Friday, November 12, 2010

The Morning of the Procedure

Hi Sweeties,

Thanks for reading my blog!

Today is the morning of the procedure. I'm at peace, I want you to know that.

So is my beloved. And speaking of him, I'm sure missing my man!
I'm guessing that some of you are wondering why he isn't here with me.

He is! For the Bible says that the two have become one. :)

The other reason is that he has a HUGE meeting that he's been working on for months an months, and I'm a big girl. I'm also not alone. My friend Lisa is with me, and she's one who has the same servant's heart that Shane has.

We're having so much fun together that it should be illegal! Yet, she's also taking tender care of me.

You know, with this procedure, I have put it into the Lord's hands and have left it there. I know that at any minute He could show me that I need to stop, and I would.

Last night I stopped. 

I became deeply concerned that I wasn't being fair to Lisa. She isn't having the procedure, but that's because she's not ready to do so yet. However, I hadn't given any thought at all to what it would mean to her if there were complications.

The risk of death for this procedure is so slim that I don't even recall what the percentage was. Yet, that's a risk with any surgery.

Last night I paused long enough to give deep consideration to how Lisa would feel if the Lord calls me home on that table, and she's left here all alone.

I shared my heart with her, and we both had a much needed bawling session. 

It's been a lot to process this week!

I told her that I would gladly call this off and do it at another time, and that I was so sorry for not having thought of her feelings before.

She was so sweet, y'all! She assured me that she wanted me to do it, and to do it now. 

We've both seen the hand of God this week in such miraculous's hard to explain them all to you, but I plan on trying to do exactly that this weekend.

So, I'm going forth in the Holy Spirit power of the LORD!

Here's the easiest way I know to explain what is going to happen to me today. It's definitely not going to be the most scientific explanation.

The doctor, who is a Vascular Surgeon, will go in through my groin area and will thread some thingamagilie up through my veins. He will look at my azygous vein, and then will look at both of my jugular veins. (We have these are either side of our necks.)

The azygous vein is located somewhere near the heart, if I'm understanding this correctly...but if you're reading this because you're considering having this procedure, you really need to look into the details for yourself, because I know I'm not writing a very sound medical description here...this is meant to be an overview.

They have found that in approximately 97% of patients with MS, there is a blockage in one of these 3 veins which is impeding the blood flow to and from the brain.

Some doctors even believe (as do I) that because the blood is not flowing as it should, and because due to the veins being twisted there is often blood reflux into the brain, that there could possibly be other answers as to what the lesions (plaques) are that are seen on our MRIs.

The theory is that the blood that is refluxing (going up instead of going down, my easy definition) is leaving iron deposits on the brain. Thus, it's possible that what is showing up on our MRIs is actually the visual of these iron deposits.

I did not know until the night of the symposium, that the lesions which are seen on MRIs actually come and go. Sometimes they are there, and sometimes not.


What if. Just what if, the fluctuations in our MRIs are due to this blood flow issue? What if the fact that we see a lesion on one MRI and not on the next one, could be explained as a result of changes in blood flow patterns and iron deposits that are here today and gone tomorrow?

This is exciting to me, and I thank God that I'm alive at a time when medical advancements are just that...advanced!

So the doctor with whom I'm working, Dr. Manish Mehta, will determine today how many of my veins are blocked off, and if I have blockages (narrowed veins) on both sides of my neck, he will angioplasty one side today.

Lisa and I will then go and hang out here for the weekend, due to the graciousness of my friend Dawn and her super kind husband. THANK YOU SO MUCH!

If Dr. Mehta finds that there is a blockage on both sides, I will then return to his office early next week for a second procedure. 

One of the things that Shane and I appreciate the most about 
Dr. Mehta is his desire to do only one side at a time. Shane loved this, because he sees the reasoning behind it as being quite sound.

Shane is a civil engineer and his job is to measure risks in everything he does, with the goal being to insure the highest levels of safety in all design work.

Thus, he realizes that Dr. Mehta is taking the more cautious approach. Were there to be complications over the weekend...
(i.e. bleeding or clotting), by doing only one side at a time, Dr. Mehta would be much more able to quickly determine where the problem is originating from.

Shane likes this. I like this. 
Once Dr. Mehta finds a narrowing (I've no doubt he will), then he will angioplasty that vein. This basically means that he will put a balloon into the vein and blow it up (expand it), with the goal being that once the vein is opened up the blood will be able to flow as it should. 

Once the blood is pulsing through as God designed it to, the veins will hopefully stay opened up.

And, with the blood flowing properly, the hope is that the body will then work as it is supposed to.

You can go to YouTube and search CCSVI or CCSVI Liberation and see the before and after videos of many people who have had this procedure done.

