Tag Archives: medicine

Words of Jesus – I Am Willing

Large crowds followed Jesus as He came down the mountainside. Suddenly, a man with leprosy approached Him and knelt before Him. “Lord,” the man said, “if You are willing, You can heal me and make me clean.”

Jesus reached out and touched him. “I am willing,” He said. “Be healed!” And instantly the leprosy disappeared. Then Jesus said to him, “Don’t tell anyone about this. Instead, go to the priest and let him examine you. Take along the offering required in the law of Moses for those who have been healed of leprosy. This will be a public testimony that you have been cleansed.”

~ Matthew 8:1-4 NLT ~

Image Credit: http://www.idri.org/blog/?p=666
Image Credit:
http://www.idri.org/blog/?p=666

To understand the beauty of this passage of scripture, we need to understand the ugliness of leprosy in biblical times. To fully comprehend the magnitude and glory of this passage, we must first come to grips with the shame and disgrace of leprosy…

Leprosy was very common in biblical times — much more so than it is today, although people still get the disease even in this day and age. Leprosy is an infectious disease that causes horrible disfiguring skin sores and nerve damage. Some leprosy sores look like large, painful open blisters or ulcers, but they are not painful, even when pricked with a needle, because the person with leprosy has lost their sense of feeling where those sores are. Still other manifestations of leprosy may have pale spots or even what  looks like ringworm with a loss of feeling. Lepers (those with leprosy) may have thick, square earlobes, thick eyebrows, and deformed hands and feet. Continue reading Words of Jesus – I Am Willing

Dark Night of the Soul

Image Credit: caddoveil.com

When I got up this morning, I had no intentions of posting anything other than for Sis Caddo’s Seven Word Sundays, but right after posting that, I was strongly led to write another post. I knew I wouldn’t have time to do it this morning, because my husband and I were going out of town to see my son, daughter-in-law and five of my seven grandchildren. Also, to be honest with you, this wasn’t really a post that I wanted to share with anyone, however, when I returned home, the compulsion was there yet again, to share this post, and there was also a promise as well. You see, I believe with all of my heart that this post I am sharing with you has the power to mend broken hearts.

As many of my regular readers know, 2013 has been an extremely difficult year for me thus far. Beginning in January, towards the middle of the month, I had to take my husband to the emergency room, because his foot became extremely swollen and so painful, he could hardly walk. Then, my mother was taken to the emergency room and admitted to the hospital because she was very ill, and before the month was over, I was taken to the emergency room for chest pains (I had pleurisy, which is extremely painful… If you’ve ever had it before, you know what I mean.) 

February was no kinder, as my mother’s condition grew worse, and we came to the realization that her time on earth was coming to a close. She passed away on February 15, and was laid to rest on February 22, and it broke my heart. I didn’t realize how much I loved my mom until I lost her. And then, my husband’s other foot started swelling and hurting, and the doctors couldn’t figure out what was going on with  him…

Then, as we marched into March, I became terribly ill. I thought I had a stomach virus, but as many of you know from a post that I wrote, I had developed C-Diff, a terrible stomach infection, that caused me to be hospitalized for several days. When I finally left the hospital, I was placed on an antibiotic for 20 days, and though I returned home, and felt somewhat better, all of my strength was gone, and up until this past week, I was extremely nauseated.

Image Credit: http://content.bandzoogle.com/users/ tabladrum/images/photos/gallery/445726.jpg?0

In this midst of my illness, my husband’s illness, and grieving for the loss of my mother, I fell into a deep, dark depression. It was truly a dark night of my soul, and I couldn’t seem to pull myself out of it, as the spirit of heaviness weighed down on me, smothering and oppressing me. I was so sick, I couldn’t eat, and was constantly exhausted. I didn’t want to be around anyone, and at the same time, I was extremely lonely, if that makes any sense.

I hate depression and its lies. I thought I was a woman of great faith, and then to find myself wallowing in anxiety and depression brought shame to me. You see, I’m a minister of the Most High God, and many times, I’ve ministered to others who have been depressed, but now, I found myself struggling with a depression like I hadn’t had in many years. I thought those days of darkness and depression were long gone, when the Lord had helped me to overcome them years ago. For crying out loud, I’m a prayer warrior, a mighty woman of God, but now, I was reduced to a weeping, painful, lost little girl.

