In the two weeks following my surgery I started to feel great.
One day I went out to run errands by myself while my parents were still visiting. This occasion was extremely special in that I was wearing clean clothes that were almost starting to fit me and I had put earrings on for morale. I was feeling pretty good. As I prepared to pay for something at one stop, the nice girl behind the counter smiled at me in a really shy way. “I just wanted to tell you something before somebody else comes, I’m just trying to be nice, I hope you don’t think I’m weird or anything, but . . .” and she said something more that I couldn’t make out over the music playing in the store. She’s probably going to tell me I look like Ashley Judd or something, I thought. (I think someone said that to me once in dim light about thirteen years ago.)
“What was that?” I said, smiling.
She said it again and I still didn’t catch it. I think I leaned in a little. “It’s okay, but I still haven’t heard you.”
This time she was much louder. “YOUR ZIPPER’S DOWN.”
(And pride, people, cometh before the fall. Or before I learned of the fall, who knows when it fell.)
So as you can see things were returning to normal. I was rebuilding routines, fishing dirty socks out from under bureaus, flossing my teeth. Life was chaotically refreshing. I started checking stuff off the List(s).
Now I’m wearing dirty socks in the hospital and the only chaos comes from my roommate’s television, which has been blasting the Cartoon Network for nine hours each day. (I can only tell you that because I am fairly certain she does not read this blog.) After several acute attacks of abdominal pain Alex took me to the ER in the early hours of Tuesday and I’ve been making friends and listening to Sponge Bob here at the hospital ever since.
As it happens, I am experiencing complications after gallbladder surgery. Basically I have a bile leak inside of me. Yesterday I underwent more anesthesia to place a stent inside me that should help stop the leak and facilitate its healing. There is a pocket of leaked bile still there that may present me with pain for some time until it reabsorbs. There has been lots of talk about drainage tubes and CT scans and such but my original surgeon feels it is best to wait and let yesterday’s procedure take effect and see if I can rally without additional measures. If further complications do not develop I will be allowed to return home in the next day or two. Then I return in about six weeks for more anesthesia and the removal of the stent.
I can only say, in the words of an excellent haiku sent me by a talented friend during the last crisis:
Needless and vindictive thing-
Good riddance, thou knave!
I was not really planning to spend the week in the hospital but must conclude that God was planning it. I keep reminding myself that this is where he plans for me to be right now, so this is where I want to be. I am tempted to ask, “Why this, Lord?” and “Why not heal me, Lord?” and especially “Why right now, Lord?” but Jesus prayed, “Your will be done,” so I make that my prayer, too. At least I pray that I would pray that, which, given God’s faithfulness, is much the same thing.