I wanted to post this so my friends can pray for Cory’s continued healing. Sounds like the Lord has done some awesome stuff in this situation. His blog can be found at: http://octimesquartet.blogspot.com/
Thursday, May 8, 2008
Forgive me as I’m sure this will get long-winded, but I feel the need to let you all know just exactly what I’m feeling.
Many of you are aware of the trauma I had with my eye early this year. After one surgery and many prayers, we fixed one problem. This was followed by months of follow-ups and continual bleeding in my eye. Then last week, we found that I had a detached retina and surgery would be necessary to repair the detachment. At that time, doctors told me I would not likely regain any vision in my right eye, but the surgery would save my eye ball itself, to keep me from having to get a glass eye.
Yesterday, I went in for surgery. My doctors planned it to be one-and-a-half to two hours and would include reattachment of the retina with a sclera buckle, possible pneumatic retinopexy (a gas bubble in the eye which would require me to be head down again for a week or two), silicone oil, laser therapy, cryotherapy, membrane dissection as well as a possible lensectomy. We prepared for this surgery for some time and arranged for a family friend from church to do my anesthesiology. She has a rep for being the best in town, but it’s also comforting for mom, dad and myself to go into an intimidating situation with a friend in the room.
Adding to this, my insurance that I had to cover the last surgery dropped me a few weeks ago. I was on a short term policy and the contract I signed had an option for them to not allow me to renew after six months. I had no way to pay for this surgery and that was a great burden on my family and I. My doctor setup an appointment with the State Work Rehabilitation Office. The day before my surgery, I heard back that I had been approved for federal assistance through Services for the Blind, covering all of my doctor and hospital expenses, a true blessing and relief.
I’ve never been much of a worrier, I just can’t think of an instance where it has helped any situation. Whatever happens, happens for a reason, and no matter what, it is in my best interest. It’s hard to see that sometimes – very hard – but I believe it wholeheartedly. So we (mom, dad and I) went to the surgery feeling upbeat, positive and eager for continuing the healing.
After saying our goodbyes, my anesthesiologist, Kathy, wheeled me into the operating room where I found Dr. Friedlander (my talented doctor and surgeon) and an old classmate, Emily, who was scrubbing in as one of his nurses for the procedure. There was also a med student from Illinois who was there to observe the surgery. It was a party! I asked Dr. Friedlander if he would do the silicone oil, if at all possible, so that I wouldn’t have to spend several days with my head down. (I’m graduating from college on the 17th of this month and really wanted to walk across that stage when my name was called.) He said he would do what he could, said goodnight and that was about it.
I woke up in a daze with the familiar itch of stitches in my eye, ointment on my good eye and one question… “did he put the silicone oil or the gas in my eye?” The nurses in recovery weren’t sure, but they didn’t have instructions to put me head down, so it must have been oil. This made me pretty happy. But I had no idea what was to come.
Sometime later, they brought my parents to the recovery room and my mom grabbed my hand and asked if I had heard the good news. She told me that Dr. Friedlander found that my retina was NOT detached, he cleaned up my inner eye and sent me on my way.
There are truly no words I can write to tell you what kind of joy this gave me. I didn’t want to ask any more questions because it hurt to cry, it was pure delight. Dr. Friedlander removed the old congealed blood, scrapped more blood off my lens and did some work with the laser to prevent further bleeding within my eye. My parents told me when he came out to tell them how things went (just 45 minutes after going under) that he had a big grin on his face. (I’ve also learned through all of this that when your doctor is happy, you should be happy – when he is not, you should not.)
Today, I went in for a post-operation checkup and removal of the bandages. It’s itchy, red, swollen and looks like I got in a pretty good argument with a fist and lost. But when I opened my eye… I COULD SEE. For the first time in months, I could count fingers a few feet away, detect motion, see color – all out of an eye that I had been told was all but lost. My lens is scratched and a cataract is forming and will require a quick, routine surgery. My optic nerve still has damage to it and will not likely heal, so I won’t likely be able to read with that eye again, but the fact of the matter is I CAN SEE!!!!
I know that we don’t all share the same religious beliefs but I just have to say, I truly have been touched by God throughout this whole ordeal. This truly miraculous turn in events is just one part of a much bigger picture. God has walked with me through the dark, lonely moments at night while wondering what the next day will bring; He has forced me to give up my selfish ambition and will to succeed on my own, and has brought me to rely on only His strength.
In 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 Paul writes:
“But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.“
What a privilege it is to know that true, unconditional love; to lay my worries and cares at the foot of The Cross, and to trust that everything that happens to me is all part of a much bigger plan. There’s nothing I can do to earn or deserve it, it’s all by the Grace of God.
I’m truly grateful to you all for your e-mails, kind words, thoughts and especially prayers. I wish that there was some way for me to repay you for the outpouring of kindness and love… I look forward to seeing you all in the near future and singing a sing with or for you, and appreciate your continued prayers for healing, but mostly joyous thanksgiving for a true miracle.