Saturday, July 2, 2016

He Spared Me From the Pit

You, Lord, brought me up from the realm of the dead; you spared me from going down to the pit. Psalm 30:3
God is amazing. I was barely conscious in the recovery room, and fighting nausea when my nurse came into focus. It looked like she'd been trying to talk to me a while, and I'd been  dodging wakefulness.
"Vicky?" she said. "Remember me....I'm..."
"Sharon!!" we said together.
Sharon goes to my church! I used to teach her kids in my art class! A friend had been assigned to be my recovery nurse unbeknownst to either of us!

The surgery day did not dawn so cheerily. I had been up the entire night before surgery with  an incredibly painful neck and chest pains. I had a "crick" in my neck for three days, and when I kayaked the last time, it was slightly painful as I made my way back to the dock.

I must have badly strained my intercostal muscles because the pain was very bad. I could barely move. I didn't sleep at all. I was pretty sure it wasn't a heart attack, though not certain. I sat upright all night as it hurt less that way, and read my Bible.

What about the surgery? If it was postponed, the delicate optimal time-frame for radiation would be thrown off. Hubby prayed with me, than drove me to pro-op. The nurse checked me in  early, and there was concern I should go to the ER, and forego the surgery.

Fortunately, I was pretty sure it was muscular, and not a heart attack. By the incredible grace of God, the anesthesiologist was a kayaker. When I told him my story, he was very sure it was the intercostal muscles, and not a heart attack. He had experienced the same issue himself!  My plastic surgeon arrived, and concurred, but ordered an EKG to be on the safe side. All was normal.

I can't tell you how lovely it was to be knocked out on heavy narcotics for the next several hours for my surgery. I had been in fairly severe pain the entire previous night. As I was struggling all night in pain, I am afraid I succumbed to asking God, "Why??"

Now, on the other side of the surgery, I think I know. I was so sidetracked by the pain of the intercostal muscles that I never worried about undergoing surgery. In fact, I wanted the surgery to get me out of such pain! I had been hovering near panic about the upcoming surgery but that was totally eliminated.

I have been pain free all night and into this morning. There is some soreness in my thighs from the liposuction, but only a feeling of slight bruising. Nothing hurts the way I thought it would. I took one- third of one dose of the narcotic pain-killer last night, and just a tylenol this morn. Sister Amy wants me to stay ahead of the pain, so I did that although nothing hurt.

Since I am to wear the compression socks and shorts for 2-3 weeks or longer, 24 hours a day to reduce swelling and chance of clots, I ordered one more pair of each online. They are pricey, but worth it.
Modeling my cute compression socks and compression skort
 God always astounds me. What often feels like a disaster ends up a blessing. I am so relieved to be through this surgery. My reconstructed breast looks great and when I looked in the mirror this morning, I smiled. Except for the scars...I look normal! To top off that joy, Sharon, my nurse friend was an unexpected and miraculous intervention by my precious Lord.

The funny part of this is that the Bible reading I was doing all night was my favorite story of Elijah defeating the evil prophets of the false God, Baal. When Elijah (with God' help) completes this impossible task, he loses heart and falls into a depressive funk. He feels all alone, and knows a bounty is on his head from the evil Queen Jezebel. He cries out to God to just kill him now. It is too much. He wants to die.

God shows up, provides shade, food, drink, and restorative sleep. Then he comforts Elijah further by telling him he is not alone. He is sending friends.

As I awoke from all the trauma and fear to my friend, Sharon's face, I felt the unequivocal miraculous presence of God.

Thank you all of you for your prayers, emails, and messages. God is so good.
*******************

1 Kings 19: 11-18
Then He said, “Go out, and stand on the mountain before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; 12 and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice.
13 So it was, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave. Suddenly a voice came to him, and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
14 And he said, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God of hosts; because the children of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars, and killed Your prophets with the sword. I alone am left; and they seek to take my life.”
15 Then the Lord said to him: “Go, return on your way to the Wilderness of Damascus; and when you arrive, anoint Hazael as king over Syria. 16 Also you shall anoint Jehu the son of Nimshi as king over Israel. And Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel Meholah you shall anoint as prophet in your place. 17 It shall be that whoever escapes the sword of Hazael, Jehu will kill; and whoever escapes the sword of Jehu, Elisha will kill. 18 Yet I have reserved seven thousand in Israel, all whose knees have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him.”

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