One of the reasons that I believe this theory has validity is based in what happened for me after I had sinus surgery a few years ago. Prior to that surgery, I had never been able to breath out of my nose well at all. 

I always, always had my mouth open at all times because I couldn't breath otherwise.

I had never been able to sleep on my back, because I always felt like I was choking to death.

After the surgery, and the healing that took time...a looooooong time, I was finally able to breath. Yay!

BUT...I also started losing weight without trying.

I believe that God used that surgery to honor my prayer (in which I had confessed to being a glutton, and told Him I knew He had died to set me free from sin...yet I had chosen to walk in it...and asked Him to forgive me and help me).

I believe that after the surgery, the blood was able to flow better, and that my blood was being oxygenated as it was designed to be.
Thus, the weight started falling off. Approximately 40 pounds of it!

C'mon church: can I get an AMEN for that?! Thank You Lord!

So, I believe that blood flow is of utmost importance, and that when it's impeded there are many negative effects upon one's body.

Here are today's prayer requests:

1. For Dr. and Mrs. Mehta.

What lovely people these two are! Church, would you please join me in lifting them up before the LORD?
I just can't tell you how much I like them and how blessed I feel to have met Dr. Mehta's wife!
It's my opinion that you can tell a LOT about a man by meeting the woman who loves and supports him. :)
2. For Lisa

That she'll have the peace that surpasses all understanding.

3. For My Kiddos and Shane:

That they'll have fun and productive (Shane) days. That they'll be so busy with what they're doing, they won't even think much about me. 

4. For all the people who will read this blog post simply because they landed here looking into Dr. Mehta or CCSVI.

Pray that they will find here the truth about who Jesus Christ is, and that through this blog (and the many other seeds that have been planted in their lives) they will come to know True Love, by repenting of their sins, receiving grace and mercy through Jesus,
and choosing to serve the Risen Savior.

5. You can pray for me if you want to. That would be very kind of you. I'm at peace...just know that. I'm all good.

And if something unplanned happens on the table today and I pass into the arms of my awaiting Jesus, I have but one request...

Church: be the church! Pick up the baton and run into this world, proclaiming to the lost the goodness of our God. Tell them the truth. Give them the Gospel. Live as the Temples of the Holy Spirit that you are!

This life is no longer about us. Once we're in Christ, it's only about Him.

Oh, one more request...make sure my babies and my beloved know that they were the very best parts of my life, save Jesus. 

Caedmon: Son, I'm so deeply proud of you! You know that we agreed that MS was going to be our standing stone to God. That the world was going to be able to look at MS in our lives and when they asked how we could live with joy in the midst, we would say, "Look at all that the hand of our God has done for us here. and here. and here."

Don't ever forget that, son. No matter what happens to me today, that truth has not changed. This is our standing stone. You keep on believing, and teaching others about Jesus.

You keep standing for truth in the midst of a generation that has lost an understanding of what is evil and what is good.

You write those Scripture songs to God, and sing and live them out.

Remember what we learned about Israel? They were to be set apart, that all the pagan nations around them would be able to see the glory of God, the truth, shining forth from them.

That's what it means to be a city on a hill, son. We are to let the light of Christ shine forth from us so that when the lost are looking for what is true, they will be able to look to God's people and there see His Spirit and cry out for Him.

Nothing that may happen today is to change God's call on your life son. If Mommy passes today, I'll see you again sooner than either of us will be able to imagine....for eternity holds no time.

Bouncy Baby Brennan -
Oh my darling, how you light up my life!

You make me see the beauty in this world. You make me smile and laugh more than anyone in my life ever has.

I love the way that you trust Jesus. The way that you love Him and sing to Him every day. 
You artwork...oh baby, your's so beautiful, and such a gift from God. Use it to His glory, baby. Always do that.

Last week at the Brooklyn Tabernacle, Pastor Cymbala's message was on mercy, and I thought of you through the whole thing.

You are the first to remind me of grace and mercy. You always, always go there first and I love it, for in your example I am reminded that the New Testament tells us that mercy triumphs over judgment.

What a gift to have a visual remind of God's heart, in my very own child! God's plan throughout the ages has been mercy first, and judgment as a last resort.

So it is with you my precious girl.

Thank you for that. Thank you for making me soft. Thank you for loving animals and people like you do. 

I'm sorry I said I was never taking in another stray. I take that back.

Baby girl, you keep pursuing that passion to be a mommy and a wife...for truly, there is no higher calling.

Don't listen to the world which will tell you that you have to go to college or that you can do it woman can do it ALL, and do it all well.

Something always falls through the cracks. Always.

Do the thing that God has called you to do, and do it will all of your heart as unto Him.

