Thursday, November 02, 2006

The Apostle Paul and I: Brothers in Suffering?


If you get squeamish at the mention of the normal/abnormal processes of the human body, TURN AWAY NOW!

I'm fairly certain that when the Apostle Paul asked the Lord to remove the pain from his side he was referring specifically to a kidney stone. In his second letter to the church at Corinth he says in part:

"... there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me..."
2 Corinthians 12:7 NAS- Revised

Those of you who have had the sad experience of this malady are nodding your head and yelling "Preach on brother!" Paul suffered many painful challenges during his travels across the lands preaching the Way, but this pain had him asking God three times to takes it away. Obviously Paul was a much stronger man than I as I asked/pleaded/cried/screamed at God a hunderd times a second to take my pain away! If I am stong in my weakness I must have been Superman many times over...

During one of my many careers I was a registered nurse and had the honor of working at Auburn Regional Medical Center in Auburn, Washington. Part of my duties were monitoring patients as they had their kidney stones broken up using a fancy semi-trailer sized maching called an ESWL (electro shock-wave lithotripsy). Despite my lengthy training I couldn't help but think "it's a little bitty grain of sand, how bad could it be?".

Well I certainly found out while living in the Azores and Jill was gone to the States. Weird stuff always happens while your military spouse is gone TDY so I should have seen what was coming down the pike when I began a course of hematuria. Blood in the urine.

"Hmmm. That's funny."

What a dumb-ass. that night I was struck by what I could only describe as a cramp, a charley-horse of near Biblical proportions in my right side. Having 2 blown lumbar discs I have experienced pain before but HOLY COW this was something else alltogether! To make a long story short (I know, too late) it took a butt load (literally) of narcotics to get me to where the pain was "freaking ridiculous" so I could get home. thankfully Team Lajes was there to help me and friends and neighbors helped me through it all.

Fast forward to 3 weeks ago when I'm standing in the bathroom and my urine exits with a familiar color tint to it.

"Hmmm. That's funny. Ohhhh, crap."

Website re-design. Image cataloging. Slide scanning. Book publishing. Things I was in the midst of doing, events that had finally been gaining hard-sought momentum all came to a screeching halt. The worst part is that I'm now experienced and know the course of events to follow. I'm also no longer 3 minutes from the base, neighbors with most of the medical personnel who could assist me. I have more pheasants than heighbors for crying out loud (and I was)!

Finally, last week, the pain migrated from my side to my groin and I knew that THE EVENT was coming soon: expulsion. It happened during Emmalea's nap thank God and I knew for sure that as it was happening I would soon see an 8-pounder pop out (baby, bowling ball, small mouth bass, whatever) but in a miracle of matter transformation I soon found a little grain of sand in the bottom of my toilet bowl.

Funny. Felt bigger than that. Well, time to try and gain some momentum.

No comments: