As many of you know I had cataract surgery this morning. I am amazed by the improvement I am already seeing, and really, because of swelling, it takes a few days for the full result to be known. So, needless to say, I am very grateful for your prayers and thrilled with amazingly improved vision.
My surgeon is someone we know from church — he is one of the cutest guys you’ve ever laid eyes on, and if he told you he was eighteen, I don’t think you’d question him for a second. He has a great personality — super warm, funny, and kind. He prayed with me before the surgery, which obviously is very comforting.
But the morning did have a funny little hiccup. I have never had any surgery (other than Lasik, for which they just give you a valium and numbing drops), and so the whole process is new for me. I did not eat or drink after 10 pm last night, and went to the bathroom when I woke up this morning. Then when the nurse called me back, she told me to go ahead and use the restroom. I had absolutely no need to go, but complied. Then they hooked up an IV and told me about what to expect. They offered me Xanax but I didn’t want to be sleepy all day. Then the nurse, said, “Oh, we also need a urine sample, to make sure you aren’t pregnant.”
And then the fun began.
Having had nothing to drink, and already used the restroom twice, once at the direction of the nurse, this third attempt was not successful. I felt like unless I was allowed to down a water bottle or two, in that state of dehydration, I would never have success. One nurse told me, “Well, we’ll just have to wait.” They won’t take your word for it that you aren’t pregnant, and they won’t let you drink anything. I felt like I was going to be there till kingdom come. They offered to do the surgery without any sedation, but that didn’t sound overly appealing.
Then they kindly went and got Will from the waiting room — he kept me company while I took fluid through the IV. After some good laughs with Will, a loooong time, lots and lots of running water, and many tries, I was finally able to prove that I am indeed not pregnant. My surgeon, being the cutie that he is, joked with us that it would be great to be there for our big news. But alas, no news.
The nurse anesthetist wheeled me back and supposedly gave me some kind of sedation — I mean that is what we were all waiting for. They said it was mild, like having a glass of wine, but I never felt anything. I never felt even a hint drowsy, or particularly relaxed. I was awake and conversant the whole time. I didn’t even feel amused like you do with nitrous. It sort of feels like we waited to get the drugs, and then somehow didn’t get the drugs. Too much saline already swirling in my veins? But whatever, my vision is amazing and will likely get sharper over the next couple days. Praise be to God!
And although I am not in the least superstitious and think it is patently absurd, I did have an interesting experience ten days ago on the way to the airport. I was taking the shuttle van from Chattanooga to Atlanta, which makes “29 DAILY TRIPS” In fact, they advertise this in large letters right on the window. My seat in the van, coupled with this sign and a cloudless day resulted in this little gem.
Yes, only the letters R I P appeared on my leg. My upper leg with its long yet uniform cylindrical shape looks more log-like than human. But I assure you that is not a log inside a jean, it is actually my leg. Yes, maybe I should be doing more squats!
I texted Will this picture from the shuttle, and said, jokingly, “I hope it’s not a sign.”
To which he responded, “Not funny!”
But superstitious or not, our next breath is never promised to us. We may more readily acknowledge our mortality when we are rolled back for surgery, but no one ever can be sure that this day is not their last.
And I think it’s healthy to face that reality head on. What will happen to you when you die? Do you know where you are going? Will RIP be a sentimental little phrase people say about you, or will they be confident, because of your faith in Jesus Christ, about your eternal destiny?
I am going to rest in peace that today my vision is improved, that I am not pregnant and that I know exactly where I am going when I die.
Jesus said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.”
I hope and pray that you too have passed from death to life, and that you can rest peacefully in this truth no matter what comes your way.
Love to YOU,