I loved the Lord, but I couldn’t write as much as I wanted to, because simply sitting up at the computer made me feel as though I was going to throw up, which fed the depression, which kept growing like some dark, black monster. Then, my daughter and her family moved to Georgia, a couple of weeks ago. The Lord revealed it to me before they even told me, so I asked my daughter, who was dumbfounded, because she said she and her husband had only talked about it the night before…

It broke my heart that they were moving more than twelve hours away from me, but at the same time, something happened within my spirit… The Lord had spoken to me again. A spark lit my hope, which had nearly died… In the dark night of my soul, God had not given up on me. He was still speaking to me.

Image Credit: http://propheticverses.com/rev01/rev0101/ rev0101bjesus/0101b23isa49.htm

Then, one day last week, I was talking to a friend, and the Spirit of the Lord came upon me, and I prophesied to her, confirming everything the Lord had spoken to her earlier during her devotional time with Him. It had been so long since the Lord had used me to prophesy, and in the dark night of my soul, I had feared that I was destined to spend the rest of my life like this — alone and miserable, no longer able to hear the Lord’s voice as I once had, no longer useful to Him.

It had become hard to pray, because I was no longer sure if God could hear me. As I write these words, I’m struck by how weak I was, how deceived I was, but when the enemy ties you up in those chains of deception and covers you with those robes of heaviness and oppression, it’s hard to see the truth through the darkness.

As the Lord ministered to me, igniting my hope and reminding me of His great love for me, I made a decision to go to church last Wednesday night, no matter how I felt. He had exposed my problem, showing me that I had a spirit of heaviness, and I knew what needed to be done.

6 So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and in His good time He will honor you. 7 Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about what happens to you. 8 Be careful! Watch out for attacks from the Devil, your great enemy. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for some victim to devour. 9 Take a firm stand against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your Christian brothers and sisters all over the world are going through the same kind of suffering you are. 10 In His kindness God called you to His eternal glory by means of Jesus Christ. After you have suffered a little while, He will restore, support, and strengthen you, and He will place you on a firm foundation. 11 All power is His forever and ever. Amen.

~ 1 Peter 5:6-11 NLT ~

As I cast all of my cares upon Him, I felt a weight lift from me, as the Lord ministered to me. You see, I had bought into the lie from the enemy that I was a failure, no longer fit to be used of God. In my grief, and pain, the enemy just kept coming after me, with more and more ammunition, and in my weakness, I buckled under the weight of it all, forgetting that which is true…

His anger lasts for a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime! Weeping may go on all night, but joy comes with the morning.

~ Psalm 30:5 NLT ~

The Lord ministered to me that night, as He’s been ministering to me all week, reminding me of His great love for me… He reminds me that though I was disappointed in myself for being weak, He was not disappointed. 

13 The LORD is like a Father to His children, tender and compassionate to those who fear Him. 14 For He understands how weak we are; He knows we are only dust. 15 Our days on earth are like grass; like wildflowers, we bloom and die. 16 The wind blows, and we are gone — as though we had never been here. 17 But the love of the LORD remains forever with those who fear Him. His salvation extends to the children’s children 18 of those who are faithful to His covenant, of those who obey His commandments!

~ Psalm 103:13-18 NLT ~

How grateful I am that I have a Savior who loves me just as I am. Though the enemy came to steal my joy, kill my hope and destroy my life, I serve a Savior who redeemed me. He purchased my freedom, and paid my ransom with His life. He not only restored my life, He gave me abundant life. 

10 As a result, I can really know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised Him from the dead. I can learn what it means to suffer with Him, sharing in His death, 11 so that, somehow, I can experience the resurrection from the dead! 12 I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection! But I keep working toward that day when I will finally be all that Christ Jesus saved me for and wants me to be. 13 No, dear brothers and sisters, I am still not all I should be,but I am focusing all my energies on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, 14 I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us up to heaven.

