We've had a lot of fun (at Garrett's expense) joking about his surgery.
But I would be remiss if I didn't also take the time to record the lessons we have learned.
This whole experience has been testimony building and taught/reminded/reinforced many lessons.
1) Obedience to God's commandments brings blessings.
2) Heavenly Father can direct us through the Holy Ghost. We can receive personal revelation for our lives.
3) Heavenly Father cares about each of us as individuals and is concerned with our daily lives.
4) Priesthood Authority is the power to act and speak for God and it is on the earth today.
Garrett has been in pain for some time now. We started to seek treatment by going to our pediatrician who sent us for an ultrasound. About a month ago, we went to a urologist, who was very highly recommended by a physician friend of ours.
The doctor examined Garrett and gave him a diagnosis which included "This is very common although we don't usually need to correct it. But since you are in so much pain, we should probably go ahead and do surgery whenever you would like to."
As we left the doctor's office, Garrett said, "I don't like him. I don't feel comfortable with his diagnosis and I don't think he's right. I want a second opinion."
It wasn't that Garrett didn't want surgery. He knew that surgery was probably inevitable. He just had a "feeling" about the doctor.
I kind of pooh-poohed Garrett -figuring he's 18 and the doctor came highly recommended and has ben practicing for 30 years.
Brian and I told Garrett that if he was uncomfortable with the doctor's diagnosis, he could definitely seek a second opinion.
When I got home though, I discovered that the doctor was not covered by our insurance plan.
He could not perform the surgery if we wanted him to.
Garrett would HAVE to have a second opinion.
With hindsight - we know that Garrett's feeling wasn't his own. He wasn't a crazy teenager. The feeling was a prompting from the Holy Ghost who was guiding him in his decisions. This was a testimony to all of us. Whenever we are trying to live the commandments and be obedient, we can feel the Spirit and are open to the promptings of the Holy Ghost. Garrett's prompting led us to look elsewhere for medical care.
We received another referral from a friend. I called and asked for the soonest available appointment.
The appointment was for 11:15 on Tuesday, April 20th.
The nurse came in and visited wit us first. We told her about the other diagnosis. She explained the diagnosis to us and gave Garrett some paperwork about it. She was very thorough in her explanation. Then the doctor came in he seemed kind of irritated. He had reviewed the ultrasound and the nurses notes. He said, "Your diagnosis is totally incorrect. You don't have a ------" and he took the papers away from Garrett. He was shaking his head as he said, "I know Bruce (the other doctor). He's a good doctor. I don't know why he would tell you that you have ----- because you don't."
He then questioned Garrett thoroughly and did an exam. After the examn, he explained the problem to us and said, "If this were my son, I would have surgery tomorrow." I interpreted this to mean, "When you ceck out, ask the receptionist to get you on the schedule in the next few weeks."
That is NOT what he meant. He flung open the exam room door and called, "Kristen, get Matthew Cox on the surgery schedule tomorrow." Eek! Garrett and I looked at each other in shock. Garrett had a huge grim on his face - not because he was dying to go under the knife, but because he felt confident that this doctor knew what he was talking about and could actually treat Garrett and take care of the problem. His face was flooded with relief. Once again, the Holy Ghost confimed to Garrett that the doctor was correct and that immediate surgery was the correct way to go.
Garrett asked Brian to give him a priesthood blessing before surgery. A priesthood blessing can only be given by someone who has been found worthy and has received the Melchizedek preisthood through ordination. The priesthood power is the power to act and speak for God. When called upon to give a blessing, the priesthood holder is not telling the receiver what he wants to hear or what sounds good. He is telling the receiver what the Lord wants him to know. Blessings can bring comfort, give advice, serve as a warning, or reassure the receiver. One of he first things that Brian said in the blessing was something to the effect that the surgery would be a little more complex than the doctor expected. I raised my head and opened my eyes and looked at Brian like, "WHAT are you saying?" He didn't notice me. He went on to bless the doctor through Garrett that he could perform the surgery and that it would be successful, Garrett would recover and their would be no permanent negative effects.
The surgery was successful. When the doctor came out to talk to me, he said it was a more difficult case than he thought but he was able to fix the problem and everything would be okay.
Garrett is recovering well - a little more quickly than expected. We all have an increased testimony of the tender mercies of the Lord. We know that He knows and cares about each of His children. He has a plan for each of us. Through prayer, the Holy Ghost and personal revelation, we can each find out what that plan is. He is involved in the details of our lives. He leads us and guides us and puts people and opportunities in our lives. Through our faith and obedience, we can listen to the still small voice and make good choices that will lead us back to Him.
I know this is true. I have always known this is true. But I am thankful for Heavenly Father who reinforces this knowledge daily!