The Valley of the Shadow of Death
The Lord God walks with His child in the dead of night, as well as in
the light of day. The sun does not always shine in the Valley of Sharon, but the child of God draws strength from trials. "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me." Psalm 23:4
Two years ago today, October 21, 2009, I drove myself to the Gordon County Hospital, and checked myself in for surgery before daybreak. I was alone. And, I was afraid. I was concerned about my son, who would be home alone during my surgery, since I was a single mom and had raised him alone. He was 18, and he has Asburger’s Syndrome, a form of Autism. But, I had stocked the fridge with microwave foods, and he was prepared with important numbers in his cell phone. I was only going to be in the hospital over night. I also knew his high school teacher, Mrs. Tarter had it covered. She was on top of whatever he needed, and she and Travis texted throughout the day, mostly about football scores. In the back of my mind was a nagging fear; the fear of being alone, and the fear of leaving Travis alone “if something happened.” Loneliness has always been my biggest fear.
Moments after I was administered anesthesia, My doctor, Stephanie
Brogdon, walked into my room looking nervous. I remember that because it made me scared. She asked if I minded if she pray with me before she began the operation. I was glad she wanted to pray. She prayed, and within another minute I was asleep. Asleep in that silent world of forgetfulness. Just like that, I laid down under the knife of a woman I trusted.
Hearing the voices of my sister and my best friend near the window, and
not knowing where I was, I peeled my eyes open and looked through the fog toward the sound of their voices. I forced words out of my mouth, but something silly came out. I heard one of them say, “She’s awake.” I was glad my sister and friend had showed up to be with me, and I was not alone now.
My friend left and my sister Angie walked around the bed to my side with
her eyes wide, and with love in her voice, she said she needed to tell me
something that she knew I would want to know. I realized instantly through the drugs that it wasn’t going to be good news. I waited for her to speak again. She then told me my doctor had accidentally nicked my colon, and that I had a colostomy on my stomach. She said the doctors didn’t wait to tell me, and that she told them I would not be happy if I woke up and found the colostomy bag on my stomach before anybody told me.
The doctors had given me a morphine pump, in addition to several heavy
drugs in my IV. Then they had left the hospital, opting to not face me for a few days. They didn’t count on my stubborn attempts to stay awake. I say doctors because at this point, I now had two doctors, the doctor I had chosen for myself, and the surgeon that my doctor had chosen for me when she messed up. He had sliced my intestine, and sewed it through a hole he made in my stomach, diverting the “plumbing” temporarily until the nick in the lower colon healed itself. This was done because it was not possible to get to the nick to sew it up, because of where it was low in my pelvic region.
My gynecologist had intended to do a partial hysterectomy, possibly
total, but it was to be done vaginally, which would not require cutting my
abdomen or having external stitches. All of this had changed after the accident,
and she had been required by the new surgeon, Dr. William Theus, to cut my
abdomen vertically, making a long incision to clean up the mess, and to finish the hysterectomy correctly. He also had to cut horizontally from the middle of the vertical incision to the left side where the hole was made for my intestine.
Neither my sister, nor I knew what a colostomy entailed at this point.
My sister said they had told her they were going to do another surgery in a few days and put everything back in the right place and that I would be in the
hospital for about a week. I insisted that my sister call my boss and a friend
at the gym to tell them what happened. This was surprising for me, because I had always been a private person, and Angie assumed I wouldn’t want much said about it. But, at that point, I was afraid of being alone. I wanted all my friends there.
I also told her to call my boyfriend Larry, who I barely knew at the
time and tell him I loved him. We had only been dating for a few weeks, and I
would never have said I loved him, had I not been on morphine. It was just inappropriate at that time. We had only had a few dates, and gone to church together. It was awhile before I realized I had done that. :) But, my sister handled it well. She said it to him, and told him I was heavily drugged. So, he understood.
My sister took care of the phone calls, and then she left. I lay there
in the hospital bed, thankful that I was alive, and thankful that they were
going to put everything back the right way. But, I wondered what it looked like. How was the bag connected to my body? I didn’t know what I would see. I didn’t know if they were lying about putting everything back. Why had they ran out on me like this? I trusted her.
