Older, Lower, Slower!

These last 8 months in which I have had two operations have taught me two things at least. First, my increasing frailty or decrepitude as joints give bother, nerves get pinched, skin thins and mind forgets. Second, the detailed love and care of God for me through the treatments, the carers, the recovery, the travelling etc. I would never have thought I’d be in Riga, the capital of Latvia some months back but the Good Shepherd leads me in ways I could never foresee and they are all part of his perfect plan for me (Psalm 138:8). This fits with the recent message (see below) at our church on the immensity of Christ’s love * and the unsearchable riches of Christ of which I will highlight access in prayer and grace to help in time of need. Picture above is of myself recently acting as guide to our blind walker at Ecos parkrun. These verses perfectly describe my experience: “For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.” 2 Corinthians 4:16 and “ And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.” Romans 5:3-5.



Romans 13:14

 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof. Romans 13:14

The first part of this verse refers to the wonderful imputed righteousness of our Saviour and then John Gill says regarding the second half that it refers to, “The body: not but that due care is to be taken of it, both for food and clothing; and for its health, and the continuance and preservation of it by all lawful methods; but not so as

to fulfil the lusts thereof;
to indulge and gratify them, by luxury and uncleanness: it is a saying of Hillell “he that increases flesh, increases worms”; the sense his commentators  give of it is, that

“he that increases by eating and drinking, until he becomes fat and fleshy, increases for himself worms in the grave:”

the design of the sentence is, that voluptuous men, who care for nothing else but the flesh, should consider, that ere long they will be a repast for worms: we should not provide, or be caterers for the flesh; and, by pampering it, stir up and satisfy its corrupt inclinations and desires.” Solemn warning-JK.

“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.” Galatians 6:7,8.

?Foraminal stenosis causing lumbar radiculopathy or Piriformis Syndrome.

What I am suffering from is either this  Piriformis syndrome  


Spinal foraminal stenosis….

This is the other major differential. Spinal arthritis with lots of extra bony spurs one of which is pressing on S1 lumbar nerve giving right calf weakness and numbness in outer lower leg and foot. Points favouring Piriformis are acute onset, buttock trigger point and positive test but favouring structural narrowing are failure of physio and unrelieved static symptoms.


This may be the best option? This young woman had an acute disc, mine’s chronic arthritic narrowing but similar problem though I have no pain.



Jacob’s hip.

And thou saidst, I will surely do thee good,” (Gen.32:12).

“And he (the wrestler-pre-incarnate Son of God) blessed him there.” (Gen.32:29).

“and he halted upon his thigh.” (Gen.32:31).

Sometimes God needs to cripple us to bless us. We are intent on doing things in our own strength and God humbles us, but be assured whatever he does is a blessing.

What God was teaching Jacob, he teaches all his people by leaving them with a sinful nature even after they are born again, instead of totally sanctifying them or taking them to heaven, so that as the catechism states they have only “a small beginning of new obedience.”  This makes us dependent upon God for daily grace-of forgiveness, for strength and for supplication.This is the message of  Romans 7 and Heidelberg Catechism L.D. 44.

Audio message or U tube below:

Ulster Rugby’s prescription for wellbeing.


They even have application for the Christian:

  1. Connect-develop relationships with family, friends, colleagues (especially in church)!
  2. Keep learning-try something new, set yourself a challenge (keep reading good Reformed material).
  3. Be active-walk, jog, run, cycle, swim play, dance-something you enjoy that suits your level (care for your body).
  4. Take notice-be aware of what’s going on in the world, reflect (watch for the signs of Christ’s coming)!
  5. Give-serve others, join a group (give generously to God’s church).

First and foremost ensure you are a child of God and in that privilege exercise your right to take in his word in all its forms and pray without ceasing!


Now two weeks post-op and clips out…

Still having to wear a splint most of the time to keep knee straight, bending starts next week for 3 weeks. Physio exercises started. Ought to be walking by early/mid January and hoping I’ll be able to cycle and row again on gym machines thereafter. Still aches a bit but it is just like a broken bone healing. OSTEOTOMY-An osteotomy is a surgical operation whereby a bone is cut to shorten or lengthen it or to change its alignment.

wear on outside….wedge taken out…plate inserted.

Please Lord may it be successful!

All about osteotomies and post-op recuperation videos.

Now 6 weeks post-op. Back to driving! Walking sometimes with stick, sometimes without. Aqua-jogging, elliptical trainer and rower but not enough knee bend to ride bike yet. Joint feels like there’s a tight band around it.

Days 7 and 8 Operation trip

Spent hours this morning cancelling and re-booking flight back to Belfast. Flybe’s Bombardier turbo prop planes cannot accommodate anyone with a straight leg….

so had to switch to Easyjet …..

but it’s earlier (0830) and gets into Antrim. Bonus is being back for church Bible study at 11am! Managed about a mile on the crutches plus other exercises.

Day 8. Made it home after taxi drive hotel direct to airport. Assistance staff very good. Plenty time. Lorry lifts. Legroom still a problem but thankfully small gap between forward partition and front emergency exit through which I stuck my right foot. The week has been a catalogue of God’s good provision for every need-never doubt him saints, he is faithfully good to his people!