Saturday, November 5, 2011

A Thankful Heart

It's November. Already. Is it just me or does it seem like 2011 is literally flying by? This is the time of year when we all like to ponder all the things we are thankful for. Of course, I believe most of us, think about this much more often than just the month of November. There's nothing like a thankful heart to chase away depression, anger, bitterness, and all those other nasty feelings that creep into our lives from time to time. Above all, Christians need always remember the wonderful provision of salvation that God has given us and that we have direct access to Him and all His beautiful glory. Now that's something to be THANKFUL for. He will never leave or forsake us and He desires to have a wonderfully close relationship with us. Oh the joy! Keep a thankful heart all year long and I can tell you that you will open yourself up to God being able to use you to minister His love to others.

My family started off November off with a bang. It all started on Halloween. I was doing household chores and getting ready for a busy afternoon of activities for the kids (ballet, cheerleading, etc...). I got a call from my daughter's high school telling me that she had gotten sick and needed me to come pick her up. Strep throat has been making it's way through the family, so I sighed and thought to myself, "Another one bites the dust.". However, as soon as I picked her up, I could see that this was not the run of the mill virus or sore throat. My daughter, who has battled migraines since the age of 6 and can stand quite a bit of pain, was crying and bent over clutching her stomach. She said, "Mom, this hurts so bad. I can't stand it.". After asking her a round of questions on our way home, I decided I better get on the road to the doctor because this needed immediate attention. I ran in my house, grabbed some ibuprofen for her, changed sweaters, made a phone call to make arrangements for my other children, and dashed back to the car, in about 1 minutes time!  I turned the flashers on and made a very speedy 20 mile trip to our doctor. I have a friend who works at the clinic and she had A's chart pulled, the doctor on standby, and was ready for us when we walked in the door. A's doc listened to her symptoms, mashed around on her stomach, and asked her a few questions. We were both thinking the same thing...appendicitis. Blood work and CT scan were ordered. The blood work showed an elevated WBC, but the scan was kind of inconclusive since the appendix could barely be visualized. A surgeon was contacted in Jackson and we were sent there to let him evaluate her. My sister and Mom were in close proximity, so we all loaded up and sped there. When we got ther, "A" got an iv and the surgeon reviewed the scans and labs from earlier in the day. After an examination, an obvious decrease in her pain, and the fact that she had regained an was decided that she wasn't didn't have an appendicitis. She was given some pain meds and the surgeon told me that he was  going to be in a clinic close to our home the next day, so he said to bring her back if she wasn't back to normal. I could definitely live with that, since there was a multitude of things that could have caused her to have that painful episode and she wasn't hurting anymore, nor running fever.

"A" rested comfortably during the night, but was still having that nagging right lower quadrant abdominal pain (though not as severe). The fact that she was tender there and still having on and off pain prompted me to take her back to the surgeon that morning. I thought he would probably just reassure me and tell me that he thought she was just sore from the previous day. However, he said that he felt that the most prudent thing to do would be to advance with a appendectomy that afternoon. His colleague in Jackson could do it and he assured me that she was very good and had experience operating on children. None of my 4 kids have ever had any kind of surgery (tonsils, ear tubes, etc...). I was scared for her to have to go through it, but I'm a nurse and knew that I sure didn't want to tempt a ruptured appendix, so off we went back to Jackson with my sister. My husband was at work when I learned about the surgery, but he was not too far behind us with my parents in tow. We drove straight to the hospital, checked in admissions, was sent to same day surgery, and prepped for surgery in just under an hour of arriving at the hospital. My husband and parents made it in time to see her before they rolled her back. All the staff were super nice and we met her surgeon and anesthesiologist and couldn't have been more pleased with either of them. We were ushered to a family waiting area and 40 minutes later the surgeon was standing in the room with us, telling us that everything went well.  Talk about a whirlwind! "A's" appendix was enlarged, and really didn't show any significant signs of infection, but was still removed. It was also noted that her right ovary appeared to have a ruptured cyst on it and that could've very well been the source of her pain and tenderness. We won't know till the pathology report comes back, but I still think we did the right thing by going on with the surgery. This was on Nov. 1st and I will tell you, I definitely started this Thanksgiving season off with a heart full of thanks...Thankful for God's protection over "A", thankful for a skillful surgeon, thankful for supportive family and friends, and thankful for all of my children's overall good health. I hope all of you have a great start to this wonderful time of year and will really focus on all your blessings. Give God the glory and thanks for ALL of them.

Psalm 69:30, "I will praise the name of God with a song; I will magnify Him with thanksgiving.".