TODAY OCTOBER 8, I celebrate 26 years since my lung cancer surgery!
In fulfillment of my “Thank Offering to God,” I have already dropped in the mail a stack of signed FREE copies of my book HOSPITAL GOWNS DON'T HAVE POCKETS! as soon as your e-mail orders came to my inbox. You have a few more days to send me your order.
I have tried to lighten up serious subjects with a bit of humor and the antics of the little original characters, GG the bunny and Miss Meow, the nurse, which I created with my artist friend. The book has proven to be meaningful and user-friendly to many.
This occasion has given me the window of opportunity to pray for you and/or for the person to whom you intend to give the book. If you are giving the book away, I hope you will read it first. I would like to have had my own book to read to prepare me before I had my surgery, but of course I wrote it after recovery. We all need someone who understands and has gone through an illness/surgery to walk close to us in their bedroom slippers too. I want to be that person for you through my book.
I asked some questions on the cover of my book: “Why me? What now? Discovering meaning in physical distress.” Because we are all still learning, we discover more answers as life unfolds. I include an addendum with the book about some things I have been learning since my surgical adventure to offer you some options.
Even after this special offer is over on October 14th, the books are still available at my discounted price. We continually have folks around us becoming ill, having an accident, or going through tests or a surgery. You might like to have some of these books on hand as gifts rather than sending flowers that wilt.
An excerpt from my book follows from Chapter One:
“Are you curious about the title of this book? When we enter the hospital and shed our street clothes, we discover that most of the gowns don't have pockets. Apparently we don't need any.
A sheet of instructions given before admission spells out: “Leave your valuables at home.” When I slip into my without-pockets hospital gown, it's obvious that I can't bring my personal, educational, or professional reputation with me. No one cares about my accomplishments and expertise. I'm literally stripped to bare essentials. My “designer gown” is the ultimate leveler of humanity!
"When I lie on the operating table, I'm an “equal opportunity” patient. What the surgical team does for me and to me doesn't depend on who I am, what I've done or what I still hope to do. My identity doesn't matter to them beyond checking, I hope, my plastic I.D. bracelet to see if I'm the right body to receive the scheduled surgery.
"Why is this piece of cloth called a “gown?” I usually think of gowns as fashionable attire for formal occasions. Surgery is about as informal as you can get.
"Gowns in doctors' exam rooms are often made of paper and disposable. They remind me that all things in life are temporary. My physical problem one way or another will pass too. Some gowns are like large vests with no sleeves. Sometimes the nurse tells me to put the unmanageable thing on with the opening at the back, sometimes at the front, depending on what the doctor wants to peer at or poke. Some are street length paper gowns without fasteners. Never with pockets.
"Gowns issued to us in the hospital are hardly more fashionable than exam room gowns, although made of cloth and more durable. Sometimes they are white, drab green or blue. Some have a tiny logo of the admitting hospital in an over all design. Hospital gowns apparently start out with strings to tie, but more often than not, at least one string is missing. (Are they treating patients so roughly?) In the shorty gowns I'm exposed and drafty on my backside.
"I confess that during my periodic x-rays as on outpatient during recovery years, I wore a gown or two that did have pockets. Never mind, they weren't hospital gowns. Sometimes there are special issue gowns with a pocket right in front center for carrying a heart monitor. I'll concede that exception, but I won't change my book title!
"The nurse instructed me to stuff my street clothes and shoes into what looked like a white garbage bag. I wondered, Will I ever wear my clothes again?
“Ready?” she asked cheerfully from outside the curtain.
I took a deep breath, pulled aside the curtain and emerged from my preparatory cubicle for better or for worse. I stood unsteadily in my terry cloth slippers with rubber soles. No way am I ready for what is coming!
"Likewise, I will stand before God, my Creator and Judge when I arrive in His presence on that Final Reckoning Day. I blink. What if it is today? For that event I must be ready.
"My gown on That Day will also be provided. That garment won't have pockets either. No place for valuables, credentials, bank books, business cards or property deeds. No place for a credit report or references documenting my character, accomplishments or proficiency. I'll leave everything behind. “Just as I am without one plea, but that Thy blood was shed for me. O Lamb of God, I come, I come.”
"I'll either be clothed in the righteousness of Jesus Christ, my Redeemer, or I'll be spiritually naked without covering. My garment won't be earned or deserved, and I can't buy it at the door. It is made of clean, white linen, and I have to reserve it in advance.
The garment, the gown that God gives to those who belong to Him has a “whosoever” designer label and one size fits all.”