On Friday I felt better... a little transparent, for my scary experience Thursday, but essentially myself. I had a full day, including meetings with colleagues, working on my sermon, and a long youth group meeting in the evening.
Saturday Petra and I had a rehearsal for a concert Sunday afternoon, and then I spent the afternoon somewhat desperately trying to finish my sermon. But I was still tired from my ER visit... I kept nodding off. Saturday evening we had dinner out with BFF, and then headed home, where I finished my sermon (I wasn't thrilled with it, but... it was what it was, I know you know what I mean). I pulled some things together for a New Member Class to take place Sunday AM at 9. At about midnight I climbed into bed.
At 3 AM Sunday, it happened again. The pain, though not quite as bad as Thursday. But unmistakable. I got out of bed and paced a bit. At 4 AM I decided to take a pain pill (the same ones "House" pops). I called BFF, and said, "I think I'm having another gall bladder attack. I took a pain pill, and I'm just calling to see if you'll be willing to call me at 8 AM to make sure I didn't oversleep."
"I'm coming over."
"No, I don't think that's necessary...."
"I'm coming over."
And there we were, again, waking Petra (except, I woke her myself, and I was able to get dressed and walk with her to BFF's car instead of being taken out, in my nightgown, in an ambulance). And... it wasn't as scary, because I knew what was going on.
By the time we got to the hospital the pain had ratcheted up a bit, more like the first attack. They got me right in a room, and took blood tests. This time the liver was involved, and the pancreas. So... they admitted me. I met with the surgeon. And yesterday at 4 PM the nice doctor took out my gall bladder.
I had six pastoral visits during my 60 hours in the hospital. I knew this would be the case. Sure enough, my colleagues showed up. They stood by my bed or sat with me, they prayed with me, they didn't stay too long, they showed the loving face of God to me.
Each visit was precious. One stands out in particular: a colleague who has been battling cancer. Her prayer: God, thank you for joy, for life, for health. Thank you for being with us even when our health leaves us.
Tonight I'm back home (at BFF's place), resting comfortably. Petra is with her dad, where she is 99% guaranteed a night free of trips to the emergency room.
All my obligations for this week have been passed on to others. The worship chair has arranged for another preacher for Sunday. I have nothing ahead of me this week but to get better.