Jumping right in. Kate asks us to: reflect.
I’ve got the biggest scar of them all.
Tomorrow marks one year since I became my own Discovery Channel. The surgeon sliced me open and stuck a jack underneath my ribs. Yes, you read that right. A jack. Cranked the whole set up and out of the way so he could spend five hours carefully cutting out the golf ball-sized tumor that was pressed against my diaphragm, making every breath tedious and painful. At least I thought the tumor made breathing painful.
Janky ribs? Way worse.
Certain sections of my scar still hurt sometimes. I think its affected by barometric pressure. Someday I might be able to tell you when rain is coming. Other sections, and the surrounding area, I can’t feel. The nerves are dead and may never come back. Incredibly weird sensation. (Or rather, lack thereof).
The little round scar, I call that my bullet hole. That’s where the drain was. Cripe o’Friday, having that thing removed hurt like a son of something unholy. The surgeon actually braced himself before he pulled. And had the nerve to tell me, “Oh, this won’t be so bad.”
There are other marks, but only I notice them anymore. One on my back, where the fabulous spinal block kept me from feeling the first and most intense pain. One on my neck, where they plunged a central line straight into the jugular vein.
The journey isn’t over for me. Just this week I’ve been going rounds with headaches, dizziness and nausea. Don’t mess with the liver, man. Just don’t. It will slap your face. Dark circles rim my eyes from lack of sleep. I don’t have much of an appetite yet am as bloated as if I’ve eaten far too much. I could happily glare at and say something snarky to the size six girls who “feel fat.” Probably wouldn’t even feel the slightest guilt about it.
I don’t have perfect skin. I don’t have a flat belly.
You know what else I don’t have?
There are not words enough in the dictionary for me to express my deep gratitude to the Lord for seeing me through this valley. He has been faithful when I have cried and raged and sulked and slipped into despair. He has spoken words of tender encouragement. Smacked me upside the head when necessary. This road seems endless and full of far too many twists. It is bearable because of Him. His goodness, His grace.
I praise Him. I love Him.
And I thank Him for giving me a sense of humor when I saw a few too many man butts as I lapped around the surgical floor, outpaced by slugs as I dragged poles and walkers in my wake.
11 thoughts on “Five Minute Friday: Reflect”
I had this conversation with my family doctor. A few years back, he had open heart surgery and when he recovered and returned to his practice, we talked about whether or not it’s better or worse to undergo such a procedure with his knowledge. Definitely worse, he said. He knows everything that can go wrong.
Doctor’s typically underplay these things with patients. Sure, you have to give informed consent and sign some sort of waver stating you understand what could happen to you during surgery and afterward, but the doc will still put on a calm face basically to keep the patient calm or at least to keep he/she from becoming too anxious.
I don’t have a scar that big, though I do have my fair share of physical imperfections after over six decades of life. And you’re right. Whatever else you have or you lack, you have God and you are alive. And even one day, hopefully many, many years in the future, when you no longer have a life in this world, you will continue to have everlasting life in Him…
…and you won’t have any scars.
Ah, James. Thank you, brother. Your last words…very encouraging.
Not much I can say, but the Bard can say a lot…courtesy Kenneth Brannagh. Enjoy!
Brannagh and the Bard! Yes!
Wow, that’s some reflection. Sounds like you’ve come such a long way in the last year. Saying a quick prayer for your continued recovery and much blessing.
Love Mandy (from Five Minute Friday)
Thank you, Mandy!
Praying friend. My sister has a good size scar too but hers is from tripping on a culvert. 100 stitches: 50 in and 50 out. I’m so thankful God has been with you through this all too. Gods grace is indeed sufficient! Love you friend. I’m parked in the #11 spot this week.
Yikes! That’s a lot of stitches. They just glued me shut. 🙂
Thanks for sharing your story. Sounds like such a difficult journey but I’m glad the tumor was removed successfully and that you’ve known God with you and experienced his grace and faithfulness. I love the quote at the start too.
Wow, so sorry to hear what youve had to go through but Im glad its out now. Hope you feel better soon!