Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Comforter

I relate the following true story today because I need to hear it. I need to remember it. I need to be comforted in its message.  It is an experience I had years ago that taught me a valuable lesson. 

Also, yes you can use any of the stuff I put on my blog for your personal use. The stories, feel free to print them out and read them to your kids, or tell them to your kids. Any parts may be used for lessons or sent to friends or linked to or quoted in your blogs. 

I am all for sharing the love and the lessons. There is only one thing I ask no one to do. Please do not take anything off this blog and publish it to be distributed for profit. Other than that, you can feel free to use it as you please.  Thanks. Now on to the story.

The Comforter

In January of 2000, I was pregnant expecting my first child. I was about 10 weeks pregnant when I started cramping and bleeding. After a week of this, I was resting and watching a movie one Saturday night with my husband. The bleeding kept getting worse. By 10 p.m. that night, I was in so much pain and was bleeding so heavily that I was close to fainting. My husband took me to the ER.

At the ER, we were told to sit and wait. Long Beach Memorial has its fair share of gun shot wounds and other more serious emergencies to address. After a few minutes, I was bleeding through my clothes and not able to sit upright without feeling faint. 

I started to lay down on the floor in the waiting room. The nurse at the desk saw me and told me they had a gurney in the hall that I could lay on while I waited. I appreciated this and took her up on the offer. My husband held me up and walked me to the gurney. 

After about 20 more minutes, I was wheeled into a room for an exam. During the exam, the doctor noted I wasn't breathing very well. I have asthma and it gets worse when I am pregnant. He prescribed a breathing treatment, and told me to do it while I waited for an ultrasound.

One thing I hate about asthma treatments is how they affect my nervous system. They make me jittery. My regular inhaler does this a little bit. I had never had a breathing treatment before, but I would learn that night that their effect is 100 times that of my inhaler. After the treatment, I could breath. That was good. But, the side effects set in and my whole body started to shake uncontrollably. 

They did an ultrasound next. By the time the doctor came back to talk to us after the ultrasound it was close to 2 a.m. He told us my OBGYN was on his way. I had an ectopic pregnancy (it was stuck in my fallopian tube.) And I would have to have emergency surgery to remove the pregnancy before it destroyed my fallopian tube.

I had never even had stitches before. I had never been to the ER. I had never broken a bone. Now here I was going into emergency surgery? This was all a very new experience for me. 

We signed all the forms and headed off to the operating room. Operating rooms are cold. I think they keep them purposely cold to help prevent bacteria from growing or something. But they are cold. I had to lay down naked on a cold steel operating table in this very cold room while they prepped me for surgery. I had to stretch my arms out wide so they could also lay on cold steel.

I was already shaking uncontrollably from the asthma medication. This cold room, cold table, and lack of clothing did not help. I was now shivering and shaking. My teeth were chattering audibly and I could do nothing to stop them. 

The anesthesiologist started giving me the drugs to put me out. Then just before I lost consciousness, the nurse by my head came over and brought some blankets. She laid them on my arms and across my chest. They were so warm. They felt like they had just come out of an oven. My body immediately felt warmer and my shivering ceased. It was still cold and I was still shaky but these blankets felt like they were ... heaven sent.

I looked up at the nurse and the the last thing I remember was saying to her, "Thank you so much. I know I don't know you but right now, I LOVE YOU!" Her laughter in response was the last thing I remember before slipping into unconsciousness. 

We all have to go through cold rooms in life. Some are colder and more complicated than others. But they are just a part of life. They are uncomfortable, they can be very painful, they can cause us great anxiety. We cannot avoid all the cold, uncomfortable, pain inducing rooms of life. God will not keep us from them. He will not take the cold out of the room. The cold is essential for our health and safety.

However, we do have the assurance of the Holy Ghost to be the warm blankets to cover us in those cold rooms of trial. If we live worthy of this most scared gift, we will always have the peace that only the Comforter can bring. He is the warm blanket to comfort us in the cold rooms of our lives.

I am thankful for the gift of the Holy Ghost. When all else around me seems to be tumbling down I cling to the peace he brings to pull me through another day. May we all feel the warmth of the comforters peace today.

*As a side note, the doctors were wrong and this wasn't really an ectopic pregnancy. It was a miscarriage. I had a D and C two days later.