During this period of time, two years ago, I took an ambulance ride. I had not been feeling my best for a year. I had been growing increasingly sluggish for a few months. I was losing balance. A few times, lost consciousness. Working in the garden one day in March, 2015, I had all the symptoms of a heart attack.
But, I had no heart attack.
I would discover that I did have a heart condition, a precarious and rare gastric condition, a deteriorating spine condition with nerve damage, major nutritional deficiencies and anemia, neurological complications, and an array of possible conditions which needed to be tested.
I was grateful that I had been able to get good insurance through Blue Shield, by way of Covered California, in spite of pre-existing conditions.
I became good friends with doctors, physical therapists, nurses, emergency rooms, receptionists, hospitals, and the staff of surgical suites from San Francisco to Los Angeles.
I became more aware of the power of prayer to sustain and heal.
I became more intimate with the God of grace and the grace of God.
From December of last year to February of this year, I had two trips to the emergency room, five extended hospitalizations, 3 major surgeries, 1 minor procedure, and multiple complications including a DVT, out-of-control bleeding, and the process of getting used to using a gastric tube.
I missed about 3 Sundays from church, but I continued working, even from my hospital bed.
God sustained me.
I am back.
I have energy.
I am seeing medical people, but it seems that most of this is maintenance ... at least for now.
I gave up the hope of eating for enjoyment, in my mind, forever.
Now, I am delighted to report that I can eat - not enough for my nutritional needs and not all the right things. But I can eat and that is more than many can do. In spite of an esophagus that does not really do it's job and because of two operating stomachs, I get what I need and I get to enjoy some of it as a bonus.
My future may include some spinal surgery, possible procedures on my stomach (or not), and ongoing monitoring of my heart rate, physical therapy, and who-knows-what. Ultimately, I will die like everyone else ... hopefully from old age.
But whatever ... I intend to live until I die.
As far as I can tell, I can travel, dream, grow, preach, teach, write, lead, and have great conversations with friends for a long time.
We are building a great work at 4141 Ministries and the horizon is bright and bold.
I have deep gratitude for all who have followed my journey, prayed for me, helped me, encouraged me, or even just followed me and wished the best for me.
I may not be as young as I used to be. I have learned to pace myself. However, I say with a strong degree of confidence that I am back!