Tag Archives: Hospital

Things I Learned Before, During, and After My Daughter’s Surgery

The Surgery

This post was Katie-approved.

On Friday my middle daughter, Katie, underwent surgery to have her gallbladder removed. We appreciated all your prayers and well-wishes.

This morning (Saturday), as I sit here typing, Katie is across the room utilizing the recliner that was supposed to bring me joy and comfort after my rotator cuff surgery – it didn’t. I’m glad it’s helping her.

Hopefully and prayerfully…and please continue to pray for her…Katie will be up and going much better by tomorrow. However, I have my concerns.

Things I Learned

Katie is as unique as they come; there’s no one like her. She is uber sweet, persistently positive, the sunshine in a dark room, and the one person for whom saying “It’s my pleasure” when serving customers at Chick-fil-A is not good enough…she says, “It’s my sincerest pleasure!”

But Katie is also the least pain-tolerant person I know, and she hates needles with a passing-out passion. Therefore, anyone who gives her pain, or allows pain to persist, is likely to be served something other than chicken.

So, in bullet-pointed fashion, here are some things I learned on the way to the hospital, before Katie’s surgery, during Katie’s surgery, and after Katie’s surgery, including the first day of recovery.

On the way to the hospital…

  • Maintaining a positive attitude is a good thing.
  • Maintaining unrealistic expectations is a bad thing.
  • Doctors and hospitals are always running behind, so it’s no use stressing; you’re gonna be late to check in – laugh about it.
  • Make sure you bring a gender-appropriate bag in which you will be responsible for lugging around 25 pounds of clothing, books, snacks, and phone chargers while moving from room to room. A grown, masculine man can grow weary of “nice purse” comments when the virtual suitcase in which the items are packed is pink.

At the hospital…

  • If you’re going to make use of the free valet parking, make sure all your important items are secure or on your person before giving your keys to a guy with questionable hygiene.
  • It is possible for a nurse to think you’re a different patient, take you to the wrong room, prep you for a different surgery, all before asking if your name is the same as on the chart she’s looking at. Instead of having her gallbladder removed, Katie almost got a colonoscopy!

Pre-Surgery

  • Pray a lot, then just trust God to handle everything.
  • Remember that sweet smile; it may be a while before it comes back.
  • Don’t say “goodbye” as they wheel you away to be cut on.
  • Boyfriends have a tendency to hog the visitation time.

During Surgery – the Waiting Time

  • Bring your own food to nibble on, or else take out a loan to eat.
  • One must take the initiative to make new pots of coffee in the waiting room – the staff doesn’t care to drink tar.
  • Taking a book to read is a great thing, but be prepared for distractions… like worthless morning shows blaring on the waiting-room television, or visitors who don’t understand that one of the reasons you went along with the whole surgery thing is that you knew it would give you a couple of hours to get some guilt-free reading done.
  • Hosptial Wi-Fi is crappy.

Post-Surgery Recovery

  • Those intolerant to pain are nearly impossible to comfort.
  • Uber-sweet, godly little girls who are intolerant to pain may surprise those in the room with their intimate knowledge of vulgarity.
  • Dad visitation privilages trump boyfriend visitation privileges.

First Day of Recovery

  • Calories don’t matter when making breakfast – at least for the ones NOT recovering.
  • Whiny, pain-intolerant people can get on your nerves, but you have to love them anyway – just keep giving them pain pills.
  • All it takes is one abdominal surgery to make an opinionated young woman reevaluate her beliefs on birth control and her desire to have children.
  • My first grandchild from Katie will probably be Chinese or Korean.

Again, thanks for your prayers and well-wishes. If nothing else, I learned a few things.

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Filed under current events, General Observations, Humor, Life Lessons, Struggles and Trials

Social Media Done Right

What Happened

Good Monday morning, everyone! I’m glad to be alive, alert, awake, and enthusiastic! How about you?

Friday morning was a bummer, that’s for sure; I was alive, but not enthusiastic. Friday morning I was suffering from some unnerving chest pain. Let me tell you what happened.

Friday morning I was going over some stuff at my computer. Actually, it was some papers outlining what was needed for me to start back to school, this time for an M.Div. at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. To be honest, they stressed me out. As I sat there, the left side of my chest began to hurt worse and worse. The pain continued for nearly half an hour.

Finally, I went to my wife and told her what was going on. I had my doubts what I was experiencing was heart-related, but there was no way for me to be sure, therefore my wife insisted I go to the emergency room at Memorial Hospital here in Chattanooga.

The pain started around 11 a.m., but we didn’t get to the E.R. until around 1:30. Thanks to a lot of people there before me, I was triaged and sent back to the lobby to wait…and wait…and wait. Finally, at 4:40 I was taken back to a bed in the E.R., then admitted to the CDU (Clinical Decision Unit) at 8:08 p.m. For the first time in my adult life I was made to stay in a hospital overnight.

On Saturday morning, after having my blood drawn twice the night before, I was ready for some food. What I was not ready for was the heart-healthy crap they feed you in a hospital. For crying out loud, you’d think a multi-thousand dollar hospital bed would sleep better than it did, but then to feed me bland oatmeal and decaffeinated coffee? Torture, I tell you!

