Two “tower” options…which would you prefer?
An 11-day visit to Paris, including the Eiffel Tower, Louvre, Notre Dame, Sainte-Chapelle and all-you-can-eat meals on a week-long riverboat cruise up the Seine.
Or a 12-day stay at Pottstown Hospital-Tower Health, including 10 days without eating or drinking, an NG tube, a PICC line and a bowel resection.
Is your choice made? Yeah, I thought mine was, too. But that was before the worst pain and nausea of my life convinced me to go to the ER late on the night of Aug. 12.
A CT scan showed a small bowel obstruction and I was admitted the next morning.
Did I mention that our suitcases were packed for our nonstop Paris flight leaving that night with traveling companions Bud and Carol Russell? Oh, and by the way, this was to be an early celebration of our 50th wedding anniversary coming in December!
Doctors and we decided to wait-and-see if the twisted loops would untangle themselves. We enlisted family and friends to pray and I changed our departing flight from Sunday to Wednesday night, in hopes we could still make the cruise which began Thursday afternoon.
Meanwhile, a thin, flexible plastic nasogastric tube was inserted in my nose, down my throat and esophagus, and into my stomach to suction out its contents. A few ice chips became the only item on my daily menu.
By Tuesday afternoon it seemed obvious that the bowel was not going to untwist itself in time and I canceled our Paris flight, notified the cruise ship and the travel insurance companies. On Friday, I was in the operating room having a bowel resection–eerily reminiscent of 33 years ago when I had a colon resection, but thankfully, this time without a cancer diagnosis.
I stayed in the hospital another week post-surgery, while my seven grandkids all prayed for Grandma to pass gas (marching and shouting “Fart! Fart!”).
I’ve been home a little over two weeks now and am trying to build up my stamina, find food that tastes good, gain weight, and get my digestive system settled into another new normal.
I debated about whether to even write about this ordeal, but I’ve tried to be so honest and transparent in my books and blogs that it just didn’t feel right not letting people know. Still, I worried about sharing my story when so many of you have tons of stress in your life already. And besides, I know that missing out on an amazing trip is nothing compared to so many other losses. I also thought perhaps I should wait to write until I had some profound piece of wisdom or spiritual gem learned from all this, but nothing materialized.
(Of course, I’m thankful that God didn’t allow this to happen on the 7-hour flight or after we arrived in a foreign country. But if I’m honest, I wish He would have delayed it until after we got back home!)
Last week a question posed in a Rick Warren devotion got me thinking: “What about the problems you’re going through right now–they’re a test of your faithfulness. Will you continue to serve God even when life stinks?”
So here’s my “wisdom”: life STINKS, but I will serve God no matter what.
I make this choice because I agree with Babbie Mason “When you don’t understand. When you can’t see His plan. When you can’t trace His hand, trust His heart.”
Open in your browser to hear Babbie Mason sing this beautiful song “Trust His Heart.”