Over a year before, my family doctor had referred me to Dr. Brogdon
because I had problems with cysts that would become infected and swell to huge sizes for more than a decade. I was having problems with heavy bleeding that lasted for 3 weeks at a time. And, I had painful periods. Dr. Brogdon immediately suggested a hysterectomy. I balked at the idea of a knife. I was trying to take care of my body. I ate healthy foods. I was losing weight. (I weighed 161 pounds the day I went in for surgery.) I rode my road bike in rides around the state. I worked out at the gym 6 days a week. I had even won the fitness contest at the gym because I was determined to win. :)
I love winning. I had worked out 8-12 hours a day to win, and had half starved myself, living on protein smoothies and tofu, with little else.
I insisted my doctor try something else first, before we consider
surgery. She tried pills for a few months. By Thanksgiving, I was in so much
pain that the GYN used shedders before I went on vacation, and then stopped my cycle to see if that would help. Then a few months later, she tried different pills. She suggested surgery at each visit. But, I continued to refuse. Finally, late the following September, I sat in her office and she again suggested surgery. I pointed to the signs of some of the new procedures that didn’t require surgery. She said none of those would solve my problems, and that surgery was the only option left. I said I was single, and I didn’t like the idea of scars. She then explained for the first time that the surgery would be done vaginally, with no scars on my abs. She said that she was very careful and liked to do everything perfect, so there would be no problems with the surgery. So, finally I agreed and we scheduled the surgery and I had to pay my share up front.
All my coworkers reassured me that it would be fine. Others had
hysterectomies and it had been great for them. They knew I had been refusing for a year, and said I should have agreed a long time ago.
Laying in the hospital bed later, alone, I thought about this. I thought
about all the time I had been afraid to have the surgery. I thought about all
the advice I had been given. I thought about the fact I was alone. I was in pain like I had never felt in my life. I drifted in and out of sleep. And I wondered when my doctors were coming back. I hated drugs. I hated feeling out of control of my own mind.
I woke up at one point to find flowers from the school. Finally the
doctors showed up one at a time. The surgeon said this was bad. He was upset, and sounded like a geek with a computer meltdown. He was throwing up his hands and saying, “I told her… this was bad!” She had been afraid to cut my stomach because she knew I hadn’t liked the idea of stitches. But, he told her she had a choice, either cut it or let me die. I assured him that I would much rather he have cut it and fixed me up than to let me die. He looked very nervous and jittery. He said they were going to take care of me, and not to worry about the cost, that everything would be “taken care of.” Then he left quickly.
Later that next evening my GYN showed up. She cried. She explained in
detail how she was cutting and suddenly realized she was in the wrong organ. She said that in all her years this had never happened to her before, though I found out later it had a few times. She said she couldn’t understand it, that “the devil was in the room.” That was her explanation. The devil had made her do it I guess. She gave me religious literature and said that she had been listening to the cd in the car the morning before doing my surgery, and that it was “God’s will” that I should listen to the cd. I asked when they were going to fix me back. She said in about three days or so when it healed. She assured me, as Dr. Theus had, that she was going to take care of me. I asked about my stomach, and she said that I shouldn’t worry. Then she left. I laid there in the bed in a drugged fog, looking at the four walls, watching nurses come and go. I felt alone. I was alone.
Once that week two of the ladies I worked with stopped by for a visit.
Larry drove all the way up to see me, a two hour drive each way, after work twice that week. I told him what happened, thinking that I would never see him again. He sat on the bed beside me, and put his arm around my shoulder. He told me everything was going to be ok, that it wasn’t my fault, and that it could happen to him. I was so happy that he wasn’t going to jump ship. I certainly would have understood if he had. But, he hung around. I was glad that he still wanted to get to know me.
Later, a nurse allowed me to see my bandages. I still couldn’t see
anything. I resisted using the morphine, and walked down the halls like they
wanted, hoping to get to go home. On the first walk around the hospital, the bag burst, making a mess on me. It was indescribable. I was horrified. Having been potty trained at a year old, and having always been extremely concerned with being clean, I was in shock at the thought of what was happening. I couldn’t deal, emotionally with the idea of the bag. Tears filled my eyes. I felt my whole world caving in on me. Then my cellphone rang in my robe pocket and it was my dear friend Susan from out of town. She didn’t even know about the surgery, or what had happened, but here she was calling as if directed by the hand of God. I held my tears back and talked to Susan, silently thanking God for her voice to comfort me in that dark moment.
