What I discovered I had, was something that is not often discovered until a post-mortem… or so I was told.
I was also told that I was a walking time bomb… (see http://www.holdthefaith.net/#!walking-time-bomb/c14z)
To be told that you have an aneurysm so large that ‘once upon a time we would have told you to go home and enjoy the rest of your life’ was a shock. A bigger shock for my husband was when it was explained that when it ‘burst’, as it would, there was no point in ringing an ambulance. I would have, at most thirty… agonising… minutes left.
When the shock started to diminish, my first thought (other than for my husband) was ‘am I ready to meet God?’
Then I saw the many areas where I needed to grow and change.
Work on them, and do not forget Who is in charge.
When we stayed with our son and his family in Scotland… a breathless struggle up a steep (and I mean steep) hill each day we went out
And I probably should not mention about lifting heavy suitcases off the carousel on our journey back to Australia… because I wanted to save my husband from further pain.
Yes, I had much to be thankful for and could only trust that whatever happened was God’s will for me. We both did, and we had to face things that we had previously not felt the need to discuss. It was difficult to see my husband’s struggle when he looked ahead to life alone.
The first surgeon introduced me to another surgeon as they thought ‘open surgery’ might have the best chance of success. That plan was to cut my chest open, expose the whole aorta… and replace it with a synthetic one. One surgeon doing that, the other stitching blood vessels back in place. (I had never thought before how many major… and minor blood vessels run off the aorta.)
It was around that time when my daughter backed off, and stayed away. According to our doctor that is quite common amongst families when life-threatening issues are involved. (It did not stop it hurting, but it did explain it.)
This is what the aorta and its main branches are supposed to be like – on the right.
According to our first surgeon, on the left is an image of what is nearest to what I had.
The third surgeon, the one who said he would operate drew a rough sketch. Because it extended below the renal arteries it made things much more complicated. He explained that the ‘gut artery’ had to be attached, or I would die. But as he showed us, the gut artery and one of the kidney arteries were very close… one kidney artery had to be blocked off.
I thought of a dear friend in the US with kidney failure.
“Don’t even go there!” the surgeon said.
We knew it took six weeks to make a graft, and we wanted… longed, to attend our church convention, so we counted down the weeks. The surgery had to happen by June at the latest. Nothing happened.
Now these were the technical details. Living with the knowledge I might die, any minute, in agony –
I had something to think about… the draft of a historical Christian fiction series… so I thought ‘if I don’t write it now, it will never be done. (Book 1 available on Amazon
With book 2 Grow in Grace nearing completion.)
Mostly, that kept my mind on things of God.
My husband who, if you read last week’s post, you would know has major health problems, took over the housework (the cleaner did not clean, she did not think our home needed anything done to it. We did.) She was dispensed with and he took over. He also took over the driving, working out that I could be a health hazard.
Our lives changed dramatically in many ways. We were also counting down the time we thought the surgery could happen and still make it to the convention. Then we were told, by the surgeon, that the graft had been made a long time before, but he had ‘cold feet’ because the risk of total paraplegia was too high. However, now he had a date for us… It would mean that we could not travel to the convention.
Since we had committed it all to God, although it was difficult to accept, we saw the blessing. An overseas surgeon, experienced in these procedures, would be present to advise the two surgeons who would undertake the procedure.
For anyone who has gone through anything like this… I don’t need to tell you the ups and downs of trusting God on this, and accepting the ‘No’ from God.
Just as it was for the apostle Paul as recorded in Acts.
Now when they had gone through Phrygia and the region of Galatia, the were forbidden by the Holy Spirit to preach the word in Asia. After they had come to Mysia, they tried to go to Bithynia, but the Spirit did not permit them. Acts 16: 6,7
God sometimes says ‘no’
And we have to trust Him.
The surgery is over. The recovery was longer than I had anticipated… but I am back to almost normal duties.
If you know anyone going through health trials, please pray for them. You might not understand what they are going through… but God does. He is looking for people who care enough for others to pray. That is the ‘work of Christ’
My apologies for the longer post… I did not want it to run over into another week.
Tread softly, you may be treading on someone’s dreams