I woke up yesterday morning at 2am with this intense, gnawing pain in my right upper abdomen, just below my rib cage. I tossed and turned, got up, trying to make it go away. It was easily as intense as my post c-section pain and my first thought as a former ER nurse was it was my gallbladder. I woke Nate up and told him what was going on & I was going to go downstairs for a bit. As I sat there I remembered something I had read the day before about the power of praying the Bible. So I opened up my journal and wrote…
“God, this pain is hard to ignore–RUQ, boring into my back, unrelenting. Is it my gallbladder? It woke me up suddenly and I can’t take my mind off it. Logan has a doctor appointment, it’s Dillon’s 7th birthday today & he has school. I have work, Nate has work. I can’t afford to be sick. I turn to you for healing; your word says you want me to be in good health (3 John 1:2) and that you anointed Jesus with the Holy Ghost and with power so he could heal all who were under the power of the devil (Acts 10:38). I believe in you and ask in your name to take this pain from me, heal whatever is colicky inside me. You said I can ask anything in your name and you will do it (John 14:12-14)–if it be your will, please take this pain. I have faith you can heal this (Matthew 9:20-22). I thank you for all the blessings I have in my life–too many to count and growing. I thank you for not giving up on me…Amen.”
The pain was no better. After a bit I went upstairs, got dressed, and told Nate I was going to drive myself to get checked out. As I pulled up to the ER and walked up to the door, my pain was suddenly maybe a “2” from where it was once a “6” or “7”. I almost turned away when I heard a whisper, “Just see what your labs show…”
It was 5 AM and I was immediately brought back. Most of my favorite nurses were working–they gave me sympathetic smiles and gently joked if I wanted to see them again I could’ve just stopped by. They sent my blood to the lab and an ER doctor I hadn’t met before came in. I immediately liked him as he asked his questions and did his assessment. I was candid with him about my drinking & told him I hadn’t had anything to drink since Valentine’s Day. He told me the blood work was back and my liver labs were elevated. He recommended an ultrasound to make sure nothing was going on with my liver, gallbladder, etc.
I knew it could take a while for the US tech to get to me but I was first on his list as he came in at 6 AM. Before I knew it I was back & waiting for the results. The doctor came in and told me there was sludge in my gallbladder, but nothing emergent, but I should follow up with my primary care provider. He said it could be leftover from drinking, or it could be that my gallbladder needed to come out eventually, but not today.
What a relief. I drove home, thinking how God is good. The pain easing up just as I was walking in, how smoothly everything went, I knew he answered my prayers, and then some…
I never considered myself an alcoholic and I still don’t. I don’t like slapping a label on myself.. I definitely consider myself as someone who had a serious drinking habit and someone who was self-medicating with alcohol. While before I was chasing that buzz, the inebriation to relax, I have no doubt now I could have a single glass of wine with a nice dinner without it turning into needing a second glass, followed by a third, then a box of Chardonnay on the counter… But as someone who believes in signs, I think this was a clear sign from God maybe no alcohol is best…I don’t need it, I don’t crave it, and it’s definitely not worth my health. There’s a reason they call it the liver…you need it to live (hardy har har).
There’s nothing good that can come of my old life. There’s only so much my husband can put up with, and I know my drinking was pushing him away. Dillon would ask me to quit ‘wining’…this thought makes me cringe it’s so heartbreaking. I’ve seen what happens when people push their bodies too far with alcohol and other toxins, and it’s not pleasant. I have to much to live for to settle for a life like that.
“And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast…” 1 Peter 5:10
This verse has been on my heart all week…this piece is slowly coming along.