Tag Archives: Surgery

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!


  • 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.



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

Post-Surgery Update 1/22/18

Greetings! Good morning!

I hope to make this brief, so read quickly 😉

Today is a big day, and I would appreciate your prayers for godly wisdom, composure, and … for the sake of all my charismatic friends … “favor.”

On the healing front, I am getting better every day and a half, or so. I’m getting a little more flexible with time, and the pain is not constant, only symptomatic – that is, it only hurts when I move my shoulder, try to catch something, or stretch in my sleep. So, sleeping still isn’t the best part of my life.

On the job front – and this is a big one. This morning at 11:30 (eastern) I will be entering into an interview with the VP’s of a major transportation company. This could be a big career move, so please be in prayer for me at this time. No, I’m not leaving the pastorate (I’m bivocational, you know), but driving a school bus might become a part of my history, not my present.

Have a great day everyone, and I’ll keep you informed.

God bless!


Filed under current events

Surgery Update: 12/28/17


My last “surgery update” focused on one word: PAIN! So, if I were to follow the same format for this post, instead of just one word, I would offer two: Less PAIN!

However, because the pain levels are down, and I am getting more comfortable with “talk-to-text,” the word count of this update will be a little more. Nevertheless, I promise not to use any of “colorful” words both God and my wife have heard this past week.

Colorful words: The kind that unfortunately slip from my quivering lips when the dog barks in the middle of the night and I instinctively sit up with a start, jerking my stiff and immobile right arm, sending searingly-hot waves of pain shooting along the offended nerves in my shoulder in an attempt to ask my brain, “What the blankety-blank were you thinking??!!”

How Am I Doing?

Yes, I am doing better than I was a week ago. Yesterday, I went to the doctor for my first follow-up visit and received good news. After getting the stitches on my shoulder and hand removed…

This pic shows only 2 of the 3 incisions and none of the bruising on my bicep.

Look at the new wedding band my youngest daughter gave me for Christmas 🙂

I was told that I could do physical therapy at home for the next four weeks instead of having to pay for it. Yay! The goal will be for me to regain some mobility, then go to actual therapy for the next level of mobility and strength building.

The worst part of my recovery has not simply been the pain, but the inability to get any sleep, therefore forcing me to endure the pain beyond the medication’s ability to control it. The lack of sleep complicates the whole healing process.

I do not have to wear an arm brace/sling all the time, now – at least not around the house. That’s refreshing. And, speaking of refreshing, I can almost do everything by myself! It’s amazing how degrading this whole week has been.

Prayer Needs

Make no mistake about it, we still need your prayers.  It is precisely at times like this that the Enemy loves to attack the people of God, tempting us with the same old question he asked Eve, “hath God said?” (Gen. 3:1).

Yes! He has! And I will trust in the Lord with all my heart (Prov. 3:5-6).

But we still need your fervent prayer.

Financial Needs

Folks, I don’t know how to put it any other way: we still need financial help.

For at least the next three months, I will not be able to work. If you could help support us in any way, all specified gifts sent either to our church (South Soddy Baptist) or the Hamilton County Baptist Association office would be tax-deductible.

Click HERE for a link with more detailed info on donating.

Of course, if you don’t care about tax deductions and would simply like to donate a few dollars, you can go to the right sidebar here on the main page and click the Paypal “donate” tab.


Filed under Life Lessons, Struggles and Trials

Losing Track of Time

I’m sitting at the kitchen table at 6:26 in the morning. If today had been a work day, I’d be late. However, it’s Saturday morning, I’ve been awake off and on throughout the night, and I’m recovering from surgery. …Not morning as usual.

Tuesday was the day I had rotator cuff surgery on my right shoulder, plus an additional procedure on my left hand. Since then, my nights and days have blended together to the point I’m rarely sure what day it is, much less the time. I tend to want to sleep when others are awake, and wake up when there’s not even a decent infomercial on TV.

This morning I woke up and realized I needed to text someone about an important issue. Yet, when I looked at my phone it was 5 a.m.

I nodded off.

Then, thinking enough time had passed in order to avoid an awkwardly-early communication, I picked up my phone once again… 5:12 a.m.

Seriously, this was becoming frustrating! My sickness, my brokenness, my wounds, my recovery has twisted and distorted my understanding of day and night, of time itself!

At 6:15, I thought of sin.

In Mark 2:17 Jesus said: “They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”

Then, I thought of how often our spiritual brokenness must mess with our ability to truly appreciate what time it actually is.

In the above verse, Jesus made sin analogous to being sick. As the Great Physician, He can diagnose the problem and provide the remedy. But once the surgery has taken place, and even though we are in recovery, do we not still have difficulty telling the time?

