On November 3, 2009 after many prayers answered by our Mighty God, Logan had his cataract removed from his right eye. About the beginning of September he was diagnosed with cataracts in both eyes with the right being the most severe. Finding out that we would have to go through the NHS (National Health System) here in Britain was troubling. Most Brits wait for a LONG time for appointments here and even longer for surgeries. I have a neighbor in fact that had a serious gall bladder surgery that was cancelled and rescheduled three times and was finally done 8 weeks after being first diagnosed as needing emergency removal. By nature, the Brits are not in a hurry for anything. They are a very laid back and casual group of folks. The doctors were concerned for Logan’s long term vision if the cataract removal did not happen quickly. All of my fellow saints hit to their knees as people from across the globe were praying for an appointment. Prayer warriors in South Louisiana, North Louisiana, Indiana, North Carolina, England, Thailand, and many other places were united in prayer over a tiny little cataract that was impairing the vision of my 3 year old. But we serve a BIG GOD, that cares for even the littlest thing. God heard the cries of his people! An appointment was made and this journey began. Every time something needed to be done to get to the next stage of the process… God moved each paper into the next hand. It began happening so fast in fact, that I felt like I could see his hands physically moving things along.
And then the day was here… Surgery day. Questions loomed in my mind about what the hospital atmosphere would be like with socialized healthcare. I had been sick with stomach issues for a few weeks prior to the surgery and I had prayed that on surgery day I would be well enough to care for my child. God showed up again. I woke up that morning feeling awful and throughout most of the day I was pretty sick, but each time I thought I could not make it, my little blackberry would go off and another person was sending me encouraging words. Boy does God know what he is doing or what! He did not make me well. He did not miraculously heal me but he did get me through each and every minute of that day! Looking back, I can see that had I been miraculously well, I may not have focused so much on him and trusted so completely in him for every breath I drew that day. He gets all the Glory for getting me through. I serve a GREAT BIG GOD!
Ok, so we get to the hospital at 11am as instructed. We were put in a childrens eye outpatient ward. Basically like an American ER where there are curtains around beds. It feels like it is about 100 degrees in there. Literally… it was hard to breath it was so hot. Heat was blaring through the vents and it was so stuffy (not great for my upset stomach) (We later found out that they raise the temperature on the kids wards so they do not get cold) There was a TV on a little arm thing (which the kids thought was really neat) and we were informed that television for kids was indeed free. John and I were a little taken aback by that.. Like what.. why wouldn’t it be. After a little more research we realized that you are charged by channel you watch. (The healthcare may be free but NOTHING else is) If someone calls your little cubicle and you answer the phone, you are charged for each time you answer it. We settled Logan into his bed and he began coloring and Aaron began working on some school work. A couple of hours went by, and still nothing. At about 1:30pm, the doctor came and talked to us again about the actual surgery and then informed us that we would be the 3rd afternoon case which should be at 3:ish. By this time, the kids were starting to get a little restless, especially Logan who was starting to ask about eating and drinking.
At about 2pm they started putting drops in his eyes.. Ahh.. progress.. We had been there for 3 hours and they were finally at least touching him. About 2:30 they dressed him into a gown and informed me that I would be escorting him into surgery until he went to sleep. WHAT??? Ok, calm down.. A little different than the American way of keeping the overprotective mother out of the way but hey.. maybe it would be good to be with him. We went into this little cubby hole outside of the actual O.R. (theater-as it is called here) and they let me hold his hand. It felt even hotter in there.. They placed the gas on him and I got to hold his hand and whisper into his ear as he drifted off to sleep. The smell of the gas was not helping my sickness but God made up for that by allowing me to hold onto Logan through what had to be a very scary time for him.
