I deal in hope :

Three years ago, and a bunch of miracles later

Column published in the Kearney Hub 3/13/17

I get up in the morning glad to be alive. I often whisper, “This is the day the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24 (NKJV)

Whatever happens, I am thankful to be alive and not only alive but also able to breathe and eat on my own. Three years ago those were all in doubt.

Keith came home late after work one night–he works until 9 pm–to find me on the floor in the bedroom calling his name. I’d fallen and hit my head. I remember only bits and pieces of what happened next. Keith managed to get on my shoes and take me to the emergency room.

The medical professionals sent me through a CAT scan, which revealed a cracked skull, a brain bleed and a concussion. That was of some concern, but in the normal scheme of things I would have been sent home in a day or two. But that night Dr. Chinyere Obasi, who specializes in Neurosurgery, was on call and that made all the difference.

With my limitations, I have fallen from time to time, but the falls have a reason–I tripped, got tangled or was accidently knocked down. This fall appeared to have no reason. He also discovered this was the second unexplained fall in six months. As he said later, he had a gut feeling there was more to my fall. He ordered an MRI and discovered the truth. My upper spine was almost completely cut off. Surprising I hadn’t had more severe problems.

I needed immediate surgery to, possibly, save my life. Scary time as my family were notified and our children and sister headed to Kearney. (My brother and wife already live in Kearney.) The surgery was successful, but the process of intubating compromised my throat because of my health problems.

I ended up not able to breathe well enough and was unable to swallow. I ended up with a tracheotomy and a feeding tube. Even as I began to heal, there was only guarded hope from the doctors that I would ever stop needing either. But my care was excellent, my support from family and friends constant and my motivation high. Most of all, friends, family, and those I hardly knew were praying.

Two and a half months after entering the hospital, I went home–still with the trach and feeding tube. Keith had spent time learning how to care for them and doing so isn’t easy or particularly pleasant. I continued to heal. A month or so after returning home, doctors removed both the trach and the feeding tube. Yes, I need to be careful in what and how I eat, but I am breathing and eating.

I was given a second chance at life. I would have missed so much not being here–time with our son and grandchildren Devon, Dane and Tori, our daughter’s wedding a year after my surgery and, this year, holding our new granddaughter Ellery. What a blessing!

I am thankful I didn’t give up, had medical staff, family, and friends who cheered me on and who supported Keith and me through it all. I don’t know what tomorrow will bring, but I know that God is in my tomorrow as much as He was with me in my yesterdays and I know I can safely leave my future in His hands.

By Carolyn R Scheidies

Check out my autobiography



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