Thursday, December 10, 2009


I got to sleep in my own warm bed last night. I had spent the previous two in Omaha, NE, in a hotel near the University of Nebraska Medical Center with my Dad who was transferred there last Monday.  After a questionable and abnormal CT scan, it was decided Dad's gall bladder and liver needed a little more looking into. Words like cancer, abscess and surgery were strewn about and we had to get things in order.

Glad to say that we got a "better" report yesterday.  No cancer, no surgery - just more antibiotics for a long, long, time.  Granted, Dad is still "a very sick man", but after having to take a look at the cold harsh alternatives, we can't help but feel like we eecked out another miracle.

Spending any amount of time at a rather large hospital gives you new perspective. No matter how bad you think you may have it, you don't have to look very far to realize there is someone who has it much worse.  What about the little boy having breakfast with his Dad, his little face all puffed up in response to all the steroids he must have been taking.  And the little girl with the feeding tube and oxygen getting a stroller ride with her brother from her nurse. What sort of  "treatments" have these little lives already had to endure? And Dad's roommate Willie, who had not one visitor the whole time we were there.  None. Zero. Zilch. Nada. He just moaned and groaned his days away - all by himself.

You find yourself abundantly thankful for odd things.  Like cell phone technology, fax machines, and the Internet.  For phlebotomists with steady hands and good aim named Gabriel (how apropos). For a room at the end of the hallway with two recliners being "stored" there, just outside Dad's door.  It was Mom and I's own little waiting room. We were grateful for nurses named Taylor who had the youth and endurance to work a near 24 hour shift in the middle of our first big blizzard of the season. We were thankful for the sun shining in all its frigid parhelial excellence the day after a longer day and night of howling wind and white out conditions. Thankful for the timing of the surgical and GI residents meeting in the elevator having apparently ignored the "siempre discretus" sign who were talking about "this really nice gentleman with primary sclerosing cholangitis" and how the wife of said "really nice gentleman" happened to be riding along in the back corner.  We had more questions answered in that short elevator ride than in the first 24 hours there.

And in the counting and recounting of Dad's colorful and varied medical history to the first, second and third year resident and finally the attending physician, we also noted God's stellar track record of faithfulness and provision over the past 28 years. I am a firm believer in a good prayer chain. I am a firm believer in HIM. So is that "really nice gentleman with primary sclerosing cholangitis" who may actually get to come home today.  Thank you Lord.  Thanks for putting in all into perspective. 


Mrs. E said...

Glad that this was better news than anticipated. I know what you mean about being grateful for our lot in life. My trip to Mayo after my stroke was eye opening. The kids, little to teenagers, were the ones who got to me. Hope all goes well from here!

Baloney said...

Oh boy. My prayers are with you for quick healing.

Kim said...

So glad you are home. May Christmas be BRIGHT. Will we see you?

@nnie said...

well said Shannon. Since I worked at St. Francis right out of high-school, I have found that hospitals provide a similar experience for me; however, to be there with your own dad being diagnosed could be nothing short of heart-wrenching. Glad for the positive news and for your amazing outlook. Blessings, friend.