Monday, January 08, 2007

Home From the Hospital - God Can Get Your Attention!!!

Thanks to all my friends and family who prayed for me while I was in the hospital for most of last week. Our entire family has been sick off and on since the Dec. 16-17th weekend. We all had the flu, but could not get rid of our cough entirely. I had to be at work (this is Jim's pride talking right now) during this time period as we were completing a year long project implimenting a new corporate wide business process enterprise computer system which was going to completely change the way we do things at work; therefore, I made it to work each day even with my sickness. The new system was to be started on Tuesday, January 2. I played an important role in training our hourly personnel and being the key player in scheduling all packaging operations, approving the quality control results to release the individual shipments, and setting up the actual deliveries so that carriers could come to our operation to pick up the loads for our customers. There was a plant shutdown the last week of the year while the system was getting ready for the complete switchover. We had hoped to get a headstart on January 2 by putting in some data prior to that, but the information technology people did not want us working in 2006 for a system planned to start in 2007.

During the New Year's weekend, several of the kids had relapses from their previous illnesses, and I still had a very bad cough. Of course, the kids went to the doctor for treatment, but I didn't have time for that...... that statement sure did come back to haunt me!!! Monday, January 1, I began to have a fever again, and as the day progressed, my right side became very tender and hurt as I tried to breathe. Rachel insisted on me going to the emergency room, but I told her I would see a doctor tomorrow after going on in to work. The pain continued to get worse and worse, and I was truly in discomfort. Not one to give in easily, I had hoped that Rachel would bring up the emergency room again.... this time I was a candidate for any help that I could get!!! We arrived at the emergency room just after midnight, where I was bombarded with a series of tests; blood work, X-Rays, EKG, and CT scan. I was given an IV to put liquid into my system immediately. Of course, all of these procedures are relatively new to me, since I never go to the doctor because I just can't find the time!!! Well, I believe God can get your attention and quickly teach you just the opposite. One needs to take care of their pysical body in order to serve Him, and now it was His turn to show me just how powerless I am in controlling sickness and circumstances in my life. At 4:00 am the emergency room doctor finally made his diagnosis; I had a severe case of pneumonia, but there was also strong evidence of blood clots found in my lungs (pulmonary embolism), a very serious condition if an artery in turn is blocked. He announced that I was going nowhere and needed to be put into the hospital immediately. Of course my pride got to me again as I told him I had to be at work in few hours to run the new computer system; I simply had to be there for there was no one else available to take care of that important work. Both Rachel and the doctor quickly convinced me they would need to quickly find a permanent replacement for me at work if I foolishly returned to work, since my life here on earth could be over quite shortly!!!!! Hmmmmm..... maybe I should rethink this a little bit more!!!

I was immediately given blood thinner to help shrink the blood clots and minimize the formation of new clots while also given antibiotics for treatment of the pneumonia. I had many breathing treatments while there in the hospital. X-Rays taken on Thursday morning looked worse than those that I had taken during the emergency room visit. The doctor was very concerned about this and told me if the next X-Ray was similar, then my stay would be extended and a different mode of attack would be put in place. I know God answers prayer, and I had many friends and family members praying for me during this specific period. Friday morning at 7:30 am I had another X-Ray, and this time the results looked 100% better. I also felt much better..... but I had to stay in the hospital another full 24 hours while they continued to feed antibiotics through my IV. Finally, at about 2:30pm on Saturday, I arrived home, thankful to God for His healing touch as well as the things he taught me while I laid flat on my back in the hospital for five days.

God does have a way of getting your attention. He does it in many different ways, but He is in control and will place things in your life to turn your complete attention upon Him. On New Year's Eve during our family devotions prior to praying in our new year, we were discussing whether or not we had done all we could for the Lord in 2006, while at the same time, have we begun to catch a vision of what God wants us to do in 2007 for Him. I had shared that I had allowed work to have primary control in my life especially during the last quarter of 2006, and after things quieted down some after the initial change-over with the new computer system in 2007, I planned to return to serving the Lord with my whole heart. Well, apparently, God knew how I was putting work in front of Him and was glad that I confessed that to Him; but, I should have given it all to Him right then, not after things had quieted down. He decided to quiet things down for me in a different way!!!!! God sure did get my attention!!!

Men, let's make sure we don't put work ahead of God or our family or church. Yes, we need to work to provide for our families, but we should balance our priorities. Work can survive without you as I found out while sitting in the hospital. To get through that first week, we had people from NY and CT assisting our people via the telephone to assist them working through the system. It was a long week, but somehow they mangaged to get things done even without me!!! Don't miss out on your family and your service to God by using work as a crutch....... God can quickly give you a real crutch in your life; I don't think you would like that kind of crutch. Thank you Lord for all that You taught me during the past week, and thanks again for my friends and family who prayed for me..... Prayer does work!!!!!!!!!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm so thankful you are home and doing better!! I know how stubborn a man can fact most men!! Although I have to say that it isn't just men who are stubborn about going to the doctor. I was the same way when I had the flu. I had a rough week of body aches and fever that just wouldn't go away. Finally one day the body aches were gone and the pain in my legs was I decided to try to get some things done around the house...against my family's request. They told me to rest and I didn't. Well within 24 hours the leg pain was back even worse and I was having a fever again and my chest began to hurt pretty bad...even breathing was very painful not to mention the coughing!! My family (not myself) insisted that my husband take me to the hospital and I just didn't want to go. It was a Wednesday evening might I add. I didn't want my husband to miss service to take me. Afterall...he needed to preach...even though Bro. Tim was more than capable to do it for him and is always prepared with a message in case something should happen that my husband couldn't be at church.

I was hurting so badly in my chest that I didn't argue with anyone...well...I did up until 7:00 that evening (30 minutes before service was to start). He took me and I found out I had acute bronchitis. I would have only gotten worse through the night and no telling what could have or would have happened. I was put on very strong antibiotic and sent home to REST!! I was told to do NOTHING!! That is soooooo hard for me. But God humbled me in that experience and showed me that I am not superwoman. Even though I thought I HAD to do everything for the house to run smoothly He showed me that there are others that I need to rely on from time to time. So just like you...I was humbled and put down to the point where I had to rely on others.

And then as if that experience wasn't enough to teach me...not two weeks later I was able to get up and around and I ended up rolling my ankle and severly spraining it and ended up down again to where I could do nothing. I certainly hope I have learned my lesson now...I sure don't want God to have to put me back through school on this one again.

PS....You're so right though...prayer definitely works!!!

2:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bro. Jim,

I am so glad you are home from the hospital and doing well. No one can say God does not answer prayer. God does have His way, to get our attention. I am sad to say there has been times I put work before the Lord, but He got my attention as well. Take care and I hope the whole family is much better.

Bro. Rod

3:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm so thankful to have you home! What you wrote really touched my heart and I know it will be a blessing to others. I, too, know what it is like for God to get my attention. Though not always pleasant, I'm so thankful He loves us enough to do so. I love you!

3:11 PM  
Blogger Jim said...

Sis. Julie and Bro. Rod,

I appreciate both of your prayers for me during the past week... it's good to have Christian friends that can be depended on....


Thanks for your love and special care during this past week... I know that it wasn't easy going back and forth from the hospital several times per day plus keep things going for our six kids and some of their continued health problems. God really made you a help meet for me!!!!! I love you!!!!!

5:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Glad you are feeling better.
Lord Bless.

6:39 PM  
Blogger Jim said...


Thanks for your prayers for me during my time in the hospital. I appreciate you stopping by and leaving a comment....

9:37 AM  

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