~ Philippians 3:10-14 NLT ~

My beloved readers, there’s no doubt in my mind that the Lord placed it in my heart to write this post not to expose my weaknesses, but to encourage you. I know that some of  you are battling with grief and depression, just as I have been. I know that many of you are in the midst of a dark night of your soul, and you wonder if you will ever again see the light of day. Listen to me, my beloved friend, as I pray for you, for the Spirit of the Lord God is upon me…

1 “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, Because the Lord has anointed Me To preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives, And the opening of the prison to those who are bound; 2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, And the day of vengeance of our God; To comfort all who mourn, 3 To console those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of righteousness, The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.”

~ Isaiah 61:1-3 NKJV ~

Father, in Jesus’ name, I cry out to You for every man, woman and child who You lead to read this post, that You would bind up the brokenhearted. Comfort those who mourn, Lord, in Jesus’ name, and set those who are imprisoned and bound by depression, affliction and addiction free. Lord, I know that what You have done for me, You will do for others, because You are no respecter of persons, and You don’t love me any more than You love Your other children. 

Arise, O Lord, and show Yourself strong on behalf of those whose hearts are loyal to You. Father, give each person who is weighed down by that spirit of heaviness, a garment of praise in its place. Lord, let them begin to praise You in the midst of their pain, and as they do so by faith, Lord, set them free!

Father, for those who are in the midst of a storm, in Jesus’ name right now, I  speak to that storm, and I say, “Peace — Be still!” For those who are bound by fear, I speak to the spirit of fear right now, and I cast that spirit out in Your name, because You are love, and perfect love casts out fear. For those who are in the midst of that dark night of the soul, I loose Your Holy Spirit and Your Word, in Jesus’ name, because in You there is light, and the darkness must flee. 

Lord, I believe that You allowed me to go through this dark night of my soul, so that You could minister to others who are going through similar pain, and so I loose Your Spirit to each of those that You lead to read this post, and in Jesus’  precious and holy name, I speak life, peace and hope to each one. Amen.

© 2013
Cheryl A. Showers

Unquestioning

This post is in response to the Blog Challenge by Tilda Swift at her blog, Swift Expression. This is my entry for number 1.

If any of my readers derives inspiration from this post and would like to do something similar on their own blog, please provide full credit to the owner of the original Blog Challenge (as stated above) to abide by copyright laws.
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Unquestioning

Image Credit: http://dsc.discovery.com/tv-shows/curiosity/topics/ conception-through-birth-pictures.htm

When does life begin?
There seems to be some confusion…
Does it begin at conception?
Or is it true that life is mere circumstance — just a chance?

Why are we so unquestioning
When a man or woman proclaims
The thing within the woman’s body
Is not a baby, not even human?
It’s merely a  fetus, a parasite to be destroyed
By choice…

Image Credit: http://themahoganyway.wordpress.com/2009/09/18/six-weeks/

How can we deny the baby’s humanity
When only six weeks after conception,
The child has a face,
And a heart that beats
A heart that will one day love…

Why are we so unquestioning
When a man or woman proclaims
The thing within the woman’s body
Is not a baby, not even human?
It’s merely a fetus, a parasite to be destroyed
By choice…

Image Credit: http://izzym.hubpages.com/hub/Normal-Pregnancy -and-Childbirth#slide3398945

How can we not call
This precious one “Baby”
When at only twelve weeks
He sucks on his thumb
And yes — even feels pain?

Why are we so unquestioning
When a man or woman proclaims
The thing within the woman’s body
Is not a baby, not even human?
It’s merely a fetus, a parasite to be destroyed
By choice…

Image Credit: http://www.verumserum.com/media/2009/07/21-week-fetus.jpg

As time marches on,
Baby changes and grows…
With all organs in place,
By her twenty-first week,
She clings tenaciously to life!

Why are we so unquestioning
When a man or woman proclaims
The thing within the woman’s body
Is not a baby, not even human?
It’s merely a fetus, a parasite to be destroyed
By choice…

Image Credit: http://izzym.hubpages.com/hub/ Normal-Pregnancy-and-Childbirth#slide3398926

As Baby’s second trimester comes to a close,
She yawns and she stretches
And hiccups and kicks,
While she sucks her thumb.
If she were born now, this child could live!

