Thursday, January 30, 2014

My Hysterectomy in Siberia Part 1

Lenin's Square in Novosibirsk, Russia
Lenin's Square in Novosibirsk, Russia
We had always assumed that if one of us needed surgery we would head back to the States for it, barring an emergency.  But when the doctor told me that I needed to have surgery and not delay, my first thought was, "I'm going to do it here." 

I was a little surprised myself, but I felt a confidence that I had not yet felt during the whole time of dealing with what my Russian doctor was now calling a "giant" uterine fibroid.  

I didn't know for sure that You were speaking, and yet - rarely have I felt such definiteness about something that would normally be an agonizing decision.  But it seemed...right.  Like this was where we had been headed all along.  

Walking the 4 blocks home from the clinic, I texted Joey the results.  He called me back right away.  He was in a store with Maksim, and said that they were already planning our trip, arranging the schedule, working it out.

"Actually," I said, "I think I'm going to do it here."

He seemed as surprised as I had been in the doctor's office. "Don't feel like you have to do it here.  As far as I'm concerned, I'm ready to go back to the States for this operation; it's ok if we do."

The Bible says that if we acknowledge the Lord in all our ways, He will direct our steps.  Prov. 3:5-6

And You were directing my steps.  

It's important for me that Joey said what he did.  It was important for me to know that I didn't have to do it here, but that I wanted to.  That it wasn't someone else's decision, but mine.  That he didn't expect me to have the operation here.  That, in fact, he expected that we would go to America.  I knew that already, but it was important for him to say it again.  

And before that moment in the doctor's office, I would have said that I was going back to America for the operation.  I had reasons:

    Understanding the system. Knowing what to expect more or less.    
    Being able to talk to my doctors in my native language.  I'm fluent in Russian, but we're talking about an area of the language that I didn't have much experience in. I mean really, in the last 20 years, how often have I talked about uterine fibroids in Russian?  About anesthesia?  About vertical versus horizontal incisions?  About painkillers besides ibuprofen?  About the various parts of the reproductive system?   
     As far as that goes, just the thought of being in pain and coming out of anesthesia, it seemed better to me if those around me would be speaking English.  Might my brain protest about speaking Russian under those conditions?  
    Mom.  No matter how much your husband and kids and friends love you, no one can take care of you when you're sick or after an operation like your MOM can.  

In my mind, I had logical reasons not to do it here.

But, suddenly, none of them mattered.  I found myself on a new path.  You were directing my steps.  Scary - yeah, a little.  Ok, well, maybe a lot.  But it would have been, anyway.  You don't go into an operation without being a little scared, wherever you are.  And you don't step out in faith without some butterflies in your tummy, either.  

The clinic that I go to does not have a surgical department, but the doctor gave me a list of several places that she recommended for the surgery.  One of those places happened to be the same place that the mother of a friend of ours had similar surgery a few months before.  He said that she was very happy with it, not just the surgery, but the place, atmosphere, and people.  

"Let's check it out," I said to Joey.  "If I'm not comfortable with it, then I can always buy a ticket."

So he made an appointment for me.  And we prayed.

Direct our steps.

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Related Posts
Link to My Hysterectomy in Siberia Part 2
My Hysterectomy
in Siberia Part 2
Link to My Hysterectomy in Siberia Part 3
My Hysterectomy in Siberia Part 3
Link to My Hysterectomy in Siberia Part 4
My Hysterectomy in Siberia Part 4
Link to My Hysterectomy in Siberia Part 5
My Hysterectomy
in Siberia Part 5

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  1. Cлава Богу за все, что Он делает в тебе и через тебя. Очень приятно читать твои истории. Благословений <3 Регина из Ханоя :)

  2. I'm so happy that it worked out so well. It is so hard to hear that "still small voice" when it opposes our reasoning, comfort, and intentions. But when we can hear it and follow it, it is amazing how more reasonable, comfortable, and better intentioned we become. Our faith grows by hearing and following. ... And my faith grows through your sharing. ... Praise God for your health. But more sincerely, praise God He is walking before you and with you!!

    1. Thanks, Chris. I’m still amazed at how it was suddenly so clear, when we hadn’t even considered that option before. But so often God tells us the way to go when we get to it, not ahead of time.

  3. Replies
    1. Yeah, it is, isn't it?! I didn't think about it when I chose it, but it kind of looks like they're ready to ....