It was a normal Friday. I went about a normal morning routine. I arose early, showered, dressed and prepared to go to work. Work was demanding as always. But, I coped with it and did the best I could.
Shortly after lunch, I began to experience pain in my left side. This had become a rather frequent occurrence. In December of the previous year, I had been diagnosed with diverticulosis. It was discovered when the diverticulosis became infected. This is a condition known as diverticulitis.
In this case, I was rather surprised because I had been watching my diet to avoid more episodes of the diverticulitis. All I had for lunch that day was a coney dog and a root beer. The text that I sent my wife said, “This is ridiculous. All I had was a hot dog and I am beginning to hurt again.” To which she replied, “Enough is enough! When I get home tonight be showered and ready to go. I am taking you to the hospital.” That is exactly what she did.
This happened exactly one year ago today. The result of the visit to the emergency department was a hospital stay that lasted a little over two days. Several tests, a cat scan, and evaluations determined that I had abscessed. It could have been much worse than it was. The abscess walled itself off in my abdomen. If it had not done so, it could have very well caused me to go septic. The hospital stay resulted in coming home with a drain tube hanging from my abdomen. For the next week, I lived with the pain of the tube.
So what is the point of writing about this today? There are two lessons here.
- First, my wife had enough discernment to be determined and dogmatic to say, “Enough!” If it were not for her, it is hard to tell what may have happened to me. Without trying to over exaggerate the event, it is quite possible that her determination to take me to the hospital saved my life. The point is this. You have people all around you who love you. They want what is best for you. Sometimes in your stubbornness or willingness to downplay the circumstances, they see what is really going on. Don’t ignore their counsel.
- Secondly, don’t be embarrassed to admit your physical weakness. The fact of the matter is that pride is what kept me from going to the hospital. Yet, it was the hospitalization that caused my associate pastor and chairman of the deacon board to visit with me on Sunday evening. There was a purpose in their visit. “We don’t want you coming back to the church until you are healthy again. We have all of May covered. Then we will take it week by week when we get to June.” It was at that moment that tears began to flow. They were not tears of joy. They were tears of pride. “How could I let this happen?” I thought to myself. One of the men, compassionately asked, “Are you OK with this?” To which I replied, “Yes. It’s just a hard discussion to have.” So, I beg you. I am pleading with you. Don’t let pride get in your way!