Tuesday, April 24, 2007
Woman to Woman--Enduring Health Issues
Your ways, O God, are holy.
What god is so great as our God?
You are the God who performs miracles;
You display your power among the peoples.
--Psalm 77:13-14

Jesus performed miracles which are recorded in the New Testament. He turned water into wine, he healed people who were thought to be incurable, and he replaced a soldier’s ear when Peter cut it off. But do miracles happen today? Yes, they do. They come in different forms. Some are almost unbelievable; others seem to happen rather quietly as a part of life experiences. My family has experienced miracles.

Two years ago my husband, who has always had a neuromuscular condition and has used a wheelchair for years, became very ill. He had been seeing a pulmonologist for several months for breathing problems and sleep apnea symptoms. He was using a machine at night that assisted his breathing and provided him with an adequate supply of oxygen. However, he did not seem to be making the progress that we had hoped for. Fatigue was beginning to affect him at work and at home. I was very concerned about him.

L went back to the pulmonologist and our family doctor. They adjusted some medications, made arrangements to see him again in a month, and we went on a business trip to Chicago. It was obvious on that trip that he was not improving. Finally, after several discussions, Mr. L agreed to go back to our family doctor for consultation on what we should do next.

We never made it to the doctor’s office. When L called and asked for an appointment and told the nurse some of his newest symptoms, she had the doctor call him back. Our doctor, who we had been seeing for more than twenty years, told him that he wanted to admit L to the hospital and start some tests, He sent us to the emergency room for an expedited admission.

On the way to the hospital Mr. L called his office to let them know he would not be in that day. He never went to the office again. After three hours in the emergency room, where it was evident that L. was extremely ill, he was admitted to the hospital and was sent to the ICU.

L had respiratory failure four days after entering the hospital. He was placed on a ventilator and had a feeding tube put in his stomach. He went through several life threatening conditions including sepsis and a coagulation problem (DIC). When health care professionals hear that he had DIC they invariably question us about it because they have a hard time believing he survived. He developed ICU psychosis that caused him to hallucinate and be anxious and fearful. It was the worst time of our lives.

After a month in ICU we moved to a rehab facility for six weeks. The doctors had hoped that L could be weaned from the ventilator for at least a portion of the day. That was not to be. L had entered the hospital on June 29—the day after our thirty-sixth anniversary. He came home on September 8 on a ventilator and with a feeding tube, with great fatigue and a low-grade lung infection. Our life had definitely changed.

Gone were the trips we had enjoyed—We had traveled to Europe, Israel, Canada, the Caribbean, Turkey, and many places in the US. We left jobs we had loved and knew that God had led us to. L retired officially on December 1 that year. I followed—after taking the many sick leave days I had accumulated—on June 30 the next year. We changed our lives, schedules, habits, and routines.

During the time since we have been home we have returned to the hospital for trach changes, feeding tube changes, and one minor surgical procedure. Until this past February L did not spend a night away from home. At that time he returned to ICU for two weeks after his trach tube became plugged and we were unable clear it. Actually his heart stopped at that time and the emergency room doctor preformed CPR. Although L had not intended for that procedure to happen, we are glad the doctor didn’t take time to find that out and my husband is still with us.

We have been at home for almost two years now. Our children have been wonderful through the whole time. Our sons—and their wives—have shared every aspect of this journey with us from the first day. The son who lives near us is “ on call” at all times and has never hesitated to drop what he might be doing and come if we need him. Our younger son lives eighty miles away and has made frequent trips to be with us. They were both at the hospital when L had respiratory failure and they have been with me for every important decision. As a matter of fact, they both left work early today to come help me make some decisions about care in the future.

As you have read you may have been thinking, “So, alright, Myrna, we understand. Your husband was very ill, he did not get well, your life changed drastically, and you both had to retire before you planned to. Where is the miracle!”?

The miracles are all around us. Some of what we call miracles are really probably blessings—sort of the product of the miracles. For miracles and blessings we continually thank God for His presence in our lives. Throughout this whole journey we have been aware that He is with us and has not left us. We expect there will be other miracles and blessings. There will also surely be additional difficult times before our journey ends. Some of the miracles and blessings we have experienced include:
• Our love grows daily through very trying times.
• L survived extremely life threatening disease and physical problems which, according to the doctors, he would not survive.
• Our family has grown closer and more dependent on God.
• We have been given ”bonus” time for loving each other.
• L has found a new ministry in which to work. He writes radio scripts,as a volunteer, for a ministry that sends the gospel by radio and the internet throughout Asia.
• L had the time and energy to work on a book about the remarkable way God has blessed his life.
• We continue to be blessed by friends and family who love us and care for us.
• Although we did not consider ourselves to be quite ready financially for retirement, we have been amazed and grateful for the way God has provided for us.

Thank you, Lord! Thank you for displaying your power in our lives!

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  posted at 7:56 PM  

At April 24, 2007 at 10:03 PM, Blogger Susie said...

I haven't been reading you for long, so I didn't know the story of your husband's health issues.
Because of my own serious health probems many years ago I totally understand and love your line "we have been given bonus time to love each other"
What a miraculous gift..

At April 24, 2007 at 10:34 PM, Blogger Morning Glory said...

Oh Myrna, what an amazing story you've shared! You have been through such a nightmare experience and have found strength and peace through it all. This is a truly inspirational story. Thank you for posting this and being part of our project today.

I, too, believe in miracles of many kinds and you truly have them in your life.

At April 24, 2007 at 10:49 PM, Blogger Lei said...

Those absolutely ARE miracles and your family has obviously been blessed through this extremely difficult trial. You seem like an amazing woman... hope to hear from you on future topics!

At April 24, 2007 at 11:45 PM, Blogger Jen said...

This really is a wonderful story! Thanks for demonstrating your faith, and your ability to see God's hand in your life even in the hard times!

At April 24, 2007 at 11:46 PM, Anonymous Florinn said...

Wow! What a journey.

At April 25, 2007 at 6:16 AM, Blogger Penless Thoughts said...

Thanks for visiting my site. Boy what faith you possess and what a story you have to tell. I'll be back.

At April 25, 2007 at 9:21 AM, Blogger Dee said...

I just found your blog by clicking on the random button. What an awesome & encouraging story! God bless! D

At April 25, 2007 at 10:30 AM, Blogger Frazzled Farm Wife said...

I just found your site today, hope you don't mind me commenting. Thanks for sharing your story, it really made me stop and think about my life. I had a heavy heart reading the story...until I got to the end. You are right, life if full of miracles, we just need to stop and realize that and be thankful for them!

At April 26, 2007 at 12:14 AM, Blogger Montserrat said...

Miracles never cease, and God never ceases to be God. Enjoyed reading your story of faith.

At April 27, 2007 at 11:02 AM, Anonymous Mary Kassian said...

Hi Myrna

The miracle is always how the Lord loves us and walks with us every step on our journey home.

Blessings to you and Lee.

At April 28, 2007 at 9:33 AM, Blogger Amanda's got Baby Bangs said...

Mrs. Myrna, thank you for sharing this testimony! I have so much respect and love for you and Mr. L. You have reminded me of God's faithfulness today.

At May 3, 2007 at 10:55 AM, Blogger ChupieandJ'smama said...

Beautiful Post! I'm sorry that your husband became so ill, but I'm glad to see even in this adversity you have found many miracles! God is good!


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I am a Christian woman who shares a blessed life with my precious husband, our two adult sons and their wives, and four grandchildren. We cherish the adventures God has allowed us to have together. I recently retired from an over thirty year career as an elementary teacher and administrator.

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