Surrender & Extraordinary: A Story of Magnificent Growth in Four Days

For the last couple of years I’ve chosen a single word to focus on for the whole year. I believe this makes it simpler and more achievable than to write out a bunch of New Years’ resolutions that most likely won’t be met.  But I have to say that when I chose the word “surrender” for 2018, I had no idea what that was really going to mean.  The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines surrender as “to yield to the power, control, or possession of another upon compulsion or demand, to give up completely or agree to forgo especially in favor of another.” I’ll admit that I’m a Type A personality and I thrive by being in control.  Hence why I picked the word surrenderfor 2018. I knew I needed to yield to the power of God who is fully capable of trusting and following.
Fast forward to last month…
What comes to mind when you think of being in the hospital?
When I think of just the word ‘hospital.’ I think of sickness, pain, dreary hallways, and rooms empty of bustle.  I think of just ordinary days, emergencies rushing in and surgeries working in the back.
After my 4-day stay at Northside Hospital Forsyth on the 8th Tower, I found much more.  In fact, it’s safe to say, I experienced extraordinary.
What led to my hospitalization started earlier in the week.  I came down with a high fever, headache, and a 200-bpm resting heartrate.  I was rushed to the emergency room early on a Sunday morning.
I have an auto-immune disease that causes my body to attack different organs.  It’s been my adrenal glands in the past and now my thyroid was taking a serious hit. When I arrived at the ER, I was rushed back and given meds to help with the fever and pain from a migraine that had taken root.  Soon after I was admitted and rolled up to one of the newest floors referred to as “8 Tower.”  And that is where my story really begins.
I had round-the-clock nursing care, which was divided into 12-hour shifts.  My first nurse was extremely helpful because I was still in so much pain.  She sat with me and even put a cold cloth on my head to help with my fever, which was still raging. Soon it switched to the night shift where another nurse was even better.  It seemed with every shift change I was being introduced to these angels who were there to lift my spirits and serve me in a way I have never experienced before.
Towards the end of my stay I encountered several nurses who shared a piece of their story with me.  One was a war refugee.  She had to flee her home with nothing but her sweet child and a few diapers and a bottle.  Another one was an executive and high on the totem pole in his country for years yet when he moved here he started at the bottom.
He was a medical tech and simply took my stats.  Every time he entered my room, he would bring me ice water.  He also was always smiling and to me that makes such the difference.  Other staff I experienced was just out of medical school or in the medical field for over 25 years.
The point is, no matter who I met, their eyes were always in contact with mine.  They looked for a way to make me laugh, smile, or be encouraged.  And they served me however they could.
My hospital stay was less about my diagnosis and more about my personal state of mind.
I spent 4 days in pain.  I spent 4 days missing my family.  I spent 4 days longing for the comfort of my home.  I spent 4 days afraid for my life.  Yet on the bright side…I spent 4 days being cared for by an extraordinary team.  I spent 4 days in the presence of angels who encouraged me deeply.  I spent 4 days learning that my suffering was creating character in me.
I spent 4 days healing from the inside out.
I recently had surgery to remove my thyroid, which we discovered was completely toxic.  I’m still in recovery.  But I’m so grateful for the care I received from the extraordinary staff at Northside Hospital Forsyth.  We are so blessed to live in a county with excellent schools, outstanding medical care, and marvelous people.
I hope you realize how fortunate you are to live in the great county of Forsyth!
You can also find this article in the June issue of My Forsyth Magazine

Rachael Walkup has lived in North Georgia all her life. Since 2006 – The Walkup family has made Forsyth County their home. Along with being a wife and mom, Rachael is an avid blogger, social media expert, and owner of Her time is spent promoting local events and small businesses in North Georgia.