And on those days I have made it much further than two blocks from home before I noticed that something didn’t feel right.  I have made it through the entire day and through entire conversations with others where I was insensitive, unkind and sometimes downright rude to people.  Yes, I went much further than two blocks before I realized that I had left the house without being fully prepared, supported and dressed for my day.

I am much better at it now than I was years ago, but every now and then I still get in a hurry and run out of the door without the divine support that I need to stand tall and strong in this world.  I have tried to make it a part of my routine to stop and pray before I leave the driveway and ask the Lord to help me and to make sure that I am fully clothed in His humility, His gentleness and His patience and His love – before I leave the driveway.  And that is a good practice to have, especially with Austin traffic.

If you would like to know more about a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, you can send me an email directly at pastorpstephens@aol.com.


About pastorpstephens

I have been blessed to have served as a pastor, a chaplain and to have been involved in other ministries throughout the years. My wife Marta and I have been blessed with a wonderful family that includes our daughter, her husband and their two daughters and our son and his wife and their son. Each of them are very special to us so please keep them all in your prayers. One truth that I always try to share with people I meet is that anything God asks you to do, He will help you to do. God has your back.
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