Hello friends and family, and God bless you all. I am home resting today after going through quite an ordeal this week. I suffered incredibly torturous pain Sunday night through Tuesday night, and by Wednesday afternoon I was in emergency surgery to have my gallbladder removed. Although I am very sore, I am doing well and the terrible pain is gone. The Lord has restored my hope, and I am looking forward to a much healthier life now.
It all started Sunday night at 10:30. I was about to go to bed when my gut was hit with severe cramping and pain. I thought it was related to the cramping episodes from Celiac that I have been suffering for the last 9 years, but it was much worse than those. The pain lasted all night and didn’t stop until around 8 a.m. Monday morning. It was so bad that I was up all night. I also started vomiting at 3 a.m. and threw up 5 times until 7:30. I finally slept from 8 to about 1 p.m. on Monday, and I was okay for the rest of the day. My appetite was bad though and all I could eat was a banana for breakfast and a few bites of brown rice noodles for dinner.
I thought it was just another cramping episode and the pain was gone, but I was wrong. I went to bed Monday night at 9:30, but woke up at 4 a.m. on Tuesday in severe pain again. It was absolute torture and it lasted all day long. I couldn’t find any relief and I was writhing in pain. I also started vomiting again and did that several times all morning and afternoon. It was pure agony. I couldn’t eat all day, and after eating half a banana around 4 p.m. it just made it worse. By 5:00 I had my wife take me to the ER at the hospital.
The doctors put me on an IV because I was severely dehydrated. I had only drank a couple small cups of water all day. They also did a CT Scan and Ultrasound of my abdomen. The results showed that I was suffering a severely infected and enlarged gallbladder. The doctor put antibiotics through my IV right away, and informed me that I would need surgery to have my gallbladder removed or I could die.
They transported me by ambulance to Sarasota Memorial Hospital where I was admitted around midnight Wednesday. By 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon I was with the team of surgeons being put to sleep to have laparoscopic surgery to remove my gallbladder.
The lead surgeon called my wife afterwards, and he said everything went well and very smooth. He also said he felt bad for me and it was painful just seeing my gallbladder. He said it was severely infected and packed with stones, and he was very glad to remove it. He encouraged my wife that I would be feeling much better now and would not suffer the cramping pain anymore.
I am very thankful to be alive and have that nasty gallbladder out of my body. I suffered that for many years. I am also very glad we went to the ER. The pain was so bad that I had to be put in a wheelchair when we arrived.
Part of my decision to go to the ER was because of a blog post I read on Monday. Our good friend and brother in Christ, Benjamin, from “Brother’s Campfire” just had the same painful episode and surgery on Monday. You can read his post about that here: Gall, Fortune Cookies, and Raising Young Men. After reading about his pain and having his gallbladder removed, I wondered if that was what I was suffering from as well. It made me want to get tests to see if my gallbladder was okay, and I told the doctors at the ER that I wondered if it was my appendix or gallbladder. What a weird coincidence that Benjamin and I had the same emergency surgery just days apart. We are official gallbladder buddies now too. I’m so glad he wrote that post and so thankful God had me read it!
Please pray for Benjamin’s healing as well as mine. We are both feeling much better now. I am sore and it’s hard to move around, but my appetite is good and it’s so great to not have that torturous cramping pain anymore.
On another note, please pray for our good friend and sister in Christ, Vivian and her husband Mark. Many of you know Mark was recently diagnosed with brain cancer. Vivian writes the blog “God’s Whispers of Truth.” Please read her post about Mark here: Crisis. He has been given 1 year to live and will be starting chemotherapy soon. It has been devastating to their family, but they are standing strong in Jesus. Vivian also suffers from complications due to a traumatic brain injury she suffered as a teenager, and she has MS. Mark is the sole provider for her and their 4 kids. Donations to help their family can be sent to Vivian through PayPal at helpoutviv. Please pray for Mark’s healing and send whatever help you can.
Nothing is impossible for God. He can heal, and restore hope at anytime, even when life is at its most painful and dark. As Vivian recently texted me, “I feel the prayers of believers! And I know God’s chosen Mark for this! I told him yesterday God’s trusting us with this trial. And to not give up! Ever!” Amen, sister, may we always stand firm in Jesus, and never give up! She also told me, “They’ve told us one year….
but they told Bill Sweeney 2 or 3 and he lived 24!! God numbers our days, not Drs.” Amen to that, sister!!
There is so much suffering in this life, but we must not ever lose hope. All the suffering I have endured since being diagnosed with Celiac Disease in 2012 has taught me to press into Jesus even more and never let go of Him. He has always been faithful to lift me up, and He has restored my hope again with this surgery. I feel like a new man with a new lease on life. Sorrow may come for a night, but joy comes in the morning. May we never forget that promise of God’s love.
Thank you to all of you who prayed for me and my surgery. Thank you for praying for my friends too. I am so very thankful to be alive, and I am excited to live out all the good plans He has for me and my family in the future. May His will be done in all things at all times!
Grace and peace to you all!