In the fall of 2002 I was in a car accident with my husband which changed our lives forever. My husband was ok, I was not. I suffered a TBI (traumatic brain injury) and for the next several years my life was filled with great physical suffering. God’s great and wonderful mercy was with me throughout each diagnosis, procedure and surgery. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Psalms 23:6.
Within a short amount of time after the accident I began having multiple health issues. I never had any issues with diabetes, nor did my family, so it came as a great surprise that I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. This disease was a real game changer, my life and that of my family was changed dramatically. Two of our six children were still living at home during this time, one was still in school, and it was hard on them, because I always took care of them.
After an adjustment period, I lost a substantial amount of weight (too much) and had to give away my clothing, shoes, coats, nothing fit. So my new wardrobe came from second hand stores. I had also become weakened. Soon after this event, I began having tremendous headaches an MRI was ordered and I was told that I had a brain tumor (at the site of impact) and pituitary damage. I have always loved and trusted the Lord and converted to the Catholic faith when I was in my 20’s After all these health issues my hope was still in the Lord, but my joy was gone. With a desperate cry to God for my joy to return, I had a beautiful encounter with Him. I was in chapel and picked up a book that had fallen on my foot, I opened it to a chapter about joy, I ask the Holy Spirit for joy and I was filled with joy. Praise be to our merciful Lord. When He sends His Holy Spirit into our hearts to refresh and sanctify us that too is His merciful love: His merciful love pouring into our hearts the power to grow in faith, hope and love and to serve Him with joy.
I was trying to adjust again to these new health issues when it felt like an axe came down again. We were having a summer party, most of our children were home and friends were over, a very nice day, most enjoyable. In the afternoon, I began to feel ill. I told my son to bring juice and an aspirin, I said I am having a diabetic issue or a heart attack. I told him to get his father. When they returned I was unable to walk and had tremendous chest pains. It was a heart attack. Someone called an ambulance. I continued to lose consciousness and I heard my daughter say, “Mom please don’t close your eyes.” I was taken to the hospital and in very critical condition. When I woke, they told me I was very lucky. I noticed burn marks on my body and was told the medical team had to shock my heart several times to start it beating again. The medical staff is so gifted; I am so grateful to all of them. Thank you again Lord for your mercies.
\I was released, and went home for a long recovery, only walking 2 or 3 minutes a day, slowly progressing and finally to cardiac rehab. One of the medicines I had to take caused bleeding and I became anemic. Now another trip to a new doctor, and a biopsy, a few days later I was given a cancer diagnosis. I cried and ask the Lord if this cup could pass by me, His suffering servant. So another doctor and a surgical date, I could wait to finish part of my cardiac rehab before the surgery. With trust in our Lord for His mercy and having many people praying for me, I went into surgery. It was successful, again wonderful doctors and medical team. I was in the hospital for a length of time and it was discovered I had another diagnosis from the pituitary damage a disease named diabetic insipidus, I was very ill.
Soon after I returned home from the hospital I was sitting in my living room when an overwhelming feeling of God’s love came over me, it was tangible…..so beautiful! I am stronger now spiritually and physically and will have lifelong health issues, but I know with faith that our Lord will reach down to meet our needs with His merciful compassionate love for us, to help in time of our need.