He Touched Me! Jesus my Lord!

"He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty....Because you have made the Lord your dwelling place...the Most High, who is my refuge - no evil shall be allowed to befall you, no plague come near your tent.  For He will command His angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways..." (Ps. 91:1, 9-11  ESV) 

Praise God!  Sheltered by the Most High in the glory of His presence, I am held safe in His arms, for where His glory is, the enemy cannot remain.  Nearly a month has gone by since I had surgery to have my eye muscle detached from my jaw muscle.   Going into it, I had no idea what lay before me!  Sometimes I think it's good that we are sheltered from knowing too much in advance.

The day started out uneventful with Neil and I arriving at Vancouver General Hospital at 7:00 am.  It wasn't until 1:00 pm that I was finally wheeled into surgery.  The mood in the operating room was light with the nursing staff remembering me from my craniotomy that I had four months earlier.  The next thing I remember is waking up in the recovery room with a nurse asking me to give her a number between 1 and 5  for the level of pain I was experiencing [with 5 being the highest level of pain].  It felt like a 5, and so I was given morphine and  not long after I dozed off to sleep.  When I awoke, I noticed the nurse putting more cold compresses on my right eye to prevent the swelling from increasing. Again she asked me what level of pain I felt, and again I told her 5 (the pain was great - and I can handle alot of pain!).  Already the bones surrounding my eye were pushing outward from swelling. 

I was the last one to leave the recovery room that evening.  I was in there a long time.  As my stretcher wheeled through the doorway, I noticed the overhead clock read 7:30 pm.  I was in such pain and so out of it, but soon I was on the ward.  The room I was wheeled into had four other beds in it.  I was placed beside a window and was grateful for that.  My family was anxiously awaiting my arrival and were happy to see me when I arrived.  I was exhausted and in pain.  Barely able to speak, I asked my nurse if she would kindly replace the cold compress on my eye (it had fallen off because the tape was no longer sticky).  She seemed perturbed and matter of factly told me that she'd get to it when she'd get to it!  With that she marched out of the room.  She looked to be about 25 years of age and seemed very flustered.  This surgery really took a whack out of me and I found it extremely hard to talk to my husband and kids.  They didn't stay long and soon left so that I could catch some sleep.  I tried to fight going to sleep until the nurse got back, but being so full of morphine I finally dozed off to sleep.  It wasn't until three hours later at 10:30 pm that I awoke again because I needed to use the washroom. 

When I tried to get out of bed, I noticed that I was all tangled up in the IV lines.  The IV's were put into my right hand, but the pole was on the left side of the bed near the head of the bed, as were the oxygen lines and the food tray.  With everything on the left side of the bed, I could only get out on the right side of the bed which left me no room to walk around the bed to get my IV pole!    There was absolutely no way that I would be able to go to the washroom without someone there to untangle all the lines.  I buzzed the nursing station for help.  My nurse replied over the intercome and gruffly yelled, "What do you want!".  I'm sure she woke everyone up in the room she yelled so loud.  I explained my situation. Exasperated, she yelled back that she would be there soon!  She was not happy!

As I stood leaning over the side of my bed with my arms outstretched, I felt tears running down my cheeks.  I was physically tired and in alot of pain.  I hoped she would come soon because I really had to use the washroom.  The tears seemed to be increasing and rolled down my cheeks like big crocodile tears.  I touched my face with my hand and felt that it was all wet.  It was then that I realized something was dreadfully wrong!  I could feel the tears rapidly coming out of my eyes and rolling down my cheeks and neck.  As I looked down at my hand, I saw that it was covered in blood, as was my nightgown and the floor around me.  I realized then that my nurse never did return to put cold compresses on my eye.  The crease in my eyelid, that had been cut by Dr. Rootman to gain entry to my eye and jaw muscles during surgery, had ripped open in several places and was now bleeding heavily between the sutures.  [I later came to find out that I was actually bleeding internally from behind my eye and around the cranium.  The doctor later said I could have died from the internal bleeding.]  By the time the nurse arrived, I was covered in blood from head to toe.  Soon two other nurses joined her and they all quickly led me to the washroom.  With the door wide open, and a man laying in his bed right in front of the washroom door, the nurses stood before me while I went to the washroom in full view of the man.  I must have looked a mess because he couldn't help but watch.  Humiliated, I hurriedly shuffled back to my bed with the nurses help.  While the other two nurses rushed to clean up the mess, my nurse was now getting things ready to change the cold compress and stop the bleeding. 

