Biopsies and whatnot

Some of the details are a little fuzzy, but the pain I felt is not.

I was probably 14 or 15—I’m not sure—but the lab work had been showing the decline in my kidney function so the doctor ordered a biopsy.

When the time came, I was given something to help me not to feel the pain of the procedure, however, there was a delay. A long delay. By the time the doctor decided to go ahead with the biopsy, the anesthetic was rapidly wearing off. For some reason, it was decided that I should not be given any more anesthetic or sedative or whatever combination  it was that was supposed to help me not feel the pain. Those kinds of decisions should not be made.

Mom had gone to the gift shop during the wait and bought a small stuffed angel which she hung from the IV pole above my head. She said it was my guardian angel. As Dad stood by my side, he held out his hand and told me to grab his fingers and squeeze as hard as I needed. The parents knew this was going to be a tough one.

The needle was long and I felt every bit of it as it entered my back, went into my kidney and came back out again. I squeezed Dad’s fingers pretty hard, but kept my body motionless and stayed silent as involuntary tears flowed. “We’re done,” the doctor finally announced. “You did a great job.” Then I could feel Mom’s hand on my head and hear love in her voice as she comforted me.

It’s almost 30 years later and the memory of the pain I felt that day still makes me wince, but the pain is not all I remember. I also remember my father staying with me through it and I can feel my hand wrapped around his fingers. I’m sure my small hands did him no harm, but I still feel his strength absorbing my pain. And I remember my mother speaking soothing words to me and I still have the angel she gave me.

I suddenly remembered this event as I was talking with my dad—well, more like bawling my eyes out. I didn’t mean to cry, but he was asking questions about stuff that was going on and he hit the well and I couldn’t stop the waterworks. Then this picture of that day came to mind out of nowhere. And the words, “Be still and know that I am God.”

Have you ever hit a spot in life where there is no relief for the pain? Don’t you hate how the Lord inexplicably waits and waits and waits to do something, anything? Why does He do that? Then He finally starts to operate and it’s very painful because He waited until all the anesthetic we used to help us cope is gone. He won’t let us be sedated through the process.

I have found though, if I can somehow manage to finally be still while He operates, He finishes fairly quickly. On the other hand, once He has started, if I move or try to wiggle my way out to avoid the pain, I can create a far worse situation. While He’s doing His work, He also stands next to me and tells me to squeeze His hand as hard as I need. It doesn’t cause Him any harm, but I feel His strength as He absorbs the pain that I have to express. When He’s done, maybe I get to hear that I did a good job as He reaches over to stroke my head and speak soothingly to me.

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