I certainly did not plan to spend 14 days out of the month of August in the Methodist Hospital in Houston, nor an additional 10 days or so recovering from the experience. As it has turned out, though, that is what happened. The beginnings of a strep infection at the first of the month sent me to the emergency room on August 3rd thinking I had a blood clot in my lower left leg. No clot, at least not then. So a week of medication produced no results, and toward the end of the week I developed shortness of breath and became much worse. A second trip to the ER generated a CT scan which showed a pulmonary embolism (blood clot in the lung) and put me in the hospital. The leg, more or less a secondary problem at this point, was somewhat ignored. After leaving the hospital, it grew worse, and after a follow up visit to the orthopedic surgeon and three days of running a 101 fever, I was back in the hospital. Surgery on the leg cleaned out the infection, a river of antibiotics killed whatever was left, and I am finally healing.
Through this whole process, our church has been the church. I may have set some kind of record regarding the number of visitors one patient has had during a stay. They ministered to us as if we were family, and demonstrated an understanding of the comcept of being a Biblical community that showed genuine depth of spiritual maturity. We have a visible trail of needs that have been met, including the provision of meals, individuals who gave of their time to come and sit with me to give my wife some relief and some peace of mind, a ramp at our front door so that I can navigate in and out with my walker. One of our deacons came and helped my wife get the car inspected and the licence plates renewed, which came due during my first stay in the hospital. They have met our needs in every way.
It was also a blessing that the Olympics have been on television the past weeks. Were it not for that, I would have been in trouble. During the next days of recovery, I plan to come up with sermon outlines for three months, Bible study group ideas for outreach, plans for home fellowship groups, and a whole bunch of other things that have been put on the back burner as a result of being off work. But the time grows long when you are laying around waiting for body parts to heal. I may also get a lot of reading done.
There will also be more time than I usually have for blogging. I am looking forward to doing some reading and some writing during these next few days. I’ve been computer deprived during my hospital stay.
Thank you to those of you who have prayed for me during this time. Keep praying for complete healing. I deeply appreciate your prayers, and I am keenly aware of their power. God’s presence has helped me get through this crisis.