The Bathroom Blessing

My friend and I have been studying Hebrew together for a number of years. We had to stop when JJ was diagnosed  with cancer a few years ago and we are just now getting back into it. After the long delay, we are doing a lot of review and relearning, but we love Hebrew and are very motivated to learn it. Hebrew is a very unique language. I think it is impossible to learn Hebrew grammar, pronunciation, and vocabulary without also learning its historical and cultural context as well as lessons of faith and life which is built into the very letters themselves.

In our studies, we have been exposed to Jewish prayers and blessings. There is a blessing for everything, including coffee and seeing rainbows. I laughed when I first learned that there is even a blessing said after using the bathroom known as Asher Yatzar. It loosely translates as: “Thank You, God, who formed human beings with wisdom and created them with openings and orifices. If one of these orifices were ruptured or one of them blocked, whoa – it would be impossible to stand before You and survive. Blessed are You, God who heals all flesh and acts wondrously.”

A bathroom blessing sounds ridiculous until a person encounters health problems. Then being thankful for working “plumbing” is completely understandable. I have been thinking about this blessing a lot over the last few days as my fractured wrist causes me all sorts of pain, challenges, and frustrations. I don’t really think all that much about how wonderful it is when my body is healthy and works well until it doesn’t.

My hand throbs all the time and any/all movement is even more painful. I am not looking forward to the surgery, but I wish it could have been scheduled sooner so I can begin healing and get back to my life sooner. I am a little concerned about my bones beginning to heal wrong and needing to be rebroken. Besides pain, I struggle if my arm itches, I can’t  scratch my right arm with my useless left hand at all, which is extremely aggravating. My left arm really itches under the splint, but although I cannot crochet, the crochet hooks are useful in reaching under the splint to scratch itches.

I have been sleeping in my recliner–but I  have trouble sleeping more than a couple of hours at a time. Last night after I struggled to get comfortable, I decided to try to sleep in our bed but EJ was already asleep with the blankets wrapped around him. So I decided instead to try the couch but my arm throbbed worse with nothing to support it so I went back to my chair.

I know it’s difficult for the guys to take on extra tasks so I am trying to do everything I am able to do to not add to their load. With time and effort, I can do some simple tasks one-handed but it is surprising how many tasks require two hands. For example,

  • I can wash my hair in the kitchen sink, but it’s difficult to towel dry my hair.
  • I cannot get my splint wet so I cannot shower. However, with EJ’s help, I was able to take a bath this morning. EJ covered my arm in a plastic grocery bag and taped it on with packing tap, and helped me in and out of the tub. Easy peasy….uh, not…but being clean made me feel human.
  • I was planning to make chili the other day–an easy meal to put together–but despite my best efforts, I was unable to use the can opener to open the cans of chili beans. That evening EJ put together the chili ingredients, and I took the pot out of the fridge and heated it up for supper the next day.
  • I baked a venison potpie I had made and frozen a few weeks ago. I was able to get the potpie in the oven, but had to be creative to get the hot pie in its flexible disposable pie plate out of the oven.
  • I can’t carry heavy or multiple items.
  • I can do laundry. I can transfer clothes from baskets or machines with one hand. I can move baskets of clothes by scooching them across the floor with my foot. However, it takes two hands to fold the clothes and put them away.
  • I am sure I can vacuum, although I haven’t tried yet, but I can’t take out the trash.
  • I can’t make the bed.
  • I can clean the litter boxes in the house, but not the litter box in the garage.
  • Washing dishes is difficult, and impossible if they require scrubbing. EJ bought paper plates this morning to cut down on dirty dishes.
  • With difficulty I can take Hannah outside if the guys are gone and I have to, but I am very afraid of falling and often envision myself lying helplessly in the snow with TWO broken arms.
  • I can’t care for the poultry. The hens stopped laying a couple months ago, but EJ found 4-5 eggs this morning. YAY!
  • With enough time and effort I can write a blog post one-handed, but I cannot crochet.
  • I can binge-watch Netflix.
  • I can’t go get the mail. I can’t drive. I can’t snowblow the driveway. We haven’t had much snow accumulation in January so I haven’t had to snowblow for weeks but we are currently getting a winter storm with lots of snow expected. That’s a bit frustrating.