While the other two were changing my nightgown, bedding, pillowsheets and washing the floor all the way from the foot of my bed to the washroom, my nurse seemed to be getting more and more frustrated with the situation.  She got a cold compress and roughly slapped it down on my eye.  I have never experienced such pain in my life - it felt like she pushed my eyeball through the back of my skull.  (Remember, it had not been that long ago that that whole quarter of my face had been rebuilt.  Now it felt like everything was caving in!  Up to this point, I wasn't even able to touch this area of my face because it was so sensitive.).  She then roughly slapped down a piece of tape on my temple muttering that she had a patient vomitting in the other room, another problem with another patient somewhere else, and then she said sarcastically, "And now I have you!".  I cried out in excruciating pain!  I will never forget the insensitivity that I felt in that moment.   

As the nurses left the room, I realized that I was in grave danger.  There was a darkness that seemed to linger in the room and a fear overcame me.  I felt so alone in that moment.  I don't know how to interpret it, but it felt like death permeated the room beside my bed.  I believe the enemy would have loved to shut me up and was desperately trying to put an end to my life right then and there.  I could sense it!

Well, our precious Lord and Saviour never leaves nor forsakes us!  As a child of God, I can rest in the promises of His Word knowing that there is no mountain too high for Him to climb.  No obstacle to difficult for Him to go through, over or around.  When we can't see the way, He can.  He'll show us the way and He'll put a light on our paths.  When the road is crooked, He will straighten it.  He is with us always.  He will never leave us!  Praise His holy name!   His Word tells me, in Isaiah 42:16, "I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I wil guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth.  These are the things I do; I will not forsake them."

As I was thinking of these things, I heard my IPhone buzz from underneath my pillow.   God's timing is soooooooo perfect!  As I lay there I received a text message from my sister in Edmonton asking me if everything was okay.  (Her choice of words showed me that God had promted her to text me....normally her texts are much different.  This one only said, "Are you ok?"  To the point or what?!!).  Wow!  What timing!    As I lay in that room feeling very much in danger and feeling so alone, I wasn't sure how I could get help without the nurse hearing me.  At that very moment, I felt the buzz of my IPhone underneath me.  I had forgotten about it, but God didn't!  My sister normally wakes up at 5:30 am to go to work and is usually long asleep by 11:30 pm Edmonton time.  Again God showed me that He never left me and that His timing is never too late.  He promises not to forsake us.  Upon hearing of my predicament, as I texted her back, my sister later told me that she stayed up until 2:00 a.m. praying and standing in the gap for me!  I felt those prayers and a calm overtook me.

I didn't fall asleep right away.  I laid in bed and prayed.  I felt God's presence around me and felt safe.  As I lay there, I realized that I still hadn't been given insulin.  No wonder I couldn't sleep!  As a Type I Diabetic, I need insulin to keep my sugars steady overnight.  If I don't get insulin, I start to feel very uncomfortable and have cold sweats, shaking, headaches, etc.  I knew I had to buzz the nurse again.  I absolutely dreaded pressing that call button!  Once again, my nurse screamed back, "WHAT DO YOU WANT NOW!"  I timidly asked her for some insulin.  When she entered my room, she grabbed my hand, squeezed my finger hard, and took a blood sample.  She then gave me a dose of insulin.  It was about midnight by now and soon after I finally fell asleep.

