by Rachel Revere
The first year Paul and I were married, I had a scare that caused me to make life-saving changes to my diet. I was 20-years old and working as a legal secretary. One day I stood up to put a file folder in the drawer. Suddenly the floor started swirling and I blacked out. Coworkers came to the rescue and dragged me outside. I momentarily revived in the cold air, but I fainted again in their arms. Several hours later I awakened in a hospital bed. A man with a mask peered down at me.
You're lucky to be alive," he was saying. "We found a cyst the size of an orange pressing on your ovary. That is why you fainted. We wanted to do emergency surgery, but you are just too weak and we don't want to risk it. We are sending you home for now. We want you to build up your strength so that you can undergo surgery. You need to come back for a check-up in two months."
Wait, wait," I said. "What are you saying?"
I'm sorry, young lady, but we're going to have to remove at least one of your ovaries and possibly both of them. That cyst is doing too much damage."
This was devastating news because it meant Paul and I could not have any babies. But I was in such a fog, that I was oblivious to the horrible news.
My coworkers tucked me into bed in our little apartment above a dress shop. Paul came home from his college classes to find me lying in bed, half dead. Poor Paul, I was too ill to even tell him what had happened. Paul called the doctor and was told, "Feed her nourishing meals to build up her strength for surgery."
Feed me nourishing meals?" Paul had never even turned on the stove, let alone boiled water. I wasn't much more of a cook. Our old standby of macaroni with catsup and a candy bar was about the only food preparation I did. Lack of proper nutrition was probably one reason I was ill.
The first week in bed I had no appetite. I just slept and drank a little water. I fasted because I was too sick to eat.
The second week I started getting hungry so Paul called his Mom who brought a steaming pot of her chicken soup with homemade noodles. I began to perk up as we sat eating at my bedside. We laughed and laughed as she told stories about when she was a newlywed.
The first time I was sick as a young wife," she said, "George brought me breakfast in bed. He brought in a huge plate of leftover cold spaghetti right from the refrigerator with no sauce or seasonings. It was just awful. But I appreciated his thoughtfulness."
Paul brought me books to read about women's health problems. I learned that cysts were not particularly dangerous unless they pushed against vital organs. That's what was happening to me. One book said that cysts can be caused by caffeine in the diet. I wasn't a coffee drinker, but I drank Pepsi and ate lots of chocolate candy bars. "That does it," I resolved. "No more pop or chocolate candy for me." The Pepsi was easy to give up, but the chocolate was tougher. But I said, "No more."
Two months later I was back on my feet and feeling perky. I still wasn't much of a cook but I had made one nutritious addition to our diet. I started going to a Mom and Pop grocery store that offered a free bunch of parsley with a five-dollar purchase. "Great, I thought. "I don't have to buy vegetables. We'll just eat parsley. It's green and raw and cheaper than lettuce because it's free." I started serving parsley every night with dinner.
At my checkup, the doctor was amazed that no surgery was necessary. God's marvelous healing power had restored me. It took less than 60 days on a caffeine-free diet to shrink up the cyst.
In the years that followed, God blessed us with two beautiful daughters. They are especially precious because we came so close to never being able to conceive.
"Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness and for his wonderful works to the children of men."