Saturday, March 24, 2012

Michael's Hospital Adventure - From D's perspective

This little My 31 Square Utility Tote is a symbol of how quickly and drastically life has changed around here. I ordered this from one of my PWOC gals in Yokosuka. I thought it would be a great thing to have to tote around files, decorations and doo-dads at upcoming events. We saw them all over Yongsan during conference. I couldn't think of anything zippy to put on the side; you see what I did. 

I've developed something of a fetish for bags and totes since mine were stolen on the way to Japan.....they'll never get my last bag again! ::snort:: I know Michael rolled his eyes, harrumphed and thought I'd NEVER find a use for it....but there you have's perfect for 4x4's, scissors, narcotics, tegaderm, tape and various other post op supplies....all in a very catchy and snazzy container. ::snort:: 

Thus, life changed. I had tickets to fly to FT Bragg on the 29th of March. I would follow that trip up by speaking 3x, training, and chillin with the gals at Camp Zama. They say it takes about 40 hours to prepare for a 1 hour talk....just giving you an idea of the time I'd invested....and then...Michael was in the hospital. 

I suppose this generation always assumes at some point they'll hear "cancer," it seemed inevitable when they said the ultrasound looked like cancer in the gall bladder etc.  A cat scan left them assured (I thought)  we were dealing with a gangrenous gall bladder. Certainly not a wonderful thing...but better than cancer.  Then we heard Michael needed to be admitted immediately to start big time antibiotics through IV's and to stabilize him for surgery. The fear was that the gall bladder would burst or he would go septic....

God provided beautifully. I love Michael's surgeon. She's a Christian I met at a PWOC Bible study who prays for her surgeries. Many times I've prayed for her to have steady hands and a quick mind...the night before the surgery she stopped in and said, "I want you to know I'm going to go in lap. If I see cancer we're closing him up and getting you out of here."  She also shared how she may have to open Michael up if the gall bladder was too enlarged etc.  I've thought through cancer - seems to me the best thing to do is GET IT I responded, "If you see cancer why don't you just take it OUT?" She explained that Gall Bladder cancer is a seed cancer. It's aggressive. Any instrument or gauze etc.  which touched the cancer and then something else would infect other parts....

Meanwhile Michael's gall bladder was hard, 10 mm big, his fever was rising, his blood pressure tanking and they thought he'd developed a clogged bile duct as he was vomiting etc. There was talk the a.m. of surgery of sending him to Hachinohe. They did one more ultra sound and then came in and said, "We're going to surgery," and were gone.  At 2.5 hours Doc sent out word  she'd started lap but was opening him up and it would be a while. I knew there was no cancer. Surgery took 6 hours and something else was twisted, he's a bleeder, the gall bladder was dead, dying and gangrenous, he was "going septic"...when he gets sick, he gets SICK.  

Now some hospital shots...don't even TRY to lecture me....this man has it coming after 9 documented labor/delivery episodes...yes, he was discreet and so was I. I won't post the incision photo until Michael finishes crafting his wild tale. 

Yum - Blenderized roast and veggies
I learned a ENFJ/Futuristic/Global thinker needs to surrender every thought to Christ. It IS possible to live in the here and now and take thoughts captive to Christ. I don't need a plan for every scenario. I experienced God being Emmanuel in the midst of every twist and turn of this journey. I discovered I can still dance with God. I learned anew to simply surrender and climb up into the secret place of His presence...and He will cradle me. 

The Misawa community has truly been Jesus' hands and feet to our family through this time. Friends who came and sat during surgery, food brought to the kids, visits, rides, muffins, cookies, subs for Bible Studies, staff filling Michael's role....we are blessed.

Michael came home....I've learned  the best way to dose various drugs for pain control, I've learned how to strip a JP Drain,  how to change dressing without gagging (and you know someone is going to have to pull this tube out and suture his side up eventually - and it ain't gonna be me) and how to fix very BLAND food.....I've learned about pancreatic and liver enzymes and I continue to remember  He continues to be Emmanuel...He is here. He will always be. 

I'm thankful to have Michael here. I will enjoy the here and now. I will not fret about what could have been. 

Those trips of mine? Doc scheduled an appt for Wed, hoping for a clean bill of health so I could fly Thursday...but after the lab results...well...things continue to pop up quickly. 

The ladies from Camp Zama blessed me with the care they showed  my family. I was still wrestling with the trips scheduled to start this upcoming week. They called an emergency board meeting. They consistently offer prayers and support...and this was no different. Amanda, their president, wrote me a beautifully encouraging email and told me they were taking the Zama portion of speaking and traveling off my plate.

I wrestled a bit more - because "All I've ever wanted to do in PWOC is TRAIN" and last year I missed Traveling Training due to the tsunami...and we are all  hoping Michael will be fine by Thursday...but bottom priorities are here. My heart is here.  There is NO WAY I can fly to the states and leave Mike here to fend for himself when he tires easily, can't drive, and is still in pain. There is no way I can leave while enzymes still play hop scotch.  I won't put Michael or the kids in that position. 

I called Delta and PRAISE GOD - they agreed to give me a credit of $1400. I have to use the ticket within a year but they even will waive the penalty of $250 when I get them the hospital address and phone number.  This works out great. It won't cost PWOCI a dime to have me cancel. I have a ticket paid for and waiting for travel. I figure if Michael ends up flying out of here before this is done, I can fly one of the girls over to watch the kids...or myself over to be with him...and if he recovers quickly from here on out? I do believe I've been promised a second honeymoon in Hawaii - it's been 28 ticket is purchased. ::snort:: 

Choosing Joy!
©2012 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...


Renee said...

You never cease to amaze me. You always remain calm with God at the wheel no matter the circumstances. You never seem to try to grab that control and do it yourself; you leave it to Him. I continue to be inspired by you

Anonymous said...

I know it was a difficult thing to give up something you so wanted, but so happy to hear the peace you are experiencing in the midst storms. praying!!!!
B <3

DeEtta @ Courageous Joy said...

Ah, Renee....I am tempted often to grab the controls...but I've learned through hard knocks that I fare better to relax and let Him lead...thus my mantra to "dance with God".

There was a moment in there when I was near panic and my little ballet shoe charm needed straightened and I remembered. "Dance with God" - let him lead He has this.

Anonymous said...

love you, mom!
Bre G

Cynthia said...

AH, a nice relaxing trip to Hawaii sounds like a wonderful way to celebreate after his recovery :) Pick Kauai. You'll LOVE IT!!

DeEtta @ Courageous Joy said...

Cindy - I may be calling for info.