“Plastic surgeon? What…you need to see a plastic surgeon?” I had to chuckle when Jimmy told me this. Usually when you hear “plastic surgeon” the thought is elective surgery attached to vanity. However, this was necessary surgery. You see, months back a tiny growth started on Jim’s lip. It had now blossomed into a full-blown “hemangioma” (ends of blood vessels breaking through the skin), which not only looked unpleasant, but was a real problem as it would just start bleeding at any time and for hours straight sometimes.
Our primary physician referred Jim to a plastic surgeon for removal of the hemangioma, and Jim saw the surgeon on Thursday 7/10 for a consultation. Being that Jim is in his friend’s wedding on 7/26, the plastic surgeon (who is a friend of groom’s brother-in-law, who is our primary physician…are you following?) initiated special arrangements for Jim to have surgery 48 hours later on Saturday 7/12. This would give Jim’s lip 2 weeks to heal before Craig’s wedding. Jim unexpectedly, but thankfully, went into pre-op mode and had to be at the hospital part of Friday for an unusual Saturday-scheduled surgery.
We don’t want to dramatize this experience as we are very aware that this is “small potatoes” in the scheme of health and life issues, but anytime you hear the words “anesthesia and surgery”, you feel a little unsettled. God was so good, and we felt the prayers of family and friends. The surgeon and his staff were wonderful. As I held Jim’s hand tightly before the team of doctors took him to the operating room, they promised me they would take care of Jim’s handsome face. And they did. In the recovery room after surgery, we held hands together in a thankful prayer to the Lord. We also had an opportunity to share our faith the nurse.
We arrived at the hospital Saturday morning at 9:30 AM and were driving back out of the hospital at noon! Joshua was with Aunt Anne, and Gabrielle was with Aunt Tina. The kids were both enjoying special time with their aunts, and we were out of the hospital much sooner than expected. Jim hadn’t eaten since Friday evening and, although groggy and sore, he was hungry. He wanted to use a gift card he had received to The Olive Garden, so we were delighted to have a serendipitous lunch date.
Jim enjoyed Parmesan-crusted tilapia with a side of veggies over whole wheat LINGUINE, while I had the mixed grill (yum!). It was such a treat to have a quiet afternoon lunch together, just the two of us. We talked and laughed (although Jim could not smile without some pain) and just lingered over our lunch together.
Jim’s plastic surgery on his lip served to be another occasion for us to express our intrinsic LOVE for one another. Health concerns always remind us of the fragility and preciousness of life. We paused from the busyness of life. We prayed together, gave thanks together, loved on each other intently and went to our God together in trust. We looked into into each other’s eyes with unspoken but understood emotions.
While Jim was discussing the surgery options with me after his initial consultation on Thursday, he asked me, “Will it be OK with you if I have a little scar?” I told him honestly it didn’t matter about the scars, what mattered was his health, wellness and satisfaction. As long as he was well, I wouldn’t even notice the scar. When I look at him, I look into his eyes and see his heart. Honey, I love you. Lips and all!