And then rest in the knowledge that obedience to Him is all you need to pursue in order to HAVE. IT. ALL!

The book of James tells us, baby, that all good and perfect things are from above, coming down from the Father of Lights, in Whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaah. What peace. What freedom! 

You don't need to pursue having it all, baby girl.
You only need to pursue having all of Him!

If something happens to Mommy today, you rest in knowing that I love you with all of my heart, and that I'll just be waiting for you. 

You know where I'll be too....laying on my face before my Jesus, spending time with my sister, and with your brother Stephen, and seeing if Paul and Peter have some time to talk. 

And, I'll tell Esther how much her life impacted both yours and mine.

I love you precious. I know everything is going to be o.k. today, and I hope that o.k. means that you'll be getting a new Mommy when I come home.

I pray it means that we'll be able to ride our bikes together at the greenway every day if we want to.

And I hope it means lots and lots of trips to the Children's Museum!

I love you all the way to God's Mighty Right Arm!

My Beloved Shane:

Oh baby, we sure have been through it haven't we? 

Brought together as two people living a cultural Christianity, and radically changed by the Almighty into two new vessels for His glory!

I never knew that someone could love me like you do. I was so beaten down by the time God brought us together, yet so hardened on the inside.

I didn't feel worthy of love, yet first Jesus and then you showed me what a lie that was from the pit of hell.

You are the most amazing man I've ever known, and almost 12 years later, I still can't believe that you are mine!

I like you a whole, whole lot since you got your new heart! :)

You can say the same of me...and together we sing,
"Holy is the Lord God Almighty! The Earth is filled with His Glory!"

Baby, you are all that and a bag of chips...and I will always want fries with that shake-shake booty!

Shane, when I studied the book of Ruth and the cross references to Deuteronomy, I was awestruck at the beauty of receiving a new name. I made plenty of notes about it in my Bible...but one that stands out to me is where I wrote, "Lord, thank you for giving me a new name here on earth...thank you for giving me Shane's family name. Thank you for making me one of them...a family with a heritage of loving You throughout the generations." 
(I'm paraphrasing, but you can look in my Bible and see my exact words.)

Thanks for making me part of you, baby. I love you and I love your family. They are mine, as they are yours. 

Thank you for making me laugh like no one else can. Nobody you work with has any idea what a riot you are, but I do!

You are the best friend I've ever had, and I cherish you.

Should something happen today, don't cry for me Argentina. You know as well as I do, where I'll be and what I'll be doing!

And if you marry again, and this is just a suggestion, I'd pick someone who really loves things clean and orderly...I'm just sayin'.

Love the unlovable, baby. Make sure our kids keep studying inductively...just do that for me, ok?

Nan, Ed, Blain, Patty...I love you so much!

I love you family who are estranged. This is not an invitation for comments or communication...I simply want you to know that I do love you, and that I pray for you constantly.

Now to Him be all glory and honor and praise!

Jesus...I adore you!

No time to proof. 

Here we go....

Much love to you today in Christ Jesus...who loved YOU so that He gave His life to pay for the debt of every sin you've ever committed.

Sin has a price, and the price is death.
Obedience to Righteousness (Jesus) has a gift, and it's free...eternal life.
Don't take my word for it. Read Romans 5,6,&7
Read the Gospel of John.
Read Isaiah and see just some of the hundreds of prophesies of Who the Messiah...Who the Christ would be, and is.

Love to you today,



Anonymous said...

I came across your blog from the Precept Leaders Yahoo group and have enjoyed reading it for several months. You've been in my prayers lately and especially today.
Diane Paton

Anonymous said...

Sister, Tiki warned me! She warned me to get my kleenex before I read this. I tell you what if I wasn't a christian before I read this post I'd sure be one after I read this. I'd wanna have what you have...I'd want your Jesus. You make Him so real. your faith is is salty! You know Im crazy and can't wait to talk to you!!!
Hugs and kisses, Shelly <><

Anonymous said...

Be amazed, I have read your blog several times in the last few weeks. I am glad you are doing the procedure. I am praying :) Love ya Candee

Kim Green said...

I love you, I love this. Your heart is truly gold and truly the Refiner has been doing a mighty work in you. "Just sayin'." You'd be the first to say it. God is good - ALL the time. Your heartfelt message to your family made me cry and made me want to write mine down as well. Love you, Sista! I'm glad you're alright and that things went well and we'll just keep praying. You were in our conversations today at the Mayo Clinic with Jonathan bringing you up often as we spoke with the head of hematology. We love you THAT much that we can't stop talking about you! xoxoxo

Deb said...

What a post...

Praise be to God the Father, our Savior the Lord Jesus Christ!