I ended up getting stuck in Nashville for an extra night tonight. There are tornadoes all over the Midwest, and my Nashville-Atlanta flight that was supposed to leave at 6:45 got delayed until 9:54, meaning I would have missed my Atlanta-Raleigh flight entirely because they don't have any middle of the night flights, so my only option was to reschedule everything for tomorrow morning. Thank the Lord I have the most amazing friends. Caitie and Bruno turned right around after dropping me off at the airport tonight to pick me back up. Caitie texted Taylor (while on their honeymoon!), and Kyla called in a favor and got me a free night at the hotel and gave me information about a taxi service that would take me to the airport since I would need to leave long before the free hotel shuttle opens. And then Caitie gave me money for the taxi because I needed to have money to eat tomorrow morning.
But anyway, what happened today?!
I got up and got ready in the only clothes I had left, because I wasn't expecting to go to church while on this trip. (Thankfully the church is super casual.) I packed all my stuff up and went down and checked out and then ate breakfast. I waited for Bruno to come pick me up, and then we went back to get Caitie, and then we headed to church.
Strong Tower is a church that I've been listening to for several months online at Taylor's recommendation, so I was very excited to actually get to attend a service.
I laughed because the second song we sang included these words.
And I instantly remembered the Scripture that Calah had told me about on Thursday. It felt like a little message from God, so I took a picture to make sure that I wouldn't forget it. The church greeted all the new people, and everyone who said hello to me immediately made me feel very welcome. Danny Gokey (yes, the guy from American Idol) was there to speak a little about his Nashville-based charity, and he sang a song that gave me chills.
I don't remember what else happened after that, because things got a little rough...I ended up having a seizure up in the balcony. I think it was triggered from how warm it was up there. You know what's awesome, though? Apparently Bruno had Caitie go tell one of the security guys that was nearby, and he radioed all the other security guys, who then got all the medical professionals in the building up to help me. So when I woke up, I had EMTs, nurses, and I don't even know who else helping me. It's church policy to call 911, so the paramedics had to come check me out. As we were waiting for them, I heard Pastor Chris (a different one, haha!) get a woman up there to pray for me, and hearing a huge church full of people who didn't know me shouting with prayer for me was...so humbling. I don't even know how to accurately describe it.
I initially didn't want to go to the hospital, because I figured there wasn't much point, but the EMTs sort of insisted (and I was still too out of it to argue with them) and sort of convinced me that it would be dangerous to get on a plane that night without getting properly checked out. So off we went. Bruno and Caitie followed behind the ambulance.
The ER of the hospital we went to was pretty slammed, so it took quite some time for me to see anyone. And by "quite some time" I mean close to two hours. These two sweet friends of mine were so patient, though; they wouldn't even go get something to eat, despite not having eaten at all that day, until the doctor came in to see me.
When the doctor came in, they left, and the doctor talked to me and checked me out. He checked out my shunt and said he didn't like how it felt, so he ordered a shunt series (X-rays from my head to my abdomen, the whole length of the shunt) on top of the usual CT scan. The nice man also ordered me some Dilaudid and Zofran. I went to X-ray, Bruno and Caitie came back, and then I went off to CT. Then, I just had to wait for the results.
This is where the title of today's post comes in. The doctor walked in the room and told me that shunt/brain-wise I was fine, but that I have a mass on my thyroid. I reminded him I didn't have a thyroid, since I'd had it removed for tumors in halves in 1999 and 2007. That was when I learned that if my surgeon left any tissue cells in after the second half removal, that it could regenerate, and with my history of thyroid tumors, easily grow another tumor. No one had ever told me that before. So yeah, I get to go back to the ENT I haven't seen in several years (the one who did the second half removal) and see if this doctor was right. I'm scheduling that for the day after I leave Campbell for Christmas break. If it is indeed correct that I have another thyroid tumor, it looks like I'll be spending my Christmas break dealing with thyroid surgery.
I'm...I don't know...a bit irritated, I guess. I had enough health stuff going on, so finding out that I not only had an organ that I thought was gone as of 6.5 years ago but that it also has a new tumor on it wasn't exactly what I was looking for. I don't want to have another surgery. But I'm so much more thankful than I am upset. The tumors I had at the past two surgeries were the same non-cancerous kind, so chances are high that if this is a new tumor, that it will also be non-cancerous and thus the only obstacle is getting it out. By going to the hospital when I thought I didn't need to, by seeing this one particular doctor who didn't like how my shunt felt, I found a problem that I wouldn't have otherwise known about until it became serious (like when I was 6 and we didn't know I had a tumor until you could see it sticking out of my throat).
So today, I'm thankful that the Lord led me to answers. Even though, to me, it felt like we accidentally found them, I know that this was never an accident to him. He's got it all planned out. And His protection is definitely something to be thankful for.