Posted by: Susan Gaddis | August 6, 2009

Trudging Through a Dung Swamp

596453_everglades_2All of us have times of trudging through a dung swamp. Not pretty. Very smelly. Takes time. Such is life. 

Many people just hold their nose up and get through the stuff as quickly as possible so they can get to the other side and get on with their lives. I guess it works for them.

Personally, I think the wiser person goes through the inevitable dung swamp with an attitude that seeks to learn what he or she can in the yucky mess.

What types of dung are here? Which kinds cling to my clothes and which ones slide off? How does one variety of dung affect my journey compared to another type? What dangerous creatures live in this swamp? How can I avoid them? Will I ever smell normal again? Have I left a clear trail through this swamp for folks that follow me?

Today I celebrate 11 weeks of walking through a minor dung swamp consisting of several types of dung all due to Lisfranc Fracture Dislocation, or the breaking of my foot. I’ve tried to have a good attitude through all the *zh-&%#, and feel I have succeeded somewhat. I have endured:

  • Pain in my foot
  • Intense pain in the rest of my body from a reaction to medication
  • Creative crawling to the bathroom in the middle of the night on a daily basis
  • Olympic quality body bending attempts at bathing and washing my hair
  • Banned from swimming or going to the beach as walking in sand is impossible
  • Cabin fever from being cooped up in the house most of the time
  • Ten pounds gained because of a lack of exercise
  • Kicking myself or my husband during the middle of the night while wearing my storm trooper boot in bed
  • A really painful left knee from crawling and walking with the storm trooper boot
  • Almost rolling all the way down a hill when my husband forgot to put on my wheelchair brakes
  • Limitations that curtail what I do at work
  • Missed out on planned vacations and outings with my family and grandchildren

I believe that this is the first time I have listed or voiced my complaints since the accident, so I don’t feel bad about mentioning the unpleasantness of it all. Such stuff is a part of life and I can learn from it. What I have learned from evaluating this experience is:

  • More patience
  • A thankfulness for doctors when 150 years ago they would have just cut off my foot
  • Appreciation for those who cooked and cleaned for me
  • Two on-line college courses completed and material learned
  • I’m in the company of great Lisfranc Fracture Dislocation survivors such as football players and equestrians
  • I don’t have it nearly as bad as my friend Chris Hallquist who went through surgery the same day I did, but had a lot more screws put in his leg and foot then I did
  • To further develop the ability to let go of things that are not important
  • A new compassion for disabled people

It looks like it will be three more months until I can comfortably hike, but I am weaning off the boot this week. Thank you Dr. Byrne! (When your doctor tells you that you will have a six month recovery, he really means it!) So, the next three months will be an adventure in walking out of the swamp and into clear meadows. (That’s faith talking here!)



  1. YOU can do it! One step at a time. Just avoid that planter bed out front please.

  2. Yeah!! and you are right..slowing down in the swamp does add wisdom. My hope is to learn the most I can from each one so maybe I won’t need so many!

  3. I am glad you are on the mend. Comment: I think what we don’t realize (Guilty of that one!) is that all life, broken as it is, is a dung swamp. When we are hovering above, blessed and enjoying life, we forget that the dung is ever present. Our growth comes in the knowledge that sin has done this, but Christ has provided a way out. We tend to see the dung moments as abnormal and can’t wait for life to get back to normal. But there is no “normal” as long as we are in these bodies. So, lower our expectations of possible joys? No, we just look up for our redemption draws nigh. Looking up with you!

  4. Great insights, Lilly. Thanks for sharing them.

    I agree that all of life is a dung swamp. There really is different kinds of dung in various areas of the swamp. Examing each experience tends to lead us into new ways of dealing with the yucky internal stuff that we normally don’t notice or acknowledge. Bad attitudes and motives don’t rise to the surface unless challenged by life’s negative circumstances.

    And, you are right, we are destined for this journey until we reach heaven’s shore. I think He intentionally planned it this way so he could give us opportunities to submitt to His Spirit as He works to transforme us into the image of Christ.

  5. Kudos to you for not complaining about it all the time like I do on my blog 🙂 but I can relate with all the things you talked about, both the complaints, and the lessons.

    I have really learned to let go of unimportant things and once I am healed I hope I will continue to do so. This unfortunate and long recovery break has also let me think about and reshape my future goals. I don’t think I’ll ever say I enjoyed this experience, but I certainly have learned a lot from it.

    • It is nice to know what others are going through with this type of fracture, isn’t it. I have enjoyed your blog and hope you keep it up after you recover. I think you are humorious and enjoy your ramblings.
      Thanks for checking in! 🙂

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