We may know Christmas is around the corner, but sometimes our personal aches and pains negatively affect our preparing for the big day. Even worse, our tendency to rest improperly, or too much, may cause us to miss an opportunity to communicate something eternally important.

It’s now 7:20. My left thumb is tired, and so am I. I’m going back to bed…I think.

And I’ve still got those cursed hiccups!


Filed under Christianity, Future, General Observations

Surgery Update 12/20/17

One word: PAIN!


Filed under current events, General Observations, Struggles and Trials

Surgery Day!

I don’t have a lot of time to write, but I wanted to take a moment to type away on this wonderful little keyboard. There is such a wonderful feeling I get when typing out words with both hands buzzing along, rarely misspelling a word… yeah, right.

You see, my wife and I are preparing to walk out the door and head out to the hospital for my rotator cuff surgery. This afternoon, not long after 2 p.m. (eastern), my right arm will be completely useless. I have no idea how long it will be before I am able to type the way I am doing right now, and that’s a little sad.

But on the other hand, I am going to do everything I can to keep my spirits up. This is a terrifying day, but it’s also a very exciting day! I am about to undergo the most radical surgery of my life….I am about to become handicapped… I am about to become totally dependent on my wife for things, as of this moment, I can do for myself…. I am about to sleep in a recliner… I’ve never owned a recliner until today 🙂

This day is also exciting because it is going to be the first day on a journey in which I am going to be able to prove my God is real. Already, even as of yesterday morning, the Lord has been opening my eyes to the reality that He will take care of my family and me through this challenging ordeal. We will not starve…we will not be destitute…He will supply all our needs according to His riches in glory!

I will do my best to keep you guys updated along the way (the best way will be through Facebook). Even though I would ask you to keep me in your prayers, would you please keep my wife, Valerie, in your prayers? She will have a lot on her over the next couple of months as she is not only going to be taking care of me, but still taking care of my grandmother (she’s 95). Keep this in mind – my wife also had torn tendons in her right ankle!

Well, I guess I’d better go and get some more things done before it’s time to leave. In the meantime, go back and look at my previous “appeal” post, and if you can help in any way, it would be most certainly appreciated.

“My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness. I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus’ name. On Christ the solid Rock I stand; all other ground is sinking sand.”

– Anthony Baker

FYI, my surgery will be at 2 p.m. at Erlanger East, Chattanooga. Pray that Dr. Lund doesn’t slip up 😉


Filed under current events, Faith

Surgery Day

Sometime this afternoon (after 12 p.m. EST), I don’t exactly know when, a surgeon, a man highly skilled in his art, will open up my flesh and attempt to correct a problem which has been bothering me for several months. I’m going under the knife.

Oh, it’s not a big surgery, like having my brain removed and replaced with a turnip (that only happens when conservatives become liberals, and the government pays for the operation). No, I am having my hand operated on, specifically my left thumb. Why? It’s not working the way it should, or rather, “designed.”

Even for small surgeries like this, but especially when one is going to be put to sleep, one is asked serious questions about life and death.

  • “Do you have a living will and power of attorney?”
  • “Who do we contact if something goes horribly wrong?”
  • “If you were to do something in your sleep to make the anesthesiologist screw up, would you prefer a priest or a generic Protestant?”

The fact is that no surgery is a “little” surgery when it requires one to be anesthetized. Let’s face it, even though I’m only going to be having my thumb and hand cut on, I literally could die today. Yes, things like that happen.

This could be my last post. Sobering, eh?

But I’m not worried; my eternity is secure.

This operation has also gotten me thinking about spiritual surgeries, the kind when God has to come along and cut on our hearts. Fortunately, there is no need for anesthesia or living wills, but it’s surprising how many people refuse to let Him operate, even when the end result would be much better health.

Why is it I am so willing to allow a human doctor to put me under and cut me open when I’m so unwilling, at times, to trust my Creator with cutting away the things that make my spiritual life sick? Why would I want to be less effective in my walk with God any more than I want my hand to be crippled? Makes no sense, does it?

So, I’m having surgery in just a few hours. Pray for me.

In the meantime I’m going to be having a consultation with my heavenly Doctor. The great thing is that when He does His cutting, the Sword He uses not only cuts, but heals, too. Recovery time is up to me and how quickly I want to obey.

God bless! 

UPDATE: I am still alive, but typing is a tad bit limited. My left thumb was cut open at the palm to release the tendon which makes it bend. I was suffering from an acute case of “trigger thumb.” Now let’s just pray I don’t do anything crazy in my sleep 😦

painful hand

Pain medication is a wonderful thing.


Filed under Faith, fitness, Future, General Observations, Life/Death