Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Knee Injury

It's been a little over a week since I injured my knee. For those that know me well, this probably does not come as a surprise. It's probably less of a surprise that I was injured on the soccer field. What can I say? I love to be active and play sports and it's a great way to interact with people and bond with them. Cathi would like me to remember that I'm not as young as I used to be and that I don't heal as fast as I used to, either!
Last Monday, we had a Haiti vs. USA game on campus. A visiting American medical team played against the Haitian staff here. I joined in with the American team and got injured with only one minute to go in the game. The initial thought was that I'd torn my ACL. A doctor from that team recommended surgery due to my active lifestyle. Though I could potentially wait to get it fixed, if there was other damage, I should do it sooner rather than later to avoid compounding issues. The first step was to get some images of the knee to see what the extent of injury was.
We did some looking around for an MRI to confirm the damage to the knee and found that there is only one machine in the whole country! After draining our Haitian bank account to pay for the images, we got the results that indicate there is damage elsewhere in the knee. More than a week after the incident, I still have a lot of swelling and though I wake up virtually pain free in the mornings, by the evening, there's a lot of discomfort. Additionally, I sent the report to the VA in the US (since I have service connected disability) and found that orthopedic surgery has a wait list of 2 years.
I was open and honest when this initially happened that I was discouraged. Since then, it seems the hits haven't stopped coming. My activities and normal routine is seriously limited due to mobility. The MRI ended up being quite a financial burden on the family. Additionally, there will be the financial considerations of changing flights for surgery in the US to either return early or leave later, to account for recovery time. That presents other issues of whether I'm alone for surgery or recovery or if my family is displaced for that entire time... you get the idea.
What's interesting is that in this this dark time for me, God has still been encouraging me. The day after the injury, I had several visitors from the Haitian staff. In the following days, people from the village came to wish me well. My friends from Onaville once again walked for hours to visit me too! Then, one of my good friends here walked to Port-au-Prince yesterday to pick up the MRI results for me when I couldn't get off campus to do it myself. I've been blessed by through these relationships in what, for me, has been one of my toughest times here.
I still don't have any answers as I write this. I have no idea when I'm heading back to the US, if/when I'm having surgery, who's doing the surgery, whether my family will be with me, where I/we would stay, or when we'd be back here. That's a lot of uncertainty that I'm not comfortable with. But through the encouragement of other people around us, God's reminding me that those are small details compared to the eternal significance of the work and ministry. He's reminding me that just as he cares to send people to visit me, he'll work out all the other seemingly bigger things too.

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