The doctor finally told me that we had to wait three months minimum to
reverse the colostomy. When I asked if I would ever be able to ride a bike
again, he said he didn’t know. The day I was being released from the hospital, a representative showed up to teach me how to change “the bag.” She sat there somber faced, not making eye contact, as she held an artificial panel to her stomach, and demonstrated how to paste a colostomy bag onto the stoma. I didn’t speak. I felt the darkness closing in around me again. I realized I was taking a workshop I hadn’t signed up for and I wished I didn’t have to take it, but I had no choice. I had signed up for hundreds of seminars before. But, this was one I deeply wished I could drop.
That thought filled my mind over and over in the next few weeks. I
wished I could undo the surgery. As I struggled to learn to paste the bags on my stomach, I cried. It would literally take 6 hours for me to shower, change the bags, and dress. But, I was so used to getting dressed everyday for work my whole life, that I continued to get dressed every morning and sit in the
recliner wishing I could go to the gym or ride my bike. The home visit nurses
were kind, and I learned to deal with the embarrassment of having my wounds looked at. But, I was not able to deal with the bags emotionally.
Sometimes, I would get so sick, and the bags would burst. This was
dehumanizing, like a prisoner in my own home, laying in my own waste. I was given some bags by the nurses. But, when I started getting low, I called Dr. Brogdon to ask her to provide me more bags. The nurse relayed the message that she said she didn’t “feel comfortable” with that. I was shocked that she said that, because I didn’t feel comfortable with any of it. She had said she was going to take care of this. All their promises were quickly forgotten. Now, she wouldn't even take my phone call.
I called several medical supply companies and requested samples of their
bags, trying all the different kinds. Then I ordered more of the ones I wanted,
footing the bill myself. I found companies that sold special intricately
designed covers made for the pouches, to hide them. But, they were outrageously expensive. I told my friend down the street, Diane, about them and gave her a bag to look at, and she sewed me a pretty pink flowered design cover of her own. When I slipped that handmade pouch cover over the bag, it was amazing how much better I instantly felt. I couldn’t see the bag. When I looked in the mirror, there was this pink flowered cloth covered “bag” attached to my stomach, which was covered in scars, glue, and bandages. But, I felt beautiful. It’s all a matter of perspective.
Larry came to visit every weekend, bringing food, and I would spend 6
hours getting dressed just so I could sit on the couch beside him and talk to
him. I realized he was a wonderful man, right away. He was special. He had a
heart. He was more than just fun, and good looking, and a good kisser, he was a good man. He took me to church, which was a good thing, since I wasn’t able to drive.
Christmas, Larry came to pick me up for dinner at his sister’s and
slipped an engagement ring into my stocking. He told me he loved me and wanted to marry me. I told him I love him, too, and meant it this time. I knew God had sent Larry into my life when I needed him most. And, I knew I would never have to worry about him leaving me. He had shown me already that he was with me in sickness or in health. This was an indescribable joy for me in the middle of all my medical turmoil. I had grown up feeling unloved and had been abandoned by my father when I was two years old. Here I had found a man who loved me for me, regardless of the colostomy. I knew this was true love.
Meanwhile, I was having many complications. My bladder was having
problems emptying. Dr. Theus kept saying it would get better with time. After three months he sent me to the hospital for tests to see if the nick had healed on New Years Eve. The lab technician had me drink two tall glasses of lemonade that had a type of dye in it. He said that they would inject more dye in my veins and also insert dye through a tube into my colon, from an iv type bag. I explained to him that I had a colostomy and that I didn’t have very much colon for the dye to go into. He looked at me dumbly like he had never heard of that. So, I explained it all to him in detail. He replied that it wouldn’t matter. Then I laid on the x-ray table, with the dye running into me, praying that the x-rays would come out good, freezing from the lemonade, the dye in my veins, and the dye being inserted through the tube. I just wanted the colostomy reversed.
