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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Community Comment

My Grace

I was reading an interview with writer Anne Lamott in the November 24, 2012 Spokesman-Review,  regarding her book, Help. Thanks. Wow. (

I haven’t even read her book, however, I immediately realized that Help, Thanks, Wow is the way I got through this past summer.  It's how I prayed.

I learned to ask God for help, to let Him help me, to thank Him over and over, again and again, and in the end, exclaimed at the Wow that had happened to me.

This summer was a medical roller coaster of overwhelmingly emotional stress, where I started out in June with maybe the flu, then a kidney infection, then more seriously, a staph infection of the blood and heart, to maybe Open Heart Surgery. 

Then, I had internal bleeding from a tear in my esophagus that required a repair and seven units of blood.

I thought I was going to die.  (Especially when a chaplain showed up.) 

In July I had both kidneys removed (which were about 16 pounds total and not working one whit).

Late in September, I experienced the return of the same staph infection of the blood and the heart, which now showed damage to the heart,

October 5, I had Open Heart Surgery. 

I pretty much spent most of the summer crying for help.  And I mean, I was sobbing to God to help me! Please help me!  And then I would be grateful that God was embracing me and thankful to great doctors and great care.  And finally I would whisper “Wow!” because I was better.

I approached my kidney surgery with an attitude of peace and gratitude.  I knew I had taken my hands off the controls, for a change, and left it all with God.  I sailed through.  And said “Wow!”

I was blindsided in late September (I wanted to write “sideblinded”) by a second bout of staph infection of the blood and heart – and the ultimate pronouncement that I needed to have Open Heart Surgery.  That phrase fills me with trepidation, panic, and fear.  Mentally I am digging in my heels and saying No! No! No!  I immediately went into my prayer mode.  I cried out for help.  I wept.  I told God I just couldn’t handle it any more.  And He said, “Good – I’ll take care of it.”  And I was thankful for such a miraculous recovery from such a miraculous surgery. 


~Humbly yours,  Jeanie~

Spokesman-Review readers blog about news and issues in Spokane written by Dave Laird.