Why are we so unquestioning
When a man or woman proclaims
The thing within the woman’s body
Is not a baby, not even human?
It’s merely a fetus, a parasite to be destroyed
By choice…

Image Credit: http://izzym.hubpages.com/hub/ Normal-Pregnancy-and-Childbirth#slide3398969

As Mommy’s belly expands and it stretches,
She knows this is no tumor or parasite…
The evidence is clear, leaving no doubt
That within the depths of her womb
Human life is unfolding…

Why are we so unquestioning
When a man or woman proclaims
The thing within the woman’s body
Is not a baby, not even human?
It’s merely a fetus, a parasite to be destroyed
By choice…

Image Credit: Huffaker Photography

And now the time has come,
This tiny human is ready to be born…
But what if now, after all of this time,
Mommy suddenly changes her mind?
Does this child have no rights?

Why are we so unquestioning
When a man or woman proclaims
The thing within the woman’s body
Is not a baby, not even human?
It’s merely a fetus, a parasite to be destroyed
By choice…

© 2013
Cheryl A. Showers

God’s Miraculous Provision for Me

Give your burdens to the LORD, and He will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall. (Psalm 55:22 NLT)

Photo Credit: http://binibiningwanderlust.blogspot.com/2012_07_01_archive.html

I limped clumsily into the brightly lit local pharmacy, feeling great pain, and more than a little frustration as I went to get my prescription for pain medication filled. On this cold and blustery night, my husband and I had ridden out of town, to several pharmacies, looking for one that had my prescription in stock, at the lowest price, since I no longer have health insurance. I turned the seat warmer on to try and take some of the chill off as we drove around. Finally, after driving all over, I called one last pharmacy, located in my home town, not really expecting them to have my medication either, but wouldn’t you know it? They had my pain medication, for the same price as the out of town pharmacy I had gone to. I could have saved money and time if I had just called this pharmacy in the first place, but I just assumed because of past experience, that this pharmacy would be too expensive. On the way back to our hometown pharmacy, I dozed off, as the seat warmer did its magic and soothed my aching back.

As my husband and I walked into the pharmacy, I hobbled past the rows of grocery items, and the candy shelves, trying to keep my eyes from wandering to the chocolates, which I dearly love, but don’t need. We walked down the book and magazine aisle, on my right, and I briefly glanced at the books, thinking to myself, one day, one of my books would rest on these shelves, in the midst of the flashy magazines and novels.

Photo Credit: http://media-tubes.blogspot.com/2011/09/jesus-christ-pictures.html

As we approached the pharmacy counter, a woman who appeared to be in her mid-sixties, with what appeared to be Miss Clairol Nice ‘N Easy ash blonde hair, reddish brown glasses and a warm smile, asked if she could help us. When I presented my prescription to her, she grinned saying, “Oh, you’re the lady I just talked to on the phone.” I smiled back at her and gave her my birth date and my address, and then walked to the brown seats on the left side of the counter, where I gratefully sat and rested my aching back and legs, while waiting for my prescription to be filled. 

A couple of minutes later, the same woman called to me, stating that she had a pharmacy discount card for me and she just needed my phone number so that she could hopefully save me some money. I thankfully shared my phone number with her, as I no longer have health insurance, and just this prescription alone was going to cost me nearly $100. As soon as she ran the discount card through, she popped back over to the counter and spoke to me again, saying, “Mrs. Showers, I just wanted to let you know that with this discount card, your prescription has been reduced to $45.”

“Oh hallelujah!” I responded, and my response must have pleased her as she walked away smiling joyfully.

A couple of minutes later, the pharmacist, a slightly balding dark-haired man with black plastic rimmed glasses called to me, as he worked on filling my prescription, asking what kind of insurance I carried. I explained to him that I was no longer employed, and therefore I was no longer insured. He then asked me if I still had my old insurance card. I wasn’t sure, but after looking in my wallet, I found it and gave it to him. He then ran it through his computer system, and couple of minutes later, he returned it to me with a big grin on his face, as he informed me that my expired insurance card had indeed gone through, and my prescription would now only cost me $17.50. 

