The pain had not ceased for a week. I had played phone tag with my doctor’s office, been laid up on the couch or in my bed, writhed in pain on multiple occasions… all with the same mantra: I can’t go to the hospital, not now, not now.
As my husband drove me to that very place, he said, “If you had asked me where was the last place I wanted to go in the middle of a pandemic? Yes, the Emergency Room of a city hospital.”
I certainly felt the same, but as that morning’s ultrasound had shown, we were out of options. One of my ovaries had a large cyst which was causing it to flip and twist over on itself, cutting off blood flow and essentially, killing it. It had to come out.
Armed with our masks and hand sanitizer, we pulled into the hospital parking lot. White tents surrounded the entrance of the ER. We followed the signs nervously and as we approached the main door we paused, unsure where to actually go. A man approached, complete with face mask, shield, gloves, and protective gown, as if we had stepped into a scene from an apocalyptic movie. I don’t even know what he asked me.
“Um, I’m supposed to have surgery?” I managed to stutter.
“Okay…” he responded. I explained I was told to go through the Emergency Room, that they were supposed to have my information.
“Okay, I can take you in. But sorry, just you.”
My heart sank. I’m sure my eyes were as big as saucers, especially over my face mask. I turned to Stefan and we just looked at each other for a moment.
“Are you going to be okay?” he asked, muffled from under the mask.
“I guess I don’t have much of a choice.” So I hugged my husband, told him I’d text him to keep him posted, and followed the covered man through the automatic doors to the ER.
Before I went through the final set of doors, he pointed out a place for me to stand, took my temperature, and I waited for the people ahead of me to clear for it to be my turn. After checking in, I waited about 20 minutes until the initial triage nurse called me back. It was probably an hour or more before they took me to an actual room. I clutched my bag, self-consciously fiddling with my mask while silently begging them to call my name.
The rest of the day was spent mostly alone in a room. We were waiting on my surgery to be put on the schedule, and it would end up being 8 pm before they took me back. And though I was physically alone, I was not alone. I did not spend the day in tears. I simply waited. I didn’t panic. Yes, it was scary but I had peace.
As I was wheeled through the hospital toward the operating room, I heard Psalms and songs in my head.
He is my mighty Rock, my refuge. Psalm 62
“I choose to worship, I choose you now.
I will praise You through the fire
Through the storm and through the flood
There is nothing that could ever steal my song
In the valley You are worthy, you are good when life is not
You will always and forever be my song”
I Choose to Worship- Rend Collective
The nurses were kind and made a call to see if my husband could be at the surgery center, even if he could not be in the hospital as a visitor. Thankfully, he was allowed to be with me as my doctor spoke to me before the surgery, and was able to stay during the surgery so he could speak to the doctor after.
In a painful and terrifying time, in the middle of a pandemic, and all alone… Jesus never left me.
Since I have been home, the outpouring of support and care from my friends and church family has been proof of just how faithful my God is. I haven’t had to ask for anything. They just keep giving us what we need, and loving us how we need to be loved.
Did I mention Stefan lost his job last week too?
I just keep thinking, oh the story God is writing through all this.
Because only He could bring something beautiful out of all the ashes around us. And not just us. The whole world is reeling, but I know where my feet stand.
The world crumbles, livelihood gone, my body betrays me. But the love of Jesus stands. In the end, that will be all that still stands anyway.
“Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you.’
So we say with confidence, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?’
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise- the fruit of the lips that confess his name. And do not forget to do good and share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.
May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory for ever and ever. Amen.” Hebrews 13:5-6, 8, 15-16, 20-21