Here We Go Again
Home again! It seems like this is becoming a habit . . .
For those who noticed I wasn’t around and for those who sensed something was wrong and for those who knew something was wrong and prayed . . . thank you. Wednesday evening I found myself in the emergency department and just got home yesterday afternoon.
It started Tuesday afternoon with abdominal cramping and me thinking I was coming down with a stomach bug that’s been making the rounds. By Wednesday afternoon the cramping was so bad I could barely unfold myself. Jen suggested it may not be the bug at all and may have something to do with my recent abdominal surgery. The surgeon was called and he said it sounded like a small bowel partial obstruction (he can diagnose that over the phone?) and that I should go to the ER and he’d meet me there. That was about 5 pm.
10 pm I got an x-ray, 12 pm a CAT scan, and 2 pm I was awakened by the nurse saying the CT showed a blockage and I needed an ng tube. Now, if you don’t know what an ng tube is that’s good. For those of you who remember the 70s sitcom “Welcome Back, Kotter,” do you recall Barbarino saying, “Up your nose with a rubber hose!”? Well, an ng tube is just that. It stands for nasogastric tube and it’s a flexible hose about the diameter of a pencil that the nurse inserts in your nostril, through your nasal cavity, down the back of your throat, and into your stomach . . . while you’re awake and gagging and sweating. At least I was. Not an experience I’m anxious to repeat.
The ng tube suctions the contents of your stomach and allows the bowels to rest. The problem was that due to the surgery I’ve had, adhesions form in the abdomen and can cause the intestines to kink much the same way your garden hose does. This causes a blockage. By emptying the intestines (using the wonderful ng tube) and letting them rest, the kink will usually work itself out (like your hose does when you turn off the water).
I had that tube in with no food or fluid taken orally until Friday morning. Saturday I was on a clear liquid diet, then Sunday morning had my first helping of some solid food, good ‘ole hospital-issue powdered scrambled eggs. Mmmm. And by Sunday afternoon I was home again feeling almost like myself.
Wow. That was week I never expected and never saw coming. Friday was Jen’s birthday. The girls missed their daddy . . . and their daddy missed them. They visited every, day but I kept thinking three little girls shouldn’t have to visit their daddy in the hospital. My little six-year-old shouldn’t have to walk down the hospital hall holding onto her daddy’s rolling IV pole. I know it happens. Mommys and daddys get sick and mommys and daddys die. But it’s just wrong.
So here’ s the scoop. This whole obstruction thing could happen again at any time. The surgeon said there was nothing I did to cause it and nothing I can do to stop it. It just happens. It could happen again next week; it may never happen again. That’s scary stuff.
You know what I learn from that? Something I already know in my head, but you know how that goes . . . this puts some flesh on the concept. I live each day by faith. Every day is in God’s hands. Whether this ever happens again or not is in His control, not mine. I’m at His mercy. Every day is a total act of faith. Wow. Kinda humbling, isn’t it?
Hey, thanks for praying, though. And thanks to all those who threw Jen a last-minute birthday party, watched the kids, took care of the dog, collected the mail, visited, volunteered to help in any way possible, and did so much more. Once again, you’ve overwhelmed us with your love and care.