Tuesday, November 18, 2014
MY THANKSGIVING STORY
I have been planning on giving my testimony of how the Lord totally healed me and was with us through my husband’s sickness and death. It has been difficult for me to get my thoughts in line to tell what happened, but I will try.
In 1997 my daughter was going to get married and I went shopping quite a bit with her looking for all the things she needed. I often felt a little tired, but thought it was because of the busy time.
She was married in May. On June 11 we had a wonderful service at church where the Lord’s presence was really felt. My husband and I made a new commitment to the Lord. The following Tuesday evening I was having a lot of pain in my stomach. I thought I could tough it out. I had to work the following day because they were going to be short of staff. It finally got so bad that my husband was able to talk me into going to the hospital ER in a nearby town. Once we arrived there, all I remember is them putting me in a wheelchair and taking my vital signs.
The next thing I remember is the ambulance siren as they were pulling into the hospital in Tallahassee. I vaguely remember my daughter and our assistant pastor meeting us as I was taken into the ER. That is the last thing I remember for 10 days.
After my doctor had seen me and they had run lab tests, he told my husband that if I had been one hour later I would have died. I had acute pancreatitis with a serum amylase of over 6,000. The normal range is 40-140. (Lab normals vary.) In other words, the digestive enzymes were eating up my normal tissue rather than functioning as they should.
When I woke up 10 days later I had tubes coming out my nose and my side, was on oxygen and had a direct line IV into my upper chest. I was told that my skin had been a greenish color. They had been planning on doing radical surgery on me to save my life and I would have been a severe, brittle diabetic.
BUT GOD… heard the prayers of hundreds of people who were praying for me from all over the country, many that I didn’t even know. I gradually improved, without the surgery, and went home after being in the hospital for 41 days.
My husband had developed some hoarseness during my hospitalization. Within 2 weeks after I was released from the hospital, he went to the doctor and they diagnosed him with throat cancer. All during the month of August they were checking him out and I was having further tests run.
I was scheduled to have my gall bladder removed and surgery done to drain the psuedocysts that had formed from the pancreatitis in early September. My husband also was to have surgery on his throat shortly after that. I had my surgery on September 8 and my husband went into the hospital for his surgery the day after I got home. The day after he came home, I had to go back into the hospital because I could not eat or drink. I was there for 30 days this time.
When I returned home again everything becomes a blur of hospital visits, surgeries, radiation, etc. for him. He eventually had a tracheotomy and feeding tube placed in his stomach because he could not swallow. After the tracheotomy and feeding tube surgery, he had a blood clot to the lung and nearly died. He was in and out of the hospital many times, had radiation twice a day at a hospital 60 miles from our home and had several major surgeries. He had dressings that had to be changed several times a day on the open areas on his neck.
Through all of this, God provided everything we needed. My son and his wife moved from California and could help care for him. My daughter was there every time I needed her. His family and people from the church helped. We had excellent insurance coverage and hospice was fantastic.
My husband died on October 28, 1998. He was a veteran who had served two tours in Viet Nam and had been exposed to Agent Orange.
Why God chose to heal me and not to heal my husband, I do not know. He does what He knows is best. I only know that I have had many opportunities since that time to be of service to the Lord and maybe He can and has used me to help someone through the testimony about our situation.
The reason I call this my Thanksgiving story is that I thank the Lord that through everything He was there and provided just what we needed. I have no aftereffects of the pancreatitis and no dietary restrictions or anything. My health is excellent, except I am getting a little old, but that is a good thing. God gave us strength to face each day trusting in Him. I know that God means what He said in Psalm 23, because even in the “valley of the shadow of death” He was with us.
God is so good. The morning after my husband died it was almost like I heard a voice from heaven say to me, “He’s with me”. How I rejoice that He gave me that reassurance at a time when I needed it so much.
Here is a chorus that I would like to leave with you after this lengthy post.
AIN’T GOD GOOD
Ain’t God good, to give us so many blessings,
Undeserving, that’s what we are.
I want to thank Him, love and serve Him,
A little more today and a whole lot more tomorrow.
Take courage, God is still on the throne!