My name is Shawn. I am 27 and have been living in Indianapolis, IN for several years now. I grew up living out in the country in Rush County, IN. Life has been simple and healthy. I have never had to visit the doctor much, unless I had to. I have always had an active lifestyle playing different sports, even up until this day.
On March 23, 2019 my, then girlfriend and now fiance, Shelby and I were at her condo figuring our where to eat (typical). During our conversation, the left side of my lower back started to tighten up, as if I had a muscle cramp. I tried to stretch and move to get rid of the pain, but it only became worse. I hit the floor in agonizing pain and Shelby had asked if I was okay. Since I tend to be sarcastic from time to time, I didn't give her the normal reply that I should have and instead I stated, "No, your indecision of where to eat is killing me!" A few minutes later, severe nausea had set in and this would not go away. Unfortunately, I had passed up my lunch, and also what seemed like the lunch I had three weeks ago. This whole time I kept trying to rule out what it was. I called my father, a veterinarian, and my biological mother, Janet, who is a Registered Nurse, and told them my symptoms to see what it could be. Both of their thoughts were that it could either be food poisoning or a kidney stone. As time dragged on, everything became worse and the pain became sharper.
I instantly regretted being sarcastic and eventually apologized and told Shelby that, yes, something was actually killing me. She helped me to her car and we went to the nearest Med Check down the street. Once we were able to get back to a room, the nausea became even worse and I, once again, "tossed my cookies" into the large trash can in the exam room. Only 5 seconds had passed when the doctor walked in and he immediately said " Hello, you look like hell. I am sending you and your info to the ER."
As we waited in the ER for three hours, my parents arrived to show support as they could, along with Shelby. Eventually we were able to go into a room and I had an IV put in with some pain medication. The first round of pain medicine did not work and they had to up the ante with more medication to stop the pain I was feeling. Towards the end of the seven hour ER visit, I was finally being wheeled back to get a CT Scan. Before that, every nurse, NP, or doctor that came in to check on me was certain of one thing: every symptom led to a kidney stone. To me this did not make sense, nor did it for my fiance or parents. I had eaten healthy and drank plenty of water, and I did not drink that much soda at all. An hour after the CT Scan, the results came back with some shocking news: I had a massive hemorrhage near my kidney. Some of the staff were perplexed by this. So they sent me home with pain medication and we scheduled an appointment to see a Urologist, Dr. Jason Sprunger.
Over the next few days, several questions popped into my head: "What could this be? I'm 27 and healthy, how serious could this honestly be? How could this have happened?" The next question that is always the most mysterious was this, "So what's next, God?" I know we will all experience trials at different points in our lives. For me, my faith in God has carried me through the best and the worst times in my life. There are several verses in the Bible that I go to in times of confusion and mystery as to where life may go. The verse for this occasion was Psalm 23:4. It says, "Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and staff protect and comfort me" (NLT).
Psalm 23 is a one of the most recognized verses in the whole Bible. It is a Psalm that King David wrote to reference God as "The Good Shepherd". David himself was a shepherd and related to God on this level. It is saying that God is our shepherd, and we are his sheep. Right off the bat, it is an odd reference. But in this reference, it is about how sheep are dependent on the leadership, protection, and guidance of the shepherd to look after the herd. In this specific verse, it reflects how God is protecting us and looking out for us, even we don't feel like He is, even when we feel that life is rough and that it is not fair. It shows that He is there when the physical, mental, or emotional pain comes in big or small waves; or when the doctor gives you the prognosis that is not positive. The darkest valleys that we go through, we do not go alone. He is close beside us, and will comfort us throughout the darkest walk.
This was the start to the journey that is still mysterious to me, even being 7 months into it now. The next blog will show the progression of my journey and each road block that I have faced so far. Thank you for reading this, and for showing me love and support throughout this process!