TIME TO MAKE A SWITCH – TO MAKE A CHANGE

A LIGHT SWITCH IN OUR FAMILY ROOM

Wanting this post to be about making changes in ones life I started looking for appropriate clip art to express my thoughts. None I could find was fitting for my needs. As I was staring at the wall, thinking about what would be a complement for my writing, my eyes focused on the family room light switch. I liked its simplicity and its capability of reflecting the thoughts I was striving to express.

This light switch has two functions:it can be turned on and it can be turned off. Sometimes in life it is important to make a change – to switch. There are so many examples of this: in our likes and dislikes, in our occupation, in our plans for the future, in our medical care. The list goes on and on. Being capable of change is part of growing up. My particular focus right now is on medical care. As I have covered previously, in mid April I suddenly experienced a left kidney block. Because of the pain involved it has been a rough almost six months as the urologist ran many tests and tried to come up with a course of action. He finally set on a major surgical procedure that was to take place three weeks later in mid September to remove the abscess/cyst that he felt was causing the blockage. At that visit with the urologist I asked him in his twenty years of practice how many cases like mine had he treated. When he replied “maybe two to three” I was taken aback. I asked the surgeon if there was anyone he might recommend for a second opinion. I was amazed at myself for having the courage to ask this question. I liked this doctor but I wanted a second opinion. I was surprised at how quickly he suggested the Chief of Urology at George Washington University Hospital. It took several weeks but I finally got an appointment with Dr J.

Jerry and I brought with us copies of the various scans the local doctor had ordered and summaries of the procedures that either he had ordered or himself performed. When Dr J suggested I have a procedure that would involve drainage of the cyst/abscess to see if that would relieve the blockage we made the decision to switch to this doctor. The local doctor and his Interventional Radiology team had tried three different stents through the blockage which only made the pain more intense. When the local doc suggested to his Intervention Radiology team that an attempt be made to drain the cyst/abscess they said “no, too dangerous”. And yet when Dr J suggested that the GW IR team try draining the cyst, we felt such confidence in Dr J that Jerry and I agreed with the planned drainage.

We had a tele med conference with the head of the GW Intervention Radiology team. He put on the screen the scan which clearly showed the blockage and a very misshapen left kidney. We were impressed by this doctor’s clarity and competence. Two days later I was admitted to GW for the drainage procedure which never took place. While I was lying on the OR table in the Radiology lab and the anesthesiologist was prepping me, the head of the IR team ordered a further scan to check the exact location of the cyst/ abscess and then he ordered another scan. I was aware of his intense studying of the scans. Finally he said to me that he had talked with Dr J and informed him that he was not going ahead with the drainage procedure – the GW scans showed NO sign of the cyst/abscess.

A week later I was back at GW for a procedure where Dr J removed the ureter stent which had been put in place by my first urologist and then he did a cystoscopy of the kidney examining it and the ureter in detail. When I woke up after the procedure and had to pee it was amazing – it did not hurt. This was the first time since mid April, except for the two weeks when I had a tube in my back which drained urine into an external bag, that I had no pain on urination. It has now been several weeks that I have been pain free. It is pretty amazing. Suppose I had not switched urologists and the first urologist had gone ahead with the major surgery he was proposing. I am so glad I switched.

Dr J ordered one more cat scan to take place about three weeks after the above hospital visits. Though I continued to feel good I must confess to being a little nervous that this final scan would show that the cyst/abscess was attempting to make a comeback. Yesterday I read the report of that scan. It went into great detail but the words that filled me with gratitude read: “The previously seen 7.0×5.5cm complex cyst … has completely resolved…currently both kidneys maintain normal size and shape.” Dr J says he has never seen anything like this. He does not knows what happened, but Jerry and I do. It is the power of prayer. I am grateful for the love and prayerful support of so many.

As Masaru Emoto says:” No one particular religion has been able secure the exclusive rights for the power of prayer. No matter who you are, we all have the ability to take advantage of this amazing and wonderful power.”

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