The words "fear" and "surgery" are inextricably connected. Not only that, but hospital stays in general are full of unfamiliar experiences that can easily jeopardize even the strongest sense of emotional well-being.
Each time I get sick I get a new sermon. So when the rhetorical well starts to run dry, God zaps me with a new ailment, as a sort of pedagogic prop. No doubt, if I stopped giving sermons, I'd be healthy forever.
Imber's book recounts how the father of modern surgery, a cocaine and morphine addict, performed the first recorded surgical removal of gallstones -- on his mother. At 2 A.M., as she lay on a kitchen table.