Lessons from a stay in the hospital

I’m recovering from an 8 day stay in the hospital.  My appendix, which was perforated (they don’t burst, but burst sounds better), was removed and the infection hopefully contained.

I’ll spare you the time-line and the details–for fear of exaggeration–but do want to share observations and lessons.  I probably should wait for a time of more clarity and deeper reflection–but it is amazing how quickly the past becomes a blur to me.


  1. Hospitals remove any sense of modesty, personal identity and individuality
    They make you remove all your cloths and give a contraption that must have been designed by a comedian with a warped sense of humor.  There is no way to put it keep it on modestly and comfortably.
    Then they remove anything that identifies you as you including your wedding ring so they can assign you a number on a band.
    Then finally they remove your ability to see–there go the glasses.
  2. Hospitals remove any sense of intelligence
    Every individual that walks into the room, even if someone else is ask the question as they enter, will asks the exact same questions–“What is your name?” “What is your date of birth?”  After several days in the hospital you start to wonder yourself.
  3. Hospitals remove any sense of propriety
    Every bodily function is discussed, measured and described–enough said.
  4. Hospitals are designed to help you get better but not to help you rest
  5. Hospital clocks don’t move at night
  6. Hospital beds were not designed with comfort in mind only flexibility
  7. Other thoughts
    How are you, in the middle of the night, supposed to quantify your level of pain on a scale of 1-10 and compare it to the worst pain you have ever had?
    Why can’t hospitals be more efficient?  Two procedures for the price of one would be a great idea.  I asked my surgeon, since she was operating on my belly if she could also do liposuction–no such luck.
    It’s amazing what you can do with a texting plan and a smart phone. 
    I’m way more conscious of what I eat now–that is a good thing.
    Why do we love to share horror stories?  No matter had bad your situation, some else had it worse (“When I had my …..!” see Brian Regan, “Me-Monster“).


  1. God’s grace is amazing
  2. When everything is out of my control, it is wonderful to know that God has everything in His control
  3. God’s timing is impeccable
  4. The prayers of people are encouraging. Prayer is vital.  But I take great comfort in the fact that God’s answer to prayer–in whatever form–is not simply a reaction to the request but is filtered through is His all-love, all-gracious, fully-sovereign comprehensive plan.  And that the length of stay in the hospital or the severity of the problem is not a reflection on how much or little God cares.
  5. In those few moments of clarity the thing that help the most was to pray for others
  6. I am not as important as I like to think nor are many of the things I do as significant as I make them–but I do want to make an impact for the glory of God
  7. While I did not experience what the Desert Fathers called “The dark night of the soul” I would say that the dark-slow-passing-night in a hospital is the hardest time. At least for the moment, I appreciate some of the simple things: sleep, companionship, clarity of mind and actually being able to focus, having a purpose and a job
  8. When I was finally able to concentrate enough (without hiccups, long story)–my encounter with God in His Word was fresh and invigorating
  9. Family and friends are a treasureknowing people care and pray is awesome
  10. The top lesson: Marry well. I’m glad I married well beyond myself.  I would not have made it through so well without my wonderful wife. She definitely got the “for worst” and I got the “for better.” What an amazing woman.  I love you!

Author: Steve

Steve Kilgore joined the staff of Calvary Church in Lancaster, PA in the fall of 2002 as the Pastor of Discipleship to facilitate the equipping ministries, which include Adult Bible Fellowship and other adult discipleship ministries, and work with the rest of the education ministries. He currently serves as the Executive Pastor of Ministries with a focus on providing ministries that facility individuals taking intentional Next Steps for growing and participating in the leadership and administrative aspect at Calvary. He has also taught part-time at Lancaster Bible College in the area of Spiritual Formation and New Testament. Prior to coming to Calvary he served in two churches as well as taught part-time at Philadelphia Biblical University. He was born in Dallas, Texas, but spent the first 13 years of his life in Guatemala where his parents were missionaries. It was there at the age of four and a half that Steve placed his faith in Christ as his Savior. Steve received a Bachelor’s degree in Bible from Philadelphia College of Bible and a Masters of Theology from Dallas Theological Seminary. Steve and his wife, Mary Anne, have their two boys, Andrew and Nathan (both in college), and live in East Lampeter Township. Steve lives and ministers by the personal motto, Know what you believe and why, live it, be able to defend it. His hobbies, other than playing with his family, include tinkering with computers, reading, drinking coffee with his wife, playing and watching basketball. Steve and Mary Anne are looking forward to exploring new hobbies as they transition to life as empty-nesters.

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