The First Time I Nearly Died
I want to tell you a story today about the first time I nearly died. And I know that’s a weird segue, a weird opening, but I actually quit counting at like six or seven times that I nearly died. So the first time I nearly died, I was six years old and it was my appendix.
I remember sitting in Ms. Stephen’s class in the first grade of elementary school and vomiting up my fruity pebbles, and because my grandmother was into this health trend at the time that you were supposed to chew your food a lot; my thought when I saw my Fruity Pebbles was “I thought I chewed those!” I know… weird random thoughts of a six year old.
Okay, so I’m throwing up in class. My mom comes and gets me. She takes me home. I’m throwing up at home. I’m throwing up at night. There’s fever. Mom was a surgical nurse, so she called the doctor, and the doctor made a house call. This was 1979, so I don’t know that that would happen today.
He came to the house, tarted an IV and they scheduled me for surgery the next morning. I go to the hospital. I have the surgery with a different doctor and we think everything goes well; but then somehow that became infected. We aren’t sure if the doctor irrigated enough or what happened; but, it became severely infected to the point that I was on death’s door.
The abdomen was distended and hard. There was an odor. The fever was 106 or so. It was really bad. I had surgery again; and, because it was so infected, there was nothing to suture. Because of that, they had to leave the wound open.
Once that happens, there’s no way to stitch it. They cover the wound with gauze and they leave it open to heal on its own. There was a very long drainage tube put in. And my mother, the surgical nurse, had to change the gauze every day for six weeks while it healed. Now, imagine trying to keep a six year old clean enough and still enough that their intestines don’t fall out and imagine how well that’s gonna work. It got infected again; not to say that she did a bad job, at all, but to say that it was that severe of an injury. It was later found out that we had a connective tissue disorder called Ehlers Danlos Syndrome. That’s likely what caused all these connections with the stitches to fail and all of the infection and the scar tissue.
Okay, so I’m six years old. I have an open wound for six weeks, an open incision, and it has to heal on its own. It doesn’t; and again, I am at death’s door with a distended hard belly, stench, fever, delirious, and in excruciating pain. And at that point, my mom goes and makes a choice that some mothers, sadly, have to make, and that is, she is not going to have the surgery done again.
She’s not going to put me through another two months of excruciating agony. She is going to leave it solely in the Lord’s hands. She goes outside to pray and as she goes outside to have it out with the Lord, she’s out there and I’m sure there’s some raw emotion because that’s good to have raw emotion with the Lord, and she begins a dialogue with Him.
She thanks him for her precious children. She thanks him for the time that she has had with me, and she puts my life in His hand and says that if I die or live, that it’s up to him, but that she cannot force that kind of pain on me. He responds to her and the Holy Spirit prompts into her mind that she is not to raise me, that He himself will raise me, and that she is to have an open hand and let it be what will be.
She comes back inside. I wish I could say it was instantly healed because that would make a wonderful story, but it makes still a good story to say that God did heal. The healing began that day. The fever broke. I was on the road to recovery, and as you can see, I’m here today.
The scar covered over 50% of my abdomen. It went from my belly button to my groin and from my hip to the midline under the belly button. It was an incredible incision, and for which I never wore bikinis. When I got married, my husband said that it was beautiful to him because it reminded him that I am a survivor.
What have you survived? What did the enemy use to mean to take you out? And yet God Himself reached down into your life and brought you hope and healing and deliverance. Whether it was an instantaneous miracle or whether it was a long and gradual one, the hand of God nevertheless is still a miracle.
The divine interaction in our lives is be. And I promise you, you can trust him. I ask you today to make that decision, to trust him as your Lord and Savior, to trust him with the lives of your children, and to trust Him, to make all things work together for good, for those that are called to His purposes.
If you have called on His name to be saved, that is you. That is Romans 8:1, and that is a promise that He makes that you can depend on. Thank you for listening to my stories. I really love telling stories, and I pray that they make an impact in your life and to bring you hope and encouragement for today.