I am a blogger, a semi-professional writer, but my wife is not: she’s an accountant. Valerie deals with numbers all the time, not words.
However, when Valerie does write, she has a flair all her own, one that I could never duplicate…one you will enjoy. Therefore, when she recounted to me the conversation she had yesterday with her gynecologist, I knew you needed to hear it…
In her words.
So, what you are about to read are the words of my wife, Valerie. I’m turning over the keyboard to her.
I feel that to do the Lord the justice that He deserves, I need to go back about 12 years. I had a complete hysterectomy, including my ovaries, when sweet Haley was maybe 4 years old. Please understand this was not as a form of birth control; no, I would have had more children if I could have. (I really do not know if Anthony and I had discussed more – maybe it was just me, but either way, you know who would have won that battle!) I was very lucky to have the last two children that I had and am very thankful.
During the three-day hospital stay after having the hysterectomy, my sweet husband was by my side – sure wish I had pictures! Yes, he was sleeping on the chair/bed for the visitor who is crazy enough to stay. The funny part is that I was hotter than I’d ever been and he was colder than he had ever been. You see, on day two, it just happened to be the coldest day of winter that we had that year. I looked over as I sat on the bed with only a hospital gown and panties on, to him with a toboggan, a winter coat zipped up tight, and several blankets. I had the air conditioning on in the room and still was hot! I guess I could have opened the windows, but I didn’t think about it.
Now, we lived in KY at the time. After having two bad experiences at the local hospital (Jenny Stuart, but nick-named “Killer Stuart”) our family drove to the next closest hospital which was about 40 minutes away. I was released just after lunch on day three. I was still just burning up! I had the window down and my head sticking out going down the Pennyrile Parkway in something-teen-degree weather. Anthony? He still had that same coat, toboggan, and now gloves on. Somehow I figure this was a faster drive than usual.
I had a patch on my arm with hormones that I was supposed to wear five days, remove two days, and then apply a new patch for five days. After the second day of the second patch, I ripped it off and Jesus and I had a little chat that went something like this:
Me: Jesus, you know that I did not desire this hysterectomy.
Me: Are you there? I said I did not desire this hysterectomy! I wanted more children…. (by now the tears are coming).
Jesus: (He did not audibly speak to me, but the Word of God sure came flying at me.) Be happy in whatever state you are in. Be content with what you have. I am here. I will help you. I love you.
Me: Ok, I will be content and happy, but I really need for you to handle the hormone part because really just can not take the patches.
Jesus: (I waited….)
Well, things were much better.
In 2007 or 2008, I had my yearly exam at the gynecologist. While waiting in the exam room, I was reading the poster on the back of the door about the pros and cons of estrogen. Looked to me like the cons were medical complications and problems, and all the pros were for pleasure and nothing really medical at all. After the exam, my doctor always leaves and has me dress and then the nurse will come and get me to take me to his office where he sits across the desk and talks to me about his findings and makes suggestions, etc. While I was waiting for the nurse, I snapped a picture of the chart on the back of the door.
Once in his office, he began the spill that I had heard for year after year about how important estrogen is and how much better I would feel. I brought up the poster on the door and he said, “The cons rarely ever happen. In fact, I have never had a patient experience any of those problems. So that year he convinced me. I left and went to Target to get my estrogen prescription.
Two days later, Anthony and I were at the mall shopping (not my favorite thing.) and he said, “I wish you felt better. We hardly ever get to do this.” I told him if I could just vomit I though I would be better. The next day, I went to work and I felt really bad. I never even thought about the estrogen as the cause. I was so really achy. Could this be the flu? I worked later than usual trying to get things finished up so when I was driving home I hit major traffic on I-24. I typically drove the van, but for some reason that day was in the Honda Accord, which happened to be a 5-speed. I remember my right arm hurting so badly that I was clutching with my left foot, holding the steering wheel straight with my right knee, and shifting with my left hand. Traffic was c r a w l i n g!
Anthony NEVER meets me at the door when I come home unless I phone ahead and ask him to come out and help carry stuff in. That day, he did. He opened the door, looked at me, and then said, “You look awful!” It did not even hurt my feelings; my reply was only that I needed to read about female heart attacks. I had all but two of the symptoms. Needless to say, we headed straight to the ER. My initial EKG was just a little off, nothing to worry too much about. Other tests were showing things getting worse and a second EKG was not good. I kept telling them, “It’s the ESTROGEN!” and they kept ignoring me. I was admitted for further testing. I finally got the floor doctor to hear me. He didn’t believe that to be the cause but did tell me to call my GYN and have him come remove the estrogen. I did it myself. That was early morning. As the day progressed, my test results were getting better and better. I fully expected to be going home.
But I have a daddy who has a lengthy heart history that was not impressing the doctor to make rash decisions. My dad told my brother to make sure the doctor knows the family wants him to do a heart cath because my dad’s heart attacks never showed up on the early tests, but always ended up with stents after having a heart cath. Well, the doctor agreed. So here I go the next day into a very scary procedure. I left with a clean bill of health, heart-wise, but with a diagnosis of “chemically induced heart attack. Listed in my chart was, “Allergic reaction to estrogen.”
Now, let’s finally fast forward to yesterday (4/19/2017). My yearly exam with the gynecologist. Even though I have told him that estrogen had thrown me into a “chemically induced heart attack,” he tends to think it was co-incidence. Each year we have that same talk, and each year I remind him. This year was different.
Yesterday, I was waiting in his office admiring his children and cool artwork when he came in and sat behind the desk.
“Valerie,” he said, “I do not have you down as taking any kind of replacement hormones, and if my memory serves me correctly, you aren’t.”
I said, “No.”
He said, “I didn’t think so, but looking at your cells under a microscope, I am very surprised – at your age and having no ovaries – to find that your cells look very estrogenized.”
He was puzzled to be sure! I said in a very every-day, casual voice, “Oh, that is Jesus!” He looked up at me with a questioning expression. I continued, “Years ago I told Jesus that I did not want to have a hysterectomy and that I had wanted more children and since I had to have one anyway, I asked him to take care of the hormones …and he has!” He took it in and shook his head, looking back down to the chart, and then asked a more personal, intimate question that I really do not want to share on here… again, he was surprised. I quickly added, “that is Jesus, too.”
You just never know where the opportunity to share Jesus will come up. Even though I did not get the chance to tell him all about the Good News, I know a seed was planted. I wonder how he slept last night?
– Valerie J. Baker
So, did you like what Valerie wrote? Let her know in the comment section.