A change of position, followed by an intense pain. “Oh God help me!” I gasp over and over. Legs trembling. Nausea. The pain is more severe than anything I’ve ever felt before. Something has to be wrong.
I feel like I’m going to pass out as I get in the car. “Oh God, what’s wrong with me?” The ride is bumpy. My mom’s voice soothes words of encouragement, “It’s going to be okay.”
I get a hospital bed. My parents just have chairs. We’re all tired. So tired. Everyone is asking the same questions. “Where does it hurt? When did it start? What is your name and birthdate?”
A friend sends links to music videos. I’ve heard the songs before, but the words and Scripture verses in them take on a deeper meaning. Be still my soul – be still and know that God is watching over me. He is with me. He’ll take care of me. He will never leave me nor forsake me. I’m at peace.
I watch the clock. Both hands meet the 12 – it’s midnight. “Happy Father’s Day, Dad,” I smile. Will he even have a chance to enjoy his day?
“It’s appendicitis,” the doctor says. My appendix has to go. They’ll operate as soon as a room opens up. I have to sign papers to give them permission. I acknowledge that there are risks, not excluding death.
Death. That seems so distant, even now. I know it’s rare for this operation. But what if? I ask myself, “Do I know for sure I’m ready?” There is a feeling of doubt – do I know I really am the Lord’s? But the next moment there is peace. I know that I know Him. He’s changed my life. I am His, and He is mine. My only regret would be not having done more for Him. And not spending more time with my family.
How long will it take? When can I go home? It depends. I could be stuck here a week if my appendix has ruptured already. A week? What will I do with myself? I wonder if I could do some “work from hospital.” Someone has to tell my boss what’s going on. But it’s only the wee hours of the morning; that can wait.
I’m moved to a new room. At least now my parents get a couch. I feel bad for them – they haven’t slept a wink. I’m so tired. When will the nurses leave me to sleep? Finally they’re gone. I can rest.
An operating room has opened up. It’s time to go in for surgery. Already? I want to sleep more. The ride through the hospital is kind of fun; I’m glad I don’t have to walk. An hour passes. Now it’s really time. My parents say goodbye. They love me. I’m feeling choked up. The nurses start to put me under, but I don’t quite realize it. Everything is blurry without my glasses. I’m being moved. I’m asleep.
I open my eyes. Is it over already, or are we just getting started? It’s over. My parents are back with me. They’re talking to me, and I’m talking back. But I can barely keep my eyes open. And I’m itchy all over. My mom asks them to switch me to a different pain-killer. The itchiness starts to go away.
Now I can sleep. It’s all I want to do right now. I sleep. I wake and eat. Chicken broth – I’ve been craving it. I sleep again. I wake again. “Try to stay awake now,” my mom tells me, “so we can go home.” I try. But it’s hard.
Finally it is time to go home. I go straight to my bed. My brother has been texting my friends with my phone. I should let them know I’m home. I read through all the kind-hearted messages that were sent while I was gone. It feels good to know how many were praying.
Some of the family come over. They’ve brought the leftovers from the Father’s Day meal that we missed out on. Grammy and my aunt come up with balloons and say hi. I’m feeling very loved. Very loved and very tired.
My boss texts me. He’s joking around with me, but I’m not up to joking back. I’m afraid I squash his lightheartedness and get right to the facts. I’ll try to do some work from home tomorrow, I say. “Just rest tomorrow,” he says. Okay.
And so I rest. Each day there’s an improvement. Monday I rest. Tuesday I put in a half-day from home. Wednesday I put in a whole day. Thursday much of the soreness starts to go away. Friday I actually go into work.
Thank You, Lord, for getting me through this.
Thank You, Lord, for all the friends and family who rallied round to support us and pray for us and encourage us.
For all the friendly and skillful hospital staff. And for guiding the surgeon’s hands.
For Your peace and comfort.
For a rapid recovery.
For the reminder that life is precious.
And for the assurance that I am Yours, and You are mine.