Photo Credit: http://www.handofgod.com.au/page105.php

If I wasn’t in so much pain, I would do a happy dance! I can’t even begin to describe to  you the joy I’ve found in these months since I’m no longer working. It’s been a hard road… I haven’t received a paycheck since November, and my husband’s business has been extremely slow, and yet, the Lord has continued to meet our needs every step of the way, and I am so thankful. This is just another example of God’s supernatural favor on me, not because of my goodness, but because HE is so good and kind. He takes wonderful care of His children. 

My friends, I just had to share this wonderful testimony of what God did for me tonight, and I want to let each one of you know that God loves all of His children equally. He doesn’t love me any more than He loves you… And for those of you who do not know and love God, He loves you too, and He longs for you to turn away from your sins and turn to Him in Jesus’ name, so that He can care for you as well. This is the prayer that I pray for each one of my brothers and sisters in Christ, for those who already are, and for those who will one day become children of the Most High God:

When I think of the wisdom and scope of God’s plan, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. I pray that from His glorious, unlimited resources He will give you mighty inner strength through His Holy Spirit. And I pray that Christ will be more and more at home in your hearts as you trust in Him. May your roots go down deep into the soil of God’s marvelous love. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep His love really is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is so great you will never fully understand it. Then you will be filled with the fullness of life and power that comes from God. Now glory be to God! By His mighty power at work within us, He is able to accomplish infinitely more than we would ever dare to ask or hope. May He be given glory in the church and in Christ Jesus forever and ever through endless ages. Amen. (Ephesians 3:14-21 NLT)

May the Lord bless each of you!

© 2013
Cheryl A. Showers

Writing Challenge: Starting Over

In this week’s writing challenge, we’re asking you to write a short piece of creative writing (fiction/poetry/prose poetry/freeform mindjazz/whatever floats your boat) on the theme of Starting Over.
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Earlier today, I was listening to this song in my car, and a story began to formulate within my brain. Then, I came home and saw that the theme was Starting Over, and it all came together…

They think I’m crazy, Kara. Hmph! I’m crazy like a fox. Just because I’m old and I sometimes forget things does not mean that I’ve gone mad! I know plenty of young people  who don’t remember things, and nobody calls them crazy. They just say, “Oh, they have a lot on their mind.” Well, I’m ninety-six years old – I’d say I have a whole lot more on my mind than they do – ninety-six years of memories and thoughts!

They brought me here to this nursing home ten years ago ’cause your momma, my precious Kelley couldn’t take care of me anymore. She had cancer. She was the only child I had left. I don’t mind telling you, it left a great big empty void in my heart when she went home to the Lord. My sons, Miles and Jeffrey had been gone more than ten years and my husband, Charles, passed on more than thirty years ago. 

So here I am, left in a nursing home, and I don’t mind telling  you, I’m tired… real tired. Most of the staff are very kind and caring, but there are some who aren’t. There’s some, like Carly and Tina, that scare me, and I want ask somebody to help me, but I’m scared. If I tell somebody and they find out it was me that told — no! I don’t even want to think about that. 

But I can talk to  the Lord, right? He won’t get me in trouble with those girls. See, if I don’t “cooperate,” the nurses here give me this medicine that makes my mind fuzzy, and that’s why I can’t think straight sometimes. I don’t want to put nobody out. I just need help sometimes, and some of the girls, like Pearl and Barbie, get real angry if I bother them, so I try to keep quiet, unless one of the nice ones is on.

You want to know about one of the nice ones? Well, my favorite is Emily. She works on the day shift. When she comes into my room of a morning, she always has a smile. A real smile, ya’ know? Not one of those fake I couldn’t care less smiles. She always says, “Good morning, Sunshine!” to me, and she walks straight over to my windows and opens the curtains, ’cause she knows I like to look outside and see what’s going on. 

Then she comes over to check and see if my bed is dry, and I’m ashamed to say it’s usually wet. Old age is hard on the bladder, but Emily doesn’t make me feel dirty or embarrassed about it like some of the others do. Some of ’em holler out in the hallway, “Miss Ella’s wet the bed again. Can someone bring me some more pull-ups?” It’s so humiliating. And some of ’em get mad at me for having an accident, and they make me sit in it — even if it’s a b.m. until the next shift. 

