Thursday, May 17, 2012

Blessing in Disguise

The first time Gary and I went to our bible study it was based on the scripture Matthew 14:22-33, where Jesus came to his disciples in the boat and Peter stepped out to meet him on the water. The whole study was on faith. Having faith in Jesus.

“Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. 23 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, 24 and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.25 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” 28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”29 “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.” Matthew 14:22-33

When my husband received the news that his Cholesteatoma came back, this time worse than before and close to his brain, my heart sank deep into my stomach. He was being treated for a bad ear infection for a week or so and finally when he told his ear doctor something still was not right, he did a cat scan and saw the tumor. Now c-toma isn’t quite a tumor. But it is tumor-like, in the way it acts. Fortunately, it is not cancerous and does not spread through out the body. More often doctors refer to it as “middle ear disease”. It’s very rare and can form from chronic ear infections. The c-toma had lurked back into his ear, silently, unseen by the doctor.

The first time this happened to him, the doctor also thought: “Just a bad ear infection”.

3 weeks ago today he was sent in for an emergency surgery. He went in around 1 pm and I didn’t see him until 8 that night! I was so grateful for everyone who prayed during that time…Between the two surgeries he required a mastoidectomy, a widened ear canal and a lot of reconstruction. It is beyond me everything that the c-toma destroyed in my husband’s ear. I vaguely remember this new doctor telling me the three tiny bones were not all there, a few tubes that function for balance were half gone and the thin bone structure between the top of his ear and his brain was eroded. (The anatomy of an ear is extremely confusing to me.) He lost a lot of hearing out of the right ear, we’re not sure yet how many decibels but as of now, all sound is muffled to him.

So the night before his surgery, as we went into this frightened and overwhelmed, I prayed over Gary and we were brought to a scripture that was truly sent from God…

“I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears. Surely, I will heal you…” 2 Kings 20:5

 Over the 4 days we felt like Peter did. “Ok Jesus- I know You’re there and I know You won’t but just… please don’t let go of our hands!” And He didn’t. Not once. During the hours that my husband was in surgery and all the minor complications (that seemed giant) that he was facing, God’s faithfulness was there.

His new doctor is taking good care of him, seeing him every 3 weeks and keeping him under close watch. He specifically specializes in c-toma so we’re confident with him. We pray every day for full restoration for Gary’s hearing but there is an awesome option that the doctor recommended for him. It’s a cochlear implant (like a hearing aid but it’s permanently inside you! This device can even make a person born deaf, hear!)

What really amazes me though is my husband’s courage with everything that’s happened to him. Everyone that he’s seen (lots of doctors/nurses) admires and comments on his attitude through all of this. I mean, I look at this and say I don’t know if I’ll ever know what it feels like to physically lose…anything of myself! My hearing, my sight, my arms, legs, whatever! But I pray that if it does, I have the same outlook that my husband does.

Thank You God for protecting Gary. Thank You for allowing him to catch this on time. Thank You for Your promises. Thank You for Your love and Thank You for saving my husband’s life.

“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Psalm 73:26