Wednesday, March 4, 2015

A Season of Healing

My mother-in-law just told me yesterday that she's heard that you should expect one week recovery time for every day spent in the hospital.  She told me this after I turned the keys over and she drove me home after we shopped at two stores and I was ready to fall over.

In November I started having severe pelvic pain.  My doctor was perplexed after an exam and ruling out a few things.  It persisted for a few weeks so she ordered a CT scan.  She called me with the results which showed several ovarian cysts and a 'spot' on my small intestines which might want to be looked at but 'was most likely nothing.'  A consult to a GI doctor was made which led to setting up a colonoscopy - just to get a look since my grandmother had colon cancer.  A consult with a GYN led to an ultrasound of my ovaries and news that the cysts were resolving on their own - good news.

In the mean time, I figured out that the lump that I'd had in my groin that ached was most likely a hernia - thank you Google - you'd think that nursing school would have clued me in!  My doctor set me up with a general surgeon consult.  When Dr. Matthews walked in the room, he and Jeff hit it off since they both attended Indiana University and grew up in Indiana. I think I disappointed them when they had to stop talking about the Colts embarrassing loss and get on with the appointment.  Dr. Matthews' conclusion: Yes, I have an inguinal hernia.  Yes, it would be best to get it repaired. But then, he asked what had been told to us about the CT scan and asked why I had it done.  I told him that I was having a colonoscopy later that week but they had all said 'it's probably nothing.'  He burst our bubble right there and said, no...that is something there...some kind of growth - probably on the outside of the bowel but in the wall of the bowel.  He mentioned a few things that it could be but wanted to wait and see if the GI doctor saw anything inside of the bowel.  So, we left knowing that the colonoscopy was more of a necessity than we thought.

The colonoscopy was uneventful...yes, the prep is as bad as everyone says it is.  The GI doctor saw the area during the procedure and agreed with Dr. Mathews that something was on the outside of the small intestines right where it hooks to the large intestines.  They talked.  Dr. Matthews called me and suddenly we were talking about the possibility of a bowel resection - cutting a section out and sewing it back together...and a long hospital stay.  He mentioned the scary "C" word (cancer) this time when he went over the list of what it 'could' be.  Surgery was scheduled.

I woke up on that afternoon to learn that the 3 1/2 hour surgery led to him and his team seeing the tumor - which looked much like a carcinoma - and proceeding with a right hemicolectomy -removal of a portion of the small bowel, the ascending part of the large intestines, the appendix and some lymph nodes.  Oh - and they repaired my hernia, too.  The tumor had pretty much eaten up the entire appendix and was attached in the bowel wall.  They sent it all to pathology with a promise to know something in 5 or so days.  Recovery in the hospital was hard, but I did it. Lots of nausea and bloating and pain and shots and weird things happening to my body.  No food for 6 days, no appetite, lots of talking about gas and poop.  Fun times.  On the third day Dr. Matthews came in and said 'we got the pathology report back early.  It was an endometrioma and completely benign.'  And the rejoicing began.  6 days after surgery, I went home.

Is anyone still reading?  That was a lot of technical, medical information.  As I think back over the past 7 or 8 months, struggling through depression and the work that I did in counseling to try to heal emotionally...the steps I've been taking to dig in deeper with God and become healthier spiritually... Apparently my body also had some physical ailments that needed attention and healing.

Our bodies are amazing...intricate.  I find it crazy that my physician could separate apart all of that goop inside of me and cut the right parts out and sew the right parts back together. I couldn't tell one part from another when we dissected cats in college!  But my doctor obviously knows the inside of the body well.  I trusted him completely.  God the Physician, God the Healer...He knows my body even better.  He knows every cell, every hair, every drop of blood, every tear, every time my mind is sick, every part that needs healing, every part that is broken.

This is obviously a season for me - a season of healing.  I'm struggling, 15 days after surgery, to accept this.  I'm tired, I'm sore, I'm bruised, I'm swollen, and my mind isn't healthy again.  As much as the doctor 'fixed me'...I'm still so broken and in need of fixing. I trusted God that my doctor would take care of what was wrong with my, I need to trust that my Doctor will take care of the rest of the mending and heal me.  And maybe I could be patient while He does this.  But I'm so tired. I'm tired of not being well...for 7 months I've not been myself and I've been in pain - whether physical, mental, emotional or spiritual - pain.  

Jesus is here to bind our brokenness.  He is that soothing balm for our pain.  If we were not sick we wouldn't look to our Physician. If we were not lost we would not need a Savior.

Jesus, let me praise You and remember You. Come and heal me of ALL my diseases...renew my joy! Satisfy my desire to be healthy again and light a fire in my heart for bringing You glory. Amen.
Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits-- who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.  Psalm 103:1-5
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