After breakfast I was taken for a nuclear stress test. Between injections, waiting, and treading on the mill till I thought I’d die, that was another 2 1/2 hours. But come around 11 a.m. I was being released – NO heart problems! Hallelujah!

Right before I was released on Saturday morning. Encouraged by prayer notifications.

Right before I was released on Saturday morning. Encouraged by prayer notifications and “OK.”

But now my knee hurts from the tread mill. Oh well.

Done Right

Social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, and all our blogs, can be used for a lot of selfish and cynical reasons. But this past weekend, as my inbox will attest, there are times when the internet proves its usefulness.

From the time I first got to the hospital till the time I was checking out, my wife was responsible for sending and checking all the messages. Because of what she wrote others picked up the ball and began to run. Before too long there were people all over the world praying for me, many of which I didn’t even know.

Then, this morning, a fellow blogger showed up right after our morning church service, just to come pray with me. Do you have any idea how much that means?

Folks, I have been tremendously blessed to have friends and family, both in person and over the web, who care enough to intercede for me. It reminds me of the story in the book of Nehemiah, the story where the people were spread out working on the wall, linked together by only a trumpet’s call. But when the enemy struck the trumpet would sound, and that’s where all the people would gather to fight (sorta like what the R.A.F. did during the Battle of Britain).

In the right hands social media became the rallying trumpet, calling those spread far and wide to the aid of one lone wall builder.

The wall still stands; the defenses held.

Thank you for caring and coming to my aid!

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Filed under blogging, Christian Unity, Relationships and Family

Prayer for My Wife

This [is] the day [which] the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. – Psalm 118:24

It is a good day, and it doesn’t matter what is going on – God made this day! And, for that matter, He makes every day, and what He makes is good.

How, then, can one reconcile the truth of Psalm 118:24 with the fact that my wife is in the hospital and doctors can’t figure out what is wrong with her? God is Sovereign, Holy, and by nature He is Good; therefore, I will trust Him.

photo (28)Nevertheless, I would ask that you intercede for my wife, Valerie, with prayer. Lift her up before the throne of God. Petition our Father for her healing, if it be within His will. Pray that God enlighten the doctors’ understanding so that that they may be able to diagnose her pain. But whatever the case, make sure you pray that through all our struggles and unanswered questions Jesus Christ receives the glory!

Remember, because many within the hospital community never go to church, sometimes God has to put the church in the hospital.

Thank you!

Update: Dear friends and subscribers, your prayers and encouragement have meant a lot. Thank you so much for your caring kindness. 

Valerie was discharged from the hospital this evening (2/22) with instructions to follow up with her regular doctor and a cardiologist. Unfortunately, while at the hospital, they were unable to find the reason for her pain. What also became obvious was her inability to stay awake for any length of time, actually falling asleep after only 30 seconds on the telephone (she does take meds to stay awake, but without them she is useless – she wasn’t able to take them while in the hospital – and they can’t determine the cause).

Valerie is no longer in pain (it was severe) except when she tries to lie down – when she does she suffers from crushing pain and the inability to breath. With some fluid around her heart, one would think there are heart problems. However, multiple tests were done and the doctors concluded her heart was in good condition and there had been no heart attack, no blockages, or anything. So, what the heck could it be???

Un-diagnosed illnesses can cause a strain on family and relationships, not to mention work and family routines. The stress has a tendency to stretch our abilities to cope. What we need more than anything right now is prayer for our spiritual hearts – especially mine – that we will remain compassionate, caring, and hopeful, not cynical or accusatory. Frankly, when we’re tired and worn is when the Devil tries to flank us, to cut us off from our Supply. That’s why we need you interceding for us.

So, right now Valerie is in good spirits and not in much pain, unless she tries to lie down. Please pray that future visits to specialists will provide answers. In the meantime we will do our best, in God’s strength, to give thanks in all things, for He is worth of our praise.

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Filed under Apologetics, Defining Marriage, Marriage, Relationships and Family, Struggles and Trials, worship

Monday Monkey “Jumping On the Bed” (Episode 25)

Check it out! Our 25th Monday Monkey!

This is a very special episode of Monday (yes, I know it’s Tuesday) Monkey. Mr. Monkey (a.k.a. Buddy) had an accident while jumping on the bed. He fell off and bumped his head.

Actually, I had to take my wife to the emergency room this morning (for real). Being a good steward of God’s money (what He let’s me have of it), I figured I would take advantage of having thousands of dollars of medical equipment at my disposal, at least when the doctors weren’t looking.

Do you have any idea how much it would have cost to do this video if I had wanted to use an actual hospital? Oh, wait…it is costing a lot.

Here are three life lessons to learn from this episode of Monday Monkey…

  1. When your momma tells you to stop jumping on the bed, do it. If you don’t, you might fall off and bump your head.
  2. Doctors can think of thousands of reasons for conducting tests that have nothing to do with your actual complaint.
  3. Always carry a monkey with you wherever you go. Life can be the best movie set.

“Jumping On the Bed”

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Filed under Humor, Monday Monkey