For the last five months, I’ve been dealing with an intermittent pain in my back, stomach, and chest, that would stop me in my tracks. I originally thought it was a kidney stone, but a CT scan a month ago revealed a moderate sized gallstone. I saw a surgeon who recommended my gallbladder be removed sooner than later due to the stone size. He thought it would more than likely get stuck and cause me to get very sick with pancreatitis or liver problems and I’d have to have it removed in an emergency situation if I chose not to electively do it. He asked me when I’d like to schedule the surgery and I told them, “Never.” He laughed, and then I specified I didn’t want to do anything until after the 18th of January. One of my childhood besties was coming to stay with me and I didn’t want to ruin our time together.
On Sunday January 12th, I found myself in rotten shape. I’d been fighting a gallbladder attack since 1am. It had eased enough for me to get showered and ready for church, so I went. I asked to be anointed with oil and I was prayed for along with our congregation. Through the duration of the service, the pain grew worse. I sat there praying, “God, if I need to go to the hospital, please help me to know what to do.” The sermon’s message hinted that this coming week would most likely not be what I pictured. If I could summarize it best;”Most of the time things are not going to go according to our plan, but God is going to be with you through all of it and we have to continue trusting Him.” As the service came to a close I was near a cold sweat. If I hadn’t known what was most likely going on in my body; I would have guessed someone stabbed me with a tiny sword through the back, abdomen and chest. Knowing logically that was unlikely…it left this gallstone as culprit. To make a long story short, I continued wrestling with this gnarly misery. I laid in bed that night live streaming the evening service and praying this attack would subside. I became certain something was about to go down in my life, when the minister used two scriptures in his sermon that I call, “My scriptures.”
Isaiah 41:10 “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.”
Joshua 1:9 “Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.”
Both of these scriptures unfailingly show up exactly at the time I need to implement them. It’s always in a miraculous manner, and in no way that anyone could have planned. When I heard both over the pulpit…I figured I was being told to have courage and buckle my spiritual seatbelt.
Monday I called my surgeons office and told them I was considering the ER. She told me not to do that and she would call me right back. “Right back” must have a seriously subjective meaning in these situations, but whatever. Thirty six hours later; I got a call from the Hospital saying I was scheduled for surgery the next night on Wednesday at 6pm. They were scheduling me on a day my surgeon doesn’t normally operate, and after the time outpatient surgeries are normally scheduled. I was relieved because I’d been running a low-grade fever since Sunday and I was worried something pretty bad was brewing. I couldn’t eat anything without it immediately escalating the pain. On Wednesday, they admitted me and prepped me for surgery. My surgeon and anesthesiologist were phenomenal. I told them about my allergies and medical history and they dealt with it perfectly. I was transferred upstairs because the outpatient surgery area closed in the midst of it all, and my nurses changed hands. While I was telling my story about Fluoroquinolone antibiotics and what the new warnings are, they were looking up the info on their phones. The one nurse told a nurse who was approaching my curtain, “she wasn’t supposed to be my nurse but she was taking me because I was interesting.” It was a good laugh, but truly I got to inform a handful of receptive medical professionals and my surgeon and anesthesiologist even reaffirmed the validity of the concerns to these nurses. My surgeon, “Hates Fluoroquinolones and tries to never use them.” I came through surgery very well by all medical standards, and due to a very careful anesthesiologist I was never nauseated or sick.
I ended up still getting to visit with my bestie. She was a great sport and we were able to just sit and talk and order takeout. Getting to catch up was still great. It wasn’t what I’d planned but God had a different plan all along. I’m still sore, tired, and recovering. Today is the two week mark and hopefully my stitches will be ready to come out tomorrow morning at my post -op.
(Quick insert of an update from my surgeon Post- Op because it’s a big blessing!) I went to the surgeon today to have my stitches removed. He walked in and asked me how I was feeling after I ate. I told him much better, just that I had some swelling still and was sore. He said that is totally normal for up to six weeks. Then He told me that, “they knew I’d feel much better as soon as they got in there and saw my gallbladder. Along with the stone, I had chronic inflammation and my gallbladder was full of infection.” I was very close to being very very sick. It was a huge blessing they worked me in for surgery when they did, even on a day that he normally doesn’t operate. I always have this underlying insecurity that maybe it’s not as bad as I think it is. I don’t know why, at this point I should trust myself but I feel so incredibly blessed. I’d been running a low grade fever since Sunday January 12th, and still had it when they admitted me for surgery on the 15th. My CT scan also had documented lots of lymph nodes swollen in the “retroperitoneal space.” That is in the abdomen, kind of in front of the spine. This could totally explain that. Right before I saw the surgeon, my primary care doc told me that is usually caused by chronic inflammation. I do just want to thank all of you who pray for me. I feel so watched over and protected from what could have become a very bad situation.
I’m tired of living in a body that is constantly struggling to function in a healthy manner. The part I keep remembering is that I have great reason to trust God and have courage and not fear. I may not be able to make a plan or have a say in how my body functions…but God is with me and He is in Control.
Please continue to be patient with me. I’m doing the best I can, but I run out of energy sometimes. I’m counting my blessings, praising God for His goodness, and continuing to seek for ways to make the most of this situation. I desire complete healing and I ask and strive for it. Maybe in the meantime, I’m just exactly where God wants me. Present right here right now, learning what He is teaching me, and me trying hard to apply it to the life and circumstances I have been placed in. I will praise His name. He is enough. I wonder if this was the comfort and contentment Paul spoke of as he sat in prison an innocent man.
1st Timothy 6:6. But godliness with contentment is great gain.
7. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.
8 And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.
9 But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and intomany foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.
10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
11 But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.
12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.
13 I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession;
14 That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ:
All the restlessness in my body and mind are calmed by these thoughts, and that is what I need right now. Focus on one day at a time. Do this day the best I can. Live in gratitude and strive for righteousness. That is enough for one day. I love you each my friends. Huge Hugs!
Matthew 6:34 34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.