Suddenly, the dye stopped draining from the IV bag through the tube into
my colon. Less than half had gone inside me. The male technician said it all had to finish. I reminded him that that was probably all the space in my colon. He ignored this and reached up to the bag and began to squeeze and pump the iv bag, trying to force more liquid through my colon. I was in pain and embarrassed from the nature of the procedure. Neither he, nor the lady who was helping him seemed to care that I was in pain. They continued to act as if I was a lab rat or something. Finally, the tube exploded out of me, with the balloon that held it in place still inflated. I began to cry.
I was so ashamed as they called for housekeeping over the intercom to
bring a mop. I still had my blouse on, and it was wet, as well as the whole
room. I prayed in whispered sobs, aloud. They took pictures, and waited for the ok on them. Then they said they couldn’t see everything. I reminded him again that I didn’t have everything, and that there would be a section of my intestine missing since it was diverted from my lower colon to my stomach. He wouldn’t listen. He said we needed to do the procedure over again or I would have to come back later and do it again. I didn’t want to have to go back through another day like that. And, I certainly didn’t want the x-rays to not be good. So, we went through the whole ordeal again, with me soaked and crying. Again, the bag stopped, and another explosion. He said that was the best x-rays we were going to get, and they led me out in the hall in front of other people who had been waiting, to a hallway bathroom to get cleaned up. They left me there alone, and never came back. I cried, cleaned myself up as best I could and showed myself the door.
When I got home, I sobbed all through the evening from the trauma, the
embarrassment, and the fear that the surgery would not be reversed. Larry came over and sat on the bed beside me, while I slept, and rubbed my back. I remember he was watching the Incredible Hulk on dvd. I was hearing the sounds while I slept, and there were a lot of laboratory sounds coming from the movie, which reminded me of the operating room from the previous surgery, and that bothered me, but I didn’t say anything because I was just glad he hadn’t gone home yet for the night. I didn’t want to be alone. I just sobbed and slept.
Later, the doctor said the lab results were fine. In other words, the
lab technician simply didn’t understand that was all that he was supposed to see in the x-rays. I suffered through his incompetence needlessly. But, they scheduled the surgery, and I was glad. The hospital kept losing the pre-admit paperwork the week before, and making different paperwork mistakes. I just kept thinking it was all going to work out soon. I prayed for God to be with me.
The morning of the surgery, Larry and his pastor drove all the way to my house to pick me up and take me to the hospital. They and my sister, and my friend Diane waited at the hospital throughout the surgery. But, things weren’t going well. Before the surgery, the anesthesiologist had planned on giving me an epidural type drug for surgery, which would last for awhile afterwards for pain as well, since they could leave it in for a few days. But, a nurse came in to give me a blood clotting shot. I was apprehensive by this point, so before I let her give me the shot, I told her I was supposed to have the epidural. She said it would be ok. Then the anesthesiologist came in to give me the epidural, and asked to make sure I hadn’t had any blood clotting shots. Since I had just been given that shot, he was unable to give me the epidural. So, it was decided to give me the usual for surgery and a morphine pump afterwards.
The next thing I remember, I was in tremendous pain. I had woken up
early from surgery, still on the table. I had the sensation of looking down at myself laying on the table, but my eyes were closed. It was as if my spirit was separate from my body because of the shock of the pain. I laid there on the table begging for something for the pain. A nurse came over and said there was a problem. The doctor had forgotten to sign the order for the morphine pump. I was so angry.
I laid there in agony feeling anger boil up inside me, and feeling as if
it was wrong to be angry. I felt guilty for the anger. So, I was trying to
remember Psalm 139, but the words just wouldn’t come to my mind. The anesthesia had erased God’s words. I laid there half out of my head in agony and pain while they tracked my doctor down and got him back to the hospital to sign the paper. I asked if someone could read me Psalm 23. Nobody knew it and they didn’t have a Bible. But, they weren’t ignoring me at least. Somebody said, “Get George, he knows the Bible.” They found a nurse named George. He had never heard of the
23rd Psalm, but he did his best to say the Lord’s prayer. I remember thinking that was pretty close to right, but it didn’t help the pain or my anger. I was beyond comfort.
This whole surgery was a nightmare. But, when I saw my stomach later I was horrified. I had tubes coming out of holes in my stomach to drain the infection. My stomach was a mess. I had been sliced much further, and it was a poor job and uneven. I laid in the hospital after surgery, and Larry’s pastor called me and prayed with me. He told me I was not wrong to feel anger. As I laid there alone in the hospital one day, I was in so much pain, I thought I saw angels on the
wall and on the shelves.