I get a lot of rashes and ulcers, and I’m sure that’s why. I don’t like having to depend on others to take care of my personal needs like that, ya’ know? And what’s really bad is when one of them will take me to the toilet and forget me. I sat on the toilet for two hours one day and it left a blistered ring around my backside. The nurse said my skin broke down. She asked me which aide left me there, but I was scared to tell her it was Marge, ’cause she’s a friend of hers, and I didn’t want ’em to get mad and hurt me worse, so I just pretended I didn’t know.

I thank the good Lord that I’ve still got my wits about me and I can talk and think, (except when they give me that medicine to make me behave), which is more than some of the other folks that live here can do. I still have a lot to be thankful to the Almighty for. You know, I try to share His love with the old people in here, ’cause some of them don’t have much hope left in ’em.

There’s poor Mrs. Stanley. Her family brought her here six years ago, and they haven’t been back to see her once! She cries and she cries everyday for them, but they never come. It breaks my heart for her. I usually try to save her one of my cookies when we have them, ’cause it cheers her up and lets her know somebody loves her.

I try to share His love with everybody I see, even the mean hateful ones, ’cause Jesus said to love your enemies, and I tell you what — some of them are my enemies. There’s the hateful ones, which are bad enough, but then there’s those that like to laugh at us old people. They’re the worse. They treat us like we got no dignity. They have no respect for their elders, and when I try to tell ’em so, they just laugh at me and make fun of me, like I”m stupid.

But that’s okay, because things are about to change here. See, I’ve been writing this letter, and it’s almost finished. Forgive the shaky, crooked letters. I used to have beautiful penmanship, but arthritis makes it harder to write, as I’ve got older.

Still, I’ve talked to the Lord about this, and He told me to write this letter and address it to my granddaughter, and once I’ve finished this letter, I’ll be gettin’ me a fresh start. Yep. He said He’s gonna take me home when I get finished with this letter, ’cause I told Him before I go home, I wanted to help the other old folks here, who can’t stand up for themselves. Then, once my granddaughter gets this letter, she’s gonna take it to the authorities, and they’re gonna investigate this place so that all the other old folks here will get a fresh start too, at someplace that will love them and take better care of them.

My fresh start will be when I cross over the Jordan and see my Savior and my Father. I’m almost finished with this here letter, Kara, and once I place it in the sealed envelope, the Lord said I can come home and start over. I can’t wait. Ninety-six years is a long time. My body is tired and weak. 

Kara, honey, don’t cry for your old Nana, ’cause I’ll soon be home and I’ll be free from all my sorrows and all my pain. I’m gonna start new and fresh — gonna trade in this old worn-out body for a strong new one. And my precious Lord Jesus is gonna wipe every tear from my face, as He gathers me up in His arms and carries me to the Holy of Holies. 

Honey, the time’s comming soon, I can’t hold this pen for much longer, and I must seal it in the envelope if I want to be sure you get it. Please take this to the authorities, baby. Help my old friends get a new start too.

Love,
Nana

© 2013
Cheryl A. Showers

Daily Prompt: Use It or Lose It

Write about anything you’d like, but make sure the post includes this sentence
“I thought we’d never come back from that one.”
Daily Prompt: Use It or Lose It

She looked at the clock for what surely must have been the millionth time. “It shouldn’t be taking this long,” she muttered to herself, as she paced the floor of the waiting room. She had grown tired of trying to read, and the television couldn’t hold her attention either. As desperately as she wanted to be distracted, her eyes kept looking toward the clock, which kept ticking the time away, second by second… minute by minute… hour by eternal hour…

“How much longer, Lord?” she prayed. “How much longer?”

As fear tried to dig its miserable talons into her heart, she fought to maintain control of her emotions. “I will not panic… I will not cry… Lord, I will trust in You with all my heart, and lean not on my own  understanding. Father, I don’t understand! Help me! Be near me, O God, and hear the cries of my heart! Keep him safe, Lord, because I don’t know if I could stand losing him,” she prayed, as she choked back a sob, drawing a deep breath slowly through her nostrils, and then releasing that breath slowly, slowly, through her mouth.

