Monday, April 23, 2012
Back in August,
in the middle of our move to the Springs,
by way of Arkansas,
for a month,
Shelby noticed a bump on her wrist.
Now, she and sis had been romping all over grandma's farm for days; riding the 4-wheeler, jumping hay bales, and pretty much swinging like monkeys from the rafters as much as possible!
We assumed she'd bumped her arm somehow and it was just a little swollen. She said it didn't hurt, so we left it alone.
Fast forward six months. Not only was the bump still there, but it had tripled in size and was as hard as a rock! Time to make an appointment.
Don't know how familiar you are with Army regulations concerning family medicine, but it's kind of that "box of chocolates" thing. You never know what you'll get.
The absolute worst was when I was assigned to this neanderthal who informed me that menopause was not real.
"Menopause is something women make up after watching too much daytime TV."
Yeah. He said that.
Anyway, despite the occasional crackpot, we've been blessed over the last 15 years to have good, free, health care providers with decent bedside manors.
And the minute this new doc walked into the room, with his beaming smile and bright green 'Larry-Boy' tie, I knew we were in good hands.
Dr. H chatted us up. Asked how long we'd been in Colorado. Asked if we'd found a church. (Oooh, is that pc?) I told him we were still shopping around and he promptly invited us to his church! He even wrote the address and phone number for me - on government letterhead! (*Gasp* Very non-pc!)
After examining the wrist, he put our minds at ease.
He said the bump was a Ganglion Cyst. Usually harmless.
Problem was, this one was fairly large and it's roots were dangerously close to the artery.
He recommended an orthopedic surgery consult.
Skip ahead a week or so and we're in another office waiting to meet another doc.
Dr. K breezed in, shook Bo's hand, looked her in the eye and started talking directly to her like the little lady she is. (I love that! No one wants to be talked over. Especially an extremely nervous 12 year old!)
He looked at the wrist, confirmed the original diagnosis and recommended surgery.
It was the last thing Shelby wanted to hear. And he could read it all over her face.
He tried to calm her by changing the subject and asking about school.
She told him she was home schooled.
He grinned ear to ear and said his kids were home schooled too!
The rest of the visit was spent with him asking Bo about her faith,
and when was she saved,
and what was her favorite scripture . . .
and if a rep from the ACLU had been there they would have fainted dead away!
Our time ended with a few last minute instructions for me, and a promise for Shelby.
If she was at all nervous on the morning of the procedure, she was to look up at him and give him a nod. At which time he would stop everything and have prayer with her before continuing!
A few days before the surgery, Shelby and I spent five long hours at the hospital. We signed about a million papers, talked to the RN, talked to the anesthesiologist, talked to physical therapy, picked up post-op meds at the pharmacy, yada-yada-yada.
The morning of the big day. We arrived at the hospital at 7am. Shelby was terrified, but coping fairly well.
The nurse helped her change into a beautiful pale blue no back-bum hanging out gown and handed her a hair net, which she hated. The tech came in to start the IV. The needle was about an inch from the arm when Dr. K came in and stopped everything.
He knelt beside the bed and proceeded to blow me away.
"I've prayed about this for days. I asked my wife to pray about it. And we prayed about it together this morning. I'm just not feeling a peace about this surgery."
A quick look at the nurses told me I wasn't the only one left speechless. Their mouths were hanging open like a couple of guppies out of water.
Doc went on to explain. Shelby was young. Yes the cyst was close to the artery, but after further review he felt reasonably sure he could safely use a needle and draw out the fluid.
He just didn't feel peace about cutting on a 12 year old for something this minor.
He asked what we thought.
It was obvious what the nurses thought.
"This is highly inappropriate! He's nuts! Do the surgery!"
I was thinking how unwise it would be to continue with a procedure that the doc himself wasn't sure of.
I looked at Shelby. It took about 2 seconds for her to swing out of bed, grab her street clothes, and give me an unmistakable 'we're outta here' look!
Fifteen minutes later we were back in the car still trying to wrap our heads around what had just happened.
I've worked in hospitals, nursing homes, emergency rooms, clinics . . .
I've been around dozens of doctors - some christian, some not - but I have never heard a doctor speak so honestly about his reasoning.
He cancelled an on-the-books procedure because he didn't get the go ahead from God.
Thank God that Shelby didn't have to endure the procedure.
Thank God that there was an alternative treatment.
Thank God that he assigned us a doc that took political correctness and kicked it out the door!
The following afternoon we were back in the clinic. God gave Dr. K the steady hands he needed, and the procedure couldn't have gone smoother.
To date, Bo's cyst has not returned and she's back to her monkey bar swinging-cartwheel turning-Wii playing self.