Sunday, January 13, 2013
Hand-stitched With Love
Sometimes blessings come in the most unexpected ways. I have been blessed beyond measure by the amazing things God has done in my life during the past ten days. I will never be able to record them all, but this is possibly one of the most visible gifts God has given me.
When we learned that I would have to have a sternotomy (cracking the chest) to remove tumors from my chest, I experienced a wide range of emotion. There was fear for my health; anxiety about the surgery; and dread for the scar that would forever mark my body. The scar would be a lifelong, visible reminder of the journey. I dreaded seeing the rope-like scar down my body, but in times like this there is little choice but to accept and move on.
In a last ditch effort to minimize the scar, I asked the surgeon if it was possible to use something besides staples to close the incision. I had heard the use of glue might reduce scarring. In response they apologetically told me, "Absolutely not. We always use staples to close the wound to lower the risk of infection. And we leave them in longer than most as a precaution." I swallowed and replied, "Well, I had to ask." So be it.
Surgery took place. That is another story. Days after surgery, my bandages were removed. As people entered my hospital room, and caught the first glimpses of my scar, they all made the same comment. "I don't see the staples. That is much smaller than I expected."
As I would look down, I agreed it didn't have that serpentine appearance I had expected , but I would reply, "Well, they must be there because they said there was no other way."
Days passed, I slipped in and out of awareness due to pain medications, but on one particular morning I was more alert as the surgeon's nurses entered my room. I said to them, "Tell me about this scar..."
They didn't allow me to even finish my statement when they began, "Oh my goodness, we couldn't believe our eyes. We walked into the operating room as they were closing your incision. The doctor who was closing, was carefully doing two layers of stitches to safely close your chest and prevent infection and then he sealed it with glue. We have NEVER seen him do that ---EVER. We told him that we had prepared you that you would have staples. He responded, "She was just so young and sweet that I wanted to do this for her."
Unbelievable. I had never met this particular doctor. He had no connection to me. We had never spoken and yet when he looked down on me, he saw something, and was moved to give me a gift he had never given before. His hand-stitched gift will forever remain as an emblem of God's love for me. Through this man's handiwork, God shows me He cares about the details. I am eternally grateful. When you see me, you will see my scar. I will not hide it from you, because it is one of the most beautiful gifts I have ever been given. I am hand-stitched with love.