Saturday, May 21, 2011

IS it May 21 already?

Are you ready for the rapture tonight? If you are a believing Christian, then, yes, you are!

But, is it going to happen? I'm "not feelin' it." But I don't really know because the book of Matthew tells us no one knows. And it also tells us that Jesus will return as a "thief in the night." Surely, everyone, believer and non-believer alike, knows about May 21 and the prediction that all Christians will be taken up into the sky to live forever with Jesus on that date. It's on TV and radio, the nightly news and billboards. I never saw a thief in the night come with so much prior publicity. But...shrug...maybe it will happen!

For me, I'll be so glad for that day. The only thing that will mar it is that so many of my loved ones do not have that personal relationship with Jesus, and if the Lord came back tonight, they would indeed be "left behind." But, that's their choice.

I did not intend to post on the rapture or "taking up" here just now, but that is what poured out of my heart. Now that I've obeyed God, I will post a couple of other things.

Two sad/happy losses to our Chiari and Christian family. The lovely, spritely Michelle McCollum has passed away. She died on May 18, I believe. Her son was born with Chiari, and her strong advocacy for his health issues led to many of us getting to know Michelle. What a gem of a person she is! Sadly, she was diagnosed with cancer several years ago and has been fighting such a battle ever since.

In and out of hospitals (the "in" days numbering much more than the "out" days, sad to say); at home being hooked to IV poles and other medication suspensing equipment.
I marveled as I watched her, through her emails and posts on the Christian support group, Healing Friends, supporting and encouraging on her son as he excelled in school athletics. She would drive him and other team members all over Texas, while, unseen, her body was challenging her at every turn.

Last year, her left leg was amputated. Infection raged through her body. She fought it all with grace and dignity and sharing with us her understandable human emotions.

We were shocked to hear she had passed to the other side! It seemed like she was doing somewhat better.

Michelle left behind her devoted husband, Brent, and 2 teenaged children, a son and a daughter. We miss you, sweetheart!

Last night, while searching for Michelle's Facebook page, my eye caught a post from Matt Harms. The topic of his post left no doubt: he was readying for his wife's services! What??? What happened to beautiful Becky??? I stayed up late as I searched FB and the web and read her obituary, and read all comments, pages and pages of them, on her FB page.

Becky Harms was 41. She died "at her home," the obit reads. Other than that, I do not know any more. I miss her so much.

Becky had her craniocervical fusion done at TCI at the same time I had my Tethered Cord surgery. She and Matt, two separate occasions, picked me up at JFK airport in NY and delivered me to their (and my) motel in Floral Park. We went out to eat one time together. Since Becky and I were both on the neuro floor at North Shore Hospital at the same time, I often toddled down the hall to her room to visit with her, and her husband Matt would come to my room and sit down and visit, often. Later, I learned from Becky that she had sent him down to check up on me. I was alone at the hospital for 3 days and those visits with Matt and Becky made me feel less alone.

A few times, we sat in each others' motel rooms and talked and talked. I remember her showing me her children's pics on her laptop (and I marveled at someone being able to show pics on a lap top screen far away from their home PC! Boy, how our technology has rushed along. That was back in 2008).

She loved horses and she and Matt had a farm full of them. Sadly, Chiari took away the horses and I could visit and relate with Becky about that. She had a movie star smile! A lovely, loud laugh. I recall her telling me that she used to be a bullrider before her life as a mom. she remains the only lady-bullrider I know.

Becky Harms, I miss you, but a huge part of me is envious of you right now. You no longer have pain. And you are most of all in the Arms of Jesus!! And when you are not holding onto our Lord, you are riding again, perhaps even some bulls along with the horses! I loved you and still do. I look forward to seeing you one day. Please have a good horse saddled up and waiting for me, okay?


Majid Ali said...
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Jen M, RN said...

I just happened to stumble across your blog...thank you so much!!! My daughter, who is now 17, suffered a stable JF when she was 9. She spent 3 months in a c-collar and was deemed healthy after that. However, she still complains about neck pain. I wasn't sure how to take her complaints, since I had been told that she wouldn't have any long term effects from her injury. Obviously, what I had been told was completely wrong! Thank you for not just telling your story, but for obviously having so much faith and giving great info!
Taylor, MI

By His Grace said...

Jen, I'm so glad you posted, but not very glad to hear that your daughter is suffering now.

I wanted to say to you that it is very, very common that doctors do not understand JFs. They are taught one thing about them in med school and they don't see that many of them, and since most doctors, including (or especially) neurosurgeons, do not listen to the patient, the outlook is pretty bleak for any improvement in understanding a Jefferson Frx. I just went to a new NSG in June and was aghast at what he told me about JFs. He said that a person with a JF either has "his head hanging in his hands" and is about to die, OR the frx heals fine and the patient goes on with life without any pain or other sx! This made me so upset, I cried. I told him that he has a lot to learn about JFs and hopefully, he will listen and learn and become a better doctor. I told him that he needs to be aware that there is a middle area, a gray area, where sufferers DO suffer pain and other serious sx, yet they are not holding their heads in their hands! What a jerk! I'll post about that appt soon.

Please find the best NSG you can and make an appt for your daughter. I see you are from Michigan, could you make the trip to Iowa to see Dr. Arnold Menezes? He is a brilliant NSG who specializes in the skull base area. I would feel very confident in his knowledge and also in his dx after he sees your daughter!!

Let me know if you need more help in finding a good NSG. Please don't settle for just a NSG in your area!! As you saw, they can tell you everything is in your daughter's mind, she's trying to get attention, she's making things up, etc. This is so very WRONG! The pain I suffer, 7 years post injury, is inexorable. This area of the body is so sensitive, this is where all the body systems are headquartered, so to speak.

If you would like to email me, I'll post my email here for a day, then I can erase it...don't want a bunch of spam etc!

God bless you and your family and I pray that things work out for your daughter!

The pain that I experience with this JF is not just pain upon movement. It can be stabbing, nagging, throbbing. but the pain causes problems in the entire body!!