3 Years Ago

March 31st 2011

Three years ago today I was in the hospital having surgery that would change my life forever.  Three years ago today I had part of my brain removed!  Three years ago seems like a lifetime ago some days.  If you don’t know my medical story you should read it so you know what led up to that day three years ago.  Since that day my life has changed dramatically compared to where I was just days before, but not in the way you might think.  I has gotten better!

Just over five years ago, in November of 2005, I had a career I loved, was very active with my church, and was happy with where my life was headed.  Now, I stay at home, don’t drive, home school my son with Nevada Virtual Academy, and will likely never work again.  However, I have more joy now then before I got sick.  Even missing part of my brain!  Three years ago I had to make a decision that would alter my life in the hope that I would be seizure free some day.  Though that hasn’t happened,  I have more joy in my life because I have seen God’s goodness towards me.

How have I seen God’s goodness?  Through his promises, and the answering of them.  Daily He give me strength, despite my weakness.  Daily He gives me shelter so that the trial cannot defeat me.  Daily he surrounds me with his peace, so that I do not fear.  Daily He gives me comfort, despite my pain.  Daily He gives me a supply of grace, so that I might continue to be molded despite myself.  Daily He allows me to come to his feet, though I do not deserve that place.  Daily He defends me, at every attack of the enemy.  Every day, at each step, He is with me, even when my eyes wander from him.  Daily He answers his promises, never failing.  Each day I am privileged to experience the Lord’s work in my life, and I cannot help but to have joy in the experience.

Three years ago I had no idea what the outcome of the surgery would be.  Now, three years later, I know how good God can be, all the time.

My Memory

September 27th 2010

After my last post a few days ago I realized I had already posted on that same subject the week earlier.  This is a by product of having bad short term memory.  Short term memory for me is one of those things that goes on and off as fast as you can flip a light switch.  This is one of the unfortunate side effects of having my right temporal lobe removed.  Amongst a few side effects of my surgery this one is definitely the most challenging!

For those of you who have chatted with me online you know my typing is horrendous.  That is caused in part by my brain thinking “type this” but not remembering to tell my fingers to do it!  I might type wrong words, type the same word twice because I forgot I just typed it, or simply forget which key I pushed last!  Alone with bad typing I am blessed with the inability to remember simple things.  I fear one day my husband will get tired of being my personal memory storage, as I am always telling him things we need to remember.  I tell him what I need to get at the store, what I need to do, and I even tell him “I know I’ll forget this so will you remind me”.  Of course if he forgets these things it causes a problem!  My memory has literally become like a strainer, great for draining things but not for storing them!  The funniest thing is I never know what it is that will fall through all those tiny holes.  For example, every Thursday I ask my husband what time he goes to work on Friday, since that varies.  There are weeks he has to tell me a dozen times.  That same scenario is repeated on Friday for his Saturday start time.  I cannot count how many times he has told me “I already told you that” only to forget I asked him a little while later

The most frustrating part of losing my memory is that I use to be the one to remember everything!  I never wrote anything down, I never used a calendar or appointment book, I never struggled to remember peoples names, and I rarely took notes in school.  My memory is one of the things that made me good at my job.  Now, my memory is what makes me so bad at so many things.  At first I cried when I would forget simple things, like the 3 things I went into the store to buy.  Now I am happy when I can remember those 3 things!  I have learned to have a schedule, not wait until the last minute, write things down, and ask others to remember things for me.  My memory may not be so good, but I have learned to ask for help, which is better then doing it all alone.  It is when we are at our weakest that we learn the most about ourselves, and I learned I had been to proud to ask for help from others.  This is certainly not the case anymore, for many things, including asking my husband to be my back up memory.  There are days that without that help I would have no idea what day of the week it was.

On Monday I went to see my specialist to find out what the next step should be in my treatment.  We thought we would be able to make a decision that day, instead we walked out having made one decision but leaving us with more decisions to come in the near future.

On top of that more decisions had to be made only 24 hours later in regards to my husbands job.  Those were made easily, as we were able to put the information together and make a decision based on all the information we had and we were not left with more decisions to make later.

Yet we are now left with more decisions to make for me.  For those of you who read regularly you know, as I posted on April 21st, that I went to see my specialist in part to discuss putting in a VNS.  My specialist spent an hour with my husband and I talking about every option we have, and answering every question we had, which is why we love her so much.  We also know she spends some of her time loving well as she recently returned from Haiti after a missions trip and has two children she adopted from Haiti.

The options we were given were looking at having a second surgery, put in the VNS, continue medication therapy only, or do nothing.  I cannot realistically go on more medication then I am already on, and doing nothing is not an option either.  So therefore that leaves us with the VNS or a second surgery.  I asked her what she would do if it was her, and her response to me, in short, was that she would do what would give her the most likely chance to be seizure free, a second surgery.

For several reasons, including the fact that we do not have all the information we need to make an informed decision, I am going to have in patient video EEG monitoring.  This is the first step to determining if I am again a surgical candidate.  If I am a surgical candidate that would be the solution most likely to give me the best result.  We cannot make a fully informed decision until we know if the seizures are still coming from an area that can be surgically removed, and what the effects of removing that area would be.  Once we know that we can then decide what to do.  If I am not a surgical candidate I will have a VNS.

I do know this, though I do not relish the idea of having a second surgery, I do know that if we decide that is what we must do, God will once again answer every promise He has made to me.  I do not doubt He will be my strength shelter comfort peace and my ever present help.  I know He will become for me what I cannot be for myself because He has done it more then once already.