mitch & char

mitch & char

Wednesday, April 11

24 hours to meet Jesus

Yah, I had 24 hours more and I would have been face to face with the King of Kings...yet I didn't want to go. This is THE prize, THE goal, and THE target for us all...yet I wasn't ready.
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...



Rebecca said...

My precious little brother and sister in law, I love you both very much and keep praying continually all throughout every day for you both. I wish I could be there with you both. I wish I could send flowers or visit, know this.

Mr. Pataky's Blah Blah Blog said...

Mitch, I can't even imagine what you are going through. It sounds like the book, Heaven Is For Real. God isn't done with you yet. I am sure if he wanted you, you would have been gone already. I love you and miss you so much. I hurt knowing that you are hurting physically and now emotionally. Just know that He is in control and you are doing his work with a happy heart. Blessings on you and prayers are being sent all the time.

Nancy Holte said...

Mitch, thanks for taking the time to write out everything that has happened. It is good to have it all in one spot and I'm sure that it helped you process what you've been going through. I don't think you need to feel ashamed that you didn't feel ready to meet Jesus. I have a friend who is chronically, and I suppose, terminally ill. No one can say how long she has left. Could be three weeks, could be three years, could be 30 years. She has come close to death more times than I can count and though she often says that she is ready to meet Jesus, every time she gets close to death she has this inborn fight to stay alive. I believe it's a God-given strength to live. I think the reason you felt you weren't ready to meet Jesus was because it wasn't time for you to meet Him yet. He was simply giving you the strength to fight. I'll continue to pray for strength and healing for you, and that you are back in Mbabane soon. God Bless!

Anonymous said...

Just going to say Right on. Sending much love from Wv. More than you two will ever know. ((((((HUGS))))).

Rebecca said...

P.S...Remember Little Bro, "the Potter, always has power over His clay" ;) Right now you may feel like your clay has a gaping hole in it, feel vulnerable and confused by all of the re-molding, all of the discomfort, all of the down-time, but God, our Potter, is repairing you in His way, His time. His desires for you are in your best interest, always. It wasn't your time, He has so much more in store for you! Continue believing, trusting in Him, seeking Him.



Rebecca said...

Thanking God for any baby steps of good news.

Janelle Keith said...

MITCH!!!! This is your time to shine! You are a walking miracle! And it's in these desert moments ( in our, yes I meant to say our, case weeks or months) that God draws us nigh and says...there...there my child. I know it's been rough but you are tough! Think about how God must trust you with all of this because HE knows your heart and knows you will reflect Him. We are praying for you without ceasing. The Lord is still in the saving business and for such a time as are here to proclaim His name. Whatever the circumstances...whatever...and you are doing just that my precious friend. Char you too...Love you both. Zeph. 3:17