By Lavern Nissley
(This post is birthed out of a challenging, life-altering experience affecting Lavern & Ronda Nissley, Encompass co-directors.)
Ronda was feeling some abdominal discomfort the Friday before Father’s Day, similar to an episode she had experienced earlier with diverticulitis. What worked before was antibiotics. So when she went to Urgent Care on Father’s Day and was sent to the ER for a CAT scan, she was still thinking, “I just need some antibiotics.”
I joined Ronda in the ER after receiving her text that she had been sent there. We were not prepared for the results of the CAT scan.
The doctor said, “You do have diverticulitis and with it a perforated bowel. We need to do surgery today.”
di·ver·tic·u·li·tis /ˌdīvərˌtikyəˈlīdəs/, noun: inflammation of a diverticulum, especially in the colon, causing pain and disturbance of bowel function.
Then when the surgeon came in to show us the CAT scan and go into more depth, we learned some sobering information about the procedure, recovery logistics and just how life threatening this could have become without immediate attention.
Surprises happen in life. Some are good and celebrated. Some are bad and grieved. This was the latter.
We found it helpful to reflect on what changed and what didn’t change with this surprise.
What didn’t change
While this post is meant to be encouraging and not wallowing in despair, we realize that we’re only starting on this journey.
Thank you in advance for your thoughts and prayers on our behalf. We will surely need them.
Lavern & Ronda Nissley are co-directors of Encompass. Married since 1978, both enjoy coffee, riding their tandem bicycle and working together to build strong relationships.