What a week

A few weeks ago, I started experiencing shortness of breath. In the past, that has meant a restricted artery somewhere in my heart. I put off doing anything about it until I had to leave church Sunday morning May 30. It was bad enough that I would have gone to the ER, but I knew if I went, I would have to lay in bed until the holiday was over, for they wouldn't do anything until June 1.

They checked everything they could check and everything turned out okay, and they sent me home with some oral nitroglycerin and an appointment to see the cardiologist on Monday, June 7. I got in the see the cardiologist at 1:30, and told him what was going on that my breathing was getting worse. He offered me a chemical stress test which I refused. I said this was too far along to put off. He told me I could make an appointment but it would be about eight or 10 days before I could get in. I told him that was too long, and I could not wait. So he told me check into the ER in Hillsboro and they would transfer me to Bethesda North, (north side of Cincinnati) which is one of the best heart hospitals around. He gave me a chance to go home and get my CPAP, and I came back and checked into the ER the same day I met with him. I had to wait for several hours in Hillsboro until there was a bed ready at Bethesda, about 75-90 minutes from us.

They transferred me to Bethesda and checked me in about 1:30 AM, June 8. They then scheduled an angiogram late in the day about 5 o'clock. They took me to the surgery about about 4 PM. They did the procedure and placed in another stent. They went in through my wrist, and the procedure only took about 15 to 20 minutes. But I had to stay in recovery for about two hours with pressure on the hand incision until the chance of bleeding stopped. They then put a splint on my hand keep me from moving my wrist, and sent me to my room. I got in the room about 7 PM, and slept, even in a hospital bed, the best that I had slept for several months. The next day, I was able to do a fast walk in the hospital for about 15 minutes. I was discharged about noon June 9.

I'm still amazed at the fact that I saw the doctor at 1:30 PM June 7, procedure June 8, and at home June 9. I'm to take it easy for a few days with no heavy lifting and things like that.

Psalms 106:1 Praise ye the LORD. O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. (Ps 107:1, 118:1, 29, 136:1.)
Background Notes on God’s activities:: by Bettie Need

Every night when Ovid and I pray, we ask God to order the next day according to His will and for His glory.

1: Sunday May 30—increased difficulty of Ovid’s breathing leads to our leaving church in the middle of the service.

2: June 1-- Phone calls to doctors are not received by hospital or staff, (Memorial Day weekend!), so we go to the Emergency room in Hillsboro; and after several tests, they found nothing, but said a cardiologist would see him June 7.

3: June 7-- Ovid sees the cardiologist, who sends him to Bethesda North, as described abov.

4: June 8--Car is in the shop and Bettie does not feel comfortable driving the truck into Cincinnati to Bethesda for Ovid’s procedure. Providentially one of our young friends is on her way to see the midwife for a checkup for her third baby; and she has to go close to my house and near Bethesda North! I arrive in time for Ovid’s surgery procedure as described above. God gives both of us the best night’s sleep in a long time.

5: June 9—After Ovid’s hospital discharge, another young lady friend happens to be working at a hospital near Bethesda and drives us home just a few miles from her own home. It was the only day she had ever worked at the nearby hospital!
CONCLUSION: God’s providential timing is perfect and the glory is totally His! And we are the beneficiaries of our Father’s blessings!

What a week 2! Written June 15.

My wife repeated back the words I often say to her, “Too much detail.” Be patient, and I think you will understand at the end.

I was discharged from Bethesda North on the 9th. On the 10th, I could only pass blood, and the blood clots were interfering with any kind of urination. I sent a picture to my cardiologist and he advised that I go to the ER again in Hillsboro the evening of the 10th. Though I warned them from past experience in the ER that a small catheter would not work, when it did not work, they put in the large one. It got the blood out and the clots cleared enough I could pass urine. Then they asked me to what hospital I wanted to go. My first choice was Bethesda North but it was full, so my next choice was Clinton Memorial Hospital, about 30 minutes north of us in Wilmington Ohio, which is where my urologist who did my original prostate surgery about a year ago has his practice.

Starting on the 10th at Hillsboro, they continually flushed saline water through the catheter until the water finally cleared up, on the evening of the 13th. They continued with the saline solution until my urologist visited on the 14th. He told them to remove the catheter, and see if I could urinate, which I was able to do. They sent me home the evening of the 14th, so I was confined to a very uncomfortable hospital bed from the evening of the 10th to the 14th, which exacerbated the back pain due to scoliosis.

I found it interesting that one of my nurses read my chart that records my very early encounter with polio. She and a couple of other nurses came in to question me about polio. She said they had only read about polio in textbooks, but obviously knew nothing about it. My polio was a very mild case, and only resulted in the failed development of a major muscle in my left thigh, and my left leg being short by 1½ inches. They compared my left leg with my right leg and could easily see the very mild results of polio. It was undiagnosed, so nothing was done to counter the 1½ inches which caused the scoliosis until just few years ago. The damage is done. As you probably know, the 1930s and 40s were rampant with polio victims. How well I remember the pictures of polio victims in "iron lungs." Sure, they developed the Salk vaccine, but the major eradication of polio was due to cleaning up the manner of living.

