Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Best laid plans, battle wounds and Providence

We left Ohio this morning with a very clear idea of how our day would go. We should know by now things will pretty much NEVER turn out the way we plan.  I grew up with Proverbs 16:9 engrained into my memory.  "A mans heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps." 

As the morning drive into the sun wore on and we entered Pennsylvania I called the hospital because I had still not spoken with the nurse to go over medications, time for arrival and presurgery instructions.  This is usually a quite lengthy conversation and generally for out of town patients happens before the day prior to surgery. Although I was told Monday everything was taken care of it turned out they did not have the bloodwork or clearance sent from my surgeon's office, they did not have the removal of the Tarlov cyst anywhere on the procedure description which mean those extra instruments and surgery time needed to be adjusted, and they did not have me scheduled for a PIC line at all. My heart rate increased, and I began to feel emotional.

Dan and I hadn't eaten at all, because we really wanted to stop in our old neighborhood in Gaithersburg and eat at the Diner in the Kentlands. This is cathartic for us both. We feel at home there. We know how to order without looking at the menu. For an hour we slip into a feeling of normal because before ALL THIS we used to go there on ordinary days with the sun shining, people smiling and waving at one another and us just blending in.

By the time I got the call all the forms were finally done the nurse was panicked.  I am on the schedule for surgery to begin at 7:30 am and Dr Henderson's schedule is not very flexible. There is no one available in specialized radiology until 8 am to do a PIC line, so she needed me to make it to the hospital as soon as possible to get one . We stopped to check into our hotel before heading over. As soon as I got to the hotel I had that crazy OCD and hair on the back of my neck thing. The Marriott we have stayed at previously was booked so I booked seven nights here at the nearby Courtyard.  The room was yuck. I know at this point some of you may be wondering why I care since I will be in the hospital at least half the time and how in the world I could be a snob at this point in the day and especially this part of the journey as a whole.  I simply could not imagine sleeping in that room for the night and definitely not coming back to the room after surgery. We left.  I had Dan drop me at the hospital, and I asked him to go to the Hilton nearby and see if they had a room and then go explain at the Courtyard and check out. The Hilton was full tonight.  Dan had the Courtyard move us to a King room on the top floor, and when he came back to the hospital I was STILL waiting for my PIC. They had misplaced my paperwork. Seriously. By the time they took me back Dan and I were both starving, grumpy and oh so tired. Of course the PIC did not go smoothly either. They use an xray image to help yhem guide the cath into my arterial vein. As the doctor was sliding it in he could see my face contort and saw my legs jerk. I could feel the cath poking me in the armpit area. This isn't normal. He stopped and pulled it out a little and put some contrast in and had another person come and help. He could not explain why there was no blockage showing on the screen but the cath would not move any further. I was getting really woozy and freaked out, so he said he would just use a shorter cath, because it was flushing fine and should do the job. WHAT? Okay, you're the doctor. But???

I came out crying, my arm hurt really bad, and I still felt like something wasn't right. We went into a TGI Fridays to eat. I really hate chain restaurants. Snob again, really?  The food was just because I had to eat. Smells were making me sick and the music was so loud. By the time we got back to the Courtyard and I saw the new room I was just too exhausted to fight. I have the heeb jeebs, but I have to sleep, so I made reservations to switch to the Hilton on Friday night and wiped things down best I could.

I miss my girls.  I need a cheerleader and my man is already down.  (Poor Dan really doesn't feel well and is truly exhausted.) I already have a painful battle wound, and I know I have to get back to some truth tonight before I try to sleep and face a much larger fight tomorrow.

I settled in and put on my earbuds to listen to a little audio clip on my "Faith" playlist titled "A Sweet and Bitter Providence." 

"Life is a winding and troubled road, switchback after switchback, and the point of biblical stories is to help us feel in our bones, not just know in our heads that God is for us in all these strange turns. The life of the godly is not a straight line to glory, it's more like a dark and seemingly unknown trail through the mountains. There are rock slides and slippery curves and hairpin turns that make you go backward in order to go forward. But along this hazardous, twisted road that doesn't let you see very far ahead, and may even make you feel like you've been lead to the edge of a cliff, God gives us encouragement and hope that all the perplexing turns in our lives are going somewhere good. Often when we think God is farthest from us or has even turned against us, the truth is that he is laying the foundation for greater happiness in our lives. God is plotting for our joy, he is plotting the course and managing the troubles with far reaching purposes for our good and for the glory of Jesus Christ. That is a sweet and bitter providence."

I wonder how this pain will turn into joy and greater good and His glory.  I trust him because He promises, and I believe all the requests you and I make are filtered by ways so much higher than we can humanly understand.  This I am sure of--when everything else falls away--no matter what the temporal answers to our prayers may be--if we know Him more, see Him clearer, shine His love brighter and stronger and long for heaven more He said, "YES!"  Bitter tonight.  Painful this week.  Hard this month.  Sweet for eternity.  Yes, please.

We will be at the hospital at 5:30 am.  Surgery is planned for 7:30 am and should last for 3-4 hours.  Dan plans to update my facebook page when he can.  He is not quite as communicative as my girls who were here for the last surgery so don't worry if the posts are not very frequent or detailed.  Thank you ALL for praying and asking others to pray and covering us with a blanket of love.  I promise I am still going to post about the amazing way God provided ENOUGH for this trip and surgery.  I will have some days flat on my back to catch up. 

Resting in His everlasting arms tonight as I try to sleep. 

"For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen."  Romans 11:36

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