Update from our Connecticut and New York trip
Our appointment with the nationally known vascular surgeon was a very informative visit and after a few hours of scans, physical exam, and discussion we all came to the conclusion that I didn’t have the abdominal condition that was suspected. It’s hard not to receive this diagnosis because the surgery would have provided immediate relief from my abdominal distention and pain. It would have also allowed for the reversal for my gastrostomy tube. So, we are disappointed not to not get this difficult problem diagnosed. The doctor was very thorough and extensive in his evaluation. We are confident in his diagnosis that I didn’t have this disease but he did say my stomach distention was some of the most impressive he has ever seen. He is going to stay on our team of specialists because he also specializes in complex aortic aneurysms like the one I have.
Our appointments in NY were very informative. To make a long story short - it’s possible that I need a complete cervical fusion from skull to C7. There are several traction tests that I need to do daily and record my vital signs and pain before and after use of the traction device for about 3 weeks. To fuse the entire cervical column is a very extensive option and would leave me with no movement of my neck and head. If the traction device relieves my pain, heart symptoms, blood pressure, and nausea and vomiting, then we will return to NY for a more invasive traction requiring a few days in the ICU. If the data is reproducible then I will have the option to carry on with the fusion. This fusion is a big deal and a big life changer. We will have to think and pray through our final decision. Please join us in prayers for clarity and wisdom.
I didn’t feel very well while we were there but managed to get out over the weekend. The highlight had to be going to see The Jersey Boys on Broadway. We wound up with front row seats! So much fun! We were joined by friends Stephanie and Katie to explore around town and go to the 9/11 Memorial. Breathtaking.
The night before we left in the quietness of the hotel room (Steve was already asleep), the weight of the appointments and lack of a definitive plan, left me with teary eyes and an ache in my heart for physical relief. As I prayed, the following verse brought me such comfort. “Rejoice ALWAYS, give thanks in ALL circumstances, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit.” I Thessalonians 5:16-19
May I continue to live this mandate well in such a way that it encourages others and roots me in a deep hope for the things to come.
Just a reminder: New social media news!!! The Brooks are going to give Instagram a trial run. How many ways can this go sideways with the non-technologically inclined Lee trying this? (Thanks for all the help Jena!) We hope to encourage, inspire, and even draw a few laughs with brief posts and pictures in between the more lengthy and medically technical blog here on Post Hope. Our prayer is to encourage others to live life with intention, passion, and satisfaction against the background of suffering and its sobering realities. Praying it spreads love and joy! Follow us @leeandstevebrooks
If you are not on Instagram you can find us at www.instagram.com/leeandstevebrooks
Thanks for continuing to follow our story and for your notes and prayers. They provide tremendous encouragement and mean more than you know!
Lee and Steve