So, yeah, this difficult painful time makes me think of the Bathroom Blessing and how wonderful it is when our bodies work.

In other news, JJ’s promotion to SGT is permanent. The guy he is replacing has been fired because of a sexual harassment complaint from a non-employee woman–I’m not sure if she was a mall vendor or a customer. JJ also has become a Field Training Officer responsible for training new security guards. Not bad for only working as a security guard for two months.

I have been following the sentencing of Dr. Larry Nassar, the MSU and Olympic sports doctor who molested more than 200 girls for several decades. I was unfamiliar with him–I have never been athletic–but I am very familiar with the area in which he practiced because I have lived most of my life in that area. I used to work in Lansing and also in East Lansing not far from MSU. EJ and I also attended a church in Lansing before we were married. In fact, Nassar’s last sentencing trial–where a father lunged at Nassar for molesting his three daughters–is taking place in the very town where I grew up. My passion about abuse/victims and the area in which this is happening makes me very interested in this. I’m glad Nassar is being brought to justice and the victims are being given an opportunity to speak. I would like to say more, but it takes too much effort to type. If you are interested in this case you can learn more on-line and watch victim statements at Youtube. Here is one victim’s statement that I thought was exceptional. Rachel was the first victim to go public about Nassar.


3 Comments on “The Bathroom Blessing

  1. TJ – The fact that you can type this much amazes me. Are you typing using the hunt-and-peck method? I know that there are cast protectors that I’ve seen at CVS or Meijer in the past when I have bought bandages. I got two bug bites in 2016 and got an allergic reactions to each of them (no, they weren’t spiders that we despise, but carpet beetles that bit me on each ankle). I had to buy tons of bandages to dress the wounds because they turned into big blisters – three inches wide and very high. Meijer ran out and I had to go to drugstores. Anyway, you can cover the entire bandaged area or cast (guessing you will be casted when you have the surgery) .. here is a sample of what I mean that is on Amazon:

    Good luck with the Tuesday appointment. As to health, I always say that even when you have a simple head cold, that you never know just how good you feel on an everyday basis; those pesky head colds clog your head up and makes your brain feel like it is in the other room.


    • The bites you had sound nasty! Thanks for sending link to cast protector. It sounds like an awesome product!

      Yes, I use hunt and peck method to type. It takes time and quite a bit of effort but I have time and I love to write so….I was a word processor years ago before JJ was born so I am familiar with a keyboard.


      • They were terrible because they got so big, and I am an avid walker and sometimes I kick my ankles while I am walking – those walking shoes are wide and if I’m walking in a hurry, it is easy to do. I padded my ankles before the blisters broke and for months afterward. I have scars on the insides of both ankles as the blisters broke and had to be dressed for months and months afterward to prevent infection. A carpet beetle is very tiny, the size of the head of a pin, but elongated, but very tiny. They bite people and not everyone has a reaction – but I suspect they got into my sock since both bites were on the ankle and I had smaller bites on my legs but no further than my crew sock line.

        It must be strenuous typing like that right now. My boss goes bike riding every day at work – our office is near Belle Isle and he bikes the mile from Stroh Place to Belle Isle and back and around the island multiple times – he rides sometimes 20-25 miles a day, in the middle of the day – he just leaves on the bike. One day it was hot and he left his foot in the toe clip, was reaching for his water bottle while riding and fell over the handlebars. He fell over and the bike over him (mountain bike). Some kindly twin sisters came over to him and called 911. He had a a third-degree shoulder separation and the surgeon said it was better he did not have surgery – he was 69 years old at the time. He swims every morning at a local pool and had strong arms. They gave him a sling, no meds and told him to hunt and peck with two fingers on the keyboard and phone for a couple of weeks and see how he did. He never had the surgery and it healed back with a big bump, but no pain. The body is pretty resilient sometimes – hope you have that type of success after the surgery.

        The cast protector I saw at CVS did not have that roll at the top, but I thought it looked like it might keep it in place better than tape. Might be a good idea after you have the surgery.

        P.S. – I didn’t know if someone was helping you write your blog posts while you have been laid up with this problem.

        Liked by 1 person

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