Perhaps it was fear, uncertainty, the ever growing love I have for Charlotte, or just a lack of faith.
(I just needed to process-you don't need to read the saga)
3weeks ago today we checked in to Mbabane swaziland clinic with a soar stomach. 3 doctors and referrals later we meet with a surgeon that identifies appendicitis, and says we must operate the next day. We felt at peace and confident in his ability for a routine procedure, and were assured that 3 days later could return to work(upset about missing 3 days-but let's get it done).
I won't go into all of the detail of incidents and mistakes and oversites made at the hospital, I will say I met some wonderful people, and I hope the Lord allowed them to be impacted in some way.
During the operation...a complication-surgeon came out to talk to char and says he found the appendix oozing(so good we went in to get it out) but also found a tumor on and in the intestine. The removed a large portion of intestine and stitched it back together and stapled me up. 4 hours later I hear the news. Now we must for pathology to come back from Johannesburg if cancer...3 days later-NO cancer(thank you Lord). By that day I was up and walking, still in pain, but waiting for that first meal. It came day 5 in the way of an ensure protein drink. But I wasn't feeling well, still feverish, and getting weaker. Day 7 came and concerns of blood clot or leak of intestine were the possibilities. Doc says "we need a CT scan. There is one 20 miles away(the only in the country) and I might get results by late tonight...or we ambulance you to south africa". We elected SA and a dear friend(Beano VanRensburg-who was over to swazi visiting family) began the arduous process of securing a medical transport visa. 6 hours later that process was done, but they dispatched our ambulance elsewhere -so 2 more hours and we hit the road to Nelspruit SA
Into the hospital(which is as American as I have seen) and straight to CT. Scan results immediately show alot of leakage-and I was going septic. Rushed to surgery to redo the procedure and to flush everything with litre after litre.
I arrived in Nelspruit with dehydration(IV was way too small), malnurishment, and pneumonia. Later test results and scans showed plural effusion on both lungs and a collapsed lower left lobe, sceptic, and kidney failure.
Off to ICU to recover from surgery. Doctor came in and said "had this been 24 hours more-you would not be here"
In and out of consciousness for a few days and back into surgery for a re-rinse(this is normal procedure hence why he left the 12" stomach laceration open). Back in and out of consciousness for a few days and moved down to general ward. Recovery has begun? That is when the other issues surfaces(above) that were then treated individually.
Today(3weeks now) kidney issues resolved, pneumonia getting better with physio and treatments, lung tube in and plural effusion on the right side is better, central line inserted for 3000ml of "food?" pre made based on my deficiencies upon arriving in SA, still working on left side effusion(water between lung and diaphram), and trying to get protein and potassium back to a normal range.
Today I walked. Painful and tiring but so good to get out of a bed.
It has been 3 weeks since I have taken any food by mouth and 2 weeks since I have had a drink of even water. I may have found the easiest? way to lose weight!
The wound is still open and it is about the size of an American football. From the bottom of my rib cage down and across the belly. They have a vacuum treatment on it consistently-and it will take another week or two of treatments to bring the wound back together enough to staple.
Char has been my rock and by my side the entire time. Oh the burden she must be carrying. Again, so grateful to Beano and Sharon-they have put char up and cared for her like Christ Himself would.
Visits from so many amazing people. Krista supports char so much, as do the entire missions family. Princes, beth, sandra, brauds, the williams from Maputo Mozambique, Lasalette, brennans and today pastor Mel drove 7 hours from xaixai moz just to encourage. Calls, messages and info from the states and an odd connection; moms friends parents from tanzania knew a couple in brazil, who knew some friends in SA who had heard about us and came to see if there was anything we could do.
I remain humbled, in tears, and confused as I try to process this all. I see the hand of Christ in the middle of it all, and I pray that I will come out of this a more compassionate and understand man, but more importantly-closer to the God that called us to serve in Swaziland. I feel ashamed that I was not ready to meet Him, but was ready to give up. This is something that will take some time for me to understand.
I know this-God does all things well, He is intimately revealing more of His character to Char and I, and I have never loved Him or Char as much as I do this moment.
We may have a few more weeks in the hospital and then some recovery time after, and things will look different in our lives and work-and that will be ok.
Thank you for your prayers, for your love, for your thoughts and comments. Christ has used You to bring us strength.
We press on to the goal...