Confession to make - I wrote this both with my AVM friends in mind but also my website readers also. I’m posting it both places, partially because I don’t have the time and energy to write two separate accounts and partially because I think both groups of friends can relate.
(Oh and this post is religious in nature. That’s part of who I am and I can’t have a week like this and not talk about it. If that bothers you, I’m sorry that you are bothered by it).
Have you ever had an occasion where you look back, back at the last few hours, the last few days, a particular event and said, “We’ve got to remember this?”
I just had a week like that – let me attempt to tell you the story.
Let’s move back to last week Friday, I was nervous, anxious, concerned, wondering.
Why? Because Monday I was going to check into the hospital for a treatment/procedure of the blood vessels in my neck and head. The plan at that point was to actually do two of them at once – one on the left side shortly behind my ear and another one on the right side also behind the ear. The treatment/procedure is actually called an “embolization.” What does it do? They stick a tube up my arm all the way to my neck and then put glue in the blood vessels that aren’t supposed to be doing what they are doing.
Does that give you a little bit of a reason why I was nervous? Oh and then let me add to that – back in February and March, we had a couple of additional embolizations done (and back in 2018 we had even more done – those were the ones that knocked me out of the workforce and taught me a lot about God and his timing and his plans.)
Monday morning came, nerves were calm, everything went as planned. I woke up in the recovery room and besides for being really sleepy, I felt okay. Headache was a little worse than normal, but not majorly. Things that didn’t work or worked very poorly after previous procedures all worked almost normally or very close to what they did before. That is not something that could be said in the past. One of my biggest fears for this week was that those type of setbacks would hit again. The prayers of so many made such a difference.
In talking with the doctors, it was determined that they did the left side but not the right side because they were concerned that would be too much radiation and too much of the “glue” at one time. So, jointly we decided to do the other half on Thursday.
Monday night, I slept better in the intensive care unit at the hospital than I ever remember sleeping in the hospital. I felt better than I usually did and felt a sense of calm that God was up to something. Tuesday and Wednesday were spent at home, resting, recovering, regaining strength and being grateful for the fact that I wasn’t in the ICU and on heavy meds due to extremely painful headaches/neck pain and more. Yesterday morning, back to the hospital to do round II for the week. As they are getting things ready, a number of the OR staff commented, “Hey, weren’t you just in here?” I think they enjoyed having a patient who wasn’t nervous and who wasn’t afraid to share some bad jokes (anyone know of an insurance company that pays frequent flyer miles?)
Woke up in the recovery room for the second time this week and immediately started trying to figure out how I was doing. Headache? (Yeah, but not bad). Vision (relatively clear….) and the further I got down the list, the more I got the feeling that God had answered prayers again. They moved me to my room for the night (and the nurses who took care of me on Monday and Tuesday said, “what are you doing here?”)
“The Dr. said it went really well,” was the first thing I remember my wife saying. “He said that unless things change, we’re done!” She had to repeat that a couple of times so I could actually make sense of what she said (anesthesia will do that to you).
Tonight we’re sitting at home, enjoying a quiet evening without any nurses on duty or machines beeping and watching the Olympic Trials on TV and a commercial comes on for NBC’s coverage of the actual Olympics. I didn’t see the start of the commercial but there was a singing group doing a song called, “Remember This.” I didn’t catch all of the lyrics, but the “gist” of the song was to remember the olympics because there will be a lot of really awesome things happen there.
And then it hit me. We (and not just my wife and I) but also any of you who have been following along on the journey, sharing your support and prayers and helping us feel like we aren’t alone on this journey, God is telling us to “remember this” also.
This is a week that went substantially different than I was concerned it would. And I’m convinced that it was in large part because of the support of so many of you. Thank you.
Remember this – God’s got it all under control.
Remember this – God calls us to love our neighbors. I think we saw a lot of that this week.
Remember this – The list could go on and on longer than we’ve got time for.
Watch for what God might be up to and remember this – remember that when he does something special, it’s our job to remember and tell others about it.