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Thursday, September 15, 2011

I may be the moldiest person I know

A friend of mine, the 200lb Man,  inspired me to catch up on my blog.  It has been way to long.

On August 25th, I had my 3rd major surgery in one calendar year. Needless to say I am somewhat sick of hospitals. I am still trying to grasp why all this happened and what God is trying to teach me. All in all I am doing okay but I can honestly say I couldn't have survived without the tremendous help and support of my wonderful wife Becky (A life above the Sun).

As routine as medicine seems to be these days, nothing seems to be routine for me. I may be the healthiest sick person I know. In my short life, I have had many weird medical issues. In James 1:2-4, James indicates that trials and perseverance makes you stronger. Trials happen to mold your character. If that is true, I may be the moldiest person you know.

To give you and idea of what I mean by weird medical issues, here are the highlights since college:

  • Knee surgery in college (self-inflicted understandable injury)
  • Toxoplasmosis in the eye - after an emergency run to IU Med Cnt I required a series of six cortisone shots in my eye socket. Also found out I am allergic to Sulfa after breaking out in a most severe full body rash.
  • Double hip replacement at age 35 - congenital issue in my family.
  • Emergency surgery to fix a rupture in my large intestine (3 hour surgery). Removed 8 inches of large intestine. 8 day hospital stay. Temporary ostomy bag for 4 months. If you want some funny and gross stories, let me know. Definition of humility - sitting on the can in front of a nurse and your wife emptying your bag for the first time. Then crying for an hour in your hospital bed trying to get your arms around what is happening.
  • Reconnection surgery in December (3.5 hour surgery). 7 day hospital stay. Home for 3 days then a trip to the ER followed by a 1.5 day hospital stay. Ended up I had C. diff. Click on the word if you want to know more. Let's just say you haven't lived until you have had a Mack Truck drive through your bowels - every 10-15 minutes for hours.
  • Then sometime this spring I developed two huge hernias at my original surgical spots. Those were repaired on Aug 25 - 4 hour surgery. All went well, came home 3 days later. And if you are keeping score - you probably guessed - another trip to the ER followed by another 5 day hospital stay. This time it was an obstructed bowel. Treatment was placing an NG tube in my nose down to my stomach and keeping the tube there for 2.5 days. It was quite the uncomfortable procedure. If you want to see a video example of it click here. I was a bit more dramatic than this man - but I didn't throw up!
So now I am home and dealing with a few minor issues and trying to get back to a healthy self. I shared all this with you - not for pity - but for clarity. I have always felt blessed to have my health and I don't consider myself to be a sickly person. Many have shared with me that "you have been through a ringer" or "we feel bad you are dealing with all of this" or "Wow, you are a strong person to go through all these surgeries." I guess some of that is true, but through all of my 'events' none were life threatening. Compared to others I know my issues are very minor hiccups. Through all of this I wasn't diagnosed with cancer, my kid's didn't lose a father, etc. What I am trying to say - seeing the pain, the hurt and strength of others who were much worse off than me helped me deal with my minor issues. When someone who is suffering isn't sure the chemo is going to work for them, pooping in a bag for 4 months doesn't seem a big deal. When you are waiting for a heart transplant, having a tube up your nose for a few days seems pretty simple.

There is one more thing I can be thankful for - the prayers and love shown by my friends and family. Does prayer work? Absolutely. Does it work on our timing? Sometimes. Does God have perfect timing when we pray? I have to say HE does. I am the first to admit I don't understand God's perfect plan, but HE does have a purpose for me and all my 'events'. He has a perfect plan for you and your 'events'.

I have never wanted to be the center of attention but my recent events have made me the focus of many prayers. Its humbling and comforting to know people are praying for you. And please don't be afraid to respond when people ask "How can I pray for you?" During my hip replacements Pastor Clarke visited and asked me that very question. I responded, "I can't pee" So he prayed. Lately, with all my issues, I haven't been able to poop (not an elegant way of saying it). So people have been praying.

So trust me, if I can humble myself to ask for prayer to pee and poop, certainly you can ask friends to pray for your needs. Remember, God is just trying to make you moldy like me.

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