out of the woods

The idiom as we all know it means “out of danger” or “free from difficulty.”  We use it casually, in business, and in medicine.   Our economy has had positive indicators recently but we are not out of the woods yet.  It appears that Lucy’s fever has gone done, but she’s not out of the woods.

Last year, when they transplanted my fibula, complete with veins and artery to my jaw, they built a scaffolding on my neck with a flap of skin from from my leg that they pricked with a needle every hour or two.  They did that for four days to make sure it kept bleeding before they proclaimed me “out of the woods.”

The world is full of idiomatic woods.  We end up in them, find our way out of them, then find them again.  The woods are all over the place, some thick forests, others lighter patches.  Some woods we end up in before we realize we are in them.  It’s like the woods are growing around or within us, yet unbeknownst to us.  When we least expect, they appear, seemingly all of a sudden, and we are in the thick of them.

During the lead-up to the financial disaster, when the economy and housing market was bustling, the woods were brewing.  Before Lucy got her fever and without her knowledge, the woods were incubating.

This past week I had an appointment with the maxillofacial specialist to review the plan for permanent implants, which would require surgery and is a 3-4 month process.  The evening prior, my jaw swelled up for the first time since the operation.  It was weird, and scary.  When the doc saw me, he wanted me to see the surgeon who had done the job.  They took an x-ray and couldn’t readily detect anything.  Since then the swelling has subsided but having had ORN, where the jaw is concerned, I may not be out of the woods for a while.  Having already had an issue with the radiated bone, it’s hard to tell where the woods end.

Being deep in the woods can be darn concerning, bordering worrying.  Then again, the woods are the woods and we can’t change their nature.  It may be wise then, to throw concern and worry to the wind in hopes of gaining comfort with the woods.  There is a certain life force in the woods that is reality even it the outcome is uncertain.

When we are in the woods, we look for a way out.  We never look for a way in.  But if we find ourselves deep in the forest, all we can do is make sure our bearing is where we think it should be and march forward.  No reason to dislike the woods.  Sometimes they are just there.

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