Saturday, October 3, 2015

The Blessing of Good Health

"A wise man should consider that health is the greatest of human blessings, and learn how by his own thought to derive benefit from his illnesses."
--Hippocrates
Some of you may have wondered why last week's Foodie Friday was posted early or why I haven't been around. I've been taking care of my husband. The poor guy had two surgeries in two weeks. The first was a minor, out-patient procedure on his big toe; the second surgery involved his spine and was much more complex, involving the 3rd cervical vertebrae. He'd been trying to have the spinal surgery for the past two years, but each time another health issue had cropped up. In 2013, he'd been scheduled for a laminectomy, requiring an incision in the back of his neck, along with three vertebrae--or three "levels." The convalescence would have been protracted, and it carried horrifying risks, such as paralysis, pain, or worse.

Then, right before the surgery, an MRI revealed a huge sub-sternal goiter, one that could cause respiratory arrest ,and it had to be removed before he could even think about the problem with his neck (he'd never had any pain, thank goodness, but a spur was pressing on his cord, causing numbness). The neurosurgeon didn't seem to care, but his endocrinologist was adamant: my husband couldn't have spinal surgery until the thyroid growth was removed. The risk was suffocation, as the huge growth was pushing into his trachea. If he'd undergone the laminectomy first, the metal hardware could have been dislodged by the growth, which would have continued to enlarge. As it was, the orange-sized lump had twisted my husband's trachea into an "S-shape."
After he recovered from thyroid surgery, my husband decided to get a second opinion. He made an appointment with one of the best neurosurgeons in Nashville. After the doctor studied the new MRI, he recommended an anterior approach--through the front of his neck. And he thought the complex procedure was totally unnecessary. My husband just needed "one level" repaired, a 45 minute procedure, with less risks. 

I must tell you, I was very scared for my husband. Even though the procedure was less complicated, it was still very, very intricate and carried risks. It was a difficult time for him, too. 

This past Thursday, on a chilly, rainy night, the surgery was finally performed. Today, my husband is doing great. He's just finished watching the Georgia-Alabama football game, eating comfort food (pork roast with pan potatoes and carrots). Bandwidth and I are making sure he walks down the hall every 4 hours, to help prevent a DVT. Now, if I can make sure he wears his neck brace...if I can keep him away from his office (and keep office problems away from him), I'm sure he'll have a smooth recovery.

Good health is such a blessing--but it is also a privilege, one we will never take lightly. Without health, nothing really matters.

At his request, I snapped a few pictures of the view from his hospital room. 

A rainy night in Nashville.




We're floating on gratitude right now.

"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend."
--Melody Beattie








42 comments:

  1. Oh, Michael Lee! I'm so sorry your husband has had to go through all of this but so glad to hear he's doing well. You're so right, if we don't have our health, nothing matters. I know you all are so relieved. His view ain't bad! :) Just remember, you're the nurse and you know this, but as a care giver take time to take care of yourself. You don't want to get yourself down. Sending prayers and hugs!
    Blessings,
    Shelia ;)

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  2. I'm glad to hear your husband got through the surgery, it's so stressful! Continued healing!

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  3. I hope for him a very quick and full recovery.
    Brenda

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  4. Glad he got a second opinion. Sounds like he is recovering without any complications. Keep reminding him about the neck brace as it could a bad situation if he lost his balance, bumped into something, etc..
    Sending healing thoughts his way!.

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  5. Good health and blessings to you both. Please take care.

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  6. I am so happy that your husband is doing so well. Will say prayers that he has a full recovery. Those DVT's are very bad. That is one problem that I have, so be sure he take his walks.
    I love Nashville and used to travel there quite often when I worked as a Meeting Planner and Show Operations Manager.
    Always stayed at the Marriott that is attached to the Convention Center. Great city.
    Take good care of your husband and wishes for a speedy recovery.
    Mary

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  7. Congratulations, Michael! What a relief for all of you! I totally agree with you about good health, it is a privilege and a blessing, and not to be taken for granted.

    Best wishes for a speedy recovery!

    Hugs,

    Denise

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  8. I'm glad things are heading the right direction. I was wondering why the part was early last week. Thoughts of health and easy recovery headed your way!

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  9. So glad to hear he is doing well! Our health is so precious and your post is a reminder to never take that for granted!
    Shelley

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  10. Sending healing thoughts...hope he has an uncomplicated, speedy, full recovery!

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  11. Prayers for an easy recovery. And prayers for the caregiver (you) too. It is a stressful time for all of you.

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  12. Pretty views and photos during a difficult time. I hope your husband's recovery goes along smoothly.

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  13. Good health is a blessing. Glad your hubby is at home recovering. Thinking of you. ♥

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  14. I am so happy the surgery went well, I hope you enjoy calm waters going forward.

