A Refuge in Times of Trouble

Psalms 46:1 says “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in times of trouble.”

I’ve been thinking about that this morning, because tomorrow, I may be in trouble. There have been several instances of medical mistakes and total screw ups and some life threatening incompetence on an intubation that almost made me a statistic and could have made my husband a widow. Because of that event, I have done my best to avoid surgery. Tomorrow, I’m not avoiding. I’m going for a repeat of the surgery they failed at the first time.

Fifteen years ago, they tried to remove 1/2 of my thyroid due to a massive goiter. We thought it wasn’t going to be that big of a deal, but our pastor, God bless him!, wanted us to come in to be prayed for before I went in. Ok. That was kind. I believed in prayer, but really, no big deal. BUT, things went radically wrong – obstructed airway, I hemorraghed and ended up with a trach for a five day hospital stay instead of out the next morning. Scary event. Really scary! (The hidden blessing – some of the amazing people from our church took the time to come to the hospital and visit (since in those days you could) and I got to know them better, even though we had to communicate by taking notes, since I couldn’t talk).

Six years ago, when I was diagnosed with Stage III Inflammatory Breast Cancer, I was more scared of surgery than I was the cancer. I know quite a few people who have made it through breast cancer. Surgery, the way my goiter has misshaped, obstructed and narrowed my airway, not so much good news there. The surgeons/anesthesiologist who did the cancer surgery were amazing. When I woke up in my room and saw my family there and could TALK to them (no trach), I was ecstatic. It didn’t matter I was missing a breast and a whole bunch of lymph nodes. (As I told my girls, they had already served their purpose).

But having had a medical situation recently where surgery was recommended sooner rather than later, but the hospital I was taken to was unable to deal with the risks my airway presented, it was time to make some new choices. I need to get the goiter out so the airway is not so lethal, so they can safely do the other surgery I need. Since I’ve been working at home and not taking patient calls all day, my voice wearing out really fast hasn’t been an issue, but it may also be something that gets solved by this surgery (if it goes well). I’d put this off partly because I didn’t know what I would do for work if I lost my voice completely….

I was thinking about God being our refuge this morning. I am afraid. But there are people praying, and so many times in my life, I have felt those prayers like wings holding me up. It’s hard to explain. But He is with us. Grateful for praying friends.

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