Still, I persevered. My motto, learned from Ron Carlson, has pretty much always been to just give most any difficulty a couple of weeks. If we do, the vast majority of time, no matter how bad things may seem to be, they always tend to work themselves out. But this time, that was not to be.
By Thursday of last week, I was running a fever. By Friday afternoon, my fever was bad enough that I was having uncontrollable shivering. At this point, my wife loaded me in the car for a trip to the emergency room. What we assumed would be a short stay turned into emergency surgery and a three day stay in the hospital, followed now by two weeks of home health care all to effect the healing a wound with the circumference of a baseball.
Along the way, I have had massive doses of antibiotics and similar, powerful medicines poured into my body via IVs and pill form. And though now home, I can either stand up or lie down, but cannot sit – a situation which will not be changing for some time. (I am typing this on my laptop while standing up.)
That is the bad news. The good news is that I am slowly healing. They say that no situation, however difficult, lasts forever. This one, too, shall pass!
I will never forget the words spoken to me by the doctor who performed the surgery on me. “If you had waited another couple of days before you came in, Mr. Jackson, you would have been in serious trouble!”
I have reflected a lot on that one single statement. After all, it’s not every day one is told any such news. As a result, I have come to one overriding conclusion: I am very thankful today. First, to my wife who recognized it was time to stop trying to tough it out and go get some help!
Second, fast on the heels of this is my appreciation for my family, who checked on me continuously, and kept me supplied with Chick-Fil-A and Zaxby’s chicken to bolster the “heart-healthy” meals of the hospital.
Third, to the entire staff of the local hospital, who, from top to bottom, did their individual jobs in a skilled and proficient manner. Excellence in the performance of their respective tasks combined to bring about the collective task of healing.
Above all, I am thankful to my Lord. I have been reminded once again that life is precious. Each day is a gift; and nothing - not health, nor time, nor life itself - should be taken for granted. The Lord and I have had more than one conversation about all of this. Today is a gift; as will be tomorrow. And I intend to make the most of every such gift I am given.
“Give it two weeks; things will work out!” Dr. Carlson’s words are words of wisdom, well worth living by. But they have now been forever joined in my consciousness by another, equally profound bit of wisdom, which I have been reminded of after hearing an offhand remark from a gifted surgeon: “All our days are gifts from God! Make each of them matter!”