We arrived to the hospital Friday morning bright and early. 5:30 am early, the sun wasn’t even up for heaven’s sake. By 6, I was in my prep room, wearing the funkiest multi-layered purple surgical gown I’ve ever seen in my life and waiting for my nurse to install the IV. I felt horrible. I’ve felt horrible for days and attributed it all to my new-found female issues and could not wait for the surgery to correct everything.
I was prepared for my hysterectomy. I was at that moment emotionally, mentally, and physically psyched. I was also scared, but don’t tell anyone. Fortunately for me my new surgeon had given me vallum for the night before so that I could sleep.
I even spent the day before drinking that colon cleanser stuff that tastes like salt water and makes you do things that, well… should never be spoken of in polite company, that’s all I have to say about that.
Then it happened, the sweetest most cheerful nurse I’ve met in a while came in and started taking my stats and getting me ready. She stuck some thermometer thing in my ear and read the readout — “Oh my! You have a fever!” she exclaimed and stuck the digital readout in my face to show me. It read 37.5 – which of course elevated my heart rate because didn’t realize it was in celsius. I’m thinking at 37.5, I don’t have a fever, I should be a corpse.
Nurse Pam went and got a different thermometer and it read 100.2. Yep I had a fever.
Pam listened to my lungs (I’d been telling her that with all this rain I was having some trouble taking deep breaths) and they sounded clear. So she paged my surgeon, took some blood work and we waited.
And we waited.
20 minutes later my surgeon is at the door and my heart sank. I know what that means – “no surgery for you.”
I wasn’t disappointed to see him, I was relieved, and I was embarrassed about being too sick to operate.
Dr B. spoke in soft tones and tried to reassure me and find out what was going on.. He listened to my lungs and yes, they sounded clear, but then he did something. He had me say the letter “e” while he listened, and then he had me say “EEEEEE” while he listened again. The “e” sounded like an “a” when he listened again. YEP, I have bronchitis in my lower left lung. Not bad, just enough to cause fever and trouble breathing. No surgery for me.
Then he rather quietly stated that “I told you, smoking brings its own complications. I was afraid of something like this. If we operate now, you could get pneumonia. We need to wait.” He was being compassionate and logical.
He didn’t shame me. Didn’t need to. He was just stating facts.
If I could have pulled my purple gown over my head I would have.
I had already spoken to him about my smoking and what I can do to help cut down on complications and he’d told me to either quit or at least cut back as much as I could. I cut back to less than half, but it wasn’t enough. Quitting is the only thing left.
He wrote scripts for a Z-Pak and an inhaler. I go back to see him Wed and he’ll listen to my lungs to see if they’ve cleared up. Gosh I hope so.
I had a brief anxiety moment later that day and told my DH that maybe we didn’t need to do the surgery, maybe I didn’t look hard enough at the other options. He just smiled, sat back and asked about football.
“You know how in football one team will be getting ready to kick a field goal, usually for a tie or win? And how right before they snap the ball the other team calls a time out? Well that’s called icing the kicker. They do it so that the kicker has to spend more time thinking about the kick and sometimes he over thinks it and misses. That is what’s happening to you right now. You are over thinking things.”
Maybe so. I’m over thinking why I didn’t just totally quit when he told me to and how I’ve never had a male GYN before, and how I messed up his schedule by getting sick, and how.. okay I’ll call it… can I just crawl into a hole and NOT go back to his office, even if they are the best doctor’s office I’ve seen in years?
But, none of that is going to help. And even though I know why I started smoking in the first place back in the 80’s, and I know why I still smoke today (I do it when I’m overwhelmed and want to separate myself from people), I also know that the time has come where I need to be important enough to myself to want to stop once and for all.
I saw this on someone’s Facebook today and I’m thankful for the reminder. “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago” Ephesians 2:10.
Regardless of how much I over think things, or how abusive my own thoughts can be toward’s myself, God reminds me through his word, that I am His masterpiece. I need to believe that more, and believe myself, less. Here’s hoping the no smoking, and meds work well enough by Wednesday so that he’ll operate on Friday.
My question to you guys and gals: I know too many bible teachers who fall into the same trap of self condemnation, what verses or what things do you focus on during those times that help you pull out? Talk to me.