Step Into the Bubble

My therapist said I’m “salvageable”. That’s an exact quote from Mike Ryan at Leading Edge Physical Therapy. Yes, after 5 weeks of therapy he proclaimed me not hopelessly broken. I was encouraged. Then I went back and they put grocery bags on my feet and told me to walk in a bubble.

True story. I literally laughed out loud and before I could stop myself said –  “Sweet Jesus you all have lost your dang mind,” followed by “This has to be a joke, right? Where are the cameras?”

It was no joke. Because I was feeling better, my therapy was progressing to new levels. My desire to jump out the window has subsided and I am sure to graduate soon. But there was still work to do so that meant a walk in the AlterG, an anti-gravity treadmill. But first I had to don grocery bags on my shoes and slip into the humpty dumpty pants. That was therapy in itself. I looked around for the candid camera people. At this point, my outbursts of “Sweet Jesus this is insane” ensured that all eyes in the place were on me. Well, I thought, at least I was keeping these folks from running out the door. Public servant I am. A bunch of tugging later and I had the cone of shame around my waist and was stepping into the balloon covered treadmill.

As the thing inflated around me, I hollered for my son to take a few photos while pronouncing this experience “blog-worthy” for sure. Yes, I hollered for Austin. Surprisingly he was not mortified by the scene I was creating. He was cracking up as he was there for his own physical therapy, albeit more advanced than mine. #showoff.

There was now a balloon around my bottom half, zippers around my waist, a button to remove my body weight (Oh if ONLY this worked outside the bubble), and a camera monitoring every step I took. 10 minutes forward and 5 minutes backward. I was so mesmerized by the screen in front of me that I barely noticed the time tick away. As odd as it was, it was actually… well, fun.

No longer did I want to run away. My therapist may or may not have been glad about that. Nevertheless, I was doing what she said. I was listening to her and walking in a bubble because she asked me to. It was a great experience and I’ve actually done it twice now. Both times, my therapist said “come walk in the bubble” (or something a bit more technical, but you get the point.)

Come. Walk.

A message my pastor had recently given bubbled up in my mind.

“Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus.  Matthew 14:29

When Jesus bid him come, Peter stepped out in faith. He stepped out of the comfort of the boat and onto the Sea of Galilee. Think about how utterly bizarre it must have been for Peter to be walking on top of the water! Yet there he was…walking…on the water…to Jesus. Jesus called to him and Peter was obedient. He didn’t jump out of the boat before being called and he didn’t refuse to go when he was. He trusted the leading of Jesus and walked. Of course then he started freaking out about the wind and the waves around him and slipped beneath the surface. That is until Jesus stretched out his arm and pulled him back up. (There’s a separate powerful message in that.)  The experience of walking on the water would no doubt transform Peter in his relationship with Christ as well as play a pivotal role in his development as the cornerstone of the early church.

For me, being asked to walk in the “bubble” was a big step, pun intended. But doing so ended up being a good thing and helped me progress in my course of therapy preparing me for more difficult things later on. Had I refused, I wouldn’t be where I am today. Has Jesus bid you come? Have you stepped out in faith? Or are you still in the boat?

Come. Walk.

 

 

 

 

Let’s Talk Toilet Paper

It’s widely known that I am a self-proclaimed restroom aficionado. Public, private, large, small, clean, not so clean, indoor, outdoor, baseball fields, airplanes, eco-friendly flushing systems, no flushing capability at all. You name it, I’ve tested it. Anatomical issues aside,  just trust me when I say I’m qualified to speak on the subject.

Part of my role as Secretary of Restrooms is to communicate with the masses to ensure we uphold the restroom standards that are essential to maintaining decorum in our public facilities. And believe me, having planned our family vacation around satisfactory restroom stops on 95, I have done my research.

So yes folks,  this important public service announcement is about toilet paper. It’s a subject close to my heart. (Um, you know what I mean.) Appropriate quality and quantity of toilet tissue is critical to an effective restroom experience. On the flip side, low quality TP can make a bathroom trip unbearable. {Side bar: I’d be a great spokesperson for Charmin, Cottonelle, Angel Soft or Northern. #opportunity} But this post is not about quality of the tushy tissue. It’s about WHY IT’S SO HARD FOR PEOPLE TO PUT A NEW ROLL OF TOILET PAPER ON THE HOLDER.

{Pause to collect myself.}

Oh my gosh. My frustration with those that can not complete this simple task is at a critical level.  Code red I tell you. Whether over or under, I don’t care. At least replace the toilet paper if you use all of it. It’s not that hard. Yet,  I’m confronted with this madness at work, at home, even during a recent hotel stay. Something must be done. Hence I’m calling attention to the common offenses in hopes we can put a stop to this assault on humanity.

1.) The outright kiss my fanny.

