Pop Pop Epistle # 180 – About Missing Christmas

Dear Grandkids,

When I say “missing Christmas” I don’t mean that I miss it now that it is over, I mean that I missed it – as in Christmas happened without me.

And I missed hanging out with all of you.

This will be the Christmas that I hope never to repeat. I went to the hospital on December 22 for “routine” out-patient surgery to get rid of a kidney stone. Remind me NEVER to think of any kind of surgery as routine. I went home mid afternoon and that’s when things began to go sideways. I have had enough kidney stone extractions to pretty much know what to expect but this time my expectations were unexpected.

I had a horrible night that featured very little sleep and lots of pain – especially pain in my abdominal core – which I have never experienced before. A midday call to my doctor on Friday resulted in a trip to the Emergency Room. Because it was 2 days before Christmas,  the ER was surprisingly not busy and I was able to be seen within 30 minutes. A minor miracle!

I was admitted to the hospital after about 5 hours of triage and tests and poking and prodding and then would not see the light of day for another 5 days.

Hence, I missed Christmas.

I missed our Maggiano’s meal on Friday with your parents. I missed our Christmas Eve brunch Saturday morning. I missed our Candlelight Service on Saturday night. I missed our RBC worship celebration on Christmas morning. I missed our family gathering on Christmas afternoon. I missed the Reyner Disc Golf Tournament on Tuesday. And I missed all the other hangout times that happened.

After three days of dealing with pain – and I will admit that your Pop Pop does not do pain well – and after lots more tests and watching and trying to figure things out, they finally decided that I had a tear in my bladder that was releasing fluid into my abdominal cavity. A place that it was not supposed to go. Hence all the core pain.

And then after 2 more days of antibiotics they got the pain under control and the fluid minimized and decided to send me home. The hope is that the tear in my bladder will repair itself over the next two weeks. If it does not then I will face a surgical repair and another stint in the hospital. So we wait and see.

Here are a few of my takeaways from my “missing Christmas” time in the hospital:

  • The nurses  and other health care professionals that provided my care were amazing. They did everything that they could to make sure my hospital stay was as “pleasant” as possible.
  • There is no such thing as a good night’s sleep in the hospital.
  • I was reminded often of what I tell others when they are going through difficult times: God is in control and “the joy of the Lord is my strength.”
  • I have been reading through the Book of Revelation which talks a lot about patient endurance. I’m thinking it is one of the things that the Lord must want me to learn.
  • I was reminded that “THIS is the day that the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.” We have NO promises that tomorrow will be crisis free or pain free. So rejoice in the gift of Today!
  • I realized that there is much that I take for granted. I am hopeful that I will not do this so much.

My hope and prayer for you is that you NEVER EVER EVER have to deal with kidney stones. They are definitely my “thorn in the flesh.” Quite literally. But if you do, never forget that the Lord is near!

And never forget that you are very loved,

Pop Pop





One thought on “Pop Pop Epistle # 180 – About Missing Christmas

  1. So sorry you missed Christmas. Praying you will heal quickly without surgery. Happy, Healthy New Year to you and your family.

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