Two weeks ago I went to bed with a little pain in my stomach. By midnight I thought I was experiencing the worst heart burn ever. Two hours later I was in the bathroom relieving myself of everything I had eaten the day before. By 7:00 in the morning I was on my way to becoming severely dehydrated with a pain in my chest that seemed to pierce right through me. I probably should have gone into the emergency room. However, as stubborn as I am I choose to wait until the doctor could fit me in at 11:00. Crazy seeing as how I couldn't even keep water down.
The doctor sent me to the hospital for lab work and a sonogram. The verdict -- gallstones. The remedy -- surgery (ugh!!). Then sent back to the hospital to be prepared for surgery and rehydrate.
At the hospital it took four nurses and eight needles before they were finally able to get an IV in. At 2:30 the surgeon came into the room to meet me discovered that I was feeling fine without even a hint of pain and decided we could postpone the surgery until the following week when it fit both of our schedules much better.
So I waited in the hospital expecting to be released around supper. Finally at 8:00 the nurses came in with some food saying something to me about keeping me overnight to observe me and make sure I was hydrated. By this time I wasn't very happy (I had expected to go home around 4 or 5) and to discover that they weren't going to let me go home -- ugh!
Finally one of the nurses told me I could sign a release form and go home against hospital recommendations. So, promising to drink lots of fluids and to return if I felt dehydrated or had another attack, I signed myself out and went home to my own bed.
Six days later I returned to the hospital to face the knife. Believe me, those six days were not easy for me. I never had another gallbladder attack -- I stayed away from all the fatty foods that might bring one on. But, I did a lot of research and decided I really didn't want to have surgery. Looking on-line I discovered a couple of options, but after talking with JA's Aunt Gayle (a nurse), and two other doctors not from this area I discovered that the best option for the type of gallstones that I most likely had would be surgery.
I was amazed at how calm I felt going into the hospital about the surgery, joking around with the nurses; and I was ready to get this entire ordeal over with.
Walking into the surgery room and looking around, all I could think about was how cold and scary it must have been for Andy to be taken away from me and wheeled into surgery. Again, it was as scary for me because I could understand, but to even be able to get a glimpse of what my children must have felt was a comfort to me.
Waking up in the recovery room and discovering that my stomach hurt every time I twisted was not my idea of a pleasurable time. However, throughout the day I met some wonderful nurses. I am so thankful that the Lord has given us doctor's and modern medicine. To be able to walk in and out of the hospital the same day as a major surgery is incredible. While a few years ago I probably would have had to be in the hospital for a week in recovery.
Don't get me wrong, I didn't leave the hospital without any pain. The pain I felt in the recovery room was worse then any of my contractions during labor (and those were hyped up with pitosin). I'm still experiencing some pain a week after the surgery and can't lift anything over 20 pounds (hm mm, guess I can't change any dirty diapers). But I praise God that He is Jehovah Rophe. The God who heals. I am so thankful that God not only heals our physical infirmities according to His will, but He reaches out and heals our spiritual infirmities.
Last Wednesday before I left the hospital I found out that my gallbladder held nine stones. It also showed plenty of signs that it had been bothering me for quite some time. However, until I had the attack the previous week and went to the doctor I didn't know I was sick. I actually thought of myself as being really healthy for someone who is overweight. You know, the same is often true of my spiritual condition. When I fail to spend time in God's Word and I fail to spend time praying, I don't realize how sick my spiritual life is. But, when I take the time to read God's precious Word and Pray, I see myself in the mirror of God's Word and then can Jehovah Rophe reach out and heal me -- only when I recognize my sickness. You know, like those "sure remedies" I discovered on the internet, Satan will often try to distract us from getting the sin cut our of our life. He tries to trick us into tolerating the sin, but by tolerating the sin instead of having the Master Surgeon cut it out, will only cause the sin to fester and infect other parts of the body.
I know this post was long, but I want to challenge you to spend time in God's Word today and pray. Ask God to reveal the sickness of your own soul today. We are all struggling with sickness. Whether it is a persistent sin problem that won't go away like the problem with my gallbladder, or just the "occasional" sin similar to that annoying cold. Please, don't let Satan fool you into tolerating the infection or even make you think it's only a small scratch or cut. That only gives the sin a chance to further infect your body. The sickness must be treated and can only be healed by the power of the Master Physician.