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Hello everyone I am amazed that tomorrow by this time I will be recovering from a successful surgery.  :-D.  I’m scared, at times.  I think tomorrow will be hardest.  I keep thinking about how your prayers and the Lord’s grace helped me through the tests on the 9th.  He will help me through this.

A friend reminded me that I hadn’t included information on where I’ll be.

My surgery begins at 11:30am, but I need to be there for surgery preps at 9:30. 

Columbia St. Mary’s 2323 Lake Dr., Milwaukee, WI 53211 414.291.1000

I don’t have a room #.  I will be in ICU for 2 days then moved to a regular room for 3 more days.

I am having a posterior fossa brain decompression for Chiari 1 Malformation.  The recovery, because they have to open the brain dura, will be hard.  They say I will be on a morphine drip for at least a couple days until my CSF replenishes.

3 Days to go…

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“For I know the thoughts that I think towards you, saith the Lord, thoughts of good, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”  Jeremiah 29:11

Though all of this literally side-swiped me I am reminded that God knew all of this.  This wasn’t some cosmic accident.  It is how God, my Potter, wonderfully and fearfully made me.  Not with a malformation, or a birth defect.  He didn’t take a break when as a baby in my mother’s womb my spine and skull were being formed. 

Nor has He taken a break now.  I find that so wonderfully thoughtful of God.  It’s not like we’re in the Amazing Race or the Biggest Loser.  Take a wrong turn, or gain a pound and we are outta here.  There may be times we feel this way, but just as the wall art says we must trust His heart.  I believe that God is not removed from my situation.  As my Sovereign King He is orchastrating my life to be one of honor and glory to Him.

I’ve had lots of times where I know God has placed me at a cross road.  I’m there now.  You see Chiari is not my only trial.  God has helped me to embrace the Chiari and all it means.

Pain.
Grief.
Misunderstandings.
Apathy.
Sympathy.
Compassion.
Empathy.
Suffering.
Fear.
God.
Christ.
Closeness.
Intensity in prayer.
Enemies.
Friends.
Comfort.
Disgust.
Love.
Sacrifice.

What a unique place I am in right now.  I cry myself to sleep each night.  Usually it begins with fear, than turns to trust.  I don’t want to fail God in this.  I want God to use me through this. 

I’m not a failure because I need brain surgery.

I’m not a failure because I want brain surgery.

I’m not a failure because I fear the outcome.

I’m human!  God created me and oh how He knew this would draw me closer to Him.  I’ve never felt more dependant upon God than I am now.  Never more in love with Him because of who He is for me!

I’m human!  God created me with emotions and a strong personality.  For years I have rejected the person God created because, well, it didn’t fit into the image of the Proverbs 31 woman.  I attempted to fit myself into the mold. 

Squeeze.

Push.

Pull.

Berate.

Pretend.

Something occurred to me this past month…God gave us His Word for edification, instruction in righteousness.  I thought about all the imperfect people in the Bible.  I thought about the different personailites.  And then it dawned on me…Paul said follow me as I follow after Christ.  He didn’t say be exactly like me and you will be a follower of Christ.  There was an allowance, I believe, in his appeal for humanity.  (That’s a whole other blog, Lord willing.)

Jesus didn’t tell the woman at the well to go be like His mother.  The woman caught in adultery to be perfect.  Martha to quit serving and be entirely like Mary.  God gifted Mary with an natural inclination to worship; Martha with a natural inclination to serve. 

So all that said, come Monday afternoon God will have gifted me, I trust, with a successful surgery.  I also pray and hope He will gift me grace for all He’s trying to accomplish in and through my life.  I doubt I will wake up to be Mrs. Duggar, always sweet and calmly meek in my demeanor.  Haha.  Could you imagine that?  Lol.

I will wake up as exactly who God would have me to be!  Glory to God!….Debbie Borrman, stubborn, cautious, motivated, tell it like it is, follower of Jesus Christ, ME! 

Oh, I’ll also be a newly inducted member of the “zipperhead” club!  Wahoo!  

CaringBridge

I have started a CaringBridge site to update on my upcoming surgery and recovery.  I hope you will stop by over there.  Hopefully once I’m “up and running” again I’ll copy the posts and paste them here.  Until then, for Chiari related posts please visit me there.  You can even keep updated on your moblie device.

 

God leads us!

Have you ever had times in your life where you couldn’t quite explain how you knew you were on the right path you just knew it? 

This has not been one of those times for me.  On the contrary I am day by day seeing God light the next step in the path He has for me. 

How does one explain the necessity to get a copy of records from the neurologist?  OCD or, just maybe, God’s prompting.

Because I “needed” my records I was able to witness to an older couple who had locked their keys in their car.  Once I got home and read my reports I was compelled to understand what was happening in my brain. 

Oh, by the way, they only charged me $10 when I was originally quoted $35.

I love research.  I just do. I’m thinking it goes hand in hand with my curiousity.  Chiari was something I had never heard of.  From late October to now I have spent hours upon hours gleening all I could to wrap my mind around all those ginormous words they use. 

Talk about a crash course in biology, neurology and physiology.  The Lord knew I needed to learn.  He needed to prepare me for news that would have knocked the wind out of me.  He knows I’m an experiential, visual, hands on learning type.  How much more hands on could I get.  I am thinking about asking for a video of MY surgery.  Now that would be gross gory great! 