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  15. Best wishes for a speedy recovery and good health again!

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  16. Goodness I bet you are ready for 2015 to be behind you! So glad to know your husband is doing so well. Thank goodness the procedures were done in the order they were and that you got that second opinion. I do believe things happen for a reason and it seems as thigh you were guided down the right path. Make sure he follows the doctor's orders so he has a continued good outcome. Oh wait I forgot you're also a nurse! What a fabulous view out his hospital window!

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  17. Thinking of both you and your husband, I have had that surgery and the first few days after surgery are the worst. Take heart, the pain will pass. Then you can get back to the wonderful house that was telling you to take care of yourself first.

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  18. I'm sorry he's had to go through, wishing a speedy recovery. Prayers for him as well as you. Keeping you in my thoughts. fondly ~lynne~

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  19. Wonderful news, delivered beautifully. Take care, all of you.

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  20. Oh your poor hubby and what he and you have been through. However, what wonderful news and yes, good health is such a blessing. I can't think of a better nurse than you, Michael Lee, to care for him! God bless you all and wishing your hubby a speedy recovery.

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  21. Oh my, I am so sorry to hear about this, but the end result is good news. I am so pleased for both of you. Looks like he has a fabulous view too. Take care Doc and I hope you are home soon.
    Sam

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  22. I'm sure that was scary for both of you. So thankful he is on the mend. Wishing you both good health! ;)

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  23. Oh dear. Wishing you a speedy recovery?

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  24. Oh dear. Wishing you a speedy recovery.

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  25. My best thoughts and prayers to both of you. Spinal surgery is frightening. My hubby has some issues....with spinal stenosis and surgeons scare the stuffing out of me/us about dangers, blood transfusions and hours it would take. No pain...so just sitting on the issues. I am so glad your hubby is doing well. And thank goodness for second opinions. I may need the name of the spinal surgeon...as we love to come down to Nashville for health care.
    God Bless.
    Sheila

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  26. So sorry for your husband's health issues! So glad the surgeries went well! Praying his recovery goes well and quick! ~Rhonda

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  27. Good health is definitely a blessing! Wishing him God's blessings for a speedy recovery!

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  28. Oh my goodness! So glad he is okay and will be sending prayers for continued recovery! Get your rest too!

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  29. Michael Lee, I'm grateful that this is good news. Sending best wishes for a speedy and easy recovery. I know this must have been very stressful for each of you. Take care. Sending hugs your way........
    Love the quote. Saving it!

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  30. Sending good thoughts! I love the Hippocrates quote. We've certainly learned valuable lessons though illnesses over the years.
    Hoping for a speedy uncomplicated recovery!

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  31. "A bruised reed he will not break..." Isaiah 42:3 God is good!

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  32. So happy that the outcome of the operation was a success. You're so right about health. When we have it, we take it for granted it seems. So, you've hit upon the appropriate, positive emotion of gratitude. We must cultivate it daily.

    P.S. You can threaten to tattle on him for all of blogland to see if he doesn't follow his recuperative instructions!

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  33. I couldn't agree with you more about the value of health. Sending positive vibes your way for your husband's continued recovery. God bless!

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  34. Prayers for your husband's healing are being said today. Surgery and days at the hospital are very trying. You are such a blessing to so many of us and I am thrilled to hear the surgery is over and recovery has begun. Hugs to you both!

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  35. My heart is filled with more gratitude for your kind words, good wishes, and prayers. Thanks so much, ladies! xxoo

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  36. I've been enjoying reading about your house adventure. I'm so glad the "health adventure" is turning out well. I'm sending healing thoughts and good wishes for a full recovery.

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  37. Hope you both are breathing a little easier now and recovery is on the upswing! Your photos of Nashville made me homesick. We moved to Greenville, SC a few years ago. Your books help me keep that Tennessee connection. Sending comforting wishes your way...

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  38. Oh I am so glad he went with his instincts and obtained a second opinion....my thoughts and prayers are with him and your family....My wishes for a most speedy and complete recovery....Sounds like he is in great hands!...

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  39. It was comforting reading this. So glad that your husband is doing well. I am facing surgery on my leg to have plates and pins removed on Monday and I am nervous. This made me feel better. Healing thoughts are sent your way. We should never take our health for granted. Blessings to you both.

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  40. So glad everything went well. St. Thomas is a good hospital, mycousin works at there

    Cindi

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  41. Oh Michael... I had no idea what was going on, because I haven't been visiting blogs while I was on my break all last month. I'm so sorry all of you had to go through that. You have definitely had your share of hard times of late and I pray that all of that is over for you and your family.

    love to you and hugs, my dear friend.

    rue

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