IT’S HARD TO BELIEVE – UNLESS YOU’RE A CHRISTIAN
I’m used to telling other people’s stories, but here is one of my own. Several years ago I went to see my doctor for a regular annual check-up. As he looked over my chart, telling me how good everything looked, he mentioned offhand that with my age and gender he thought I should have a vascular sonogram just to be on the safe side. I agreed and went for the test. I got a call telling me they found an aortic aneurysm in my abdomen, so I was sent to a vascular surgeon. The surgeon told me that my aneurysm was only about 3 centimeters wide, and since these tend to expand slowly, he would need to monitor it for the next year. (If an aneurysm bursts in the body, often there is not enough time to reach the spot and stop the bleeding. It’s like walking around with a ticking time bomb. This was in April.)
Eight months later in December, I woke up one morning with a bloated stomach and a lot of pressure pain. When it didn’t go away with Tums and Pepto Bismol, I asked my wife to take me to the ER. While there, they decided to do a C-Scan to see what the problem was. They never got around to my stomach because the swelling went down and the pain went away. However, the scan showed that my aneurysm had expanded to the critical 5-centimeter mark. This put it in the danger zone. So my vascular surgeon arranged for me to have it repaired right away. The surgery was complicated and took longer than expected. After reaching the recovery room my heart stopped and they coded me. They called my wife at 12:15 am., and asked her to immediately return to the hospital, and on her way, she was praying for God to keep me here, and He did.
After returning home for continued healing, I went back to work feeling great. One day after taking a walk with my wife and returning to the apartment, my right leg suddenly went limp and started to burn and tingle. I put it up and after a short while it started feeling better. However, I noticed that after only a few steps my hip area began to hurt badly making me limp. A few days later it would start in my hip, go to my thigh and then down to my calf muscle after only 30 steps or so. I was going on a trip to a conference so I quickly made an appointment to see a doctor. She told me it sounded like bursitis, where the lubricating sac in the hip had ruptured and it was bone on bone causing the pain.
I went to the conference and each day as I walked through the park from the hotel to the conference site I had to stop many times because the pain became unbearable. By the middle of the week, something strange happened, the pain would start in my calf, move up to my thigh and then into the hip. Upon returning home I went to see my regular doctor and he told me he didn’t like the look of my leg color and suggested that it could be a circulation problem. So I did another test. As soon as he saw the results he called my vascular surgeon. The surgeon told me that I had developed a blood clot in my leg that was depriving it of oxygen and that was causing the pain. So he performed an outpatient procedure to remove the blood clot and open the vein. Thank God I am now on my way to recovery.
When it was all over, I stopped and thought: was it an accident that my regular doctor just happened to think of my having a sonogram which led to their finding an abdominal aortic aneurysm? Was it just pure luck that I woke up one morning with a stomach ache that led to their finding it had expanded to the critical danger point in six months and had I wait 12 months as my surgeon suggested I might not be here? Was it happenstance that they called my wife who started praying and got a hold of other family members who prayed and I survived my heart stopping in the recovery room? Was it just a matter of good fortune that my leg started hurting for no reason and it was so severe that I sought medical attention that ended up identifying a potentially lethal blood clot? Was it just my lucky day that each time I walked across the park to get to a meeting, that the blood clot, nobody knew I had, did not break loose and instead of flying home in a seat it would have been in a wooden box?
Not for one second! It was God taking care of one of His most insignificant sheep because He had a plan for me. That included moving the California where my wife and I could be surrounded by her wonderful family. It also involved being able to help my church register and begin preparations for a Theological Seminary extension program in California. And it also had to do with writing a Bible commentary on Romans that could be used as part of the extension program in the Ministry Division of this Seminary. Do I walk now in confidence knowing that He’s watching over me? You can be sure of that. Would I call all of this a miracle? Absolutely! “Bless the Lord O my soul and all that is within me, bless His Holy Name!”1 – Dr. Robert R Seyda