Chris has been a friend for nearly 40 years. Last week he sent me this story of what happened to him over the 4th of July weekend:
My wife Jeanette and I just finished hosting a family reunion in the Virginia Blue Ridge Mountains and began to prepare for our trip to Colorado. We were planning to spend the July 4th weekend with our son in Denver. Tuesday June 30th I was restless all day on the road, stopping periodically along the way, once to get a temporary speaker for my car since my amplifier stopped working. That first night we spent west of Louisville, Kentucky. I couldn’t sleep very well. The bed was hard and small, but I was very restless.
Wednesday morning, the second day of our journey we ate breakfast at the hotel and hit the road. We made great time, but I began to not feel well. I felt very tired and I thought it had to do with me not sleeping the night before. However, I stayed tired and after laying down to sleep, I still wasn’t able to sleep well whatsoever.
Jeanette drove from the hotel where we stayed until we arrived outside of St Louis. I relieved Jeanette from driving; she isn’t comfortable driving through the city. I got us about 25 miles west of St Louis and let Jeanette drive again. I was amazed at how tired I was. I sat in the passenger side of the car, leaned the seat back with the sun roof wide open. I finally slept a little until the hat I was wearing over my eyes was sucked up through the sunroof and it woke me up. I was sad to lose it but it was kind of funny the way it happened.
We switched drivers again and made it to Junction City, Kansas, where we stayed the 2nd night on the road. Again, I had a very difficult time sleeping and I began to have symptoms which made me think I was constipated, yet I couldn’t relieve myself either. I cannot describe how I felt, but I was eating anti-acid tablets like candy.
On the 3rd day, Thursday, we arrived at our son’s home in Colorado about 5 pm. We were tired and hungry and went to this Chinese restaurant which was very good. I ate a very small plate. It satisfied me yet I felt, very weird. I was so uncomfortable. My abdomen was burning and I did not know why.
Friday came and the pain was excruciating, feeling like I had a hot rod burning the lower part of the inside of my abdomen. I continued to eat anti-acid tablets like candy and they did not help. I would lie down; I was unable to get comfortable nor to be relieved from the pain I was enduring. I was miserable to say the least.
Early that morning God told me if I didn’t get to the emergency room I would die. He told me two more times that day but I pretty much ignored Him and tried to endure.
My son went out and picked me up something at a dispensary which helped me sleep for about 5 hours. This was the 1st rest I had gotten in 4 days. But what I could not relieve was the excruciating pain in my abdomen.
Saturday morning, July 4th, the pain was so bad I could hardly take it.
God told me again, “Get to the E.R. or you’re going to die.” I felt like I had gas, constipated and eating anti-acid tablets like crazy. I still tried to endure but finally about 4 pm I told Jeanette, “I’m in so much pain I can’t take it anymore. Take me to the E.R. Right then my son came in, took one look at me and told my wife, “Get dad to E.R. NOW! So Jeanette took me to the satellite emergency room about a mile up the road.
When we went in they asked me my problem, I explained how I felt like I had an extreme bowl obstruction and I couldn’t urinate. So they took me into the E.R. After a short time I received some pain medication which caused concern because they thought I was not breathing right, so they gave me oxygen. I woke up and they took me in for x-rays to see what my issue was.
Well after a good while the E.R. doc came in and said they were going to give me a cat scan and I went back to the room. The E.R. doc returned and said he spoke with the surgeon and I will go straight into surgery. I found out my gallbladder had to be removed. Jeanette asked, “Do we have any options?” The doctor said, “NO. He is going straight into surgery!”
The ambulance arrived about 8 pm and less than an hour later the surgeon took me right into the Operating room.
The next thing I knew I woke up and saw Jeanette and I do not recall much else other than sleeping until 3 am when one of the doctors came in to see me. He explained to me some of what I went through, but I was out of it and boy was I tired. I know over the next 2 days I slept constantly and was awake very little.
My surgeon Dr. Georgescu came in to see me Sunday afternoon and explained to me how bad off I was. He said I most definitely would have not lasted 24 hours if I didn’t get to the E.R. He blew my mind when he said he was praying for me. When he opened me up he said that he asked God to help him remove my gallbladder. He said my gallbladder was dead; it was black gangrene, just plain dead. Dr. Georgescu was amazed that it had not leaked into my whole system. But it did infect my blood stream and they treated my system for 8 days for severe infection.
Finally I realized God had been telling me several times before I went to the E.R. that I would die if I didn’t get help. I realize so much more now. Why is it that after the fact we realize not only what was going on but we see more clearly how God was intervening?
As a believer I have never knowingly doubted, but obviously we are human and yes, we do screw up. But for me, through this experience I would like to think that I have become more aware of God being at work in my life. I am again looking to Him for everything, no matter how small.
My expectations are that I will act on God’s word more consistently. I hope to more faithfully ask for His guidance and direction and act on it.
The revelation warning that I got was combined as a still small voice and a knowing. I realized where I lacked in my walk with God and how much I need to grow.
I am most thankful for how much God loves me and loves to bless me. He doesn’t want anything to harm me. His love is so much bigger than I give Him credit for. I am so thankful to be alive and up and around and doing great.
Love you very much, In Christ!
For more stories about real answers to life’s close calls, get my book, WINGS: A Journey in Faith by Carolyn Molica