A Month of Thanksgiving Part Six
What a wonderful time of the season for rejoicing and reflecting over the many blessings of life. I have noticed that Facebook is flooded these days with thoughts of “Thanksgiving.” Amen.
This morning, (actually it’s 3:00 AM!) I want to write about being thankful for my health. The Old Testament Scriptures (Bible) teach us: “But He (Jesus) was bruised (pierced) for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him; and by His wounds (stripes) we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:5 NIV).
No matter our earthly health or physical infirmities we may suffer, God has already provided us with the eternal Healer of our soul. Amen.
If you know me, you might ask the question, “But, aren’t you on total disability due to your repaired brain aneurysm and bilateral vertebral artery dissection with hemorrhage you suffered?” The answer to that question is, “Yes, I am.” But, oh, how blessed I am that I was able to once again “walk” out of Emory’s ICU on my own. That miracle off-sets any concerns I might have regarding early disability retirement. I’m just thankful to be Alive!
I will never forget one year ago when I walked around the Stroke Unit and saw patient after patient attached to life-support and ventilators after suffering a stroke. I was so humbled that the area of my brain where the bleed was located affected the cognitive side of my brain and not the physical side. Oh, yes…there are side effects that I live with daily and a general, overall concern of the future, but I am so grateful for each day that I can still live and conduct my life with only mild limitations. My trust and Faith remains in God’s Hands.
Actually, I have lived a life filled with medical challenges since childhood. I was among the first pediatric patients in Georgia to undergo open heart surgery to repair a blockage in the Aorta artery. But, God got me through it with the help of some awesome physicians and nurses. And, soon afterwards, I went on to being a very active teen-ager.
After marrying and delivering a set of twins one year later and a third child seventeen months later, a returned Pap-smear showed pre-cancerous cells. I was diagnosed with cervical disease and underwent a hysterectomy at the young age of twenty-four. Around this same time, I began to suffer through intense migraines for the next ten years.
Then, after being admitted to the hospital with fluid around the heart, I was diagnosed with Lupus at the age of thirty. MRI’s also showed a mass on my pancreas and signs of kidney failure at the same time. But, over the next year, God healed me, and I was able to continue with my life and raise my children along with working as a hospital admitting manager while carrying out many duties as a Pastor’s wife and mother.
Later, I had a lumpectomy that was thankfully benign. A few years later, I began to suffer with chronic back problems. (Years later, after a serious fall at school, I had two emergency epidurals. Eight months after the fall, I underwent lumbar back surgery to fuse the L4 & L5 discs along with shaving away of the bones. Ouch! That was a very painful surgery and a painful recovery! But, God did it once again through a wonderful surgeon and team of doctors.)
Backing up to a year before the brain aneurysm was discovered, I had an emergency gallbladder removal for a diseased gall-bladder that was actually “dying” and breaking off piece by piece into my intestines! After seven days in the hospital and a complete intestinal wash, I was released home to resume normal duties.
Then, a year later, I encountered the absolute worse headache pain imaginable. Thanks be unto my primary physician, Dr. Jack Saltz who sent me immediately by ambulance to the hospital, MRI’s showed a bulging aneurysm deep inside of the left side of my brain. I was then transported to Emory Hospital’s ICU where I spent the next nine days and underwent an emboilization coiling repair procedure. Once again God provided me with one of the finest neurological teams possible. After twenty days of rest, I was back in the classroom teaching a group of wonderful students!
Even though, I was aware of permanent nerve damage after the aneurysm, I still managed to carry out my life with only a few limitations. After the lumbar surgery in June 2010, I was so excited to be able to begin a new school year at a new school teaching a group of very gifted seventh graders. Yet; six days into the new school year, I suffered a bilateral vertebral artery dissection with bleeding (stroke) in the left brain region.
This incident took out a huge toil on my health. I didn’t “bounce” back like all of the many other times. I was physically tired, mentally exhausted, and unable to conduct certain day-to-day duties, including driving a car for over six months. After undergoing a series of neurological testings, it was determined that it would be too risky for me to continue teaching school or holding down any type of full-time vocation. Thus, disability retirement.
Yet; out of this major life change emerged a wonderful and passionate ministry. The ministry of encouragement through inspirational writings. God blessed me to see my first faith-based novel released in December 2010 and to step out on faith to write a daily inspirational blog. Oh, how truly good my God is!
Right now, it’s nearly 4:00 AM, and I have been awake since 3. In an hour, I will be getting dressed to ride with my husband to Emory Hospital for a full eight-hour day of neurological testings. My future is in the Hands of God. I won’t know the outcome of the tests until sometime next week. I can’t say that I am not somewhat apprehensive; that would be a lie. But, I do know that He who began a good work in me (Salvation) will see it unto the end. And, God is the author and Finisher of my faith.
I know that my life is already planned out in God’s eyes. And, even though I do not know the paths that may be ahead; I can certainly trust the One who has given His life for mine. (John 3:16).
“He will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed upon the Lord…Trust in the LORD forever; for the LORD is the ROCK eternal.” (Isaiah 26: 3-4 NIV)
This morning…don’t you just Love Him, too!
Remember, God Loves You!
Lin T Rollins, Author