The walk

Well, just when I didn’t think my life could get any wilder, it did. If you haven’t read my previous post about what had happen today and last night, check it out. After I had finally got my life in order after my car accident, I laid down for a well deserved night sleep.

That didn’t happen.

I woke up two hours after going to bed with a very sore stomach. I thought it was heartburn, so I took some antacids. They didn’t do a thing to help. The pain became so bad I had to arch my back and hold on to the side of the couch and hold it with all my might and just groan or yell. After a couple of hours of this, nothing was getting better. My wife and I decided to go the hospital. I was admitted into the emergency room. They were worried it was a heart attack, so they set me up on the EKG machine, but I started throwing up because I was on so much pain. After I was done, they did the test and it looked like it wasn’t my heart. Then they started getting me to drink the stuff needed for a CAT scan. I drank about half the bottle, and then I threw that all up for the next 5 minutes. By this time they had put me on some painkiller medication more powerful than morphine. I remember when they first gave me morphine, and I told them it hardly helped at all. They looked real worried and ran off to get the better stuff.

The next 10 hours was a blur of drug-induced sleep and being partially awake to take tests – EKG, CAT and then ultrasound. The ultrasound revealed the final clue- it was my gall bladder – it was unusually large and had a very large gall bladder stone in it. The only solution was to operate and remove it. They put me on a saline and suger-water drip via an IV. I wasn’t allowed to eat or drink for the next 24 hours. No problem with me, I would have just thrown it up anyway. Many friends of mine stopped by to wish me well before the surgery the next day – It was so great to see them!

I woke up in the morning the next day. My pastor stopped by and prayed for me at 6:00 in the morning, and then I was wheeled off to the surgery room. I got there and met my surgeon – A very nice man – I felt pretty comfortable with him right away. The anesthesiologist gave me the rundown of what he was going to do, and then I was being wheeled off to the surgery room. I remember the room being very cold, and the table they were putting me on was very uncomfortable. I was a little worried if this uncomfort would cause the anesthesia to not work, but I passed out shortly after that thought.

I woke up in the recovery room feeling great and wrapped in a lot of warm blankets. Soon after they wheeled me back to my room and I was met by my wife and mom. They were all surprised that I looked so well. Throughout the day, I was visited by many others. I felt so loved!

Finally, the last visitor came and went – my good friend Joe who I haven’t seen in over 3 months. We talked about cars and our baby girls. Finally, he took off and wished me well. I was alone again. My wife and daughter and mother had gone home for some well deserved sleep after such a traumatic day. As i watched movie after movie on today into the night, I began to feel more and more pain. I became so uncomfortable that I had to get up and just stand against the wall and rub and stretch my muscles – muscles no where near the area where my surgery was done. The pain got so bad that I would be crying out loud. My nurse came by and asked if it was me that had cried out. Embarrased, i told her it was, and that I was in pain in areas that wern’t related to my surgery. She told me that it was trapped air in my chest cavity due to the kind of surgery I relieved – laproscopic surgery – where they inflate you and make small cuts instead of one big cut. The downfall is that you have to get rid of the gas that has been trapped inside. She told me that walking around is the only thing to do.

So I got up and walked around the nurse stations. There was no way to sleep, I was in too much pain to do anything but move. So I just walked. And walked and walked. As I walked, I began to notice that there were other patients also crying out in their own rooms. One man laid in his bed and just kept repeating over and over for help. Nurses would continually check on him, but he seemed to be pretty uncomfortable. As I walked around the room, I would walk by each patient’s room, and I asked God to help them – to make their stay here more comfortable, to somehow find peace.

The man who constantly cried out for help had finally fallen asleep. The other man who constantly twisted his arm and bent his IV, which would set of an alarm, had finally fallen asleep too. The wing I was in was finally at peace. I kept walking, for it was all I could do to keep the pain at bay.

After walking for 2 hours around in circles from one end of the patient wing to another, I was too weary to continue. I crawled into bed expecting to be in terrible pain just trying to lay down. Luckily, it wasn’t too bad. I slowly laid down and slowly fell into a peaceful sleep myself. As I walked the patient wing that night, I felt so alive! I was a part of making the world a better place – reaching out and touching other patient’s lives with a simple prayer of peace and rest. Maybe that was why I was there that night – so that God might visit the people in this place though my prayers of hope and life. I wasn’t sure who had benefited more – the other patients or myself. Although I was in pain, I was filled with so much joy and hope. I felt so touched to be a part of those sacred moments, and I shall never forgot that walk.

