10 years ago today, I almost croaked. I’m talking bought-the-farm, pushed-up-daisies, passed-on, and every death cliche out there including the I hope that I would ‘look natural’.
It all started with several years of feeling miserable as only a gal can feel. (A big thank you goes out to Eve-NOT!) After giving up and going to our surgeon with tears in my eyes, he agreed that this might make everyone at the Long casa’s life a little better. He told me the risks that go with any surgery and said “I don’t want Cliff Long dragging those 4 kids in here saying that they didn’t know the worst could happen.” I’m sure I rolled by eyes. I started to prepare for a couple of weeks of being a lady of leisure on the couch.
The day before the big event, many doubts hit me like a freight train. That insistant little voice in my head was saying things like, “Really? What you’re going through isn’t THAT bad, is it?”, “You know, no one has died from a surgery that you know of in like forever, so it’s about time someone did. You are shooting craps with the law of averages and may just crap out.”
I had myself freaked out….until wisdom set in. Where was this coming from? Did not Scripture say that God did not give us a spirit of fear? (2 Tim 1:7) After saying it out loud about 3 times, something broke and I never looked back.
Fast forward to when I started coming to after the surgery. I was pretty much out of it when they wheeled me to my room. My friend, Sharon, was standing on one side of the bed and Cliff on the other. From whatever they were saying, I knew something had gone very wrong. As I got more and more with the program, it was evident. That evening Cliff dragged a recliner in from somewhere and set up camp by my bed. He was giving any nurse that might balk the Jedi Death Glare. He was not budging! A huge red flag to me. Several days of nurses’s visits with remarks like “I have to color my hair now because you made my hair go white” sealed the deal. The stories were unbelievable. An artery decided it didn’t like what was going on and decided to blow. Kind of like the BP explosion in the Gulf. Dr. Ransom was quick with his scalpel and saved the day. 2 units of blood were given to me in the course of 5 minutes. Oh yes, I scared the man and everyone else right out of their surgical scrubs.
I respected that he was straight with me and promised that I would have infection due to the emergency conditions, which I did not. After talking to all the nurses that witnessed this and with Dr. Ransom, it wasn’t human error, but something that just happened.
It wasn’t until quite a ways down the road that it was even real to me. I had slept through it all. Flowers poured in to the point I felt like I had won the Kentucky Derby. Our house turned into quite the buffet from all the food. My kids started acting like little angels and waited on me hand and foot. (So, that lasted a total 5 minutes, it was still incredible that is was even possible.) My buddy, Michaela, started sharing the stories from the waiting room when the good doctor came to tell the saga to Cliff and her. Not a pretty scene. I will spare you the gory details. Another doctor and the head of the lab at the hospital convinced me at church a few weeks later that I was one blessed gal.
Slowly, I started to get it. I started asking the unanswerable question: Why was I still here?
Today 10 years has passed. I sat and wrote Dr. Ransom a letter about what all I have been around for in these 10 years and sent him a Happy Anniversary balloon. It’s the least I could do for adding to his nightmares and let him know how much I appreciated his speedy quick actions in the event.Besides, I came out with a good friend in the deal.
Do I have a clue now why I am still here? Not really, but I think He must still have some things for me to do. He’s still molding me and shaping me-heavy on the last point. While I am having a day of amazing praise and worship of where we have gone together, I wonder what opportunities I have missed by being selfish or stubborn.
This I do know, though: I have seen God in enough yesterdays to know He will be faithful in tomorrow so that I don’t have to worry about today. (No, I didn’t come up with that. I’m not that eloquent.)
(Oh yes, the next time the Bloodmobile comes around, consider giving. A lot of people, including me, wouldn’t be here if someone hadn’t! Also, gals if you are miserable and have tried everything under the sun, don’t let me discourage you. After all you can say you know the one that almost croaked, so the law of averages is on your side.)