God bless you.
My heart is better, much better after my Jan. 29th surgery where Dr.
Valluvan Jeevanandam implanted a heart pump at the University of Chicago
Medical Center. The pump will keep me alive until I can get a heart transplant.
In the interim, I'm feeling better, sleeping better, breathing better, walking
and talking and preaching better.
But my heart is very troubled over some other issues that won't let me rest
and threaten my life for I can not, for the life of me, abide them. Sometimes, one,
if he has strong principles, can be battered and backed into a corner so much
that he has to take a stand to the death. He has to fight for what's right. He has
to sacrifice for what is his. He's got to take an over-my-dead-body position.
The last thing I want this blog to be is overly morbid where every time you
look around I'm in trouble with a sad song to sing and some dragons to slay. But
that is the fate of us all. It is part of the dues we have to pay for living and working
with other people, who don't always keep their word or respect your rights or
your family's security. So I won't share the details. But I will say that if I told you,
99 per cent of you would be shocked. angry, compassionate and supportive.
So let's touch on the main positives. I'm back to work and back to
preaching and my first two weeks were successful and encouraging. I had to
function being hooked up to batteries and having to carry expensive, fragile
heart equipment on the back floors of my car on an out-of-town assignment
to Milwaukee. But the hotel bellmen and the hotels were very understanding and
When all the handicapped parking spaces were taken, the hotels allowed
me to park right out front, just a few paces from the front door. I don't feel I ready
to fly yet. But that doesn't mean I won't. I most like will fly long before I actually
feel comfortable about doing so. It will be a leap of faith and an exertion of extra
Understand, now, that my heart is still weak. I am still an end-stage
congestive heart failure patient. And as a patient implanted with an LVAD
(Left ventricular Assist Device), I am even more in need or a heart transplant.
I still get tired easily. Steps and stairs are still drudgery and painful, depending
upon the number of steps I have to scale going upward. Coming down steps is
much easier because gravity is on my side. I still have to be careful going down
each step because I still have not regained full balance and strength in my legs.
But gravity makes it much easier for me to go down stairs rather than upstairs.
Then there are the cables. There is the main cable that is the lifeline
because it connects the heart pump inside me to battery power and the AC power
outside. There are the cable that connect to a bedside power console that keeps
me alive whilst I sleep.
I don't like them. They are a constant nuisance. But because they are
utterly vital toward keeping me alive, I am having to not just tolerate them but get
friendly and maybe even fall in love with them. After all, they are my little friends
helping me to feel better and to stay alive.
I thank God for the heart pump.
I thank God for the gift of heart transplantation.
Even my seven-year-old grandson, Caleb, knows the grief-stricken
gravity of my situation. The other day--and, you know, kids are something, they
can knock your socks off with their rapid rate of learning powerful realities--my
grandson Caleb and I were talking about my situation. And the subject of my
needing a heart transplant came up. And Caleb said in flawless flow, "Yes, and
you are going to have to wait until somebody else dies so that you are get their
heart to stay alive."
I said, "Yes, that's true son. It's regretful and unfortunate in many ways. But
that's the way things are."
I'm assuming that his mother, my darling daughter Noelle, took him off
to the side and explain these things to him. But maybe I even dropped this on
him one day in our random conversations. But that kid soaked up these details
like a sponge and they became a free-flowing part or my vocabulary and
mindset evidenced by the ease with which he spoke of the seeming ironic
ordeal of one saving his life at the expense of somebody else losing theirs.
I am not worthy on my own merits, and never will be, to live at somebody
else's expense. It is a gift that is priceless. You can never thank the benefactor
nor his wife, husband, mother, father, son, daughter, sister or brother enough
for the sacrifice. Not that that person died on purpose. Not that that person
donated a heart as one does a kidney, because a kidney donor is still left
alive unless he had donated his organs in the event of his untimely? death.
And what exactly is an untimely death? What death is ever planned
with clockwork precision except for a suicide? But the bottom line to me is that
I get to live because somebody else died. Still, on the other hand, why ever a
good heart go to waste if its host is dead and it can keep another person alive?
Let us continue to pray for each other and especially our secret
sufferings. Regretfully, even if I got a new heart, it would still be troubled by
my new challenges of troubles. But God is able to do anything. His grace is
sufficient to supply all our needs. We can do all things through Christ Jesus,
who strengthens us.
God bless you.