Thursday, November 26, 2015

Seeking Thankfulness

As I'm sitting here in the wee morning hours of Thanksgiving, I am thinking of how different this holiday is going to be.  Usually we have a houseful of people.  Normally, I would be up at this time, and instead of typing, I would be preparing a turkey and a ham, with all of the trimmings.  This year, we were blessed to be invited to Steve's nephew's home for the special day.  Recovery has been very slow going after the surgery, and there was no way I would be able to perform my usual duties.  How grateful we are for sweet nephews!
As thankful as I am, it still feels extremely strange not to be "doing" this morning.  I enjoy the craziness and excitement of the day.  If I let myself, I could shift my focus on that, and wail and lament about what I'm NOT doing this Thanksgiving, instead of what I AM doing today.
That can be a daily battle, when you think of it.
We can get so caught up in the disappointments and struggles of our daily lives that we lose sight of  the good aspects of our situations.  It's not always easy to see.  Sometimes we have to hunt and search for the positive. It might just be a tiny thread of positivity, but it is there.
I've had to do some searching, lately, myself. 
As I've been healing from the surgery, things were going nicely, and then BOOM, dizziness, low grade fever, night sweats, and nausea. My body began to let me know it didn't appreciate having the stent in it, placed there during surgery.  A stent is a piece of coated wire, that extends from the kidney through the ureter and into the bladder.  It is used to keep the "passageway" open.  This is the fourth stent I've had...with the same symptoms occurring.  This doesn't happen with everyone, but for some reason, my body just rebels against those things!  Once they take it out...the symptoms disappear.  In this case it is necessary to keep it in place for six weeks, to give my newly repaired ureter a support to heal around.  (One more week to go!)
I've had to look for the good aspects of this situation.  When I start to get bogged down in sickness and self pity, I have to search for the positive .  This is not going to last forever.  I only have __ weeks left. The stent is a good thing, and is helping me heal.  I can use this time to focus on God's Love for me, and get closer to Him. 
Do I FEEL like finding the good every day?  To be honest, no!  But I do it anyway.  Because Satan would like nothing better than for me to have a grumbling, negative spirit.  Grumbling, negative spirits don't look to God for the answer.  They just focus on the situation.  When you're only looking at your difficult circumstances, you're not looking at God.  We have to seek the Divine Aspect out...and then keep our eyes fixed on it.
Jesus told us what to do.
Matthew 7:7  "Seek and you will find"  and Matthew 6:33  "But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." 
When you have to seek for something, it's not readily visible.
Sometimes God is not right in front of our eyes.  Sometimes it is like a scavenger hunt...we have to do some investigating to find Him in our circumstances..  He is the Good.  He is the Positive.  He is the Helpful.  And+ once we find Him, we find the reason to be thankful in all things.

1 Thessalonians 5:18  "give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

The Scalpel's Reflection

I am now two weeks post op.  In my previous post, To God Be the Glory, I spoke about the possible outcomes of the operation.  I've given myself a little time to 'defog' my brain, and now  here is the updated story!
I was accompanied by my husband Steve and my brother, Karl, the morning of the surgery.  I was so glad to be able to see the surgeon before they gave me any 'happy juice'.  I wanted to be able to clearheadedly ask if I may pray with him.  How blessed I was to find out that he was very open and willing to do so.  Afterward, I think I surprised him when I started reassuring him that he was going to do fine. He looked at Steve and said this was a first time a patient was making HIM feel better about what was to happen! I told him that no matter what happened, God was the ultimate One in charge.  He agreed.
Upon studying the situation before beginning, the doctor discovered that he did not need to make an open incision around my side from the ribs to the abdomen, as previously thought.  He made an approximate 11 1/2 inch vertical cut down the middle of my stomach.  He told Steve that at first glance, he was amazed at how good everything looked inside.  Apart from some organs being misplaced, due to the pressure from my massively enlarged kidney, everything was not nearly as deformed as thought.  He was able to perform the first option, of cutting out the 5-6 inch bad section of ureter and reattach the two ends.  There was no need to use any of my intestines to make a new ureter.  No need to stretch my bladder to compensate for the missing tube. A simple 'cut and paste' if you will. 
He capped off my nephrostomy tube, inserted a stent and attached a catheter for about 4 days.  My surgery was on Tuesday morning, and I was home by Saturday evening, urinating on my own, with no artificial help.
As for healing, I am slowly feeling better, day by day.  Today, I get my staples removed, and possibly my nephrostomy tube, also.  That will enhance my healing process very rapidly, I'm sure!  I've had numerous abdominal surgeries, similar to this, in the past.  But they were over 20 years ago.  I can tell there is a difference at the age of 55!! I'm definitely taking it easy, and letting myself heal properly.
As I anticipated, God was right in the middle of that six hour surgery, and He was Glorified.  His Mercy and His Goodness shone through.  His Glory was reflected in the gleam of the surgeon's scalpel.

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