A Sore Throat, an ER Visit, and a Really Awesome God

I mentioned at the end of my last post that I had a “busy weekend.” Well, it may have been a little more than just busy. On April 29-30, my mom, sister and I attended a homeschool conference—but it was so rich and so encouraging that (even though I personally don’t homeschool any kids) I got so much out of it. (I’m going to be starting up a series on things I learned from this conference… so stay tuned for that!)

But back to my real topic for this post. During my busy weekend, starting on Friday, April 28th, I had a sore throat and pain while swallowing. We didn’t quite know what was going on, and it wasn’t that bad, so I lived with it for a day or two. But on Sunday morning, my dad drove me to the pediatrician, who gave me the last news I wanted to hear just then: it looked like I had the beginnings of a peritonsillar abscess.

Now, if you’ll allow me to interrupt myself here, I’m going to guess that you guys are thinking one or more of the following three things:

  1. If you have any idea what an abscess is, you’re no doubt thinking, “Gross! That girl had a giant pocket of puss in her throat!” (TMI? I apologize.) And if you had no idea what an abscess is… well, now you know.
  2. If you pay really close attention, you can detect the word “tonsil” in my diagnosis. So, yeah… this is kind of near my tonsils. Keep that in mind.
  3. You may very well be asking yourself, “Why was that the last news she wanted to hear just then?”

I’m so glad you asked. 🙂

You see, some two months earlier, in February, I had a similar (but much more dramatic) experience. It involved a sore throat, a sinus infection, and passing out twice—and I ended up at the pediatrician. That time, though, the doctor looked me in the eye and said, among other things, “This is an emergency. This is what historians speculate George Washington died from. A little longer and you would have been hospitalized.”

With those three thoughts swirling in my head, I wobbled into an Ear Nose Throat Clinic, where I underwent a very painful procedure where they drained my abscess. I’ll spare you the details, except to say that I really didn’t want to go through that again.

So here I was, sitting in the pediatrician’s office once again—except this time the doctor recommended I go to the emergency room as soon as possible. The three most likely options, he said, were a CT scan, hospitalization for 2 or three days so I could have an IV, or—the one I dreaded most—getting that awful abscess drained.

When the doctor left I was almost immediately in tears. As my dad walked me out to the car to take me to the ER, I told him that my nightmare—what I’d dreaded all weekend—had just come true. As he opened the door for me, he reminded me Who was in control.

That drive to the hospital wasn’t very long, but it would have been long enough to let fear nearly paralyze me. Yet, while I was really worried and actually shaking, I didn’t feel frantic with fear. I remember being very conscious of the slip of paper in my back pocket that I had written out before leaving that morning. The paper read:

Therefore the LORD longs to be gracious to you, and therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you. For the LORD is a God of justice, how blessed are all those who long for Him. Isaiah 30:18

“If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire; and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.” Daniel 3:17-18

And in the other side, in bold letters:

“For the mountains may be removed and the hills may shake, but my lovingkindness will not be removed from you, and my covenant of peace will not be shaken,” says the LORD Who has compassion on you. Isaiah 54:10

God met me in my need… my need for comfort, my need for something stable to rest on when I wanted to leap to the worst case scenario. As it turns out, I only needed an IV antibiotic and some medicine to take at home. I was thanking God as a walked out of that emergency room. I was also hoping that next time, I would trust God more… That was the first (and second) time God met me in my abscess adventures. As it turned out, God gave me another opportunity to trust Him.

I went in one week later for my follow-up appointment at the ENT (Ear Nose Throat Clinic). The doctor looked in my mouth, told me it was still swollen, prescribed me more antibiotics, and told me I was going to need my tonsils out. This is what I had expected. I told myself that. I wasn’t surprised. This was a lot better than any alternatives.

Even as I told myself all that, as soon as the doctor left the room, I was in tears.

I hadn’t been in surgery since I was four months old. Sure, this was only a minor surgery, but, as the doctor told me, it was a “minor surgery with major recovery.” He told us not to plan anything for a week, and then to be careful to avoid bleeding for two weeks. People have been fine up until day 13, he told us, and then started bleeding.

I think it’s safe to say that I was scared.

The older I get, the more I discover about myself. One of the things that’s becoming more and more apparent is that my knee-jerk reaction to feeling out of control is to fear and then try to regain control. Which is why two of the biggest lessons God is teaching me right now are (1) to trust Him and not fear, and (2) to give Him control.

Those are both hard lessons.

And, as you probably guessed, I didn’t do very well with the trust God part. Not at first, at least. But as my mom reminded me, and as I regained my composure a little bit, I began to come to terms with this news and realize that it was jut another way God wanted to draw me closer to Him.

And now for the God-story! (I apologize for making this post so very long, but I think you’ll enjoy this next part.)

As we left the ENT clinic, the nurse told us, “Melanie, our scheduler, is busy right now, but she’ll call you back later today.” My mom waited for that call for two days. And when it finally came, the news wasn’t good.

Our summer was already pretty full. I couldn’t do the surgery until school was over (my weekly homeschool co-op ends on May 25th), so that put us about into June. On the 1st and 2nd are some friends’ graduations, not to mention my mom gets gum surgery on the 2nd. My piano recital (which is actually kind of a big production, with something like 40 students and over two months of preparation) is on June 17th. So our only real option was June 5th (and the two weeks of recovery he told us to expect). While we waited for Melanie-the-scheduling-lady to call us, we prayed that the 5th would be open.

Finally, she called… and the news was’t good. Apparently, the doctor only did surgeries on Mondays. And only every other Monday. So our options were: May 29th, or June 12th.

May is incredibly busy for us, so… we had to chose June 12th. And we prayed that I’d be well enough to play my piano piece five days after surgery. It was a long shot. But what else could we do?

My mom was sick about this. My piano teacher was on the verge of tears. I was disappointed (but not as much as they were). Mama kept saying, “Do you want me to call her back? Do you want me to just see?” I shrugged and said, “I don’t really see how much better of a date we can get. If the only options are the 12th or May 29th, and we don’t want it in May, and we can’t move it further into June… what other option is there? But if you want to call, maybe you can at least try.”

My mom did try.

She called and explained the situation to Melanie. At first Melanie insisted that they didn’t have another option, but after a minute, she stopped. “Hold on,” she told Mama. “I think I have a deal for you.”

Do you know what date she got for us?

June 6th.

When I heard that, I was amazed. So, this ENT place only does tonsillectomies on every other Monday, and mine is on the un-alternate Tuesday? Wow… that was God’s doing.

After talking to people who’ve had their tonsils out, and imagining all sorts of ice cream treats, and, most of all, reflecting on how God has met me in these past couple weeks, I’m not as scared anymore. (Only a little bit scared. 🙂 ) But that’s my story… I’ll update you once I’ve actually had my tonsils out, and any prayers between now and then would be very appreciated. 🙂

I once again apologize for such a very long post, but I had a lot to say! Besides… this post has been at least two weeks in the making… so that explains for the long time away from the blog. 🙂

Stay tuned for more posts coming up!

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2 thoughts on “A Sore Throat, an ER Visit, and a Really Awesome God

  1. Aynsley says:

    Makenna, this was a beautifully written post. It was so important for me to be reminded that God is always faithful and is always looking our for us and taking of us even when we feel alone, or scared, or fearful. Thank you for the reminder!!!

    Like

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