Living in the Two Hearts

My Spiritual Insights and Musings

Archive for September, 2018

How would you react if…

Posted by Anne Elizabeth on September 27, 2018

So… you had a particularly painful bout with food poisoning.

Your best friend had the nerve to call you in the middle of it (love ya, Carol!)

She begs you to just “bight the bullet” and go to the emergency room because, “They have to treat you!”

You agree, but won’t go until the following day…

On that day, you’re ready to walk out the door when the Lord God whispers to your heart, “Pray.”

But, shouldn’t I head to the ER to fulfill my promise to my friend?

Again He whispers, but a with a bit more insistence, “Pray!”

Yeah, but I need to take care of these hemorrhoids. I mean, they’re really becoming a problem.

Now with all power and might He booms, “PRAY!”

Yes, I am thick headed sometimes, and quite stubborn most of the time, but I’m not stupid. So naturally I changed my plans and went to my room to do what He asked of me, pray.

Before I even began a Divine Mercy Chaplet, I saw clearly in my mind’s eye that by delaying until the next day – Thursday, that everyone I would need would be in the ER to assist me.

THE NEXT DAY IN THE ER

The doctor serving his time is a radiologist. He asks my complaint, I tell him and ask if there is a way to get rid of these hemorrhoids cause they’re really causing a lot of problems. He finally does a rectal exam and says,

“I don’t like the feel of that.”

Next thing I know, I’m being fitted up with an IV starter – the nurse was really good! I hardly felt anything beyond a slight pinch.

A wheel chair appears at my door and she, the CAT scan specialist, wraps me up in wonderfully warm blankets and wheels me a short distance to their room with the scanner. They’ve come a long way since the original scan equipment. Now everything is open with just a section of scanner that leaves plenty of space between it and the patient.

After asking a series of questions, she has me lie down on the movable piece and we begin the initial scan. Next follows the routine injections, first saline – lovely taste; but then next the dye that they use to see inside the organs; I was told it would make me feel suddenly warm, and IT DID! But then as a quick afterthought she said,

“And you’ll think you’ve wet your pants. You didn’t.”

Sure enough, as she was saying it, that’s exactly what I felt.

When the scan finished, she brought me back to my private room in the ER – they’ve come a long way with ER set-ups as well, at least this hospital has. It didn’t even smell like a hospital! The room had a sliding glass door and a curtain for sound proof and privacy. A far cry from the last time I was in an ER many, many years ago.

A half hour later, the doctor came in and said I would need a surgeon. He then rattled off names and I looked at him like, huh?

“Listen,” I said,  “I have no idea about any of them, you just use your good judgment. All I ask is that he be a God-fearing man. A man of faith.”

So one was chosen that fit my request. Turned out he was also the best colon surgeon in the area!

Then ten minutes later, the nurse walks in with a booklet and a room number written on it informing me that I was being admitted into the hospital…

Come again?!

WAIT A MINUTE! HOLD THE PHONE! ADMITTANCE?! WHAT ARE WE TALKING ABOUT HERE?

She seemed confused, and left to have the doctor come in and explain all this. And I’m thinking, “Well, yeah! The doctor didn’t say anything about admittance. What’s going on here?” Turned out he wasn’t really big on confrontations, and so he began with…

“This is a common reaction. We see this all the time.”

“Excuse me, you see what all the time? the nurse has just informed me I’m being admitted into the hospital, but I have no idea why. You haven’t told me anything.”

(I did learn rather early on that communication within a hospital is seriously lacking. Something that hasn’t changed since the last time I was in a hospital environment.)

Now comes the moment of truth…

“Well it’s normal for people with cancer to react this way when…”

“Hold the phone! Did you just say cancer?!”

REALITY CHECK!

Turned out that what I thought were just hemorrhoids was actually a cancer mass growing on the outside of my colon. Then he said it was stage 3, because the CAT scan showed lesions on my liver, suggesting that the cancer had indeed spread. I finally got to see that scan, and what he said was true.

All in one fell swoop I was told that I had colon cancer and it had already spread to my liver. I was admitted and a colonoscopy happened the next day with a biopsy of the mass. Plus all of this occurred without any idea how I would pay for the whole thing!

Turned out the hospital system that exists out here is “not for profit”, and my working poor status qualified me for their free health care.

The procedure was unbelievable. The whole thing was done in 20 minutes and I was aware of none of it. All my support staff were totally wonderful and the surgeon a truly caring man. He visited me not just before the procedure, but a couple of times after just to check on how I was doing. I ended up leaving the day after, because they wouldn’t let me drive home that afternoon, even though I was cleared to go home.

All in all, it was a pleasant experience, though it did take a REALLY LONG TIME to get me out of the hospital even though I was clear to go the day before. And once you cease to be a “patient” the staff kind of forget’s about you. Now all I had to do was face the reality of cancer. What type of colon cancer would be determined by the results of the biopsy. 

Please Note: All this took place on August 23rd-25th

Clearly there is more to the story, that this section is just the beginning. Therefore, to be continued...

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