Father's Day surprise
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.
6/18/2019 09:55:29 am
Glad you sought and received good medical care. May Ronda's healing be swift and complete.
6/18/2019 10:44:02 am
Prayers for a speedy recovery and blessings to you both! I cried as I read your testimony of love for your wife and your unwavering faith in God! My married has been under attack for a good year now and I continue to pray and stay steadfast to His promise! We have attended the rings course in the past and it helped. But it was years ago. Keep me in prayer and I will do the same. God bless you both
6/18/2019 04:23:14 pm
Blessings to you, Melissa! May God provide you with incredible peace.
6/18/2019 04:20:36 pm
Thank you, Brian!
6/18/2019 06:33:08 pm
Praising God she is going to be OK and for His sustaining hand! He is always faithful through tr the hilltops and valleys and all the in-betweens. Will be praying for a smooth and complete recovery.
6/19/2019 06:10:56 am
We appreciate your prayers and proclamation over us, Denise. Will need to connect with you and Paul now that you’re back in the area.
6/19/2019 10:09:31 am
Sorry Rhonda and please get well soon. Perforated bowels is probably a Miller weakness. Uncle Dan and I had the problems. So I identify what you are going through. Blessings and a quick recovery. Love you Uncle Henry
6/19/2019 12:54:28 pm
Thanks, Henry. We appreciate your empathy in light of experience with digestive challenges. Your prayers mean a lot to us!
Tim & Kathy Dennis
6/18/2019 10:01:34 am
Ronda and Lavern: My husband, Tim, and I have gained wisdom from your teaching in the past at RiverSong Church. We are praying specifically for God to bring His supernatural power to heal Ronda’s body. Your love for Our Father is evident in all you do to help others because that is what He is, LOVE. May you both feel His love more minute by minute!
6/19/2019 12:56:04 pm
Thanks, Tim and Kathy, for your kind words and specific prayers for healing. Definitely feeling His love and care through many people reaching out!
6/18/2019 11:57:30 am
So very blessed all was caught in time for Ronda. This also speaks to both of you listening to each other and not ignoring the symptoms.
6/19/2019 12:57:13 pm
Yes on the fat free ice cream!
6/18/2019 12:11:34 pm
Oh my goodness! So glad that you were able to get the help needed so quickly. Prayers to Ronda for an easy road to recovery and that you will be back on that tandem sooner than later!
6/18/2019 04:29:39 pm
Thanks for praying us back on the tandem, Carisa! Fully agree with all you posted. Grateful for your support!
6/18/2019 01:19:40 pm
Praying for quick and complete healing Ronda. So grateful that you listened to your body and sought immediate treatment. How many of us think we don't have time to go get something checked? Please let us know if we can help in any way - besides the prayers that is! Love you both!
6/18/2019 05:08:37 pm
Thank you, Kim! You’ve probably been in a caregiver role yourself recently with Scott. Your prayers are greatly appreciated!
6/18/2019 02:51:49 pm
6/18/2019 05:10:36 pm
Thank you, Eli! I appreciate your caregiver blessing a lot.
6/18/2019 07:39:49 pm
I praise our Lord that He can take pain and suffering and bring good from it. We pray peace and patience for you both as you walk through this together, and of course miraculous recovery and safety for Ronda. We are with you and love you both.
6/19/2019 06:14:05 am
Thank you, Lisa! Your deep spiritual and emotional encouragement mean a lot. And your “nurse” experience adds credibility!
6/18/2019 11:04:29 pm
Oh my heart dropped reading this!! I am so sorry. We love you guys!!We never can thank you enough for the impact you have had in our lives and many others in our community! Praying for a speedy recovery!!!
6/19/2019 06:16:21 am
Such kind and encouraging words, Ruthanna! Feelings are mutual on the love for you and Justin.
6/19/2019 08:22:52 am
Truly frightening to get such a diagnosis. Hope Ronda's recovery goes well. 🙏
6/19/2019 12:58:41 pm
6/19/2019 10:28:39 am
A very similar situation happened to my brother-in-law, except by the time he got to the hospital, he was unconscious and septic. The perforation was the result of a twist in the bowel. There was emergency surgery, an ostomy, and fearful hours to see if he would survive. The good news is that he recovered much more quickly than they thought possible. Tomorrow he will have the ostomy reversed (3 months ahead of schedule). My prayer is that Ronda will experience the same speedy healing and be ‘back in action” more quickly than anticipated.
6/19/2019 01:00:55 pm
That had to be scary, Melissa! So glad your brother in law was able to survive and recover so quickly. Thanks for your prayers for Ronda.
6/21/2019 12:21:32 pm
Sorry to her of this sudden development for you folks! Anita and myself are remembering you in prayer. May God's healing hand be with you, Ronda. May God bless you and be with you both in the weeks/months ahead! Love, Andy and Anita
6/21/2019 03:07:44 pm
Thanks, Andy and Anita, for your caring hearts and your prayers. It means a lot to us!
6/21/2019 04:43:48 pm
Dear Rhonda and Laverne, just now reading your blog and health scare with Rhonda. I'm sorry you're having to experience this very challenging journey. I have had diverticulitis myself and understand the pain. I am now praying for your recovery and continued dependence on our Lord to handle any fear, concerns and outcomes. I am grateful for both of you and the gifts you have shared with so many in our community. May you sense and know the love of many friends, associates and family. Peace be with you. Love, Gail
6/24/2019 05:48:16 am
Thank you, Gail, for your support and encouragement. We know we’re not alone. Empathic friends like you are so appreciated!
Ron and Cathy
6/26/2019 01:00:16 am
We are so grateful Ronda went to seek treatment! God is so faithful. We are praying for both of you as you walk through this chapter of your love story. Sending hugs and love to both of you!
6/26/2019 03:08:17 pm
What a blessing of encouragement you are to us, Ron and Cathy! Thank you for your prayers and support. Love you guys!
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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.