hi sweet friends :)
earlier today i visited with a hand surgeon (again) to discuss the present and future treatment of an "injury" to my middle finger. i have attached a picture. prepare to be grossed out. :) yes, it's my right middle finger - and no, it's not from overuse. :) i have a condition called scleroderma of which a symptom is reynaud's disease. reynaud's is a vascular disease that causes my fingers and toes to lose circulation in cold temperatures (whether it's snow or air conditioning - grocery stores are the worst!) the lack of blood flow to my fingers (and/or toes) can cause the skin at the tips of them to basically start to deteriorate and die, often referred to as a "digital ulcer". (awesome.) i've had a few of these in the past few years (one in the summer of 2008 which became infected and required a 4 day hospital stay on i.v. antibiotics) but they all eventually heal (with scarring, of course.) this latest bugger is on the very tip of my finger which, the doctor explained today, is very precarious because it sits directly on top of the bone so it takes much longer for the skin to regenerate and heal. i have zero use of that finger at all. you know how when you cut back your fingernail a little too far and it hurts like the dickens? it's kinda like that but multiply it by 100. ouch. i am typing with 9 fingers, as i have been for the past 5 months. (not very conducive to blogging. sheesh.) i do laundry with my left hand, basically. anything that is done around the house (dishes, scrubbing bathtubs, hanging clothes) is a potential for me to hit my finger against something which causes sharp shots of pain up my arm. usually about 15 times a day (i'm not the definition of graceful you know.) :)
listen, i realize there are far worse conditions. i realize that other than this offending appendage, i am basically healthy and normal (ok, shut up. i said BASICALLY.) this has been such a battle for me - one minute sinking into self-pity, the next soaring on hope and patience. crying and yelling at God "I KNOW YOU CAN HEAL THIS! WHY WON'T YOU JUST DO IT?? WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME??" this has, quite literally, become the ever present "thorn in my flesh". oh, so frustrating... but despite the seemingly "bad news" today (the doctor rattled off several different options such as skin grafts from my palm, attaching my middle finger to my index finger and then using that grafted skin to cover the tip of my finger, cutting down the bone and pulling the skin up over the top of the finger which would result in some weird-lookin "hooked nail" over the top of my finger, etc...) amazingly enough, my most promising option was the only one i would have never considered 30 mins prior to my appointment. to just keep going. that my body knew what it was doing and would heal itself in it's perfect timing. and seeing as how i personally know and trust the Creator of aforementioned body, i think i'll do just that.
i found this chapter during my struggle with my last digital ulcer and love the first verse oh, so much. the whole chapter is pretty stinkin awesome, actually :) i'm printing this baby out and hanging it up somewhere - i might even memorize it and hide it away in my heart. it's good stuff.
1 Praise be to the LORD my Rock,
who trains my hands for war,
my fingers for battle.
2 He is my loving God and my fortress,
my stronghold and my deliverer,
my shield, in whom I take refuge,
who subdues peoples[a] under me.
3 LORD, what are human beings that you care for them,
mere mortals that you think of them?
4 They are like a breath;
their days are like a fleeting shadow.
5 Part your heavens, LORD, and come down;
touch the mountains, so that they smoke.
6 Send forth lightning and scatter the enemy;
shoot your arrows and rout them.
7 Reach down your hand from on high;
deliver me and rescue me
from the mighty waters,
from the hands of foreigners
8 whose mouths are full of lies,
whose right hands are deceitful.
9 I will sing a new song to you, my God;
on the ten-stringed lyre I will make music to you,
10 to the One who gives victory to kings,
who delivers his servant David.
From the deadly sword 11 deliver me;
rescue me from the hands of foreigners
whose mouths are full of lies,
whose right hands are deceitful.
12 Then our sons in their youth
will be like well-nurtured plants,
and our daughters will be like pillars
carved to adorn a palace.
13 Our barns will be filled
with every kind of provision.
Our sheep will increase by thousands,
by tens of thousands in our fields;
14 our oxen will draw heavy loads.[b]
There will be no breaching of walls,
no going into captivity,
no cry of distress in our streets.
15 Blessed is the people of whom this is true;
blessed is the people whose God is the LORD.