Friday, August 28, 2015

Waiting on Medicine and a Miracle

Tammy had asked me a few days ago if I'd be interested in going in for prayer with Pastor Pat Moe at Hosanna. I told her that I felt God could hear my prayers just fine from where I was at but I knew when I said that that I really didn't mean it.

I was out walking the pups yesterday morning and feeling sad about my loss of hearing. I texted Tammy, "I'd like to go for prayer if we can". I knew she had a busy day with Elaine planned but I hurried home and we made our way over to the church.

Pat is a beautiful woman who embodies everything that Jesus is asking us to be to one another. She's the primary reason for the outreach to the poor that emanates from Hosanna. She's a very humble woman who gives selflessly, always. We walked back to the prayer room where Pat anointed my ear with oil and began to pray over me as we all held hands. It was a moving experience and one that left me sobbing. It was a combination of a lot of things over this past year that brought me to my knees but mostly it was just me surrendering to God and allowing his will to be done. Pat prayed that the power of medicine and miracles would come together to provide my healing. It was a very moving experience that Tammy and I were so thankful for.

I came home and needed to go out walking to collect my thoughts. There were so many things going through my head. I found myself down along Crystal Lake and recalled a photo I'd taken on a bench there and uploaded to Facebook a couple summers ago. I titled it something about a "practice retirement day". And now it was real. I was no longer practicing. I was no longer captive to a work schedule that had me continually watching the clock even on my days off as I tried to accomplish all I needed to before my next work-week began. Couple that overwhelming sense of freedom with the profound sadness I was feeling about my hearing loss and I again broke down in tears. That's not like me but this hasn't been easy and with everything else I've been dealing with in the past year I think it all had just become too much for me in that moment.

I know there are much worse things to be afflicted with but until you've lost something as important to you as your hearing or even half of it you can't begin to appreciate what that really means. You can try but you'll never be able to fully grasp it. My world seems less colorful now. It's a profound loss that I wish I could minimize but I'm unable to. And it's not just the loss of hearing; there's the constant ring of tinnitus that hasn't let up for me since this whole thing began. I was telling Tammy it's like having a conversation with her while the TV is on in the background with the volume more than loud enough to be annoying.

Is there a work related connection to this? It's nothing I would pursue but I think there may be. I would advise others still in the trenches donning a headset each day to consider a headset that doesn't use an earpiece, just the foam ear covers. I spoke with a friend in my area of specialty who has total hearing loss in his left ear as well, the same ear he used to wear his earpiece in. He told me of another controller (supervisor now) who also experienced hearing loss in the same ear in which he wore his earpiece. And I received a PM last night from a controller who retired a few years ago who experienced 40% hearing loss in the ear he used for his earpiece. I think that's strong evidence for a correlation considering how we're a facility of less than 300 controllers yet the odds say that this condition afflicts on the order of 2-20 in 100,000. It's a hard number to be more precise about because many people never seek treatment because the disorder clears up on its own.

I'd rather my blog was about something other than my health issues but I know of no better way to chronicle this stuff as it pertains to my life than to lay it out here. Perhaps others will be helped along the way. It's somewhat therapeutic as well but I'm very much looking forward to writing about my boring life and hope to be able to do that real soon.

It's been over 48 hours since the steroid injection into my middle ear and there's been no change. I just put in a call to Dr Beatty's office out of desperation, not wanting to have to look back on this and be upset with myself for not doing all I could've done. The window of opportunity for doing whatever can be done before it's too late is quickly closing.

4 comments:

Neil said...

Hi Kevin,

I am one of your silent blog followers who has been following you for many years. I have followed you political view changes, your ups and downs, your family, and most interesting for me is your biking adventures. I live in the area and I have attempted to follow some of your bike routes over the years. I have really enjoyed reading your blog and I am sorry it has taken me so long to tell you that.

I have never posted before on a blog, but I wanted to tell you how sorry I am for your what is going on with you medically. I have no idea what this feels like, but I just wanted you to know that I am praying for you and will say the Mi Sheberiach for you tonight with your name. Different religion, same God.

Warmly,
Neil

Kevin Gilmore said...

Neil,

Thanks so much for this. It's one of the most meaningful comments I've ever received here and I greatly appreciate it.

Thank you for your prayers and for checking in with me. Please feel free to do so whenever and maybe we can ride together some day.

Shalom!
Kevin

Beth said...

Kevin,

Like Neil I've also followed you for awhile, making a comment here and there. I just wanted to let you know that I will also be praying for you. My husband was treated at Mayo in Jacksonville, FL for congestive heart failure, receiving a heart transplant in May of 2012. I encourage anyone to try Mayo before settling for a diagnosis. I understand how difficult it is to deal with a diagnosis that means a total life change, and keeping the blog is a great way to get it all down. I have kept a blog of of Bill's journey, mainly as a way to update friends and family, but in the process, kept my sanity!

Best wishes in your retirement, and continued prayers for you and your family.

Beth Haven

Kevin Gilmore said...

Hi, Beth,

Thank you for your kind words and your comments.

Medical science is so amazing to me in what they're able to do for us. Your husband is a few years post operation now. He must be so thankful for every day in addition to his quality of life change. I hope all is well and continues to be for you both.

Yes, life changes. I try and find the good that comes from every setback and that's what I'm working through now. It may be years before it becomes apparent to me with my hearing loss but I'm certain that there's a not so obvious good that can come from this.

Thanks again for checking in and for your words.

Kevin