English: Original Artwork by James P. Gray, M....
English: Original Artwork by James P. Gray, M.D. 2007 (author) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

She thought back to that day a couple of weeks earlier, when she and her husband met with the doctor. “The Nissen fundoplication is a common procedure, that usually only takes us around one to two hours perform, barring any complications. We will perform this surgery laparoscopically, unless we run into any complications, in which case, we will have to open his stomach to complete the surgery. Of course, we’ve performed this surgery numerous times, so it is very unlikely that we will have to open him up.”

She didn’t worry when the clock passed the two-hour point and moved to three hours. After all, she had been with enough family members to know that surgeries often times took longer than they were projected to take. Still, at the four-hour mark, though she tried not to, she began to worry, and now, after more than eight hours, her calm facade had dropped, and she had begun pacing the floor of the waiting room, looking again and again to the clock, which had somehow grown into an ominous enemy, as the hours continued to tick by.

Day Services Unit waiting room
Day Services Unit waiting room (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

She felt the panic within her trying to gain control, as she tried to stamp it down. She was alone in the waiting room, except for her fifteen year old daughter, who had made the hundred mile trip to the hospital with them. It was only her daughter’s presence that kept her from giving in to her mounting fears. Finally, after nearly nine hours, the phone in the waiting room rang, and she pounced on it, fearful of losing whoever might be on the other end.

“Mrs. Hopkins?” the impersonal voice on the other end asked.

“Yes,” she said breathlessly, her daughter looking expectantly at her.

“As you know, we ran into some complications during the surgery –”

“Complications?” she interrupted. “What kind of complications? Is he ok?”

“Didn’t anyone come out and talk to you?” Now the voice on the other end wasn’t as impersonal as before.

“No one has come to see me. My daughter and I have been here since early this morning,  and no one has told us anything. Is — he okay?” She lowered her voice, not wanting to upset her daughter.

“He’s doing much better now,” the voice on the other end spoke gently, comfortingly now. “He’s in recovery, and this is against our normal policy, but would you like to come down and see him?”

Monitor
Monitor (Photo credit: Thirteen Of Clubs)

“Oh yes,” she whispered gratefully, looking at her daughter and nodding with tear-filled eyes, that she fought to keep at bay. “Our fifteen year old daughter is here too, and I can’t leave her alone. Can she please see her daddy too?”

The person on the other end acquiesced, and after receiving directions, she and her daughter hurried to the recovery room to see her beloved. As she pressed the button to gain access to the recovery room, she was met by a nurse, “Mrs. Hopkins?” It was the voice she had spoken to on the telephone.

She nodded and hugged the nurse in gratitude, as the nurse explained the complications that had arisen during surgery. “The wall of his diaphragm was so thin, that the laser punctured it, collapsing his left lung. Therefore, we had to abandon the laparoscopic procedure and open him up. He looks pretty bad right now, and he’s in a lot of pain, because we had to open his stomach up, but we expect him to make a full recovery. He also has a chest tube on his left side, to keep his lung from collapsing again. We expect him to be here for at least a week before he can go home. Now, would you like to see him?”

She and her daughter both nodded, as the nurse led them around the corner to the only occupied bed in the recovery room. There he was, her beloved. The man who had captured her heart almost twenty years before, laying there with tubes coming out of his chest and his stomach, groaning in pain. She grabbed his hand, and he opened his eyes, smiling at her and their daughter. And though he wasn’t strong enough to tell them, his love for both of them was evident in his eyes.

Though she requested it, she and her daughter were not allowed to spend the night with him, so at around 11:00 that evening, they drove back to their hotel room, planning to be back to the hospital early the next morning. His recovery was slow, requiring him to remain in the hospital for more than two weeks, before he was well enough to make the two-hour drive to their home. Her daughter had gone home with her grandparents the day after the surgery, but she stayed behind with her husband, to nurture and encourage his recovery.

Finally, after what seemed a lifetime, he was discharged, and the two of them began the long journey home. It was a difficult ride for him to endure, because he was still so sick, but both were glad for him to be out of the hospital. Perhaps once he got home he would heal quicker. When the two finally arrived home, and she helped him to settle in the hospital bed that had been donated to them for  his recovery, he grabbed her hand, looking into her eyes with great love and said, “I thought we’d never come back from that one.”

© 2012
Cheryl A. Showers