October 17th, 2009 will be a date etched in my mind for the rest of my life. It was the day I got very ill.
It felt like bad indigestion at first for the first few hours and then the pain moved north into my chest and I really thought I might be having a heart attack.
The wife and I went up to the hospital and they took me back and checked my heart and could not find any issues. They took blood, took an x-ray and everything looked normal and so they gave me a prescription and told me that I might just have a stomach virus.
It was the middle of the night and so I went home and tried to sleep.
Waking up many hours later I discovered something new, the pain had moved and it moved way south east. I thought perhaps I just had a slight issue with intestines, but I had this nagging itch in the back of my brain.
Suddenly I heard a clear and well spoken and firm voice say "Get up, get dressed and go to the hospital." Where this voice came from I do not know, but I obeyed it.
The same hospital staff were there and same doctor came over and I told him what was going on. He diagnosed my appendix and ordered blood work. The blood tests came back negative and he thought it was important to immediately get me on an IV and admit me.
The surgeon on call just happened to be a surgeon I had seen for another surgery, everything was falling into place. I spent the rest of Sunday resting, Monday turned into "Turn Damien Into a Nightlight" day as every conceivable test was done with nuclear medicine.
It was determined that my gallbladder died a painful death and my appendix was going next. Surgery was scheduled for the very next day.
My family was there with me as they wheeled me out that Tuesday around noon and I remarked "Ahhh the easy part, I go to sleep and wake up all better."
Little did I know how much danger I was really in.
A six hour surgery later and I began waking up and I saw the looks on my family's faces and I knew something was wrong. They tried to tell me, but I was so heavily sedated that I do not recall.
The next day I learned that they started with my gallbladder and they removed it no problem, but when they got to the appendix it turned into an entire new procedure. The appendix had ruptured and ruptured my colon and then everything was simply leaking into my abdominal cavity.
They removed the appendix, fixed my colon and began the long and laborious procedure of cleaning out my insides.
I woke up barely able to move with a JP drain sticking out of my side.
My life was in danger and I did not even know it. As I lie there in the hospital, I realized it was difficult to get worked up about it as I was safe then. I would lie in there for hours with nothing to do but make my peace with God.
My journey never ended in my seeking him, it just changed I guess. I tried to give up, but there I was and we had a moment together and I was at peace.
So, I am back with a new lease on life and some minor goals to get me progressing.
Pope Benedict Interview
2 months ago