Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Physician

Fr. Dale Matson

“And Jesus answered and said to them, “It is not those who are well who need a physician, but those who are sick.” (Luke 5:31, NASB).

I was attempting to remove a tire from a bicycle rim last summer and noticed a strange pain in my groin area. Initially I didn’t have the telltale bulge of a hernia but after about a week it was obvious that resting would not solve the problem. I had two existing hernias for more than ten years that were higher and asymptomatic. This however was not only uncomfortable at the site but there was a referred pain that was so intense I had to dismount my bicycle and walk home about a week later. There were other symptoms such as stomach cramps that I experienced for months but failed to connect to my hernia. I could still swim with little discomfort but I could no longer run or ride.

My prior surgeries were for a broken nose and a tonsillectomy. Both occasions were as a child and the ether experience was so traumatic that I believe I had Post Traumatic Stress disorder from it. Additionally I had severe hemorrhaging one week following the tonsillectomy. I also had general anesthesia for arthroscopic knee surgery with equivocal results. Thus, my attitude about surgery and surgeons was less than positive.

After months of struggle and pain, I met with a surgeon to discuss my options which at this point were limited to surgery. He seemed to me to be a confident young man which is a great quality for someone who is a surgeon to possess and it instilled hope in me also. We scheduled surgery for early January. I also knew that there would be a period of convalescence following the surgery even if the surgery were successful and there was no post-operative infection.

I requested and received an epidural anesthetic which eliminated the need for general anesthesia which remains an area of fear for me. As the surgeon began preparation for the surgery, I told him that his profession was probably second only to clergy for intercessory prayers. I don’t recall his response.

So, what is the point of this? I believe there are folks reading this that need surgery but have avoided it because of fears of one sort or another. God has provided physicians for us as an intervention that is sometimes the only answer for disease or injury. I cannot describe the sense of brokenness, physical pain and psychological discouragement I experienced prior to my surgery and the sense of confidence that has returned since my surgery. Sometimes it is an issue of trust or fear that keeps us from making a necessary decision to even go to a medical professional. Sometimes it is a matter of admitting that there is a problem. Simply know that God has placed many professionals around us for our care. He works through them to care for us. Amen

1 comment:

Dale Matson said...

This photograph was taken on February 28th 2011 in Yosemite Park CA. The location is Glacier Point with Half Dome in the background. The only way to get this view in the winter is to ski there from Badger Pass on Glacier Point Road which is groomed as a ski trail in winter. It is 21 miles round trip and is a testimony to the work of my surgeon. If you ever go to Yosemite Park when it is not winter, drive there in your car. It is a world class view.