Back in the swing of things

I’m getting back in the swing of things after a 10 day stay in the hospital for an obstructed intestine, apparently caused by scar tissue in my abdomen from the previous cancer surgery. Lent is often a time of fasting, and I had to go the first 7 days with no solid foods at all to help the system relax and clear itself out.

When I finally got to eat some chicken broth, it tasted finer and richer than Thanksgiving dinner! I had good care in our local hospital and thank all the nurses and doctors who looked after me.

Being close by also had the advantage of a steady stream of visitors. Staff dropped by to inquire, pray and support. One of our 2nd graders, Kyla, had to come up to the clinic for tests, and she stopped by the room with a homemade card and hug that brightened my day considerably. LaToya, one of our high school juniors who works an after school job at the hospital brought me my tray of food and greetings from the Crane Home. As I roamed the hallways, pushing IV pole ahead of me to get some exercise, I ran into a whole variety of folks from the community with health concerns of their own, and tried to be a caring listener to them.

Hospital stays trigger so many different moods and emotions. At times during the week I felt anxious. Once they determined I wouldn’t need to have surgery, but just wait it out, boredom became a struggle. A few times the hospitalization had a retreat-like quality, as I had plenty of time for prayer and spiritual reading. With no meals to break up the day, the Divine Office, with its various prayers at each time of the day, took on greater significance to mark and celebrate the passage of time. I tried to listen carefully to what God might be saying in the midst of sickness and struggle.

Being active, it’s hard to slow down and my mind raced with the many things I could be doing. Now that I’m home and have both the freedom and opportunity, I don’t have the energy I’d like. It’s important to pace yourself and not overdo it.

Author: St. Joseph's Indian School

At St. Joseph's Indian School, our privately-funded programs for Lakota (Sioux) children in need have evolved over 89 years of family partnership, experience and education. Because of generous friends who share tax-deductible donations, Native American youth receive a safe, stable home life; individual counseling and guidance; carefully planned curriculum based on Lakota culture and individual student needs and tools to help build confidence, boost self-esteem and improve cultural awareness. All of this helps children to live a bright, productive, possibility-filled future.

11 thoughts on “Back in the swing of things”

  1. It’s good to know you are back and on the road to better health once again. You had a nice long stretch without problems so you have been blessed, over all. I’m sure everyone at St. Joseph’s is especially glad to see your smiling face back on campus. I think the timing of all of this was rather fortunate, actually. I mean, if one HAS to be sick this turned out to be a pretty good time to be sick! God Bless You!

  2. Welcome home Fr. Steve. Seems God keeps throwing challenges at you…but you persevere and make it through it one!

    Take care, and after not eating for a while…enjoy some good food!

    God bless,
    Marianne

  3. GOD Bless You Father. I have had several surgeries so I understand a little what you were going through. I like to eat, and fasting would have been a struggle for me. However, with GOD’s help, anything is possible.

    I’ll continue to pray for you.

    Warm Affections,

  4. Fr.Steve.I’ve had the same experience a year after my appendix was removed.Was in the upper peninsula of Mich.during deer season when the problem occured.Spent several days in a small under staffed hospital but luckily no surgery.I wish you well and my family and I will pray for your continued recovery.My 90year old mother in law is a long time supporter of St.Joseps and will be interested in hearing of your recovery.I’m following the school on you website and am very interested in your work and family there.My wife and I both work with special education in Ionia Michigan and realize daily what a blessing our children are.God Bless you for your work.Tom Luehrs

  5. so glad you are home and better…Now it is Sandy’s turn. Her asthma is relly fired up…Hopefully a short visit. A couple days and I’ll have her home where she belongs!

  6. As a wise priest once said… “Balance boys, balance”. Don’t overdo it. You are in my prayers.

  7. Dear Fr. Steve:
    Good to hear you are back with the school and on the mend. I’m sure everyone missed you and is glad you are well again.
    Rick and I will continue to pray for your health.
    love in Christ ~~Arleen Graham

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