Miracles Happen

Watching for signs of spring can reveal miracles happening around us. The helleborus shown above is a miracle. The plant lives through the coldest and darkest nights of winter. Survives the winter rains and often hail and freezing rain. And still near Christmas you’ll find buds forming. Now, as we are in the middle of February, they are blooming. Our plants are full of blossoms! These plants and their blooms represent a miracle in my mind.

They could have succumbed to the harsh winter weather. The cold east wind bringing a tinge of iciness with it. At some elevations, these plants might have received a covering of snow. Yet, they bloom away. Miraculous in their survival.
 
On December 31st, I met with my pain management physician. He advised I had reached the end of free hemp and would need to buy it on my own. My first order of three 30 mL bottles (a mere 30-day supply) cost me approximately $200. 
 
My husband pointed out the hemp didn’t appear to diminish my pain level. A grocery shopping trip would find me lasting between 15 and 20 minutes on my feet. Then I had to give up and sit it out until Bob finished on his own. I couldn’t stand long enough to make a meal. I’d pull up my mother-in-law’s kitchen stool to the counter after 15 minutes or so. So many things I haven’t been able to do, and most of it because of pain from a bone harvest in 2001 during my first fusion.
 
After some discussion and prayer, Bob and I decided I should stop taking the hemp. After all, at that price, why should we buy it if it wasn’t working? So I did. Early in February, I took my last dose of hemp. It was an emotional decision because the hemp seemed to help at first. But, increasing doses didn’t seem to increase the hemp’s effectiveness against pain.
 
I confess if I leave home I do take a small dose of a prescription pain reliever as a precaution. After spending a couple of hours visiting friends in their home last week, we stopped at the grocery. I actually made it through the store without stopping to sit at all!!!
 
Yes, I can say I am pain-free now. Since the late 1990s, I have struggled with some kind of back pain. Most have increased in intensity over time. Between spinal fusions, I would have relief and often for long periods of time. Yet, the pain was never totally gone. 
 
Please don’t ask me what caused this tremendous turnaround. Neither Bob nor I can answer that question. We accept it as a miracle. The Bible tells us that miracles are born of prayer and faith:
 
Jesus said to her, “Daughter, you took a risk of faith, and now you’re healed and whole. Live well, live blessed! Be healed of your plague.”

(Mark 5:34, The Message)

 
Your comments and thoughts are welcome. If you have stories of miracles, I would love to hear them. If you have stories of those who haven’t received a miracle and you wonder why, feel free to share those as well. Sharing stories is important in building community as well as spreading God’s love.

 

Featured image by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Aegris, Cave!

Introduction

Aegris, cave!
 
I’m hoping a few of you are familiar with the Latin language. Most of us are familiar with the phrases, “carpe diem” or “caveat emptor.” The first of these phrases, “carpe diem,” means “seize the day.” The second phrase translates to “buyer beware.”
 
My Latin title translates to the words, “Patients, beware!”
 

My Story

Today’s post is somewhat dissimilar to what I usually write. Considering many of you are friends or family, I want to share with you an experience from my surgery. It is a side effect of the anesthesia used in my surgery back in March of this year.
 
Before my surgery, Oregon Health and Sciences University Hospital contacted me about a research study. The focus of the study was the mental impact of anesthesia on patients 65 and over. This was especially focusing on anesthesia over a period of several hours. I accepted their invitation to take part. It required two to three sessions for memory testing before and after surgery.
 
My surgery was slotted for approximately four hours. Due to minor complications related to hardware, the surgery took over eight hours. 
 
After I had been home for a short while, I began to notice a difference in my ability to recall words, names, and dates. I also felt caught up in a foggy mentality, i.e. staring into space, inability to focus, etc.
 
I hesitated to mention it to anyone. Perhaps the preoperative testing left me believing this was happening when it wasn’t.
 
As time passed though, I asked my husband if he noticed differences in me since the surgery. He smiled, and I realized what he was about to say might be hard to swallow. But love shone through his eyes. Behaviors he had picked up on left him feeling like “he’d brought a different woman home from the hospital.”
 
At my sixth-month postop checkup, we mentioned these mental signals to my surgeon. He suggested that he would have expected this to have passed by this point. But he also mentioned it was possible there was a relationship with depression. Yet, the depression was being treated with medication all along before the surgery. I don’t remember any such symptoms presenting during that time.
 
Today I asked my husband how he believed I had progressed since that appointment. I asked after forgetting an appointment despite reviewing our calendar several times. Upon realizing my mistake, I went to our bedroom and fell across the bed in tears because that is so unlike me. It leaves me with a feeling of losing my mind. And yet there isn’t anything I can do about it.
 

Caution, Friends

Headed into a surgical procedure? Be sure to determine how long your surgery might last. Understand this time can change dependent on special circumstances arising during surgery.
 
Also, ask what side effects you should be aware of before undergoing the surgery. If you’re over 65, ask about the mental side effects.
 
Make sure you make family and/or friends aware of what you learn after asking these questions. It is wise to have others aware so they can let you know what they notice in your behavior.
 
I hope you find this information helpful. This is not only for yourself but also in the event you care for aging parents or other family members. I am confident I’ll return to the “real me” in due course. Thanks for reading and if you find suitable, please share with family and friends.

Featured image attribution: Spencer Wing from Pixabay 

Timing

It’s all about timing these days. Living in a fast-paced world as we do, calendars, watches, and schedules keep us on time, most of the time. 

 
Several things come to mind which depend on timing: 
  
  • Figure skating partners must keep time to the music and each other. 
 
  • Choirs match their voices in entrances and cutoffs so that they sound like one voice. 
 
  • Gardeners pay attention to the right time to plant seeds and then thin the new shoots. Never forgotten is the timing of watering those seeds.
 
This all leads to my lack of timing this week. Following my last physical therapy session, I counted the days needed to recover. Somehow preparing blog posts slipped off my radar into the ether losing my timing for posts for this week.
 
Monday night I told Bob I was finally feeling better from last Wednesday’s session. We laughed as we realized that Wednesday waited on the horizon.
 
Bob asked if I’d thought of canceling this appointment and taking a break. I slipped off with no answer and thought about his words. I could do that. No one would know why I canceled. But if I cancel an appointment, I’m one session farther away from the goal, whatever it is right now. And I don’t want to get behind.
 
As you read this, I may be in physical therapy working hard. Wish me well!
 

Feature Image by annca from Pixabay