Sunday, May 23, 2010

Just Say the Word, and I Shall be Healed


Many years ago I worked as a salesman with my friend Alvin's business, and working with him, he shared with me that a deal is never closed until you are driving away from the bank having deposited the check inside. I can smile today, because that thinking has saved me head aches and heart aches in the years since. Of course, this is just like saying "Don't count your chickens before they hatch."

Today is Sunday morning in California, and sometime today, the operating room from Valley Medical Center will give me instructions to prepare me for surgery. Not posted in the blogosphere, though, is how this surgery has been scheduled twice already. I want to protect my spine. I somewhat resent references to my surgery as being an "elective procedure" like protecting my spine is the same as a tummy tuck face lift.

Anyway, my surgery is to replace a disc in my cervical spine with a space holder that will allow my compressed spine a chance to relax, possibly even allowing some of the previously affected body functions to become more functional again. I have a marvelous nervous system, and would love to regain some of the applications I have lost.

Over a month ago, I was scheduled for this surgery. I had done my blood test, I went to my pre-op appointment. I had met with my doctor, and he showed me all I needed to know about the problems I have, and the solutions he offers. I arrived for my surgery, got called in by the nurse, was wheeled into a room where I changed into a gown, and a catheter was placed in my arm. Drifting off to sleep, while waiting to go to surgery, a man tapped me on the shoulder, and said, "Your surgery has been canceled. We need to prepare you to go home."

My surgery was canceled once more, and this week, they have supposedly bumped up my surgery time to Monday. When will I know the surgery is happening? I suppose that I will be certain when the anesthesiologist says to me "Count back from one hundred." I do not know what to expect from this procedure. I do know I have waited a long time for it.

Many people have offered me their prayers , including an uncle who commented that these canceled surgery dates are adding to his prayer time. So, I have a wealth of friends, and many people offering up good wishes, thoughts, and prayers. I have prayed for willingness, acceptance, and freedom. I would feel selfish to tell God how this one day should end. Still, I remain excited, and anticipate only the best.

Thank you for reading

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Prayers, Mysteries, and Hope


I began my day with a prayer. Many years ago I read that upon awakening I should think about the day ahead, that I should consider my plans for the day, and with this reflection, I should pray. The prayer is that I should ask God to free me from self-pity, dishonest, or self-seeking motives. Of all the prayers I have been offered, I think this one is so very valuable. In the eighteen years since I was given this instruction, I have only now began to say with discipline the prayer.

Perhaps that is a point on which I might gather some piece of humility. I can awake, proud, content with the righteousness of my actions, and secure in the thought I am giving back as much as I am receiving. I learn a lot about myself when I am "too busy" to say the prayer. Maybe I have a vested interest in cultivating my self-pity, dishonesty, or self-seeking motives. That vested interest comes from my own overwhelming selfishness. By asking that these traits be removed, I become willing to see the promise in living more honestly, and less self absorbed.

Ironically, I think it is my selfishness and self-pity that I have not written in my blog for around six months. I have become disappointed in the progress of my physical problems, and was not maintaining my excitement for life. Maintaining excitement can be a choice, and trying to find excuses to write seemed pointless. So, today I am writing, and I hope to continue sharing honestly about my world

When I began this blog in its current form almost wo years ago, I quoted Ken Kesey's discussion on warriors. He wrote:

" The answer is never the answer. What’s really interesting is the mystery. If you seek the mystery instead of the answer, you’ll always be seeking. I’ve never seen anybody really find the answer—they think they have, so they stop thinking. But the job is to seek mystery, evoke mystery, plant a garden in which strange plants grow and mysteries bloom. The need for mystery is greater than the need for an answer."

So, today I am still in a wheelchair. I have a person that comes and helps me with my home concerns. I have seen a picture of my spine, and saw the point where my spine is constricted, limiting the function in my hands and legs. In less than two weeks, gifted neurologists will replace a disc in my neck, in hopes of taking pressure off my nerves. What can I expect?

The doctors cannot say. They will not say. No promises have been made, and thius time becomes even more exciting. I am content not knowing. Still, the idea, the hope that some 0f my nerve function may be restored, is very exciting!

So this is where we can cultivate our mystery. Today we can open doors, and leave them open. Let us wait, and see what comes through .