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Topic: ENVY (jealousy of another’s advantage) (02/12/15)
- TITLE: Reality Check from God
By Patricia Coldiron
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After a lifetime of drug and alcohol abuse, Frank developed cancer of the liver, cirrhosis, and hepatitis C. I didnâ€™t think anything would cause Frank to put down the bottle and straighten out his life, but to my utter amazement he quit cold turkey and never looked back.
We received a referral from our doctor to a large teaching hospital that specialized in liver disorders, and made many two-hour trips to see a specialist. Several treatments were administered, but the tumor always grew back. Now, another tumor had developed and Frankâ€™s only hope was a liver transplant.
There are certain criteria that need to be met before someone can be placed on the transplant list. First, the recipient had to be alcohol-free for six months, and undergo an evaluation from a team of medical professionals that included a surgeon, social worker, and taking part in a support group. Medical tests are also conducted to make sure the recipient is healthy enough for a transplant.
Frank was invited to an evaluation and we were so excited to think that our prayers were being answered. The medical tests were administered, and everything checked out fine. The surgeon gave thumbs up, and we walked to the social workerâ€™s office with high hopes.
My heart sank when she began aggressively questioning us about our relationship, our jobs, and the possibility that Frank would relapse and start drinking again. She congratulated Frank on his six months of sobriety, but would not recommend him for the transplant. Our happy bubble had burst and we couldnâ€™t get out of her office fast enough.
Our last stop was the support group and we debated whether we should even participate since the transplant wouldnâ€™t be taking place. We decided to at least stay for a few minutes, and listened to the others tell about their struggles to recover, and how they had to stay near the hospital for a month to make sure the new organ was not being rejected.
Envy welled up in me that these people had been chosen and Frank had not. No one said the operation wouldnâ€™t be difficult and I was sure we could handle it. At that point, I had heard enough and we headed for home.
Frank passed the next four months in a pain-filled haze, and he was due to enter hospice on October 29. He began vomiting blood on the 27th and I called 911. He died the next day. Now, instead of looking forward to a rosy future like the support recipients, I was a widow at 48.
After some time had passed, I thought about the stories we had heard at the support meeting. Some of the people were so sick and still hadnâ€™t recovered. A few even expressed that if they had it to do again, they wouldnâ€™t have undergone the transplant. Their caregivers looked equally frazzled.
I was the main breadwinner in our house. If Frank had undergone the transplant and I had to stay near the hospital with him, I might have lost my job. Frankâ€™s body was weak from the treatments and years of disease, and he might not have survived the transplant.
God was giving me a reality check and I realized He had answered my prayers, just not in the way I had hoped. God never gives us more than we can bear, and I am so thankful He was watching over me.
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