My beloved nephew Evan, who recently graduated from college and is in between work, came from South Bend to take care of me. He is shopping for me, taking me to the doctor and cooking for me. It has been a fun time with him that I will cherish in my heart forever. There are not too many 24-year-olds around who would willingly and lovingly care for their aunt!
To fill you in on the details of my hospitalization....I headed to the ER Friday, September 21 with abdominal pain. I was sent home with pain and anti-nausea meds. Saturday, September 22 I woke up to severe vomiting and continued abdominal pain. Just as I was getting ready to call someone for help, Alice, our worship pastor's wife, rang my door bell. God's timing is so perfect!!!
She took one look at me and took me right back to the ER. The ER doc did an abdominal x-ray and said I needed to go home and do an enema (not fun!). My friend Kerry brought me home and an enema and two suppositories later, I found no relief to my pain. I went to sleep hoping for a better day the next day.
Unfortunately, I woke up Sunday, September 23 with severe nausea and pain. My friends Sharon and Kerry to me back to the ER. The ER doc who saw me Saturday was there, took one look at me and said, "You are not going home," which was an answer to prayer because I was going to beg them to keep me.
Throughout this whole process I was in contact with my asthma doctor. He and I suspected that possibly all of the antibiotics, steroids, etc. that I was on for my severe asthma flair of recent weeks was wreaking havoc with my stomach. Throughout the weekend we made adjustments and took me off some of the medications, which still did not help.
The ER doc did a CT of my abdomen and found that I had a blockage caused by scarring in my small bowel. It was caused by the colon resection I had in July 2011. The doctor admitted me, and they tried an NG tube to pump my stomach hoping that would clear the blockage. By Monday, September 24 it was clear it was not working so I went into emergency surgery at 6 p.m. My memory of this time is very hazy and unclear. Apparently I was pretty hilarious in recovery and said some funny stuff!
The next few days went by in a haze. My sister, Connie, came from Franklin to stay with Amy and Heather and to take care of me in the hospital. Connie had to leave Thursday and friends and neighbors kept an eye on the girls for me. It was my hope to be home that following weekend...Saturday, September 29 or Sunday, September 30....but my colon did not cooperate and the doctors would not let me out until I pooped! So I had people all over the US and England (literally) praying that I would poop. To try to get things going the doctors took me off morphine and the IV as I was tolerating liquids and was pretty mobile. For 5 days I got up, showered, dressed myself and walked and walked and walked the floor trying to get things moving.
While I was in the hospital friends from a high school band committee cleaned my apartment, washed sheets and left fresh flowers and magazines for me. My fridge was overflowing with food from church for the girls...I was so blessed that my neighbor Dawn and her family ate for a week from what I had in the fridge!
The best part of the story is still to come....Stephen got a ride from IU and came to see me right away on Friday, September 28. As soon as he got to my room, he cried. He said it was so hard having all this happen with him being at IU, and he felt so helpless. Then he said, "Mom, I have to tell you something. You know how I have been involved in CRU (Campus Crusades for Christ) at IU, right?" And I said, "Yes, and you just went on a retreat with them, didn't you?" He said yes.
He went on to explain that he had been really mad at God for a long time because of his dad's changing theological beliefs (Dave no longer believes in the Trinity...more about that later). Dave has been asked to leave two churches over the issue and his argumentative attitude. Stephen said that because of that he thought he might check out a church at college and maybe look into a campus fellowship, but he wasn't real enthused about it.
My dear friends in Bloomington, the Fredericks, invited Stephen to their church, and he said, "Mom, I love my church!" Then he cried and spilled out the most beautiful story my mother's heart had so longed to hear.
He said he and his friends were out in a courtyard for an IU Welcome Week party, and there was a tornado warning. The students were all sent to the basement of the nearest building. While they were in the basement, some Campus Crusades for Christ students came by and started handing out info cards to get students' contact info and asking them to check boxes if they were interested in learning more about Christ, joining a small group, etc.
Stephen said, "Mom, I filled out the card, but I wasn't going to check any boxes. The next thing I knew all the boxes were checked. It was if God checked them for me. I went to the small groups and meetings, and I loved it. After everything that has gone on with Dad, I thought I would only find God at Cedar Campus (our Christian family vacation camp), but Mom, God found me at IU! He took a tornado, a piece of paper and a basement, and HE FOUND ME AT IU!"
Of course, we were both sobbing with joy. I wept so hard, I could hardly talk. He went on to show me the CRU website and told me all of his friends were praying for me. I told him to tell them to specifically pray for poop, and bless his heart, he got right on his phone and started texting away. Those beloved students began right away to join in prayer for me to poop!
Stephen then began asking some very pointed questions about the divorce. He knew there was more to the story, and he said he wanted to know everything. Sensing God's timing, I said, "OK....I will tell you. Dad wants you to know most of the story. We are just trying to figure out when and how to tell you. Please don't tell Dad I am telling you. I am not saying that out of disrespect to him, but we are no longer under his spiritual leadership."
Then I told him that Dave had cheated on me multiple times, and of course, Stephen cried. I very quickly said, "Don't hate him. I have forgiven him and have let it go, and in time you will too."
Stephen replied, "I am so glad you didn't tell me until you had forgiven him. You have done an amazing job not throwing him under the bus, when you had every right to this past year."
Stephen then had to leave, and I told him we would talk more later in the weekend. Saturday he went downtown to see the Fort 4 Fitness race, hung out with some band buddies, went to the band competition to see Amy perform and had a very late night. When he returned Sunday before he had to go back to IU, he was very weary and tearful.
I asked him what was wrong, and he said, "I was up until 4 in the morning talking with some friends. We have a friend in the military, and he is having a very hard time, and we were trying to figure out how to help him." Bless his precious ministering heart!
Then he said, "Mom, I know there is more about the divorce that I need to hear, but I don't think I can take it right now." I said, that was fine. Then I mentioned this blog, which would tell the whole story. He asked if I could send him the link, and I told him I would sent it to him when I got out of the hospital.
I said, "You can only read it under a few conditions. Pray before you read it. Don't read it late at night. Don't read it all at once...and don't read it alone."
He had to leave then to catch his ride back to IU, but before he left, he said, "Mom, I don't think Heather should know everything."
I replied, "You will have a couple of weeks to read the blog and process everything, and then you will be home for fall break October 12-October 14. That weekend Dad, Amy and Heather will be at a band competition, and you and I can continue to process the blog, pray and figure out how to move forward."
With a hug and a a kiss and tears in his eyes, he left and headed back to IU.
There is so much more to tell about how God has blessed me and taken care of me through the whole hospitalization and the surrounding events. I will share more in my next entry.
Needless to say, God has surrounded me with a great cloud of witnesses to care for me...He has thrown open the floodgates of heaven and has poured out so much blessing that I do not have enough room enough for it!