This post was originally written on August 31, 2012, and appeared on my old website, kintzfactor.com.
It’s a strange thing to know you’re bleeding to death. In the most literal sense. To feel your body drain of its life source, at least for me, was something like a dream. I could see the seriousness of my condition in the faces of my nurses as they worked to transfuse four pints of blood into my body on a Tuesday and an additional pint the next Monday because of my blood loss. I could hear it in the voice of my dad when he told me the Wednesday after my surgery he was glad I was alive. It was evident in the swift action of the emergency room techs that got me into a bed in five seconds when I said the word “hemorrhaging.”
I’m not saying that I had a near death experience. There was no tunnel. No bright light. No Monty Python-esque God caricature telling me to go back to earth. But there was the sense that if they couldn’t get my bleeding to stop, this wasn’t going to end well.
So I endured the needles, which was a big deal considering they scare me to death and usually make me faint. I placed my life in the hands of some of the most competent men and women I’ve ever met. I sobbed. I slept. I endured the humiliation of having to be cleaned by nurses because I was bound to my bed. And I trusted. I trusted that as Jesus had ordered my steps to this point, He would continue to do so.
Scripture says that Jesus died to free us from death and the fear of death. Even through the cloud of drugs, I found myself wondering, contemplating, & debating how ready I was to die. It was yet another time of testing. Do I trust Him? Have I taken Him at His word that “to live is Christ, to die is gain” in the truest sense of that phrase? Sometimes it takes these kinds of experiences to actually understand what the Bible is saying. It’s one thing to read it and intellectually acknowledge it’s true. It’s another to experience the power of Truth in the Word of God.
Still, my feelings are frenetic these days. They bounce from ideas to song lyrics to Twitter to what’s happened to me. And while all of this has been a story several years in the making, the apex – the culmination of this chapter of my life happened in very short order.
Emotions are tricky things. They can offer euphoria to mind, spirit, and body that is rarely known. They can also create a web of deceit and confusion. There’s a point where you feel something, you experience it intensely, and this is a good thing. However, I have found there is a very slim line between feeling something deeply for a time and slipping into wallowing. This is usually where I war within myself.
But you know what? The things that have happened in the last month are a big deal. I have faced the scary and terrible. There are times when the enormity of it all threatens to overcome me. This is why I write. This is why I share. It forces me to confront what has happened and to move forward. It makes me laugh and cry. When I contemplate the last month, not only do I understand how close I was to death (wow, that sounds so dramatic), but I see the hand of God’s faithfulness with me every step of the way.
Read #6 in the series: The One that is Normal and Pain-Free