The Pressures of Zero Pressure

We as a family are no strangers to Accident & Emergency Departments. A few months ago it was our son who broke his wrist playing rugby. That’s a bit like American Football without the wimpy pads for our friends across the Atlantic.

Then there was my fractured foot and torn ankle ligaments which I blogged about earlier in the week (I’m fine thanks for asking). And this morning it was our eldest daughter, Hannah, who developed a nasty pressure sore on the sole of her foot which unfortunately broke down again necessitating urgent medical attention. 

Hannah is thirteen years old and was born with spina bifida and hydrocephalus. This means she needs a wheelchair to get about at present. She is, her disability aside, a healthy, loving, kind, funny teenage girl. And like all teenage girls she can be equally untidy, ungrateful and disobedient when the notion takes her. She can drive us nuts but we love her unconditionally. Not least for her courage, patience, sense of humour and the biggest heart this side of Heaven.

Because of her disability Hannah has little sensation in her legs. And limited circulation which makes her skin hyper sensitive and vulnerable to the slightest abrasion or cut. My wife does an incredible job monitoring her skin but even she can’t be there 24/7. Hannah has a life to lead and we can’t keep her wrapped in cotton wool. Not that the little madam would let us.

It’s been a very frustrating time for my wife and I. She has outgrown her current wheelchair and bed. She needs good quality upgrades to protect her skin from sores. If they break down badly and/or get infected there can be serious health consequences. We pray constantly for Hannah but it often seems one step forward, two steps back.


Trying to acquire what Hannah requires through our Health Service is a never ending bureaucratic nightmare. My wife does the large majority of this on a daily basis with physiotherapists, occupational therapists, nurses, doctors and consultant surgeons. She does everything and more to fight for Hannah’s rights. 

But we are now almost halfway through the year and Hannah does not have the bed and wheelchair she so desperately needs. And we find ourselves in A&E again, fretting over another pressure sore. As the tissue viability nurse examined the foot we explained how Hannah’s therapists had done everything they could to minimise the pressure on her feet when she was in her chair. From expensive padding to random bits of sponge you name it they had tried. But to no avail. 

When we mentioned this minimising of pressure the nurse frowned and shook her head. ‘No’ she replied. ‘Minimal pressure is no good. What she needs is zero pressure’. At which point I whispered to Hannah that maybe we should send her into space to take a break from gravity. Me and my wonky foot would keep her company. Cue immature giggling all round. 

But it got me thinking. Imagine going through life with zero pressure. Always sufficient funds in the bank to pay the bills. Waltzing through work effortlessly every day. A world free from war and sickness. And above all else….kids who didn’t argue about whose turn it was to do the dishes.

Zero pressure. It’s a nice idea. But when God dispatched us to Planet Earth he never said it was going to be easy. Or even slightly difficult for that matter. Being a Christian behind enemy lines requires pressure. Quite a bit of it to be honest. If you aspire to change and improve we have to push forward. And pushing involves resistance from the world. Which manifests itself as pressure.

The good news? If we persevere we WILL break through. Maybe not in the manner we wanted to, or how the world gauges ‘success’, but in the manner that falls within the remit of God’s master plan. 

If it meant getting Hannah the equipment she needs I’d run a hundred marathons. And relish the pressure of it. Just like I relish the pressures of running the Christian race in this fallen world.

No pressure. No thanks. 

What is the longest time you have spent in an Accident & Emergency Department?

In what areas of your Christian journey do you most experience pressure?

How do you deal with pressure? 

7 thoughts on “The Pressures of Zero Pressure

Add yours

  1. This has really got to be hard. I’m not a parent, but I’ve heard it’s hard enough to know boundaries on letting them on their own or sheltering them, let alone someone with a disability like that. It made me smile to hear she has some typical teenager qualities!
    I learned at the Sunday about how faith is: “Not knowing if God will, but knowing He can.” I thought this was great and I hope you do too and see how I related it to your situation!

    Pressure is hard, no body really puts it on me, I just either assume they do, or I put it on myself. Recently I’ve really struggled with the guilt I feel when I don’t pray. Even for a second, I look back and just feel overwhelmingly guilty- and the same for not remembering what I read. It’s a huge insecurity and… I hate it.

    Ill keep your daughter in my prayers 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your post. That’s a great quote and I will remember it. My faith has been very up and down this year which is one of the reasons for the blog. To boost my confidence, bring me closer to God and use the gifts (writing and running) that he has given me. Thank you again.

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  2. Hello, thanks for the ‘like’ on Leaves2 – Firsts. I have come back to the blogging land because of my slip on some steps and a broken leg/ankle!! So Harrogate was the A and E I visited quite away from my home near Nottingham. Fro the moment I did it, I knew I had broken it. Yes I needed pain killers from the Paramedic and yes I had gas and air when they put the initial cast on to straighten my leg, but this is when Jesus stepped in. My prayer for the whole time was ‘Jesus hold my foot’. And He has!! The Drs have been amazed. The nurses have been amazed. I have seven pins and a plate and no pain to speak of other than an ache every now and then. Three more weeks before I can put my foot down, so three more week of blogging! Take care and my our Lord bless you and your family richly. Hope the chair and bed arrive soon. alisonb2 🙂

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  3. I pray the Lord will give you a chair and bed soon. I don’t deal with pressure well at all. I used to fall apart, but am getting better at leaving things with God. Just letting go of outcomes and knowing he hears me, is working and fighting for me.

    Joyce Meyer is the person who has helped me most in my Christian walk. It is because of the Holy Spirit speaking thru her that I am so much happier and more peaceful.

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  4. Your words about the value of pressure and another blog I just read about the importance of impulse control in preventing frontal lobe brain atrophy have combined in my mind to motivate and inspire me to make some important changes. Thank you for sharing, and I pray your daughter can get her bed and chair soon.

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