“Worst Night Ever” + Possible Torn Retina = Visit to ER for My Unhappy Wife

This is what my wife's inner child has felt like lately

(This is a continuation of my recent posts about my wife Catherine, who last week underwent a surgery for which she spent three days and two nights hospitalized. Now she’s home for two weeks healing.)

Cat’s fine. And she doesn‘t have a torn retina. But on Sunday morning, pale and soaked, she told me she’d just spent the worst night of her life.

Her life!

Cool. So I’m off the hook for that night I spent rolling around and vomiting on the living room floor from confusing vodka with lemonade.

Saturday and Saturday night were extremely rough on Cat. Her system was all kinds of bent. Her stomach distress kept her up all night Saturday, and by three the next afternoon we were thinking we needed to take her back to the hospital. So we called Urgent Care to get a nurse’s advice. And what did we learn? That Cat’ seriously dysfunctional stomach and chronic light-headedness weren’t nearly so much a concern as the big cloudy spot that had developed in the vision of her left eye.

“That sounds exactly like a detached retina,” said the nurse on the phone. “You need to go to the emergency room right now.”

So off we went to the hospital. Again.

Our emergency room doctor knew more about the human eyeball than I’ll never know about anything. It was stunning. While Cat sat on an examining table separated by a thin curtain from people she could hear she was glad weren’t her, Dr. Amazingly Competent busted out all kinds of optical exam equipment, and got busy.

Fifteen minutes later, he phoned the hospital’s ophthalmologist on call that weekend to report what he’d found, which we were all glad didn’t appear to be anything serious. And then, just to be sure it wasn’t anything serious, the most conscientious ophthalmologist in the Western World left his home to meet us at his office so he could give Cat a full eye exam.

The unbelievably conscientious Dr. Yoo

On the evening of the Sunday following Thanksgiving, this guy stops his life just to be absolutely positive that Cat doesn’t have a detached retina—even though the emergency room doctor had left no doubt that she didn’t. Dr. Reuben Yoo nonetheless showed up his jogging suit just to make sure.

Who are these doctors and nurses who know so much, who care so deeply? The doctors who performed Cat’s operation were amazing. The nurses who cared for her during her stay at the hospital were amazing. The emergency care doctors and nurses were insanely perfect. Dr. Yoo rocked the entire universe for opening his office on the weekend just to be absolutely positive that Cat was all right.

Who are these people? How do they get that way? Who has those kind of brains? Who has that kind of stamina? Who dedicates their life to the physical well-being of others?

Anyway, Cat’s fine. Her eye is fine; her stomach is slowly but surely returning to normal. She’s still anemic from the blood lost during her operation, which of course keeps her light-headed, but that, too, is daily improving, and will be fully better in about a month.

I don’t know how I would have processed all this before I was Christian. But now it’s simple enough: I drop to my knees, and send up to God every last iota of gratitude in my soul.


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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • I am just catching up on the last few days. It is amazing how devoted some people in the medical community are.I've been praying for Cat and am so glad she's doing better!

  • Glad she is doing better & there really are some medical phenoms out there that do an incredible job. Is our God great or what? Thank you for sharing this, enjoyed your last sentence immensely

  • Stuart

    Very cool stuff! Like you say it is very hard to understand all this, but hey, we don't need to! Just give thanks where it is due.

    The commitment of medical staff would put many of us Christians to shame.

    Thanks for sharing.


  • Thank you, Stuart. You're a treasure.

  • Kory: Thank you so much. U da man.

  • Robin

    awesome awesome. Glad she's doing better. Hope you're both resting. Squeeze her a lot (without annoying her when she's feeling gross).

  • Wow! You guys have really been through it! I know about detached retinas…my husband had one in 2000….and some serious nerve damage when they did the surgery to repair it. I can't think of anything worse than throwing up after surgery. I'll keep praying for Cat and you. Jerri

  • Richard Lubbers

    John, so glad you're off the hook for the vodka night, and too bad Cat had to experience something worse than that!

    Seriously, those of us who follow you are relieved to hear good news, and grateful to our God for hearing and answering our prayers. And anyone who has ever needed the skillful help of a medical professional understands how you can be so amazed and grateful. They are truely mind-blowers!

    Continuing in prayer and thanksgiving.

  • Melesa Garrison

    Wow John, I'm so sorry that your poor wife went through that trauma, but I'm certainly glad that she is on the upswing of things now. We serve an awesome GOD! My daughter has one more semester left to get her RN and she is so excited to fulfill her life long desire to be in the medical field. Cat is probably recovering faster than you did with the vodka! Ha…God Bless 🙂