January 30, 2018 – A Day of Good and a Day of Struggle

It’s hard to believe it’s a year already.

It’s hard to believe it’s only a year.

It’s hard to believe it’s been a year since the doctors reduced my risk of a brain bleed
And for that I’m grateful

It’s hard to believe it’s been a year since the doctors greatly increased my opportunity to grow old with my wife. And for that I’m grateful.

It’s hard to believe it’s been a year that we’ve been dealing with the side effects that rarely ever happen. And for that I’m often frustrated, often disappointed, definitely closer to God and a lot more aware of the struggles other people face.

It’s hard to believe it’s been a year and I still feel like I’m getting used to living with “it.”

It’s hard to believe how incredibly complex and intertwined our brains and nervous system are. And for that I’m amazed at the God who created them.

I could go on and on but I won’t, at least not now.

On January 30, 2018, I went into the hospital to get the AVM in my neck and brain treated. I expected to be back on my feet and moving in at most a week or so.

When I came to in the recovery room, I could tell something wasn’t right. I was in a post anesthesia fog but as that cleared, a couple of things became obvious:
⁃ I could not hear anything out my left ear.
⁃ I had a nasty headache (something I’ve never had coming out of anesthesia before)
⁃ My throat was really sore. I mean really, really sore.

Over the next days and weeks, there became a growing realization that the problems weren’t temporary and weren’t going to go away – at least not soon and not on their own.

For a while, I could say that pretty much every week I felt better than I did the week before. Often it was small things but it was still improvement. About 3 to 4 months into the recovery, that pretty much stopped.

So where do I stand right now?
⁃ With approximately 40% of my hearing in left ear and that hearing is distorted so if I hear something only in my left ear, it sounds like Alvin and the Chipmunks.
⁃ Noise in my head. The technical term is tinnitus – I prefer to describe it as 3 hours at a Rolling Stones concert 10 ft from the speaker.
⁃ My left vocal cord, part of my throat and left side of my tongue are paralyzed. This gives me swallowing, speech clarity, speech volume and speech quantity issues.
⁃ Virtually non-stop headaches. I say virtually because I don’t know if they go away when I sleep. They vary in intensity depending on a lot of factors – mainly what I’m doing, how noisy, busy, visually distracting things are.
⁃ With eyes that are attempting to adjust to the “mixed signals” that they are getting.

I’ve got a great and very large team of medical people that I’m working with trying to get as much improvement as possible. But realistically, as we cross this one year mark, the odds of a major change lie less in modern medicine and more in God doing something outside of the scope of modern medicine.

Where does that leave me?
⁃ Grateful to be here. Pastor Darrell often says from the pulpit, “God woke you up and brought you here for a reason. Let’s figure out why.”
⁃ Grateful for my wife – you know that “for better or for worse, in sickness and in health” part of marriage vows? Yeah, that’s her. I wouldn’t be here without her.
⁃ Grateful for the kindness and the prayers of people known and people not known.

January 30. I don’t think I’ll ever look at that date the same again. Much was lost on that day. But much was also gained. I have learned to see the battle between the devil pushing the “much was lost” attitude and Jesus pushing the “much was gained” attitude.

God is at work.

Jesus hasn’t finished writing our stories. Not yours. Not mine.

On January 30, he turned a page. A lot of the next page I can’t read yet.

But I know he’s got the pen.

TV

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