Thursday, January 29, 2009

Amazing Grace

In 1995, I was the program director for my writer’s group. I had picked up our speaker at the airport and taken her to breakfast. This was our September meeting, the 4th Saturday of the month. I had blueberry pancakes. After eating, we drove to the meeting. As we were setting up, I got sick to my stomach and ran to the bathroom and lost my breakfast. (It took years for me to be able to eat blueberries again.) I didn’t let go of the toilet because I continued to heave. Several minutes later the paramedics arrived and pried me away from the toilet. Once I was at the hospital, I remember seeing my husband and son walk into the cubical. I also remember my best friend, who was at the meeting, walking into the room.

That’s the last thing I remember until mid-November, 2 ½ months later. The first thing I can remember is sitting at a table and looking at all these people who had their heads shaved. Some of them looked really bad. Little did I know that I looked worse. I only had half my head shaved.

I had a brain aneurysm. A vessel in my head burst and I bled into my brain.

One night the doctors called my family in and told them they didn’t think I’d make it through the night. It devastated my family. My daughter, who was in college at the time, was the only one who didn’t give into despair. She prayed and held onto her Heavenly Father. She needed her mother to see her through life. I think it was her faith that God honored.

When I talked to my husband and children, they told me what had happened. Apparently I was in a lot of pain, I was given such huge doses of antibiotics to keep the infection in my brain down, my blood stopped clotting. If it could go wrong, it did.

It took nearly six months for me to get up to speed. I lost part of my children’s childhood, but I wonder how much of our kids growing up years most parents really remember? If people bring up things, I might not be able to recall it instantly, but with thinking, I can access the memory. Oddly enough, all the plots I had in my head before the aneurysm were there after. My writing was a blessing. It made me think, remember, plot. That first book after the aneurysm was a personal triumph. I gave a copy of it to my doctor.


This traumatic event is imprinted in my family’s consciousness. They all have stories of that time, of the odd things I did and the weird stories I spun. Personally, I think they are fibbing. They have fun now telling me the things I said.

It’s as if it happened to someone else. Of course, I have lots of holes in my head, divots where they put in shunts. I still have a shunt in my head. One time when I was reading in Exodus, about Moses wanting to see God’s glory, God didn’t allow Moses to see Him. He put Moses in the cleft of the rock and put his hand over Moses as He passed by. After reading that, I knew where my consciousness had been. I had been in the cleft of the rock with God’s hand covering me. None of the pain and agony had touched me.

I am whole. Plotting. Writing. Blessed. I thank my Heavenly Father for his mercy.

2 comments:

Debby Giusti said...

Leann,
How amazing and what a miracle! Thanks for sharing your story with us. So glad you're on the Craftie Ladies blog. Looking forward to seeing you at the next conference!

SketchGirl said...

I love it when God protects us and we can just know that he is there even during serious illness. We may not know all that it happening around us or even be able to see out a window what the weather is like unless someone comes in wearing it. Thank you God for shielding us during these times and taking care of our families.