October 3, 1995. It was the day of my last spinal surgery. This surgery is the fifth or sixth surgery that I had on my back (I lost exact count). This operation lasted about eleven hours. It was a spinal fusion + thoracotomy surgery. Well, of course a spinal fusion is when they graft part of a bone and fuse it with the spine. I have two Harrington rods that support the spine from the surgery.
Also, the thoracotomy part of the surgery; they cut open my right side, which allows access to the anterior spine and lungs. The scar is around 20 inches that loops around to the top of my back. They removed part of the right rib and used that to graft. And an additional part of the surgery they had to collapse one of my lungs to allow better acesss to the spine. There was a chest tube inserted as well, that I vaguely remember. That was not very fun with some of the breathing treatments to get everything back in working order.
I then spent three days in the ICU, and in the hospital for at least another three days. I missed a month of school but I had all the work from the core classes. I eventually did go back to school but only for half-days for about two to three weeks. (I had my schedule rearranged to take those core classes.)
Also, I was free of my back brace with the last surgery. I wore a back brace from age five to age thirteen(kindergarten through eighth grade). I only took off the brace for an hour a day. So, that day marked the last day I had to wear a back brace. The back brace was a part of my everyday life, so it felt weird not having to wear it anymore. 🙂
O.J. Simpson was found not guilty on October 3, 1995 as well. I went into surgery anticipating the verdict and one of the first things I asked when I was awake was about the verdict. I was surprised as most people were when I heard about he was “not guilty”. But anyway I will always remember that part of history that occurred on the day of my last surgery.
One of the verses that is close to my heart is Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ which strengthen me.” It is a verse that I’ve said many times before my surgeries. I pray that back to God, knowing He will provide and get me through the surgery. I had no doubt, because of His gracious provision throughout all my other surgeries. I know nothing in myself is possible to provide comfort or gives me the ability to go through this by myself but God alone who provides that strength. Whatever fear I might have, I can turn to God for that comfort.
God alone does this and He will continue to be in control. I have no reason to doubt, as I can look back at the other moments in my life, and see His hand in it all.