I wanted to share in detail my experiences on this journey because God has shown up in such amazing ways. He is a God who sees us (El Roi) and a God who loves us. Our Provider, Protector, and Healer.
We headed to the hospital before 7:30 last Wednesday morning. Joel and I had spent the evening before visiting with two of our daughters who came for their mama's surgery. It was a nice distraction. Early that next morning we applied the numbing cream. Liberally. It would need close to 4 hours to take full affect and I wanted nothing less when they put 4 needles filled with nuclear radioactive dye into the most tender area of my breast. Seriously. This procedure was not fun to think about, along with the wire insertion so I had asked for specific prayers concerning both.
I was taken into the pre-surgery area where my nurse could get me ready for what was ahead. She asked me specific questions, including the Lyme damage, etc. It is written everywhere in my chart, and being the strange bird I am in the medical world...(I prefer the word unique) medical staff are curious. She applied lidocaine to insert the catheter in my hand and checked vitals. We talked about Joel's healing story and then briefly about mine. She was very interested, it turns out she is a member of a church in a nearby town and we discussed how important our faith is. She patted my arm and told me "Jesus is with you today." Yes, God's presence came to me right away with an angelic nurse to prepare the way.
Soon I was on my way to the first procedure and after getting adjusted unto a table that had my body twisted and distorted, the radiologist, who had done my first biopsy, came in to inject more lidocaine into my breast so he could put the wire in. He told me it would prick and burn. I waited and waited and then asked, "Have you done it yet?" He replied....."Yeeeesssss. Did you feel it?" I said no. Soon he put the wire in and said, "It went in perfect the very first time!! Sometimes we get things perfect". I said, "Yes, and prayer helps too!!" I never felt a thing in there. Nothing. God showed up once again and guided the Dr.'s hands, and kept pain away.
On to the next procedure.....way early! We sat and waited a while in a cold cold room but when I went in to lay down on yet another table, the nurse brought me warm blankets. Nice. The same doctor came in and I said to him, "We have got to stop meeting like this Dr. ____"! He laughed. The first injection burned a bit and hurt, but the other three did not and he kept me distracted with talking about Lyme disease. He treated for it twice when finding ticks attached. After the procedure they talked to me more about it and later I realized it was to make sure I was not the 1 out of no one who reacted to the dye. I did not. Thank you Jesus! When the Dr. left I told him I did not want to see him again, and he said, "Yes, unless it is at Target!"
**FYI: I had lidocaine and prilocaine for the numbing cream....I had lidocaine when the catheter was put in and I had lidocaine for the first wire insertion procedure. Joel noticed I was a bit "loopy" when waiting for the second procedure and I kept wanting to sleep while sitting up. This relaxed state stayed with me until I went into surgery. Five days later I googled it and discovered it is a reaction for some to when the lidocaine hits the brain. It can be serious, like you can go into unconsciousness. I did not, of course, but was only sleepy and then just "laid back" before surgery. It is something to remember if it ever happens to you because the report said to tell your nurse or doctor if you get drowsy.
While waiting for things to proceed, Joel opened a text for me from my friend Linny. She prayed for us again, and shared all of Psalm 91 with me, which made us smile since we had been reading that aloud nearly every day since this journey began. Another confirmation that God was in the midst of it all.
The doctor was an hour late for my surgery due to complications in the first he did, but soon enough he arrived and talked briefly to us. Three of our kids and Joel were in the room with me. As the Dr. was leaving I patted his arm and said, "God bless you Dr. ____" and he stopped and asked me if I would like him to pray! I said, "Yes," and he prayed for the surgery and for my healing. Then he was out the door to get ready and the nurse came to take me to the operating room. It gave me such a sense of peace to have him pray.
A colleague of Joel's came up to see us before surgery and stuck around for part of it. The lead pastor from Praise came to see me and pray with us on Thursday morning, and two other pastor friends came up on Thursday but I had already gone home. Blessings from God.
Going into the OR would have been problematic for me in the past, but I had decided I was not going to live in fear but walk through it. I got up on the table and laid down after saying hi to everyone, looked around at the sterile room, and then I was put immediately out, waking up in the recovery room.
God provided me with the best nurses while I was there. Oh, one was a bit crass and rough, but I saw little of her. I had a sweet angel of a nurse who chatted with me, cared for me, walked with me in the hallway that night and even mentioned to me that the best course of action in all circumstances is to pray. Yes!
I was home the next day by noon. I did sleep a lot the first three days, heading to bed by 8:30 pm the first night and sleeping 12 hours~ NO pain. I felt no pain, never took any pain medicine or even ibuprofen because I did not feel any pain. My sister Kay said it was the same for her a year earlier. No pain.
Recovery continues to go well. Saturday night someone from Praise brought us a great meal which we ate for three meals! The woman who came is an RN who also has bi-racial children like we do. She was fascinated with our healing journeys and made sure we met her family on Sunday. Yes, Sunday I went to church and sat on a chair for worship and the sermon.....hitting the sofa for the rest of the day when we got home. Monday the church brought us another meal which is still feeding us. Today we went to the grocery store and then we walked 1/3 miles. I get tired fast, but recover after.
It still amazes me how much God showed up and still is. In calls from old friends, words of encouragement and love from our kids family and friends, cards in the mail, texts, prayers, and so much more. He kept us in the shelter of His wings. He showed up in the many people He has created, in a praying surgeon and angelic nurses.