Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Deja Vu all over again...

January 5, 2007.
As we continue, remember nurse "S"? She was a very loving, caring, no funny business, straight to the point, take no prisoners, astute, intelligent, professional. Her bedside manner lacked subtlety. But she never missed an abnormality. In fact she was able to diagnose my sepsis recurrence by asking my wife, one question on the phone. They, the home care team, were closely following my proress. I had no immunity and my family was monitoring my condition continuosly 24-7. The nurse asked my Joan to Ask me "What are you doing right now?" When I said "I am watching the whales breaching in the turquoise sea behind my house." "S", said "Get him to the hospital now."
We credit "S" with saving my life. I had reentered the twilight zone. But this time without the opiate assistance. The very same infection as the first one. But this time there was no coma to protect me from the pain. The pain was centered in my upper abdomen and had begun while I was in the nursing home.
Dr. "D" had diagnosed GAS as the problem and given me an antacid. GAS was a symptom. But, not the cause. Well, this trip to the hospital introduced me to a new surgeon. Dr. "G". A wonderfully skilled surgeon. He explained that my abdominal pain and blood tests indicated an internal problem that would require surgery to determine the actual cause. The possibilities as he explained, were "Either my large or small intestine had a serious problem. If it was the large it could be repaired or removed. And life would go on. And if it was the small intestine, something that a body needs, It was over. He would decide once I was opened like a holiday turkey.
I spoke with Joan, and we decided to tumble the dice again and gave the surgeon permission to continue. A prayer for grace, mercy and skill on the surgeon. And off to LA-LA Land I went. A few hours later I came to. And I was still in the OR. Was this a dream also? I could hear everyone talking. But wasn't sure of the content or the context. Then a female voice asked "How do you feel Mr. K?" Why couldn't I answer? Why couldn't I see? Simple questions with simple answers. I could not see, because there was a surgical drape over my face. And I could not speak because a breathing apparatus was shoved down my throat, by passing my larynx. They had removed my entire lower or Large intestine. And closed me up with 29 staples. The infection Dr."D" had diagnosed as GAS, had caused the lining of my lower intestine to completely "Slough off." OH well a minor set back. 3 more weeks in the hospital. And I'd go back home and get well. No biggie. This sort of go round continued for the better part of 2007. Get a little better. Dash back to the ER. Stay a few weeks, go home and start again. The result was a continuous flow of antibiotics with either a poly-syllabic name. Or a string of impossible Initials strung together for a name. I distinctly remember counting the bags hanging from he IV pole and there were 9. At the same time. Exactly, how many holes were in me? I wondered.
A big plus, was I was on a first name basis with every nurse in the hospital. From the OR and ER, to the nurses on the wards. Every single one told me they were Christians and I shared prayer with people from all over the world. From China, Russia, Australia, Japan, The Philippines, and of course The USA. Everywhere I looked God's people surrounded me.
One of the side-effects of most antibiotics is nausea, depressed appetite, and everything tastes like a trash can smells. The condensed version. By Christmas time 2007, I was home. I weighed 147 pounds was still 6'3" on both sides of my body. And things were looking up. Of course I had an ileostomy, and a feeding tube inserted in my abdomen. But the Lord had need of me to still be here. To this very day I have never asked Him Why. Not, why me? Not, why this? Not, why now? His purpose is His concern. I am here to praise Him for His mercy and in My weakness he makes me strong.


Heart2Heart said...

I sat here yesterday and went back and read through all of your posts. You are an amazing man with the most inspiring testimony of not only God's grace and love woven through it but no remorse, no hard feelings or ill words.

God indeed has a special purpose for you and I think we are beginning to see the early stages of that. You have a great family and wonderful blessed support system.

Thank you for your willingness to share this with all of us. You are truly an inspiration.

Love and Hugs ~ Kat

Kelly Combs said...

"His purpose is His concern." WOW! You are amazing. AMAZING! Bless you for your witness.