Isn't it amazing the people that God puts in your life? There is a nurse that works at Countrywood (where Jerry's Mom lives) that is the most UNLIKELY person in the world to have anything at all to do with me.
I was raised in a family that did NOT like doctors. My Dad thought they were all "in it for the money" and they WANTED you to be sick, or they wouldn't have tons of money to buy yachts with. My Mother wasn't quite as bad, but she was always very healthy and seldom needed a doctor. She is 87, and she is still perfectly healthy except for her mind.
When I was growing up with my two sisters and my little brother, we learned real fast that you NEVER said, "I don't feel good" or "I am sick" or "I have a sore throat". If you dared to let any of these sentences slip from your lips, my Dad -- and his Mother, Hatti, if she happened to be visiting -- turned into doctors. Think of Granny on the Beverly Hillbillies, and you will have a picture of my Grandma, who, by the way, I adored.
For a sore throat, Daddy would find 3 fat q-tip sticks with long sticks on them and a bottle of Merthiolate. He would roll the Q-tips around in the Merthiolate, and then he would stick all 3 of them down your throat and roll them around while you gagged and cried . If you had swollen glands, which I always did, you got the iodine/glycerine/sock treatment. Daddy or Granny would smear glycerine and iodine all over my neck, and then they would wrap a sock around my neck and pin it on. Back to bed I went.
Believe it or not, all of that really did work! That was the good part about it.
If you got any other dread malady, there was one SURE-fire treatment that Daddy never failed to use.
We had to bend over the bathtub, and Daddy took some black, rubber bulb with a pointy tip with a hole in it full of warm water and I don't know what else, and you know WHERE he would put it. We HATED it to the max!!! If you didn't get cured IMMEDIATELY, you never said so!
And THE POINT IS,
I'm not one to run to the doctor for every little sniffle. And my husband, Jerry, like most men, never thinks he needs to go to one because he always assumes whatever pain he has is "nothing" and will soon subside, and I shouldn't be such a worry-wart.
On Thursday morning, we drove up here from our home in southern OK to take care of Jerry's Mom at Baptist Hospital. She was having surgery on a broken hip, and also had a fractured shoulder/arm. That was in my last blog post. The whole way up here, Jerry kept saying his side hurt. Since he is not one to ever mention pain or complain about not feeling good, I KNEW he must really be hurting. Still. We had to take care of Mom, and we kept ignoring the pain.
We arrived at Baptist Hospital and found Mom in her room. She was being rolled away from her room to the 2nd floor surgery area, and we followed her there. She was sound asleep, and she never knew we were there although we tried to talk to her and wake her. The 4:00 surgery turned into the 6:00 surgery. For two hours, Jerry kept saying his side was really bothering him. When they took Mom away at 6:00, we went down to the Cafeteria in the concourse to get some dinner.
We got our "to go" dinners and went into the dining room to eat. Jerry took a few bites of his hamburger, and he said he just could not eat any more. He said it hurt his side. He also kept complaining that he could not take a deep breath without severe pain. We returned our trays and went back to the surgery area waiting room. Jerry hurt the whole time. We JOKED about taking him to the ER since we were already there at the hospital, but never thought seriously about doing it. I didn't think you went to an ER unless you were just in a wreck or fell off a building. We did decide to stop by the AM/PM clinic close to our home on our way back to the house.
There wasn't a single person in the waiting room of the AM/PM clinic, so we got right in. We were told that a "provider" would be in to see us. I asked what a "provider" was. The rude nurse said it was Carla. I asked if Carla was a doctor. No, she was a P.A. We waited, and Jerry kept hurting.
After 30 minutes in the exam room, I went out to LOOK for "the provider". A lady was putting on a dirty white lab coat and informed me that she was ON HER WAY.
She listened to Jerry's chest with a stethoscope and pushed on his belly gently. Then she stood across from us in a corner and informed us that she really DID NOT KNOW what the problem was, and she probably was NOT giving him the proper drugs, BUT -- just in case it could possibly be bacteria in his colon, she prescribed him two antibiotics. We went to CVS and got them both filled.
We came home. Jerry took the drugs. We went to bed.
The next morning, Jerry was still hurting, but maybe not as bad. He thought he was okay. We decided he HAD to get a doctor appointment. We spent the next 3 or 4 hours TRYING to get a doctor appointment. Nobody would see us because we weren't REFERRED by another doctor. Did he have a PCP? Yes, Jerry has one, but he hadn't been to her for over a year. We called her office anyway. She wouldn't help us because she hadn't seen him. She wanted him to come in. Hard to do when she is 150 miles away!
At SOME point, the unlikely WONDERFUL PERSON I mentioned in my first sentence above texted me. The text said, "How is Jerry"? I texted back about the doctor issues and the pain. She called me. She asked me some more questions, and then she INSISTED that I get Jerry to an ER. As soon as I hung up, Jerry and I followed her advice, and we headed to Baptist ER. We got there about 1:30 in the afternoon.
ER wasn't busy, and we were waited on right away. They put Jerry in Room #9 which was like a regular exam room in a doctor's office. A VERY NICE nurse named Brandi came in to help us. She was a "chatty Cathy" like me, and we talked easily.