They gave me a beeper and told me to go and have some lunch and they would page me when he was out of theater. So reluctantly we went downstairs to eat. Now eating that was another strange thing. We have been in England for 8 months now and we have yet to see anything that resembles an American mall. Most places are more like the old main streets in small towns are compact along the roads like in New York. They do not really do the whole, multiple stores inside one building. Until… the hospital.. yep. that’s right. The closest thing to a mall is in the hospital. Complete with multiple clothing stores (where people were shopping while lugging around their IV) , home goods stores, gift stores, and much much more. They even have a food court. We went into the food court where John and Aaron opted for some good old English food…uhh.. not really.. they got Burger King. We had a quick bite to eat and then let Aaron buy his brother a balloon and stuffed animal and then went back upstairs as we were told it would only be about 25-35 minutes. An hour goes by and still no word. I started feeling poorly again and I was weak and dizzy as well. Finally they tell us to come back to meet him in recovery.
What??? In recovery??? Ok. So all three of us go into recovery. Again it was HOT! (I am used to freezing in hospitals) He was not even out of the anesthesia yet. They rolled him into the little curtain in that area and said ok, let us know if you need anything.. WHAT??? What do I do when he wakes up?? I am used to him going through recovery with trained professionals and then having him brought back to me, awake, alert and calm… Oh but that was not in the cards here. He looked so very peaceful, I reached down and gently stroked his arm and suddenly.. He jumped up and began yelling at the top of his lungs! OUCH OUCH OUCH OUCH!!! Startled I tried to calm him. I tried to comfort him and NOTHING would help. I rubbed his arm, his leg, I prayed over him, I prayed on him.. I could not calm him down. The dizziness was worsening and he was getting louder. I kept praying.. God, please do not let me pass out or vomit on my child who just came out of surgery. I repeated it over and over and then I would pray for him to calm down and settle. The nurse finally overheard the commotion and decided to offer some assistance. She offered some pain meds. YES.. Please! But she returned with some liquid motrin and he was having NO part of drinking medicine in this state. By this time, he is out of the bed and stomping on the ground that he hurt. He wanted to make sure we knew what he was saying. I picked him up and tried to hold him tightly like a baby and whisper to calm him but no go.. He was flailing around and kicking and I almost dropped him from my own weakness. John decided to take him (having more strength) and we decided it best to take Aaron out of the situation. I was beginning to see the fear in his eyes as he watched Logan behave this way. I was so very sick at this point and was of no use to him anyway. So Aaron and I left to find a window we could open or some where we could get some air (did I mention it was HOT in there). I walked out of the room, holding Aaron’s hands, praying quietly as tears rolled down my cheeks. I felt like I was such a failure. How could I not be in there with him? How could I be though? We found a quaint little garden and we ducked out there and we walked around and found a little bench. Aaron and I prayed together and I felt the wind filling me up with strength again. As we headed back upstairs, I felt dizzy again but literally began receiving little notes of encouragement every minute or so. Aaron and I went back to the original room and waited. I kept calling John in recovery to check on Logan and they had finally after about 35 minutes decided to give him something in his IV line. He was finally calmed and resting again.
Aaron and I kept praying. At about 5:00pm they brought him back from recovery. He was a little sleeping angel. I fought the urge to touch him (I was not about to rewake a giant). He slept until about 5:30 and then finally woke up. He opened his eyes and smiled as bright as can be… “HIIIII Bubba!” He was so happy and had no clue about what had happened before. They came and told us they would bring him a snack and he ate every bit of a sandwich, some crisps (chips), and a blueberry muffin. They told us they had ordered his meds to take home with us and that he could dress back into his clothes. So we dressed him and we all sat around waiting for the medicine. And we waited.. and waited.. and waited.. and waited… and finally at about 7:30 we got the medicine and were free to leave. It took 2 hours to get 4 bottles of drops from the Chemist (Pharmacy) to us. We were so ready to go. I was feeling pretty badly and Logan and Aaron had now endured about 5 hours in that little cubicle waiting. We headed back to the multi-story car park (parking garage) and drove the 30 minutes home.
God was with us! From the beginning of the diagnosis to now, he has not wavered! We serve a BIG God! Little Logan Pie had a Great Big Cataract and all though a doctor removed it, the GREAT PHYSICIAN was in control of every single detail! He is Sovereign and His plan will succeed!
Well that is our little story. I am attaching some pictures of the surgery day. Surgery on the left eye will not be for another 2-3 months.