Archive for November 23rd, 2011

For some, to initiate conversations about our pain, or sufferings, or struggles is not a comfortable thing. I suppose it is mostly due to pride and, for some, being introverted. I often refer to this discomfort as not wanting to ‘bleed’ publicly. I am certain that, like me, there are others (maybe even most people) out there who hold their heartaches inside just waiting for someone else to ask the right question, or to ‘guess’ our situation.

Since the middle of August, when I went to the East coast to visit my parents, my dad’s physical health has been deteriorating rapidly. My thoughts as we parted when I was returning to the west, were like the words of Ludwig Bemelmans, in his classic children story Madeline, “something is not right.”

When I left the East, Dad was having episodes where his leg would buckle under him, with no forewarning, and no reason for it. Now, only three months later, he no longer drives his car, he uses a walker, and cannot stand to make biscuits (see biscuits).

It has been a frightening time of appointments, tests, and waiting. There have been appointments with his GP and two neurologists, blood work that made him wonder if a transfusion might be needed, and two MRI’s. All of this with only one hint of what the doctors were considering as a possibility for his symptoms … ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease, the disease that was focused on in the non-fiction book and then movie Tuesdays with Morrie). ALS is a terminal disease, it is a death sentence (and one that you would not hope on anyone).

All of this, and here I live, over four thousand miles, and no less than six hours of flying (that is a very conservative estimate, since there are no direct flights) twiddling my thumbs … and praying.

Our family has been blessed to have many people praying, and I believe that it is through these prayers that we have endured the waiting, and that the waiting has not been as long as it could have been (first estimates were that his MRI could be as late at January). I know that I have felt upheld by the prayers of many people, as well as cards, emails and individuals who have taken the time to ask.

Last week was our ‘D-Day’. It was the day a diagnosis might be made, and one of the longest mornings of my life. Finally I got the text, followed by a call for the details. It was not ALS! The problem was rapidly deteriorating vertebrea, requiring surgery as soon as possible. Without surgery, my dad could be a paraplegic by Christmas.

I wish I could have been there for that appointment to ask lots of questions, and take notes on the diagnosis, the surgery and what to expect for recovery. Mom and Dad … I do not think they heard much other than, ‘not ALS’ and ‘surgery, immediately.’

The surgeon said that he expects complete success. It may not correct the deteriorating that has already occurred, but it will halt the regression.

So today, Wednesday, November 23, 2011, at about noon (Atlantic Time … 8am Pacific), my Dad will be in surgery (as long as he is not ‘bumped’).

My dad … the one who, through his adoption of me, and lavish love for me, has taught me more about how my Father God will never let me down, than any christian on this planet.

I am telling this asking that you pray for him, for my mom, and for those of us who love him (near and far). He still has so much to give … and to receive.

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