This posting is the first of several that record my experience when I started to believe the devil’s lie that he did not exist. They communicate just how physical, spiritual-warfare can be and is a warning to all of such a belief. 

THE INTENSIVE CARE UNIT AND THE INITIAL PROGNOSIS

I walked into the emergency room (ER), unable to stand erect, clutching my abdomen in pain. Being irritable from my physical disorder, I demanded immediate attention when I reached the admissions window. In response, however, the nurse handed me several forms to fill out and requested my proof of insurance. All this procedural stuff had taken so much time that I wondered if I would receive treatment in time. I then felt the urge to vomit again and hurried to the lavatory on the other side of the room. In the rest room I reasoned that if I had food poisoning, I should be getting better by now as I should have emptied my stomach. But this certainly was not the reality. 

I stumbled back into the reception area, knowing I was acutely ill. Surprisingly, two ER nurses with a wheelchair were waiting to take me to an examination room.

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A very young man came in and examined my belly. He looked like a high school student, and I hoped he was not my doctor, but, as it turned out, he was the intern on duty. He completed the preliminary examination, but we still needed the blood sample results to get the doctor’s prognosis. As I waited for the results, my illness and pain deepened.¬†

The young physician returned an hour later and advised me that he had arrived at a very uncommon diagnosis. As a result, he requested the assistance of a resident doctor for confirmation. Thirty minutes later, the resident physician came to reexamine me. After reviewing the data, he concurred with the intern’s preliminary diagnosis. However, he also required a reexamination and confirmation by the hospital’s top doctor. I asked what my infirmity might be, but they were hesitant to say anything about his diagnosis. Things were becoming scary. What could be so dire that it required this level of consideration and secretiveness?

So I waited in pain for over an hour for the head physician to drive in from home. When he arrived, I received a third examination. After deliberating, they all agreed that I was suffering from a malfunctioning pancreas. 

Photo by EVG Kowalievska

They then transferred me to an intensive care unit and gave me morphine for the pain, which had now spread throughout my entire body. At this point, it felt like I had needles and pins implanted in every square millimeter of my body. Then the discomfort was so extreme that parts of my body went numb. 

Although I did not know it then, the physicians had already informed my immediate family that they did not expect me to live through the night. Further, they recommended contacting distant family members who might want to see me before I died.

The initial shots of morphine proved ineffectual, so they gave me several additional doses, but these were also inadequate. Eventually, a nurse connected me to a morphine injector pump that enabled me to control my medication level by simply pushing a button. Interestingly, all this morphine never made the pain entirely go away. It only brought me into a mindset where I did not care about the pain anymore. I recall thinking at one point when my stomach pain intensified, oh well, so what!

Interestingly, my doctors never told me they had done all they could, that there was no treatment or medication to address my condition. 

Their answer was to halt my food intake, which would discontinue my pancreas functioning and arrest the production of digestive enzymes. These enzymes deteriorate protein and are naturally used to digest food in the abdomen. The real problem was that these enzymes were in my bloodstream, decomposing my body tissues. My mussels, organs, and brain were all damaged by these enzymes. By stopping pancreas function, they stopped the destruction of my body’s protein.  

They never inform me of the gravity of my illness. But this turned out to be a good thing because, throughout this entire ordeal, I always knew that I would recover. 

I remember the nurse shutting the curtains in my ICU room and turning out the lights as she left. I lay there for a while, staring at the ceiling while wondering what my fate might be. Eventually, I became groggy and drifted off. I would soon find out.