These selfish people should be locked in a room together… for a really long time…. with lots of trickling water. It boggles my mind that a person could use all the toilet paper and not replace it for the next person. #deepbreath

 

2.) The fake it. 

Who are you kidding? That scrap you left on the roll isn’t fooling anyone. Some of these #psychos use stealthy ninja skills to leave just enough toilet paper on the roll to cover the cardboard tube.Others use the art of camouflouge.

 

3.) The prop it.  

OK they tried. But would it kill you to try a little harder? My granny always said a job worth doing was a job that shouldn’t be done half…way. Believe it or not, this photographic evidence was captured in a hotel.  Yes, a professional did this. #fail

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There are more TP stunts but the point is clear – why do people make this a harder task than it should be? Why do they try to get away with not replacing it? Maybe it’s because there isn’t any to replace it with. {Side bar: That is NEVER the case in our house because I’m obsessed with having enough toilet paper. Just ask my hubby. I literally just said “we need more toilet paper” after checking the cabinet. See photo.}

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Maybe it’s because they think someone else will do it {i.e. mom}. Maybe it’s because they got what they needed and the TP problem now belongs to the next person. Regardless of the exact excuse, it boils down to being… and I say this in love….. self-centered.

Don’t throw toilet paper at me. We are a society that puts self first. We are conditioned that way. But as I thought about this pet peeve of mine, how it really frustrates me, how it exists across the board, I wondered what it really boiled down to. What did this really mean?  Then I sat down and read Romans 12.

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.  Romans 12:9-13

Now I did notice that verse 12 instructs me to be “patient in affliction”. {Pause again to reflect.} Most importantly though this passage also tells us to honor one another above ourselves and to be devoted to one another in love. Yes you can honor people with toilet paper. The simple needs of others could be our opportunities to bless and care for them. Taking a few minutes to serve others could mean all the difference to them… and to us.

And just to be sure I have patience with the TP violators God added Romans 12:14.

14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Romans 12:14

Next time you have the chance to replace the toilet paper, rejoice! Your family, friends, co-workers and fellow citizens will appreciate you.

 

A Simple Word

Today I wanted to post a message that isn’t funny. It’s not even my words, but it’s a message stirring in my heart.

14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14 (NIV)

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Enough said.

My Legs Don’t Go That Way

Physical Therapy. Sounds like a good thing right? I mean it’s therapy. By definition therapy is “treatment designed to relieve or heal.” But I’m on to them now. Oh yes, I figured out their game. It’s PE in disguise. And I hated PE. This so-called therapy is all a facade to get you in the door. Once inside, they make your legs go in directions they were never meant to go.

A month ago I decided the pain in my back must be addressed. I started looking for a new desk chair since mine was apparently trying to kill me. Then a friend suggested that it may not be the chair, but the fact that I sit at my desk all day. Apparently sitting is the new smoking. So I turned to the allure and comfort of “therapy” figuring it couldn’t hurt to try it. #foreshadowing

The first visit was all roses and candy. Easy stretches and light pressure from “Pebbles”, the name of the machine they put me on. This is also a diversion tactic. They give the robotic machines nice names, especially the ones you meet first.  It’s all part of the ploy.

The second visit they introduced me to “Bam Bam” and made me bend, lift, stretch and contort in ways I was never meant to. Determined to not be beat by these tactics, I worked and worked to do what I was asked to do. I figured there was a piece of chocolate or something waiting for me as a reward. But no. The therapy master said, “Now get up and walk around a little bit.” HA! My legs feel like jello and I need a nap. I’m gonna walk out the door if I can get off this table. But I learned another one of their tricks. They have you put your purse (with car keys inside) in a cubby that is strategically located as far away from the front door as possible. Very smart on their part.

But I can tell I am getting better so I am encouraged. As an overachiever I keep working harder to be able to say I can do the exercises they give me each visit. But here’s another thing I learned. If you say you can do the exercises, they give you harder ones. Ah Ha. More tricks.

By now I think I have their game figured out. I’m smart. I learned how to avoid PE with stealthy ninja-like prowess. I got this. Oh nay nay. On Friday, they introduced me to traction.

What in the sam heck is this medieval madness? Oh just lie on this nice comfy table and hold on for dear life as we pull you apart. This should definitely help you, she says. It feels good, she says. I considered running. I considered pretending to have to go to the bathroom and jump out the window. But my dang car keys… The cubby… shoot…

Minutes later I find myself strapped in and feeling 80 lbs of pressure pull at me from the waist down as the size of my eye balls set a new world record. 20 minutes later and I was still alive and certain I was an inch taller. Hooray for a lower BMI.

But I’m not going back. Ok, I’ll be back on Monday. And the following Friday. And the week after that. But I’m gonna be sure I keep my car keys within arms reach.

I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13