23 April 2019

Finding Life Through Pain

We sometimes believe in miracles when we can see it right away. At times, we forget that some miracles take a little longer. I believe I recently witnessed some miracles which may take some time to fully appreciate...

It had been a year since my ex-wife had an accident in our little SUV.  Since that day, she had different surgeries, as well as different approaches to therapy to try and help her with the pain from that day.  I was in the emergency room the day the ambulance carted her in.  I saw her left arm dangling, her elbow - gone.  It was a miracle in itself that she didn't lose her arm.

The surgeons rebuilt her elbow and within time, she managed to regain 60-70% of her mobility.  Yet through her gains, the pain from that fateful day would not go away.  Finally we were sent to The University of Iowa Medical Center.  We had no idea of where we were going or what kind of "rewards" they could offer.  We only knew that we had to try.  To live in constant pain for over a year - is not living.

Her surgery lasted over four hours.  They removed scar tissue, bone fragments, and pieces of bones which never healed.  They attached hardware to the outside of her arm, held together by two screws, tapped into her forearm and two screws attached to her bicep.  The screws held together two iron rods, on hinges, to limit her movements for 6-8 weeks.  The surgeons believe her pain would be 80-90% gone and her arm movements would increase to 85-95%.  She would spend the weekend in the hospital getting her pain medication adjusted and doing therapy.  Then it was just a matter of waiting to see if her pain was gone.

On Saturday, a football game takes place and different types of miracles are coming alive.  While the crowd is not too concerned about the patients across the street, these people lie in their beds and watch their home town team.  They share one thing in common - a hope and a dream for a miracle.

We met a lot of different people, with different ailments during our five day stay.  One couple who has been there for eight weeks, recovering from a nervous breakdown, through shock therapy the future looks bright. A young couple, who had lost everything they had due to an illness.  While she was a patient, he lived out of their car with their two cats.  Everyone they meet, they try and find a home for their two "children."

A lady with cancer, given a 5% chance of ever walking out the door, so she volunteered to try new drugs and maybe help someone down the line.  She had achieved acceptance and enjoyed her time with her family and the many new friends she met that walk through those doors.  We travelled over 360 miles to get my ex-wife the help she needed.  A six hour drive, we wished for a miracle and we left with so much more.

We left with an acceptance that life isn't always what we dream about.  But through miracles, every day is special and unique.  And with a touch of humility, we thank the Lord, that while our pain is a challenge - it could be worse...

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