Reflections…………………The Other Side Of the Storm

“Your shoulder is worn out and needs to be replaced”. That was the comment of an orthopedic surgeon after examining my shoulder in February. Off to surgery I go on March 9th and got a completely new shoulder replacement. With my sling around my shoulder and neck, sleeping, what little there was, in my recliner, I said to myself, “I can do this.” I was thinking, in three months I will be good as new and I can return to all my normal activities. What I did not know on the third day after the surgery, four blood clots made their way to the central part of my brain resulting in a stroke of my body and brain.

After four days of intensive care with every conceivable type of test, scan, and body movement, I now not only had this ‘sling’ around my neck, but I also had haltering speech, faulty memory, and a gait that resulted in not being able to lift my leg properly. Home I go to my recliner, how exciting can it get.

Shortly the new shoulder decided not to stay in the new ‘cup’ the surgeon had placed in my shoulder. It dislocated. OOPS! Off we go to the emergency room to have the shoulder put back in place. Not only once did the shoulder dislocate but three times resulting in two more trips to the emergency room in Nashville. The trip to the hospital was 70 miles away from our home, and my faithful wife, who doesn’t like driving in heavy traffic on the expressway, became my chauffeur. After the third trip, the surgeon decided to remove and replace the old ‘new’ shoulder with another shoulder with a larger ‘socket’. By this time I knew all the physical therapists by their first name. But keep in mind, I have a faulty memory as a result of the stroke. Therefore, I was calling Susie- Mary and Mary- Susie. I became the comedy “act” of the physical therapy department, where I went twice weekly for 9 months.

Through all of this ordeal, my three sons, their wives, and 10 grandchildren became my cheering section. Daily and weekly telephone calls and visits. My wife has truly been my helpmate, guiding me through the storm helping me with memory issues, names of people, and every conceivable thing that came my way.

Next week I will graduate from physical therapy. I am able to walk a mile independently and daily I attend morning coffee with a group of senior “guys”. I have registered for my first golf tournament in Florida with over 120 participants in February.

This ordeal has caused seeds of blessings to spring to life. What amazing overwhelming, incredible grace.

Lord, help me recognize the evidence of Your grace in my

Life. Thank you that you have never given me what I

deserve. Instead, you have showered me with your

incredible protection, kindness, and love. Even though

my body is a little guarded, and I am a wee bit warped,

help me keep marching in the sunshine so I might

produce a harvest of fruitfulness for You.


Retired in 2008 after 40+ years in education/psychology as researcher, teacher, administrator and college professor.
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3 Responses to Reflections…………………The Other Side Of the Storm

  1. Millie Bankston says:

    Gary, I’m so very thankful to read this post. I’m grateful for June’s care of you, and that you’re regaining the life that you have lived so well. Blessings on you as you continue your recovery. And my wish for you in 2022 is that you get a hole in one at that golf tournament in February!

    Merry Christmas to you and your family!



  2. srbottch says:

    A long road, Gary. Glad to hear that you’re on a successful mend the third time around. You had great support. I’m sure that made a difference, at least in your spirit. Can’t imagine having to drive 70 miles to the hospital. Our facility is 10 minutes, one left turn and then a straight shot to the front door. Of course, who wants to go? Take care.

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