We waited. Eventually, a very pretty lady doctor named Taylor ??? came in. She was congenial and patient. She said she was ordering tests and a Cat Scan. Brandi had a real hard time getting a needle into Jerry's veins, but she finally succeeded after three pokes -- the third one causing Jerry to squeal. Poor baby. Some time later, a guy came in to roll Jerry away for the Cat Scan. He wasn't very friendly, but he wasn't awful either. Off they went. Jerry returned in about 30 minutes, and we waited some more.
In about an hour, Brandi came in to announce that Jerry's Cat Scan was being read by the Dr., and she would be in shortly. Brandi's nose was red, which I thought was odd. Then she did something else I thought was odd, but sweet. She got a blanket out of a cupboard. She opened up the blanket and laid it across Jerry who was lying on the hospital bed with his head elevated. He was fully clothed and had his boots on. I said to Jerry, "Something is wrong. She has been crying and she feels sorry for you." He just shook his head and rolled his eyes as he always does and said it didn't mean anything. He doesn't "get" women's intuition at all.
It was nearly 6 PM by now, and the doctor and Brandi walked in and closed the sliding door behind them. The doctor looked at me and said, "I need a chair so we can have a talk". I, of course, had my feet up on the chair she needed. I always have my feet up. She rolled the chair around to the other side of Jerry's bed and Brandi stood beside her with a very red nose and tears in her eyes. I KNEW it wasn't a good report.
She explained that we had a SERIOUS problem. She said that the Cat Scan showed Jerry's stomach, liver, spleen, intestine, etc. She said it was a very clear picture. She said the spleen is usually the size of a small fist. She said the liver is the largest organ in the belly. She said that Jerry's spleen was extremely swollen and was LARGER than his liver. She said it is full of lesions, one of them being 10cm wide, and she showed the width of her open hand to show how big that was.
The doctor said, "I will leave you two to talk about this." I said, "We don't NEED to talk about it."
"What is next. Are you going to get him a room?" She gave us the name of a surgeon and told us to call him first thing Monday morning. I thought it couldn't be THAT bad, or she wouldn't send us home. She said the spleen had to come out immediately. Again, why send us home?
Poor Brandi was falling apart. What a HEART that darling nurse had. She had told us that her Mom was just diagnosed with cancer for the 2nd time, so she was obviously feeling awful about that. I asked her what her Mom's name was. She said, "Why?" I said, "So we can pray for her." She leaked more tears. Her Mom's name is Alice. The cancer is where her uterus used to be from what I understand.
The nurse from Countrywood has texted me several times and called to talk about Jerry. She has been such a blessing and a comfort to me. I never would have thought she would be that way. She is nice to Mom, but that is her job. She hardly knows Jerry. She does know me though from all the time I spent at Countrywood when Mom broke her arm.
Another AMAZING person and the greatest friend to me is Phylly. Because of Jerry and ER, we never got to Mom's room to visit her yesterday. We did call several times, and I talked to the doctor and explained about Jerry. Just as we were leaving the ER, Phylly called. Guess where she was after working 8 hours at her job and 3 grandkids waiting for her at home????
She was up in Mom's room checking on her because she knew we hadn't been able to. She then walked to ER and met us there where she gave me the biggest hug and sat by my side while Jerry explained what had been said. Today -- Saturday -- her day off -- She went to visit Mom again and called me with a report.
THANK YOU, PHYLLY!!!
SOOOOOO, that is the current status. Jerry and I still believe in the same AWESOME God we believed in when Jerry was diagnosed with cancer in his spine five years ago, but there was never a single cancer cell found in the large tumor wrapped around his spine. The tumor was never removed either. God removed it.
I have Jerry wearing very baggy clothes -- no belt -- and lying on the couch to leave room for that large spleen to rest in until it is removed. I cooked supper, but he ate only a few bites before the pain intensified. He is drinking Ensure Plus when he gets hungry. I'm not hungry either. I try to eat, but nothing tastes good.
God is the same yesterday, today and forever!, and we will serve Him and trust Him no matter what the outcome. We are, however, believing for a complete healing. Whatever is in Jerry's spleen -- it isn't bigger than our God!
Jerry is asleep on the couch next to me, and I am in my recliner with laptop on my lap. Every once in awhile, he wakes up and says, "Joy???" "Are you here?" I say, "Yes, baby", and he goes back to sleep. I love him SO MUCH! He is a wonderful, amazing, generous person. So sad his own daughter chooses not to be in his life. He doesn't deserve that AT ALL! Other than having a personal relationship with Jesus, the greatest blessing in my life has been being Jerry's wife, and I give all the thanks and praise for that to God. There is NO WAY he and I would ever have even met except that God somehow, made it happen.
We wait for Monday morning. Please believe with us.
Mark 11:23 and 24 says "We can have WHAT WE SAY!"
We believe and we say: "He will not die, but live, to declare the works of the Lord!" Ps. 118:17
Special thanks to my reader who also advised the ER. Wish I had seen it sooner. You were so right!