Kids wouldn’t need to disect a frog to see a hindbrain.  Do frogs even have hindbrains? 🙂

OK, enough silliness. The Lord uses a love of research and a desire to understand to teach me, to prepare me for the bomb of words “there is no question you have Chiari, there is no cure, and no doubt you are a surgical candidate.”  It was as if all I had learned disarmed the bomb.

I had questioned why my neuro and pain doctor would put me through all the shots, epidurals, and physical therapy.  When I met with my pain doctor he explained the ruling out process. His thought that my pain was primarily Chiari had become clear after my last epidural shot.  He was happy for me that I have the neurosurgeon I do.  And was thankful I can have the surgery so soon.  He is totally behind me. 

Now I do have friends who have questioned this decision.  And honestly I don’t know how to answer them.  Am I scared, at times, yes!  But God took away much of my fear by preparing me through understanding that some day surgery would be done.  I’m not immune to “freaking-out” though and there are some scary what if moments.

So many people have to be in the pain I’ve been in for the last few years for a decade or more.  I have days when it is obvious my brain stem is compressed.  I’m tripping over my feet and words. I tap my hand onto my thigh and the reflexive reaction is more in keeping with a mule bite than a light tap. Headaches are more severe. I can’t swollow well.

Can you imagine being like that non-stop?  Those are the people who recover but don’t.  You can’t repair a damaged brain.  How gracious of God to keep me from that.

I pray and trust God will use all of this in my life.  Is this the light at the end of the tunnel?  Oh, I surely hope so.  There are other tunnels ahead, and the storm still rages on in other areas of my life. 

God has used what the world calls a malformation to work in my life.  How so like Him!  Five months ago I was crying out to God to remove the possibility of brain surgery from my life.  The bomb was ticking right in front of me.  He disarmed it for me by mercifully letting me deal with it for five months to be able to hear the word surgery and rejoice in Him that He had indeed worked all things together for good.

Pre-op

Yesterday afternoon I met yet another new to me doctor.  I had t find someone to do a pre-op for my surgery.  I think the doctor nearly choked when he heard what surgery I was having.  Then I think I saw glimmers of dollar signs in his eyes.  Actually he was very nice and helpful.

So an EKG, full blood panel, and chest x-rays (ah, even more radiation) are now behind me. 

And that is a relief. 

Surgery is scheduled…

On the 28th of this month I will be having my brain decompressed.  Monday I have my pre-op work-up.  Here are some very specific things to pray for/about:
  1.  My family – low level of anxiety/fear for them this is pretty uncharted territory for us.
  2.  My surgery – God will guide the doctors hands, that the procedure will go well: a piece of my skull will be permanently removed, my cerebral tonsils will be separated and shrunk, they will be separated from my brain stem, any adhesions will be removed, a dura patch will be sewn along the cut edges of the dura, and I will be closed up. 
  3.  My recovery – it will take about 2 days for my CSF to replenish so the pain level will be high, usually there is severe nausea.
  4.  No complications – there is the possibility of CSF leakage if a hole remains in the patch, that would require another surgery to repair; infection would need to be opened and drained; slim possibility of a bad complication during surgery.
  5.  For help – though I will go home after 5 days, I am no activity for 3 to 4 weeks post-op.  I don’t want the burden to fall onto my older kids.
  6.  For completion – to get everything in order here so there’s no major breakdown or anything that will cause me to cheat on my recovery.
  7.  For _______- anything that may come to your mind to pray about!

Thanks for praying!

The Reality of Christ

It has been hard to sleep well the last few nights.  Last night was no different.  I’m learning to continually lay the pain, fear, and unknown of Chiari before the Lord.  He truly does ease my thoughts and shows me His wonderful hand in just how He has worked things out for me.  Not only for diagnosis but to see a specialist, top in his field, within 3 weeks of his receiving my scans.

God did the same for us with Brandon and his kidney disease.  Adeline and her severe asthma.  Kaitlin and her MRSA infection.  Bethany and her broken collarbone.  Oh I could go on the point is God cares.

He cared when He brought us to the Chicago-land area.  When He gave my son and husband jobs.  Brought me some business with Custom Embellishments.  Friends for each of our kids.  Caring and compassionate friends.

Though I would often question what God id doing, there are times He shows me how long He has been at work in my life.  Such is this truth for Chiari.  My devotional this morning reads:

Rest in my Radiant Presence.  The world around you seems to spin faster and faster, till all is a blur.

Then it goes on to remind me to focus on Christ.  Orientation.  I’ll have to share more later because I really need to be getting ready to head to the Chiari Center.  I didn’t want to lose this before sharing it with you all.

Thanks for praying!

Heading North

I have all my stuff packed. 

Almost all of my forms filled out for the specialist. 

The kids are going to spend the time I’m away at a friends. 

I picked up a MUCH nicer rental car than I expected.  Gotta love free upgrades!  And yes, renting a car was cheaper than driving the gas Hog!

My list of questions is growing, as is my anticipation.  I hate MRI’s!  I’m thankful my friend, Tracy, will be going with me to the center.  She’s got a long boring day ahead of her though I know she won’t mind.

Here’s my schedule:
9:45am arrive at hospital
10-11 Neurological tests BAERS, SSEPS
11-12 MRI Cine and 3D
12-2:15pm Lunch
2:30 Consultation with Dr. Heffez
???  Back to Tracy’s house

Thanks to all who are praying!  Please pray for:

Travel mercies for me, especially up through Chicago. 
The time in the MRI.  Claustrophobia.
My recorder app on my phone to work throughout the consultation.
For a clear unhindered thought process.  Chiari fog.
The alone time in the car to be used for the Lord.
 

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