I awoke again at around 2:00 am to a wet feeling.  It seemed to come from my hand and upon checking, I realized that my IV had pulled out of my hand.  With the line still taped to my hand, the solution was slowly dripping out and onto my bed.  Of all things!  I am normally such a quiet and easy patient.  How could this happen to me?  I knew I would have to buzz that nurse again.  I debated and I decided not to.....  I thought it would be better to just hang my arm over the edge of the bed and let it drip onto the floor.  It didn't work too good because some of the solution rolled back down my arm towards my armpit.  It wasn't a nice feeling and I knew I had to buzz.  So I did.  The nurse replied in a kind, "Yes?", and I apologetically told her what had happened.  Now I had visions of her coming into the room and jabbing an IV into my hand.  I was scared.  I prayed, "Oh God help me!"  Soon she was at my side and gave me an IV in a way such as I had never had one administered before.  I felt nothing!  She was soooooo gentle!  Thank you, Jesus, for answered prayer.  With that I fell asleep and didn't wake up again until the next morning.

Dr. Rootman and another resident doctor came to visit me early the next morning.  He seemed totally oblivious to the previous nights events and so I told him what had happened.  There was nothing written on my chart!  When Dr. Rootman heard what had happened, he threw his hands up in dismay asking why he wasn't called.  Dr. Rootman has a calm and gentle bedside manner, so it was totally out of character for him to react so angrily.  He was furious he wasn't called, he was concerned for the level of care that I received, and was anxious to get me out of there.  He explained to the staff that I just had a craniotomy with reconstructive surgery and that I could have bled to death.  He said that this surgery was every bit as serious as the brain surgery of five months ago.  He told them that I never complain.  He said that as a doctor he has never reported a nurse, but said that he would have to report this incident.  Dr. Rootman's concern showed on his face as he asked me if I would feel comfortable going home and he would give me his cell phone in case of emergency.  The ward that I was on was what they call a Neuro Ward twice removed, meaning that the level of staff training lowers with each step away from the main Neuro Ward.  Dr. Rootman felt I would be safer at home and so I agreed and was sent home at 10:30 that Thursday morning.  I couldn't wait to lay in my own bed, despite the fact that my eye still was quite painful.  Dr. Rootman explained that the eye is one of the most sensitive areas to pain.  

Throughout this journey, I have found that no matter how great we think God is, He is much greater.  No matter what we ask Him, He can do more.  He can do much, much more than we think He can.  You see, as I lay in my bed at home later on that same morning God performed such a miracle in my life and once again let me know that He had never left me nor forsaken me.

At home later that morning, the pain and discomfort in my eye and surrounding area was becoming immeasurable.   As I lay in my bed  unable to move, I called out to Jesus to help me.  Instantly, as soon as I called on the name of Jesus, He was standing in a vision beside my bed.  I knew it was Jesus right away.   I was in awe as I looked upon Him.....speechless and unable to breathe.  I didn't expect Jesus to come so quickly.  I don't know what I expected, but I lay in stunned silence on my bed looking upon Jesus!  He was clothed in a radiant white robe.  I felt like I could reach out and touch Him, he was so real.     There was a heavenly feeling in the room.  A feeling of holiness.  He was the full size of a man.  The sweetness of His presence surrounded me.  I could barely breathe as Jesus reached out with His right arm and ever so gently touched my severly swollen eye.  What struck me was the gentleness of His touch.  How gentle He was!  How loving!  How caring!  Inside, I wept and felt humbled in His presence.  Breathless I lay there as He went in a circle over my right eye, then drew his hand back towards my jaw muscle, and then back again over my eye and made another circular motion.  The vision of Jesus left and I instantly became aware that I had absolutely no pain anywhere in my body!  All pain was GONE!  He touch me!  Jesus touched me!  

In awe, I got out of bed and went down to where my family was.  They couldn't believe it.  From the immense pain I was in to being totally painfree was unbelievable to them.  They had only just seen me laying in my bed paralyzed with pain!  Now, here I was, watching TV with them!  Later I even made supper for us all.  What a miracle!  What a wonderful God I serve!  No matter what I face I can walk victoriously because of the power of the cross.   I have learned that there is power in the name of Jesus and that all we have to do is call out His name and He will come.