At 6 PM this afternoon I was blessed to walk out of the hospital here in Chattanooga.
One of my doctors came in this morning for his last exam and in talking with him, finally I understood why they have kept me so long. I had many of the symptoms of either non-Hodgkins lymphoma or Crohn's disease.
That's why every test had a rush order put on it, why they were so attentive, why four different doctors were on my case, why I've had two ports for IV feeding me antibiotics and other things 24 hours a day.
They were worried about me!
But in the end, after all the tests and biopsies, they have concluded that this has thankfully just been an especially virulent virus in my intestines.
The doctor warned me not to go right back to normal life as I have indeed been quite sick. But oh! I can't tell you how grateful I am that it is a sickness I will recover from!
I'm on a strict diet, have many prescriptions to fill and take in the coming weeks, and have to drink my fill of Gatorade, of all things, to keep me well hydrated and full of electrolytes.
Since we are not flying overseas yet, I was cleared to fly to Oregon tomorrow evening, with instructions to then be careful about my level of activity in the coming weeks. But since Claire and I are just going to Eugene to be with my parents and brother, that shouldn't be a problem! We can hang out at their lovely home and just enjoy time the together. We will be with them for a week before we head to Chicago to meet up with Dave.
I wrote a friend this week and said that if I had to describe these past six days in the hospital with two words it would be "holy and sacred". The Lord has been SO present with me - so present that despite the pain, I have felt wrapped up in a warm blanket of love and care every day.
It's also been a sweet week to bond with Lara's mom and sister. When would we ever have this kind of time together?! We will never forget these days of sharing life.
And my friend Laurie stayed for four days after having been here for the wedding, to sit with me in the hospital all day since Dave had to be at a conference where he was the main speaker. We were good friends before but it went to a whole new level as she served me in my weakness this week.
God's timing has been perfect at every step of the way, and He has been at work in my body and soul, doing what only He can do - bring perfect comfort, peace and healing.
I am glad to move on...very glad! But I honestly haven't minded these days in the hospital because I've known it's exactly where the Lord wanted me to be.