—Intussusception Of The Bowel—
I do not know if you have ever had a near-death experience or not, but in 1985, at ten years old, I was faced with the chance of dying for the first time in my memory.
It all started with my stomach hurting; Followed up by not being able to keep anything down.
Hunched over and throwing up, I began crying; Mom rushed me to my pediatric doctor.
We got to my doctors’ office, and the place was packed with other kids.
My mom told the front desk that I needed to see my doctor immediately.
I remember the sound of everyone talking. All the noise was making me sicker.
I told mom I was going to go out in the hallway and lie down.
My next memory is of me getting examined by my doctor.
I loved that doctor. I mean, as much as a ten-year-old kid could love his pediatrician. I saw him until I was 18 years old when he finally had to sit me down and tell me to find a “grown-up” doctor.
He rubbed my stomach and examined me. An X-Ray may have gotten taken to help examine me.
With Spina Bifida, I lack feeling in many places and, by the time I feel something wrong, it’s pretty bad.
He stopped examining me and said the following: —” We don’t have time to call an ambulance. Get him to the hospital now, and I’ll call ahead and meet you there. He’s dying.”
I do not know much about kids. I do know not to say, “He’s dying,” Right in front of one, though.
But, in his defense, he was always upfront and honest.
Not much was known about Spina Bifida when I was born in 75, and in 85, not much had changed.
Thinking back on it now, my family was probably more prepared for this than I was.
For years, doctors had told us, “We don’t know what’s going to happen to Lynn.”
I had not thought that I could die, though— Not until that moment.
As mom drove, the fastest she’s ever gone, I cried out, “I’m dying!”
Momma reassured me that I was not dying.
We got to the hospital, and they had a bed out front waiting for me. Not a wheelchair. A bed.
The hospital was “Carraway Hospital.” It is now closed, and all that remains is an abandoned building
I had been in Carraway hospital so many times that they gave me the same room every visit.
To this day, when I drive by the abandoned hospital, I can look up and see my room. It was right next to the kid’s playroom.
My next memory is getting wheeled down the hall.
Holding my mom’s hand while she sprinted to keep up with us, I told her that I loved her.
The doctors’ said I was going into surgery right then.
I remember looking up and seeing all the fluorescent lights going over me as they rushed me to the OR.
I remember thinking, “I don’t want to go to Heaven yet!” After all, I was ten— Ten and facing death— I was scared.
My next memory is of me waking up in my room— my hospital room.
I was in so much pain. They used staples instead of stitches to sew me back up, and they hurt.
(To this day, before surgery, I tell the doctors not to use staples.)
I then asked mom what had happened.
The following words out of her mouth would be forever etched into my mind. Not only that, but it would also go on every medical form I would fill out for the rest of my life.
I had an “intussusception of the bowel”—telescoping of the intestine.
When you have an “intussusception of the bowel,” blood and fluids do not get past the spot of the telescoping. Therefore, it causes infection and even death to the bowel tissue, which happened to me.
The surgeons had to cut out a large section of my bowel because the skin tissue had died from lack of oxygen.
One of the great things about being ten years old and in the hospital was all the things people send you—tons of cards and flowers.
A ten-year-old boy doesn’t care about that, though.
The guys from my dad’s work had put their money together and bought me a Mickey Mouse watch. I loved that watch.
I’ve since lost it. I had it for years, and when we moved from our house, I put a bunch of my valuables in a box and buried the box in the woods. That watch is in that box.
I vowed to go back and dig it up one day, but, unfortunately, I wouldn’t be able to find that spot anymore.
I also doubt a wooden box, buried one foot below the ground, would survive long.
When the doctor removed the staples from my stomach, one of the staples had bent inward. So when the doctor went to yank the staple out, it didn’t come out.
Instead, he yanked all my skin straight up. It took the doctor a good thirty minutes, in my ten-year-old mind, to straighten the staple so it would come out.
(Again, to this day, I do not allow staples to get used on me.)
When I wake up from any surgery, the first thing I do is look and see what they used to sew me up.
Nowadays, though, surgeons use this very thick fishing line. At least, that is what it looks like to me: a hundred pound, deep-sea fishing line, and I’m okay with that.
This one experience would start a fire inside me, though— my quest.
My quest to find out what happens after you die.
—A quest that would eventually lead me to Jesus.