Living Without A Limp… Surgery Required

by DanWolgemuth on September 9, 2016

It took four weeks to get the proper diagnosis, but that changed last Friday:

An apparent subacute avulsion of the entire left hamstring tendon off the left ischial tuberosity. The torn and retracted hamstring tendon is identified 6 cm distal to the ischial attachment site.

What had been originally diagnosed as a level 2 hamstring tear, has turned out to be far more serious. In reality, torn tendons that are designed to connect to the base of my pelvis.

When discussing the potential remedies with an orthopedic surgeon, several very interesting questions got asked.

“How active do you plan to be the rest of your life? Do you have any heart issues that might impact whether you would be able to work your way back to full health? What would you like to be able to return to doing?”

Interesting, particularly after four weeks of unassisted recovery. The complete tear is not nearly as painful as when it was originally done. What remains is a detached hamstring… not connected to the bone that gives it tension and function.

A hamstring without an anchor is something that people live with. The implication is a weaker leg, a limited capacity to function, and a limp. The upside is no surgery or 9-month rehabilitation.

A quick glance at Mary across the sterile exam room and it was obvious that the decision was made.

So on September 20th, I will be in surgery. The sooner the better. Not because of the pain… it’s currently subsiding… but to introduce pain. Sooner because of the potential for the tendon to begin to atrophy.

What has continued to press into my soul after the final diagnosis is the fact that I have an option. Live with a limp; live with less power; live with less function or… repair the brokenness. Fix the tear. Invite the long process to full recovery.

While the choice seemed straightforward when it came to my leg, it’s less obvious and more difficult in relationships, in families, in movements, in communities and even in churches.

Organizations, like people, can learn to live with a limp. We can adapt to life without full power.  We can begin to assume that disconnected and detached is the best we can do. Muscles weaken; even the strongest whither and fade. Lowered expectations can become a part of a “new normal,” and before long, “this is the best that can be expected.”

Jesus prayed for unity, born of humility, confession and brokenness… an honest diagnosis with a supernatural objective. He didn’t sugarcoat the process. But He promised “life to the full,” living abundantly… with no limp and with full power.

So my physical journey has a profound spiritual and relational parallel.

I thank God for His solution. I thank God for Jesus. I thank Jesus for grace. I rely on the Holy Spirit for power.

The problem, the diagnosis, the surgery, the recovery, and the restoration.

No limp. Full power.

To the glory of our King… the Healer… the Unifier… the source of strength.

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