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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Drip (04/25/13)

TITLE: Pneumonia’s Aftermath
By Judith Gayle Smith


Pneumonia’s Aftermath

To resection, reposition and gradually re-inflate the lower lobe of Mike’s left lung, a rib was removed. Almost a foot-long slash redefined his husky physique.

I was woefully, terribly emotionally unprepared for Mike’s lung surgery. Comprehension dawned, replete with horror . . .

Morbidly curious, I watched Mike’s lung surgeon carefully remove the blood-soaked dressing covering Mike’s chest. He made me observe because I would soon be performing the dressing changes myself.

A nine-inch bloody gash was carefully, painstakingly revealed. Mike looked like a slab of meat slashed for stuffing. Incredulous, tasting bitter bile, I could actually see inside Mike.

Unbelieving, I numbly watched in shock as his surgeon slowly removed incredible lengths of soiled dripping cotton gauze, ghastly tinted yellowish red with pus and blood. Two full rolls of gauze, packed into the wound twice daily, for cleaning out the deadly infection claiming my sweetheart’s life.

The empathetic surgeon, watching me vacillate between fainting and retching, warily informed me that this will now be my job. The sympathetic nurse proffered two more very large rolls of gauze to gently fold and twist and insert into the maw in Mike’s side, very slowly, very carefully, very prayerfully.

This I must stand over Mike and do twice daily for almost a year, until his frightful yawning wound closes.

Pray. Oh please pray. Friends, family, even complete strangers please pray.

KJV Matthew 18:19 “Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. 20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”

Put us on your prayer lists, pray for God’s perfect Will for our lives.

KJV 2 Corinthians 12:8 “For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. 9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.”

I beseeched Mike’s very patient doctor to throw us some alternatives. He did. He said if Mike could bear three more life draining surgeries to close the gaping dripping wound, my lover would come home to me without the ever swinging Sword of Damocles hanging over us by a thread, the constant fear of deadly re-infection.

Mike’s phenomenal strength is not his own. He has several God-honoring physicians faithfully working, worrying and praying over him, not willing to lose him after such a valiant battle.

One week later the ugly infection miraculously cleared and the delighted surgeon was able to glue – yes, glue the oozing wound closed. I am still holding my breath.

Three bubbling, fascinating chest tubes were required to clean excess water and air from his lung. Mike was sent home with a chest tube called a "Heimlich Valve".

The chest tube constantly drips. Oozing, lumpy pinkly fleshy matter, blood, water and air thoroughly saturated my carefully applied dressing. The protective blue sheet soaks and tears, failing to protect Mike’s mattress from the ravages of colorful stains.

Mike developed a nasty infection around the area in which the chest tube is placed. I called his surgeon who prescribed two antibiotics at the same time, plus much needed pain pills.

Mike’s perky Home Health Nurse commends me on my freshly applied dressing. We cheerfully work together to help Mike improve.

Godly friends gather to restore my sanity. Changes are made.

Thank You, Almighty God, for faithful friends.

Truly, the life of the flesh is in the blood.

KJV Leviticus 17:11 “For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.”

Thank you, precious Jesus, God’s spotless Lamb, for dying for us, renewing and recharging us with Your thrilling wondrous strengthening Grace. For tenderly enfolding us in Your protective loving Arms, what a gloriously peaceful feeling. We love and adore You, our Great Physician, our Messiah, our Savior, our very Life . . .

Thank You, sweet Holy Spirit, for joyously forgiving and instructing us.

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This article has been read 637 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Allen Povenmire 05/05/13
Your article certainly had me praying for Mike, even while I read it. One could never say you lacked in descriptiveness, but I'm thinking perhaps in this case, a little less would have been better. That said, i did feel the agony of the situation. Prayers for the two of you.
Brenda Rice 05/05/13
I pray that Mike is fully recovered and healthy.

I felt your pain and concern for having to perform such a task on your loved one. I admire your courage and stamina for doing it.

Once someone at FW encouraged me to use less words ending in ly. You may want to rethink the use of so many ly words. Thanks for sharing your story. Blessings.
Christina Banks 05/06/13
Praying, my friend.
Virgil Youngblood 05/06/13
You brought us alongside with clear descriptions and invited us to pray. Well do. Thanks for sharing such a touching story of travail and victory.
Vince Martella05/07/13
Very descriptive and moving. I will certainly be in prayer for the both of you.
Bea Edwards 05/08/13
Wow I almost had to stop reading as your descriptions were drawing me into your nightmare. Then you mentioned you desired prayer and it put me into an entirely different mind set.
A creative use of topic and
potent piece of writing.
I am praying for your Mike's complete recovery.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 05/09/13
Oh you had me hanging onto each word. I could feel both characters pain. My only suggestion would be to get rid of the words very. They often have the opposite affect if overused. Your prayer is beautiful and I am blessed by your words.