Brad: He made a not-so-quick visit to the ER in Phoenix in September for his neck, remember? Here's the link, in case you missed it. After consulting with a neurosurgeon, Brad decided that surgery would be his last-ditch effort to relieve the pain, and he opted for a series of three steroid shots into the base of his neck. The idea of a doctor (no matter how proficient) sticking a needle into my husband's spinal cord scared me. A lot. But after the first shot and little to no side effects, I was convinced that this was a good first step. The shots were spaced every two weeks, and after eight weeks, Brad saw marked improvement. A few days ago, he was touching his fingers together and he commented, "The feeling is almost completely back in my fingers. I would say I'm about 95% recovered." That is good enough for me. In fact, tonight he wrestled three of his boys (including Tucker, who is technically his boy but is definitely a man) on the floor for a while with no pain and no fear of injury. That's a blessing.
Greg: Just a few weeks after Brad's neck scare, my father-in-law was rushed to the emergency room for a suspected aneurysm. Here's the link to that original post. Greg's recovery was nothing short of miraculous. No other word can describe it. One month later, he was responding in ways the doctors never predicted--here's that post. When he came down for my nephew's wedding last week, he was back to himself. There are very few lingering effects from the aneurysm, and if you didn't know he had been in the hospital a few months before, you would never guess now. Every time I see him, I'm reminded of miracles and blessings. We are grateful he is still here and grateful he is still himself.
Lily: First of two health issues with Lily over the last few months--her nodules (original post here). Vocal nodules are hard to accept, especially when you're a teenager who loves to sing and cheer at ball games and other stuff (like talk . . . at all). A month after diagnosis she returned for a second throat scope (post here). By the time she had her third scope, she was almost completely healed. She's been really sick this winter with multiple flu and cold bugs, so the status of her throat is still unusual, but she has returned to singing and reminds us all when we're using improper vocalization that may lead to nodules. Glad she's better, and I smile every time I hear her sing.
Second--the worst scare ever for a mom (original post here). I don't wish a life flight phone call on anyone. It's a gut-wrenching, sickening experience not knowing what you will see when the helicopter lands. After a week in her cervical collar, the doctor examined her and performed a follow-up X-ray. No fractures to her neck were ever found, and she was able to wean herself off the collar a little at a time until she no longer needed it. She's back to swimming, weight lifting, and any other activity she can find. I don't think her neck bothers her much any more, but sometimes when she flips her hair or wrestles with her brothers, I'm reminded how close she came to permanent disability. (We did get the bills from the hospital and the air transport company, and I was SHOCKED at how much it cost. The hospital was over $20,000, and the helicopter bill came back at just under $50,000. $70,000. That's right, people. And our insurance has an individual deductible of $2,600. For the rest of 2016, Lily can get glasses, break a toe, whatever, and it will be covered 100%. Another blessing--insurance. Can you believe that?!)
They say these things come in threes (three people, four crises), so I hope I've had my quota for QUITE a while. Looking back, these experiences were really hard--hard on the three individuals and hard on our family. I do, however, look back on them with increased gratitude for the miracle involved in living daily life. I also look to them and see big miracles in my life--and it reminds me to look for the smaller miracles that happen often that I overlook.
God is good.