[ Miracles ]

Caught in the Nick of Time

Over 20 years ago, I experienced some abdominal discomfort and, thinking it would go away in a day or two, I ignored it. But it became progressively worse, so I went to my family doctor, who put me in the hospital for tests.

They revealed that I had a complete intestinal blockage due to severe case of diverticulitis and peritonitis. (The former involves small bulges or sacs in the sides of the intestine; the latter is inflammation to the membrane that lines the abdominal cavity.) After seven days of treatment, I was able to come home without any problems or discomfort.

Now I am aware of the symptoms and I take care of myself by watching my diet, drinking plenty liquids and sometimes getting an antibiotic.

In 2004, at 73 years of age, the symptoms bothered me enough to go to my doctor and ask as usual for an antibiotic. In his wisdom, he didn't take my 'diagnosis' that I had a bout of diverticulitis, but put me up on the table and did some probing. When he finished the examination, he said, “I think I detect an aneurysm. I want you to go to the hospital and have a CAT scan.”

I was referred to a surgeon after the CAT scan, who concurred that my problem was serious: an abdominal aortic aneurysm in my abdominal cavity – a bulge-out of a primary blood vessel, which forms when the wall of the vessel is weakened. Much like a balloon, the aneurysm can enlarge… until it ruptures from the pressure inside. When that happens, there is severe internal bleeding from the ruptured blood vessel. All too often, these ruptures are fatal.

There was more sobering news. My aneurysm was about seven centimeters, or about three inches, in size – the size of a small orange.

Needless to say, the surgeon wanted me in the hospital immediately. But having had six bypasses about six years ago, a cardiologist would first have to check me out to make sure my heart could survive more surgery. On pins and needles, my wife and I waited for the cardiologist’s prognosis.

He gave the go-ahead and the very next morning, I went into surgery for him to repair the damage.

The surgery went well. Thank the Lord my doctor paid no attention to my 'diagnosis' of diverticulitis. A prescription for antibiotics would have done me no good if the aneurysm had been left untreated and had ruptured.

I feel like the Lord's hand was upon me this whole time. I praise him for what He has done and will do in my life. I have asked friends and family to pray that God’s will be done.

Bob W.

Mobile, AL