I had stayed in hospital for over a week by now and I was unfazed by the whole sense of waiting and lounging around. I was settling in my role as a patient. I recall one of the nurses asking me whether I was bored. Strangely, I wasn’t bored one bit. I think partly because I had immense peace inside. So much so that I never chewed my fingernails for the whole duration of my hospital stay, which is a rare sign that I am hunky dory in the mind. Despite being in hospital for a long time, my Spirit was refreshed even though my physical body was exhausted and extremely fragile.

Another medical complication that occurred was the lack of wind that would escape my body. In layman’s terms, I couldn’t fart for Britain. Medically, this was concerning for Dr Andrew as my body was still shutting down. I mentioned previously that Dr Andrew had asked a nurse to reinstall the catheter tube, so the medical team could monitor my stream of joy.

I recall winning the eventual battle with the catheter tube. I had three separate nurses to reinstall the tube to Timmy. Even though I had personally asked for 2 female nurses (Nurse Hilary and Ward Sister Johnston) to redo the tube, before opting for a guy nurse (Nurse Gavin). Interestingly, it was actually Gavin’s work that sustained the longest.

Dr Andrew was happy with my Jaws-like scar across my abdomen, though I believe the medical staples were still in place for a few extra days as a precaution. The good doctor encouraged me to drink more fluids, as this would speed up my recovery. I soon made a personal request to friends, family and visitors to smuggle me bottles of Orange and Peach flavoured Volvic water. These bottles measured in 1.5 litres of ‘sugar free’ water. The reason why I made this odd request is because I didn’t trust the tap water in the hospital wards and it felt so bland, mostly because the medical pills muted my taste buds.

I soon guzzled down 2 bottles of water a day before making an earnest push to 3 bottles a day. I still remember when one of the late shift nurses celebrated in my liquid gold that I maxed out the pee bag, thus following through with Dr Andrew’s encouragement to drink more fluids. Eventually, I no longer needed the catheter tube and I could then focus on my mobility, as I was mostly stuck in my private room.

Once I was off the catheter tube, I was assigned a physio who helped me with my transition to be independently mobile again. I only had one session with the physio. During my time with the physio, I learned how to walk again, which was a dizzying experience. Because my body was still stooped over like Gandhi, I found it challenging to walk whilst keeping my head upright and looking forward… as you take walking for granted! Nonetheless, it was a nice feeling to walk around the wards without IV drips.

During the next few days, I focused my energy and ventured on my own to walk around my private room and be deliberate to walk around the ward, so the nurses from the ward could document my improvement to Dr Andrew. I was bold to venture to the exit of Ward 5, which was far from my inner private room. I was exhausted from my effort, as I realised I had to walk back to my private room. One of the nurses from the ward was supportive of me in my musings. She advised me to wear extra clothing if I want to walk around the hospital because I was still walking around in my hospital gown.

Everyday I would walk an extra milestone, which helped my mobility and increased my confidence. Once I built up my stamina over the next few days, I challenged myself to walk down the staircase of two floors, as I wanted to visit the sanctuary room of the hospital.

As expected, the sanctuary room was empty inside, which suited me perfectly. For once, it was a great feeling to hear silence – away from the ward telephone rings, mechanical ventilators and pumps, and the orchestral beeps and boops from medical monitors. I picked up one of the seat bibles and picked a random page to reflect from a random passage of Scripture. I spent some time in meditation and then I uttered a prayer to the LORD. My utmost prayer agenda to God was that I needed to fart (for medical purposes).

Immediately, I sensed something odd and I had to seek a bathroom. Fortunately, there was a side toilet to the entrance of the sanctuary. Unknowingly, I said to God midway through my prayer that I need to speak to Him later, as I had to go to the loo! Once I sat on the Throne of Gondor, I experienced a flatulence that tickled my emotions. At the innocent joy of passing wind, I continued my prayer to the LORD and gave thanks for helping me to fart. To date, this has been the quickest answer to prayer that I have experienced as a born-again believer.

Who would have thought that farting can bring joy, peace and everlasting happiness?

Medically, it was important for me to pass wind, as it proves that my stomach is functioning on its own again and that I am indeed on the road to recovery. As you may have guessed, I took great delight in sharing my joyous news with the nurses at Ward 5 and with Dr Andrew.

The other medical benefit in passing wind after a major stomach surgery was that Dr Andrew was happy and confident in my growing recovery. In fact, he allowed me to start eating liquid foods like porridge and soup to build up my strength and immune system.

~Richard

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