Now the question comes down to what caused the bleeding. The initial idea was that the huge amount of the blood thinners they had to use as they placed the stent in my heart caused the bleeding to start from the prostate surgery a year ago. Plavix and prostate surgery do not go well together. However, the urologist determined that there was a UTI that caused the bleeding. They treated that infection, and the bleeding stopped. (Pray with me that this was really the problem, and that the problem has been solved.)

Stent placement today is amazing. This was my fourth stent which started with my "heart attack" in 1999. All the other stents went in through the groin which required a good number of hours in recovery with a nurse holding the entrance area so it would not bleed. Today, they go in through the wrist to place a stent, which is only a 15-to-20-minute procedure, and can be done on an outpatient basis. They send you home with a Band-Aid covering the insertion site. The recovery time is only maybe 90 minutes with an air-inflated bracelet that puts pressure on the entrance location.

I dislike discussing "my experiences," for very few people want to hear about other people's experience. Moreover, my experience is very MINOR compared to what many of you have gone through, but this is a personal account to let those who are interested know what is going on in our lives

The purpose of this lengthy account of "experience" is to exalt the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. (Ps 27:13)

I certainly am not comparing myself to the righteous man Job, nor can anyone. (Ezekiel 14:14, 20 only lists Noah, Daniel, and Job.) The internal evidence of the book of Job strongly implies that he lived during the time of Abraham, which makes this book the oldest in Scripture, even several centuries before Moses. In his distress, Job did not charge God foolishly, but he did make many glorious statements as he expressed his faith in the God of his redemption:

Job 19:27 Oh that my words were now written! oh that they were printed in a book! 24 That they were graven with an iron pen and lead in the rock forever! 25 For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: 26 And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: 27 Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.

The words of this righteous servant of God are graven with an iron pen and lead in the rock forever! That rock is the Lord Jesus Christ, the incarnate Word of God. God determined that Job's words would everlastingly be preserved for the instruction and encouragement of His people. (Those who can read the book of Job and not be greatly encouraged in their unique distressing situations surely are not one of the Elect.)

Job 23:10 should be especially precious to those who have been or are in distressing situations.

Job 23:8 Behold, I go forward, but he is not there; and backward, but I cannot perceive him: 9 On the left hand, where he doth work, but I cannot behold him: he hideth himself on the right hand, that I cannot see him: 10 But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold. 11 My foot hath held his steps, his way have I kept, and not declined. 12 Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food. 13 But he is in one mind, and who can turn him? and what his soul desireth, even that he doeth. 14 For he performeth the thing that is appointed for me: and many such things are with him.

A few sample observations from the above:

1. Job could not perceive the Lord. He felt like the Lord was hiding from him, because he could not see nor feel him – behold him. (How many give up the faith because they cannot feel the presence of Lord in a situation?)

2. Though Job could not see him nor feel his presence, he was confident that the Lord knew where he was, and what he was going through in his terrible distress.

3. He knew that he was going through God's refining fire, and by faith he knew he would come forth as gold.

4. Job was determined not to abandon his faith, and he would continue in the steps the Lord had ordained for him.

5. He refused to depart from the commandment of his lips; he knew that life was conditioned on following the path defined by the law of God. (Yes, he lived before Moses, but the law of God is written in the heart of every man woman and child. Paul tells us that man is without excuse, for he knows what is expected of him by the Lord God. Psalms 119:35, 105, 109:3.)

6. Vv. 13, 14 are extremely important verses: God is of one mind and no one can say what doest Thou? He does whatsoever He desires in heaven and in earth, and no man can question him. V. 14, pay attention to the wording. God performs the circumstances that have been appointed for his individual people from the beginning of the world, those things that are needed to refine his people.

Job, in his terrible distress which is beyond our imagination, knew that everything he was going through fit into the eternal purpose of God. He knew that his trial was a trial by fire, and it would produce fine "gold" for the glory of God. (1 Peter 1:7)

God performs those things that are appointed for us as individuals. He knows the way that I take, because He is one who determined that way even before the worlds were formed.

Job here gives us wonderful assurance that no matter what circumstances where we may find ourselves, we are there because God has appointed that we should be there.

Philippians 4:11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.

Note that the great apostle Paul had to learn to be content in whatever state he found himself. Our fallen nature demands that we be discontent at all times, good or bad, for discontentment demands bigger and better. Eve was discontent in her perfect environment which enabled the Serpent to gain control over her. Adam loved his wife, so he knowingly sacrificed his perfect “life” for her in order to be with her. From the beginning, Christ loved His wife, the church, and willingly gave His life for her redemption.

Discontentment, even in a hospital, must be conquered through the new nature implanted by the Spirit of God, implanted by His grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

His people must learn contentment, or they will give that Old Serpent plenty of opportunity to gain control of their lives. We can be assured he will lead them down the broad road to destruction.