Well. What an exciting few days I’ve had!
It all began on Friday, when I was starting to feel sick again. I sadly had to cancel a night of DVDing with the Baddeleys, but they came over anyway and did my vacuuming which I have to say is one of the nicest gifts I’ve ever been given! Saturday was the Equip conference, and while I had been really looking forward to it, I was starting to wonder whether I’d be able to make it.
I skipped the yum cha lunch with the ladies from church as I wouldn’t have been able to eat anything anyway, and got on the bus to town feeling decidedly ill. I just focused on the music coming from my ipod and tried not to breathe in all the smells of people around me that were making me nauseous. I stumbled through the city to Darling Harbour in a bit of a daze, but managed to meet up with everyone for Tara Thornley’s excellent talk on ‘Stress relief’. Carmelina Read introduced her and did the Bible reading and as she read Luke 12:22-34 I just started to cry:
Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?”
All the things I’ve been worrying about – health, money, work, what I was going to eat with my stupid gallbladder problem – what’s the point of worrying? God loves me and is looking after me! It was immensely reassuring.
After the elective it was clear I was too sick to be there so Jen kindly drove me home. I think I was a bit delirious. By around 9.30 I was starting to wonder whether I should go to the hospital, and so I rang mum to ask what she thought and she said she knew when I started crying it was definitely time to go!
So we went to emergency at Prince of Wales – a perfect mother’s day present, huh, sitting up with your kid in emergency till all hours of the morning? But of course mum said she wouldn’t be anywhere else and I was grateful I didn’t have to sit there on my own. There were a handful of ODs, a bunch of people who didn’t seem to have anything wrong with them but were just hanging out at the back of the waiting area making noise (like popular kids at the back of the bus), and a trio of drunk teenagers, one of whom looked much worse for wear having drunk 1.5 litres of Jim Beam (ewww!). All these were silenced, however, when a Coptic priest dressed all in black, carrying a huge staff and followed by a little entourage, stalked through to visit someone. It looked like something out of Monty Python.
Eventually they saw me, and after a few hours I was admitted. The ward they put me in was the open heart surgery ward, which was a little odd and disorienting for people coming to visit, but the staff were all really lovely (with the exception of one of the night nurses who seemed to stab me when she gave me injections). My blood tests showed I had an infection, so they whacked me on a whole bunch of antibiotics. After a day of waiting I eventually saw my surgeon, who reassuringly stroked my arm and told me he was going to do his best to get the gallbladder out right then and there, because if I left the hospital I’d have to go back onto the normal waiting list and it needed to come out now.
When it finally happened it was all very quick. I was visited by a number of surgeons and nurses and anaesthetists who all seemed to ask me the same questions about allergies and such, and eventually I was wheeled down to theatre. They put a very attractive red cap on me to show that I had allergies (they were quite amused about the kiwi fruit and pineapple allergies and said it was unlikely there would be any in the surgery). I wriggled onto the narrow operating table, under these huge round lights, the anaesthetist injected something into the cannula in my hand, and the next thing I knew, I was waking up in recovery. Waking up after anaesthetic is really not very pleasant, I must say, but I was amazed at how quick it all was.
Mum was there when I was wheeled back into the ward, looking much more relieved than she had been. Dad arrived from Malaysia the next morning. And I had lots of lovely visitors, some of whom brought some beautiful flowers. I was expecting to stay in hospital for a few days, but after monitoring my eating and giving me some more antibiotics, the very next day they said I could go home, so mum and dad brought me home and we had Chinese food for dinner and it was delicious!
I have four little holes in me, held together by staples – I look a little like Frankenstein’s monster when the dressings are off. Still feeling quite out of it and a bit queasy, but it’s all looking up from here!
I was just amazed that the words I heard on Saturday were so prophetic – that it was like God saying to me “Just trust me. I’ve got it all under control, see?” He is good indeed.