Surgery Awaits

My leak closed once, and then it reopened (or another one opened) when I vomited.  Then it closed again, only to come back and this time come back worse.  It was brutal two nights ago, and it slowly got worse.  The best choice was clear:  It’s time to get surgery.  My mother prayed about it and I did, and it seems like this is the right choice (or else I’d have to just sit here more and… wait).  I informed the surgeon yesterday.

The day really didn’t get better.  I wasn’t having pain from just sitting there; I was having pain from coughing.  I’ve been put on an antibacterial regiment for a few days to battle the possibility of pneumonia, and while there hasn’t been any bad signs like a fever, coughing was hurting a ton.  Some combination of cough medicine and pain killers finally put me to sleep.  I was hesitant to take more painkillers, but the nurse insisted I take a small dosage of morphine after taking a small one of hydrocodone just about an hour earlier.

“Isn’t this going to knock me out?”

“Oh no, this is a really small dose.”

Too bad it knocked me almost immediately.  Not only that, I started to feel sick.  I drifted into a very bizarre state where I was more or less out cold but very conscious and even aware of some things happening around me.

As odd as it sounds, I had one of my best prayer sessions with God in a long time as I was “knocked out” for about four hours.  As I eventually fought off the nausea, I repented of some things I had done and thanked God I was alive.  I prayed for my family, my friends, my fellow college leaders, and my church.  It was not exactly the most comfortable thing, but hey, why not pray if I’m plastered to my bed like a corpse.  I kind of think that’s how drunk people feel.

Anyway, I got up and coughed some more until some more cough medicine kicked in again.  Man, it hurt a lot.  The most annoying thing.  Not only that, I feel like the freaking chest tube is not working properly because now I often have to stand up and do awkward poses to try to flush some air out.  I’m sure it’s amusing to look it but it’s pretty exasperating, because I often have to get up when I want to lay down because my head hurts.

I wish I could go back and get surgery immediately because then I may even be out already, but even the doctors told me to wait and see for several days.  It has been a week and I’m no closer to getting out of here then when I first came.  I know recovery will be rough and I know that surgery is always a risk, but I’m a bit relieved that I’ll have more of a timetable of when I get out of here.  God has brought me some calm and peace through some difficult times; I think this time in the hospital has been way more difficult than the last.  While I went in with a more serious pneumothorax in 2007, I did not have the type of trouble with pain and nausea as I’m having now.  Not even after surgery.  But God has been here with me and I am appreciative of my little painkiller-induced time of prayer with him (I’m sure I sound like some of those wackos who do drugs to get a “spiritual experience.”

Anyway, I’m thankful for the people who have visited, prayed for me, and have brought food and cards.  It’s kind of embarrassing that this has turned into such a big deal, but I’m always happy to see people come by.  Hopefully, the surgery goes well without any complications and I can be out of here by the end of the week.  I read the description of the surgery today (thoracotomy) and it all sounds kind of brutal, but I don’t think my surgery is overly complicated compared to others so I think it should be ok.  Tuesday is going to suck though, I know that.


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