For three days, my GYN came to the hospital and set there and looked at me, talking about how it was wrong to sue. I hadn't seen her since my six weeks check up. She talked about the Bible, and about God. But, I just laid there silent, wondering why she was there and trying to keep the words I wanted to say from coming out of my mouth. On the fourth day,
she sat there saying that she tried to tell women to think before they decided to have a major surgery, to try other things first. That made me so upset, because she was lying. I had drug my feet, refusing surgery for over a year before I agreed. She had talked me into it and was now trying to cover herself. There I lay in the hospital with my stomach butchered and she was worried about being sued.
I opened my mouth and I told her that whether she ever took any
responsibility for what she had done or not, I held her responsible and that she had done this. I picked up my Bible and read her passages and told her that I wanted her to love her neighbor, me, as herself. I wanted her to treat me like she would want herself treated if the tables were turned and she was laying there in that bed and I was her doctor. Her island dark skin turned pale and she left in a hurry. A couple hours later Dr. Theus showed up and tried to dismiss me. I wasn’t even able to get out of the bed and walk yet. I told him that, and reminded him that he said that certain benchmarks had to be reached before I could be dismissed, and I was not physically ready.
This continued for the next 24 hours. I refused to leave because I still
had tubes coming out of my stomach and everything. He reached over and turned the Bible cd I was listening to off with a scowl. It seemed it made him angry to hear the Bible. My bandages had just been changed by a nurse a few minutes before he showed back up to try to dismiss me again. When I told him I couldn’t leave, that I still even had tubes in my stomach, he asked to see my wounds. Glad he was showing some concern, I let him pull back the cover. He ripped off the bandage. Then he snapped out some tweezers, and yanked the tubes out of my stomach one after another, with a ripping motion. Tears came to my eyes. He then looked at me and said, “Now will you please leave!” I realized that I was not in good hands. I knew that they might kill me if I stayed there any longer. So, I agreed to leave with home health nurses coming out again to pack my wounds. They dismissed me on the spot and nurses never came
back to my room the rest of the day, despite that fact that I didn’t even have a ride home, because they had told my sister I had to stay a week. I had to wait there in a chair in my room until Larry got off work in
Tallapoosa and drove all the way to Calhoun to get me. I felt like a dog being thrown out in the street, and I was.
The next day, one of the dear home visit nurses showed up. I laid there in my bed in excruciating pain, and Betty changed my bandages with such sympathy. She marveled at the mess they had made of me. I asked her if she would read me Psalm 139 from my Bible. She opened the pages and began to read, looking at me quietly. I could feel God’s presence as she read the words. I was comforted to know that God created me, and was with me, as the Psalm says, but when she got to the end, to the verse that says “…depart from me you bloody men…” she looked at me knowingly. I could see that she understood my anger and
my pain. The words seemed to affect her as strongly as they did me. I felt such acceptance from God for my anger. I realized why that Psalm had been on my mind when I awoke from surgery angry.
That was mid January, three months after the surgical accident. Six
weeks later, the wounds weren’t healed. The nurses had already put in the orders for me another month of care, but I was anxious to get back to work. I am a teacher. That is what I love doing. So, I called my boss and begged her to let me come back to work with modifications. She agreed. I had the nurses teach me how to pack the wounds myself, and I went back to work with open wounds. They healed up by the end of the school year. Over the summer Larry and I were married. Through all of the pain and trauma of surgeries, I had found the love of my life. God provides in mysterious ways. Larry’s love pulled me through all of the medical problems; the colostomy, the self cathing, packing the wounds, the personal loss of the scars and emotional upheaval. I had a physical reminder of what love really means.
But, my medical problems were getting worse. I reached a point where I had to decide to find more doctors since mine had done nothing about my continuing medical problems, only gave me nurses to pack the wounds. It turned out that my doctor had only refunded my share of the bill for her services. She billed my insurance. Dr. Theus billed my insurance, and so did the hospital. Then, Dr. Theus harassed me over the last $55.00 that the insurance didn’t pay, even though they paid him everything else he billed them. But, the insurance had paid the GYN poorly, since she had caused the problem to start with. She told me
herself she had to file a claim with her malpractice insurance to cover her
share of the hospital bill where she was in the operating room for so long with me. They rent the OR for surgery. I think she wanted me to feel some sympathy for her costs.
