Yep, you read it absolutely correctly. I am so thankful for modern medicine, and LAPARASCOPIC SURGERY. Here's what I'm talking about:
Last year, exactly ONE YEAR AGO TODAY, I formally began the process to become a living kidney donor to my good friend, Dr Bill George. (He was my Introduction to World Missions professor at Lee College [now University] more than 24 years ago). I remember that morning very well. It was a Tuesday, and I was preparing to have my small group over for dinner at my place that evening. So, I took the day off, and started the journey with a visit to my doctor's office, to give FIVE tubes of blood. Okay, they were small tubes.
Six months ago this very day, Dr Bill and I were both in the University of Alabama-Birmingham Hospital, preparing for my nephrectomy (kidney removal), where I would give my left kidney, and he would receive my left kidney--prayerfully ridding him of the need for hemodialysis for the rest of his earthly life. (He won't need dialysis in heaven, reports have shown).
It seems like yesterday, and then again, it seems like years ago. I can remember it like yesterday,that's for sure. After a parade of people on Tuesday coming by our room to visit (we had been placed in the same semi-private room, because there was "no room in the inn" for private rooms until after our respective surgeries) we both tried to get some sleep. I think I may have slept an hour or so...but then again, I wasn't bothered. I would get plenty of sleep during the "procedure." And sleep I did....not a dream, nothing for the next 4 hours or so.
Down in the "pre-Operative" area, I was honing my skills as a comedian. Not under duress, by any stretch, just a bit of medication which was slowly running through my left arm via the heplock and IV that was being inserted. As soon as I arrived in the area (around 5:15 a.m), one of the nurse put this rather large "hospital gown" on me...that expanded....really, IT EXPANDED...I'd never seen one like this before. The reason for the gown was to regulate my body temperature, and it had a little "control button" that I had a lot of fun with...A LOT of fun, I tell you.
At one point, I asked a few of the nurses a serious question...once I got them to my bedside..."Does this gown make me look FAT?" Oh yes, they were all laughing out loud...the medicine was doing its thing, obviously.
About 6 a.m. or so, I was rolled away from my "stage" and taken down to surgery, where the kindest young lady told me what would be happening...Her name was either Tameka or Shaniqua...can't remember. I began saying, "Bless the LORD O my soul, and all that is within me, Bless His holy name!" She asked, "Are you a Christian, Mr Hoover?" I replied in the affirmative...and then began reciting the words, "He hideth my soul in the Cleft of the Rock..." and was pretty much out....
A few hours later, I was being rolled from Recovery into my private room, where a "band of angels" awaited me. Well, at the time, these people were angels to me. I was pretty much wide awake, which surprised me. (The Nurse Practitioner and Surgeon had both told me the day before that I would be extremely drowsy, sleepy and wouldn't feel like talking to anyone...that WAS not the case at all.) I asked, "Am I in heaven or am I in a hospital room?" Someone replied, "Brother, you are in a hospital room." I immediately said, "We aren't doing this again, are we?"
I could go on, and on, and on with this story. I'm still fascinated by it...even though most of my friends are probably bored....and no, there will NOT be a "made-for-television" movie of it all. (However, being currently unemployed, I could use the cash from the massive royalties that I know would accumulate).
Now, six months later, I am feeling fabulous, and Dr Bill George is also feeling great.
**I would like to thank my dear friend, Dr Jackie David Johns (www.jackiespeaks.blogspot.com) for allowing me to "channel" his very dry, and hysterically funny sense of humor in the telling of this most serious and tremendously gratifying event in my life. Jackie, I hope I did you proud.