The surgeon (Dr. A went out of town, so one of his cronies is taking care of me in his absence) came back on Thursday evening to talk to me again. The good news is, no UTI! The tests all came back clean, which is a small miracle! Praise God! The bad news is that he was rather concerned about whatever's going on. He started me on some big gun antibiotics and decided to run a CT scan on Friday to check things out.
I felt pretty terrible, but slept like a rock! Woke up feeling much better, got the CT, and thought maybe we were back on the road to health. The team came back after my CT scan and broke the news to me... there was a huge collection of fluid (an abscess) in my abdomen/pelvis area. My white count is continuing to rise. I'm on three immunosuppressant-type medications. These are all bad things on their own, but together, they are even worse. Dr A's sub is quite concerned. He believes that the fluid is infected and is causing my UTI symptoms and pain by pushing on my bladder. The fluid is also affecting my intestines - that's why they can't wake up. So... they need to get rid of it.
This was the not fun part.
They sent me down to IR (Interventional Radiology) for a CT-guided drain placement. Basically, using CT scan to visualize what they are doing, they make a small incision to stick a giant needle/catheter through my um, gluteal muscle all the way into my abdominal cavity where the abscess is, and pull off as much blood as possible. It was possibly one of the most "interesting" procedures I've ever had before. I had to admit that what they were doing was pretty cool, and they were so very kind to keep me informed of exactly what they were doing before they did it, plus they gave me relaxing drugs... but still... it was unpleasant. I quoted Romans 5 over and over again as I went in and out of the CT scan and felt varying degrees of "pressure"as they guided in first a wire, then a needle, then a catheter to withdraw the fluid. The whole ordeal took a little over an hour. This was truly a surreal experience.
They left the catheter in place and it will remain for quite some time - until the abscess is all done draining, infection is gone, and CT shows no more abscess, I guess? Dr A's sub said for up to a month!! I have to wear a bag (Squirt is no longer the only thing with a bag on my body) over the catheter. It's pretty sick. I'm quite sore from the huge needle in my bootie, but felt okay as long as I didn't move. Friday night, though, I stood to brush my teeth and started having terrible, terrible pain all over my stomach and abdomen. After a few rough hours, the doctor upped my meds and soon I started to feel much less pain... which was fantastic...
Please pray that my body can beat this infection quickly! Please pray that we can keep my pain under control and that my stomach will wake up! Please also pray for my attitude - it seems like just as I make progress in one area, a new crisis pops up somewhere else. But I am 100% sure that this is all a part of His plan. James 1:17 says that every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow. God doesn't change or do things arbitrarily, and He knows how to give good gifts to His children (Matthew 7:10-12). He has chosen to entrust me with this trial, and so I can know for sure that it is good (Romans 8:28) and it is where I am supposed to be. And I know the reason for being in these trials. It's so that the proof of my faith may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ (I Peter 1:7). Staying in the "hard place" will just purify my heart and make me more like Jesus. I've also noticed the abandon it gives me to speak so plainly with others about what God is doing in my life. Praise God for that. He is good. And as He's outside of time, He is good outside of any and all circumstances.