Libby Baker Sweiger

Weaver of Everyday Tales

Stomach Surgery January 28, 2010

True to a word given to me in my late teens by a man who walked very close to God in my Church, I would face waves and waves of trials and suffering that would seek to overwhelm me — but they would not touch me for the Lord would keep me safe. I had an unusual number of trials perhaps in my life, surgeries, ill health, challenges with jobs, financial challenges. My marriage was very sound and for the most part my husband and daughter had enjoyed good health. I was the challenging one, the worrisome one. Now I was 56 and about to face the most harrowing surgery of my life and I didn’t want to do it.

As a matter of fact, my husband and I had put if off for almost one year, but I was experiencing stomach pain that was unbearable. I was hospitalized just for the pain. I had to do it. It was vascular surgery. I had an artery designed to delivery blood to my stomach, liver and spleen and it was 90% blocked. There were two other arteries assigned this task, but this was the Celiac artery — the main one! I had been tested every which way. It was proven I had the condition and the only solution was to go in and repair or bypass the artery. So I finally yielded to the still small voice of faith within me and said, “Yes, let’s do it.” I had had quite a few surgeries before, but this was far more complex and required a team of 3 surgeons and as many hours to complete. All went well on Thursday — they did a bypass — and it appeared we had a success on our hands! Praise God!

However, on Sunday, three days, later I hit a crisis. I stopped being able to breathe on my own and my brain was swelling. They had to send me down to a Critical Care ICU and intubate me. My family was worried, very concerned and my brother puts it now, “He didn’t know if they were going to get to keep me!” These are the times in life when God carries you and I don’t remember much of it. They ran all sorts of tests on my brain and couldn’t find a cause. They discussed all sorts of remedies, including lifting the cap off of my skull to let out the pressure. I just found out about that one a couple of days ago! Not wanting to hear all the details right away can be a good thing! But, blessedly God intervened in the form of a brilliant doctor who found a medicine which reversed the swelling and a wonderful male nurse who coached me on breathing when I began to come back, with the tube still inside my throat. Together, with my beloved Jesus, they coached me back to life! Along with the prayers of my beloved family and a few alerted friends and pastors. I was so very blessed when I began to breathe evenly and restfully even with my intubation tube in. The following morning they took it out. Aside from chipping a bit of one of my teeth I was none the worse for wear!

We serve a mighty, mighty God! “He knows the plans that He has for us and they are for good and not for evil to give us a future and a HOPE!” Jeremiah! My daughter was down from up north the next day and spent the day with me in ICU! My husband came in the afternoon and the three of us went up to a less care-intensive ward together that evening. God is so good! The Glory and the lifter of my head! In Him will I rejoice and be thankful for my LIFE! And all that is to come!


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6 thoughts on “Stomach Surgery January 28, 2010

  1. Miracles!!!


  2. You got that write Denise! Miracles! and how I needed one!


  3. God never ceases to amaze me. He is the great physician. He kept you from looking like a monk! =) I’m so glad you’re doing well now Libby because what would my life have looked like without you in it?


  4. God’s will is done. You’re here to tell the tale and many others. Thanks for sharing this harrowing story and, once again, your faith.


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