Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6
My latest test results have revealed there is still no known cause for the syrinx, such as a spinal fistula or tumor. I also spoke at length with the neurosurgeon I’ve been under the care of in New York. In the same manner as several surgeons I saw in Philadelphia, he is strongly suggesting against surgery to drain the cyst and therefore relieve pressure on the already damaged nerves in my spinal cord.
The reasons are the same: the surgery is extremely complicated and full of risk.
I’ve had this conversation enough times now to know that this is the part where I get really frustrated. The doctor tells me he won’t do the surgery because of risk, but then he does an appallingly poor job of explaining what that means in terms I can actually understand. Instead he gives me “brain surgeon terms.”
Now those of you reading who know me personally may have a hard time believing a conversation between the doctor and myself got a little spicy. Who am I kidding? It was like a New York hurricane meets a Jersey tornado (weird imagery, I know, but stay with me). He was rattling off some of the negative outcomes of the surgery. He says “you won’t be able to feel your legs in space.” WHAT? I yelled into the phone, “What does that even MEAN?!” He yelled back, “It means you would walk like a duck!”
Don’t get me wrong. No one was angry or anything. It was just a very candid, demonstrative conversation and I appreciated the frankness. This doctor just happens to have an expressive personality and I’m…well…me. But this is yet another surgeon who won’t touch my spine with a scalpel. However, there have been no other treatments, besides pain management, offered or discussed by any of the doctors I have seen thus far.
By the grace of God, I will continue to soldier on. Tomorrow we are getting on a plane bound for Cleveland. I have an appointment with a neurosurgeon at the Cleveland Spine Clinic. Hoping and praying if this doctor also concurs that surgery is too full of risk at this time, that he will be able to suggest and facilitate alternative treatment options for me.
Many steps on this road have felt crooked and rough and bumpy. I have blisters on my feet from distance walking. Occasionally, I’ve been so weary, I wanted to stop moving forward or even turn back. I think this is because, at times, I start to trust in what I can see with my eyes and understand with my mind. When I trust in God completely with my HEART, I feel Jesus walking beside me and I absolutely believe God can take crooked, bumpy roads and make straight paths – new and whole and GOOD.
Whatever may pass and whatever lies before me; let me be singing when the evening comes.
Journey with me.