Saturday, May 31, 2008

Healing


A week and a bit after my surgery I went to my family doctor to have my staples removed. We were talking about going back to work and I mentioned that they didn’t really want me to be there if I was sick. For some reason it was important to her that she correct me. She said, “You are not sick. The sick part of you was taken out. You are recovering.”

Today I was at a women’s conference at my church. The topic was around the area of emotional healing. Near the end of the day I started thinking about that appointment. I thought about the way God heals. So many times in my life I have wondered if I was okay, normal, whether the fact that I still struggled meant that God had not healed me. Today God told me, “I have removed the sick part of you. Now you are recovering.”

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Fork in The Road I Haven't Found Yet


I have noticed that in the past couple of days I have had a general sense of dissatisfaction with everything. I am grumpy. Everything pisses me off. I am having trouble keeping the little stuff in perspective. As I was waiting for the bus to take me home (and on the bus too) I kept going over the latest reason why I feel like I have been overlooked. The sane part of me kept trying to let go but I couldn’t.

Do you ever feel like you need to make a decision about something but you are not sure what the question is? I feel that way. I want to start changing everything and adjusting to see if I can find a way to feel better. Yet I know I have to be patient. God will show me what He is after. I am finding it hard to be patient…

Monday, May 26, 2008

Truth Part 3


I already wrote about waiting in the hallway of the St. Boniface Emergency. I was eventually moved to a room in the emergency department. It is really weird to be lying in a bed waiting for emergency surgery. The surgeon had talked to me in the hallway and was very open to me asking questions. The problem is that I couldn’t think of any questions. And really thinking of any questions seemed sort of redundant. I knew instinctively that I was very sick. The appendix needed to come out.

I never really thought about dying. I was more afraid of being really sick. In hindsight I realized that I live with an assurance that I never really understood before. I feel grounded that I am going to heaven. I remember hearing the testimony of someone who had an experience on 9/11 where he became very close to dying. He was completely sure that he would go to heaven. He had no fear of dying. He only asked that it wouldn’t hurt very much. I had thought to myself, I hope I feel that way if I know I am going to die. Now I know that God did give me that peace.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Truth Part 2

Around 5pm the doctor came and told me that I needed surgery. What he actually said was that the CT confirmed the problem was with my appendix and that generally required surgery. They didn’t have a surgeon at the Grace so they were going to transfer me to another hospital. I took that to mean I was having surgery that evening. If they weren’t pretty sure I needed surgery they wouldn’t go to the effort. Somehow the doctor’s attitude about the surgery made me feel pretty calm.

The nurse hadn’t been able to reach anyone. We held off on calling others until I found out where I was going. Then the nurse came back and said it looked like I was going to St. Boniface hospital. Within moments the paramedics were there. The nurse wheeled my bed over to the phone so I could leave a message for my friend. She dialed the number and handed me the handset. When I couldn’t reach to put the phone back on the cradle the paramedic helped me.

As I was being wheeled out of the room the nurse who had been so helpful asked me if there was anyone else I she could call for me. I asked her to call my pastor for me. I had begun to realize that if I was going to need surgery I couldn’t continue to go through this on my own.

I realize that was the time things turned from feeling sick to being really traumatic. I was wheeled into an ambulance. All of a sudden things seemed to be happening fast. I needed surgery. There was no time to adjust to the idea. No time to prepare. I was not going to be able to meet my obligations. As I was in the ambulance I realized I was missing my appointment to get my hair cut. I felt terrible that my hair stylist was going to be waiting for me during an appointment she could fill with someone else. I was supposed to be going to a conference that weekend. Work was busy and I was at a critical stage of a project. All of that was very important and not at all important at the same time.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Mother's Day


For the first few years after my Mom died I ignored Mother’s Day. Well I didn’t totally ignore it I guess. I knew better than to try and make plans with friends. I didn’t go out because I knew restaurants would be packed. I reasoned that Mother’s Day just wasn’t a day for me anymore. I managed to do that for five Mother’s Days in a row. Then I started going to church.

You need to understand that when I first started going to church I didn’t miss a single Sunday for a year and a half or something. I was baptized the weekend before Mother’s Day. It was a really exciting time in my faith walk. However it was that weekend I realized that the church would acknowledge Mother’s Day. For the first time I didn’t want to go to church. I dreaded it the whole week – even though I was freshly baptized.

Each year I ponder whether I am going to church or not. The general stand up if you are a Mom so we can applaud you makes me feel empty and like a loser. I am not a Mother, I don’t have a Mother, yet I am an adult woman. Even when that doesn’t happen I feel like I am ruining others Mother’s Day. It is a day to celebrate. It is a day we should celebrate. Some of my friends were already mothers when I met them. Some were not. For those who I have always known as being a mom that is part of what I love about that. For those I have watched make the transistion I have been blessed by seeing them transformed by having a child. I do my best to celebrate with them and encourage them. Yet for me it is a day of grieving what I have lost and what I don’t have.

This year I wish my Mom had been around to take care of me through the crisis of the surgery and the recovery afterwards. I wonder if it would have been a little less scary. I feel a hole in my heart where a mother’s comfort should be. In some ways I think that thinking about why I am missing my Mom right now honors her. I guess it is my part in Mother's Day.

Truth


I haven’t posted in a while. There are a couple of people who have even asked me to post. In the world of blogging I have noticed that there are some common reasons that people who are active bloggers don’t post. The first reason is that their life circumstances have changed and they are too busy during this season to post. The second reason is that there is some block to their posting. Something they are not ready to talk about. I am more in the second category.

The thing is that there are many other topics I could talk about but for some reason I keep coming back to this. I made the excuse that people were probably sick of hearing about the appendectomy. I mean seriously. It is only an appendectomy. The problem is that I don’t have much else going on. So what else can I post about?

I don’t have any big secret that I am holding close to my chest. However some of the truth about this experience has been so raw that I have been scared to even think about it – never mind write about it. I also have a tendency to want to spiritualize everything. I want to be able to talk about my experience of God, finding God in new places. And I did find God. I just can’t put it all in a neat package.

One of the truths I have glossed over is that I knew in my heart that there was something really wrong. God prompted me to go to the hospital the day before I did. When I went to sleep I made sure I had a phone close by. I left the door unlocked so help would be able to get to me. I hoped I was wrong. I didn’t trust that voice inside my head that told me I needed help. I put up with a lot of pain for a day and a half praying that God would remove it.

I took a cab to the hospital at 4:30 in the morning. I didn’t set an alarm so that if someone needed to get into the house for me the alarm wouldn’t be an issue. I arrived at the hospital and was seen shortly after 5 am. The triage nurse and the doctor suspected that the problem was with my appendix right away. I phoned in sick from the hospital. I waited for the CT scan to confirm the diagnosis.

It was 1:30 in the afternoon by the time I got the CT. The pain had gotten worse. The morphine wasn’t helping very much. When I got back from the CT I was in even more pain. I was getting sicker. My heart rate and blood pressure continued to increase. My urine had a lot of blood in it. The pain started to change and move. I started to cry. I remember whispering Jesus’ name over and over. I was alone and frightened. It was 4pm and I was beginning to think they weren’t going to help me.

When the nurse came back I had managed to compose myself. Yet as she took my vital signs I started to cry again. I was apologetic saying this wasn’t like me. I know now that perhaps it would be like anyone in my circumstance. The nurse was very kind to me. She asked if she could call someone. I gave her a phone number and even the prospect of her calling someone for me calmed me down.