My health insurance company was not happy with her. They told me I
needed another doctor and made some referrals to specialists in Atlanta. I ended up with multiple specialists who performed three more surgeries on me, after I had to go out of work again. These doctors did everything possible to help me. One doctor placed an implant inside me that acted as a pacemaker for my bladder because of the nerve damage. My body rejected the pacemaker for a while and I suffered torturously as my leg would curl from the electricity. Finally, my body began to adapt.
Then they did a total hysterectomy, repaired a hernia in my incision,
and separated adhesions and scar tissue inside me. The surgeon did a wonderful job of sewing me back up, and I didn’t have all the tubes this time. But, instead of improving, after the last surgery and a week in the hospital again, my bladder shut down completely and I had to wear an external catheter bag for awhile. By then, I could barely walk. I thought it was the implant causing my limbs to curl. But, I was sent to a neurologist who determined that I have Transverse Myelitis. This is a lesion that formed inside my spine, because something inside my body was attacking my spine, as an immunological response. This could have been the result of one of the anesthesias I was administered. It could be related to the way my body rejected the implant initially. I don’t know. My doctors do not know why this happened, or at least they haven’t told me.
Treatment has thus far included a round of steroid infusions, and
therapy for the chronic pain with a tens unit and home physical therapy and nurses. I use a walker to get around. Today, it looks like I will never ride a bike again. Amazingly, I have come to accept this fact. I know that God has been with me through my walk through the valley of the Shadow of Death. I didn’t die on the operating table. That’s what the Psalmist meant by the shadow of death. You can walk close enough to death, that you feel the darkness of his shadow. But, you know you are in God’s hands. Death can not touch you when God does not allow.
Today, two years from the date of my surgical “accident,” I wondered if my GYN was thinking of me. I wondered if she was aware that today was the end of her two year worry that I might sue her. I wonder if she breathed a sigh of relief to know that she did not have to take responsibility in any way for my health problems. To date, my medical bills have exceeded a million dollars. I have lost wages in excess of $50,000 already, not to mention over the next 20 years. I lost my career, and can not ride a bike as I loved. I suffer daily with pain and am having to learn to cope with a disability. Those are the negatives of my situation.
But, then there are the positives. There are the blessings. God gave me
my son, who despite the autism, became stronger snf more self-reliant through my ordeal and learned to take care of me. God sent me Larry to carry me through my pain and suffering. He led me to my husband’s church, where I found love and support and acceptance. I
have more love in my life than many women with both a career and a large family.
You see, some bad will come into every life. I could have just as easily
been the woman who was struck by the drunk driver, or the man who has cancer through nobody’s fault. I could have been the soldier who had two legs and an arm amputated after serving in Iraq.
Matthew 5:43-45 You have heard that it has been said, You shall love your neighbor, and hate your enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them who despitefully use you, and persecute you; That you may be the children of your Father who is in heaven: for he makes his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.
Yes, the rain falls on the just and on the unjust. The sun will rise
over the evil and the good. What really matters in this life, is the life in
your days. When the darkness comes, is God with you? When the sunrises, will it find you alone? Read the psalmist’s words below in the psalm of God’s presence, and remember… He is with you.
Psalms 139:1-24 O LORD, you have searched me, and known me. You know my downsitting and my uprising, you understand my thought afar off. You search out my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, you know it altogether. You have hedged me behind and before, and laid your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it. Where shall I go from your Spirit? or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend up into heaven, you are there: if I make my bed in Sheol, behold, you are there. If I take the wings of
the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there shall your hand lead me, and your right hand shall hold me. If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me. Yea, the darkness hides not from you; but the night shines as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to you. For you have formed my inward parts: you have covered me in my mother's womb. I will praise you; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are your works; and that my soul knows right well. My frame was not hid from you, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes did see my substance, being yet unformed; and in
your book they were all written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them. How precious also are your thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with you. Surely you will slay the wicked, O God: depart from me therefore, you bloody men. For they speak against you wickedly, and your enemies take your name in vain. Do not I hate them, O LORD, that hate you? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against you? I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them my enemies. Search me, O God, and know my heart:
try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.