    8 Responses to “The walk”

    1. Asara
      1

      Wow, Jonathan, you’ve had a rough few days. I admire your ability to come out of difficult, painful situations with a positive sense of joy and hope. I hope you are healing from the surgery and feeling better.

      Reply to this comment.
    2. Jonathan
      2
      Author Comment

      Asara! Good to hear from you again. I’m feeling pretty lousy, and just today I’m beginning to think I’m coming down with a fever – my wife is going out to buy a thermometer to check my temperature… life can be wild 🙂

      Reply to this comment.
    3. darling24_7
      3

      I hope that you feel better and its a great feeling to have so much emotion that you are filled with joy. Its a reminder that He is with us always.

      God only gives us what we can handle.

      Have a great weekend 🙂

      Reply to this comment.
    4. John Remy
      4

      Jonathan, hope you’re feeling better by now. Sending positive vibes in your direction… 🙂

      Reply to this comment.
    5. Jonathan
      5
      Author Comment

      darling24_7: Thank you! I’m sorry I haven’t released your comment in the last four days! I haven’t been looking at the blog in quite a while – I’ve been sleeping and reading in bed mostly. I’ve gotten so much better now. I can now sit in a chair upright and not be in too much pain. And for the first time in over a couple of weeks, I went out and ate my favorite meal – a hamburger with fries and a coke. 🙂 It was a wonderful moment.

      Yeah – you are absolutely right – joy is a reminder that God is with us. It is renewed every morning so I can once again face a day with hope and a deep purpose for living. I think the wild part about God giving us what we can handle is that it is something we can handle together. These days, I can’t tell who’s doing the thinking, being creative, and the fighting against hardship – at any one point, is it God or me – all I can say is that it is definitely both of us working together as a team to some degree or another. For some reason, most of the experiences in my life have made it obvious that God is working with me to overcome hardship. He is not distant from it or the cause of it, but closely with me fighting to overcome it.

      John – thank you! I am feeling much better. I was feeling good enough to comment over at MOF the other day before I tired myself out. If it’s not coherent, blame it on the drugs. 🙂 The fog is clearing away from my brain, but not completely. I tried to order a burger at Wendy’s, and I sat there stuttering for a good 10 seconds at the drive-thru window before I could somehow communicate that I only wanted pickles and catchup on it. 🙂 I was in the store the other day, and met another women who also had major surgery recently, and she told me it takes about a month to get over the fogginess that occurs when you’ve been under general anesthesia. She also told me that during conversation, she had a lot of trouble talking and remembering words… sounds just like me at the moment. Well, I’m going to go out and order a ham sub today. I’ll try to order something uncomplicated.

      Reply to this comment.
    6. Elise
      6

      I wish I had read this earlier! I hope you are feeling much better. Sounds like the universe is trying to get you to slow down and take it easy, huh?!? I hope you are at least well enough to be enjoying the holiday season. Hang in there!

      Reply to this comment.
    7. darling24_7
      7

      Something we can handle together. Interesting. Ive always been independent and always trust that he is with me when I ask him into my life. I know hes there waiting in the wings and when its time that I need some extra guidance I know only to ask and he’ll be there listening and ready for me to have in my life.

      Almost selfish in the way I see things. I acknowledge him when I need him. Im a bit ashamed to admit but its the truth. I havent lived with him always present in my life. I trust that he gave me the choice to make my own decisions. Mistakes that are borne from those are my lessons to learn. I welcome him into my life when its convenient not only for myself but for other people so its not entirely selfish I guess. But still. Maybe this is a bit more revealing than Id like. But its been written…

      Have a great day 🙂

      Reply to this comment.
    8. Jonathan
      8
      Author Comment

      Darling24_7,
      I’ll bet I’m more selfish then you! 🙂 I’m still learning too. I think recently, I’ve really taken a turn for the worst on just reaching out to God when I need Him. I’m really trying to get back on track and it’s hard. Thank you again for being honest, and I’m sorry it took so long to reply to your very good comment. It’s good to hear from you again!

      Reply to this comment.

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