Yesterday morning I returned to the scene of the crime, er, surgery center, to have the stitches removed from my right cheek. The friendly surgery team was there to greet me – happily smiling as if they knew something that I didn’t. The head nurse in scrubs led me down the hall and around the corner and down another hall to the very last room in the place and asked me to take a seat.
The room was filled with all sorts of instruments and medical equipment that I had never seen before. As I took a seat on the table, I discovered that it was extremely cushioned and quite comfortable. I asked the nurse why I didn’t get to have my surgery in this room last week as it was quite relaxing compared to the room that they sliced and diced me in. She replied that this room was a “special” room. I was about to ask what she meant by that when the door opened and in came Doctor Lee.
Doctor Lee shook my hand and asked how I was doing. I said; “you tell me, you’re the doctor!” (He doesn’t know me well enough to appreciate my humor) By this time my wife had somehow found the room and joined the party. She had dropped me off and went to park the car – which is an adventure story of it’s own at this hospital – amazingly, she showed up and took a seat ringside in time for the main event.
The team had me lie back on the table and they turned on the gazillion megawatt sun lamp above my face and went to work. Doctor Lee began removing the stitches when he suddenly said; “hmm.” Now there are several words that you do not want to hear when a doctor is examining you. “Uh-Oh” and “Oops” may well be the big ones, but “hmm” is definitely on the list. So the good doctor turned to his nurse and said “hand me a swab, I want to check something.” He then proceeded to forcibly push an 8-inch wooden swab into my still tender face along the sides of the incision.
“Doctor,” I said with increasing volume, “I can FEEL that and it doesn’t feel good!” Karlene told me later, “I knew it was painful, because every time he pushed that swab into your face, your feet would go up in the air!” The worst part is that she laughed when she said it. “Thanks, Babe, for the moral support. I know that for those who reject God, he will laugh at their calamity – but, YOU don’t have to laugh at MINE!” She still giggled as she went into the kitchen.
Suddenly, I began to gush a stream of verbal confession to the doctor. “I didn’t take it as easy as I should’ve! I preached on Sunday and I also did a leadership meeting! (Then the coup de grace) Then my wife made me take her to Disneyland for her Birthday!” Doctor Lee looked at me with an almost blank expression – He really doesn’t get my humor.
“I don’t like the looks of this,” Doctor Lee stated, without giving me time to take another run at the “humor” card. (Oh, great, here we go, I thought to myself) “Well, we have removed the stitches, but we are going to have to apply some special adhesive strips to help keep the incision straight while it is healing to minimize scarring. I also want you to start taking antibiotics – we don’t want any infection in the incision.” I replied, “No, WE don’t.”
So they quickly set about doing what he said they would do. Then they finished it off with another “Phantom of the Opera” bandaging job (as you can see by the photo) and sent me off with a parting shot; “This time take it easy!”
As you know, Karlene was there to hear it all -- so I’m taking their advice. No preaching for me this weekend at Cornerstone. (I am sure that some are thinking; “Wow, that Awakening Prayer is really working!”) Actually, we will have a guest speaking this Sunday; Pastor Paul Endrei from Cleveland, Ohio.
Well folk’s, I’m ready to turn the page. I’m already tired of having to deal with my face. (It’s bad enough that everyone else has to deal with it) I’m ready to be over this and onto something better – much better. Fortunately, the "Phantom Patch" was only for 24 hours. Now I get to show-off this more "socially acceptable" version of me! Gruesome, isn't it people?!
I do want to say a special “thank-you” to all of you who have been praying for my speedy recovery (and, as you can see, I still need it!). Seriously though, I really do appreciate all of the thoughts, prayers and concerns. God bless you, abundantly!
Well, gotta go.
It’s Cephalexin time!