Monday, February 21, 2011

One Year Surgery Anniversary Letter from Chrissie

I received this encouraging word today from Chrissie, a 34 yo woman who had a very painful L5S1 spondylolisthesis with a pars fracture which really interfered with her quality of life.
As shown at the bottom, Chrissie gave her permission to share this note with all of you.   It was really a blessing to see Chrissie and her family including many small children in our clinic in Friday.  We had a bunch of huge chocolate chip cookies left over from our Hey Clinic lunch which made for a great afternoon snack for these guys.
Chrissie — thanks so much for sharing your heart.  It is a real encouragement for all of us at Hey Clinic who try to help families each day.
Dr. Lloyd Hey — Hey Clinic for Scoliosis and Spine Surgery.

Chrissie’s letter, received today:
I guess I’m big on dates. I seem to remember them, for some reason, especially days that matter.
I remember the first time I saw Dr. Hey. It was January 22, 2010. For a lot of people, that is a date that remembers the gift of life. It is for me, too. But last year, it was the first step in renewing my own gift of life.
Dr. Hey met with me and reviewed all my MRIs, x-rays and options. Then we talked about the possibilities that he could open up for me by going through surgery. I was once a very active person—I had played some college basketball and since then had grown to love working out, running and other sports. But my back pain had all but brought these loves to a halt. I had the mentality of “I can’t.” I couldn’t run anymore, I couldn’t jog, even. Lifting was difficult. Even picking up one of my four children was taking its toll.
He said I could have that lifestyle back, with my surgery. He talked about what I could do, if I was willing to consider it. To do that was a huge deal, because, any mother will tell you there is no way you would put yourself ahead of your children. Think of the hardships a back surgery entails!
But I decided that this was indeed an investment in my kids in the long run. In my dear husband, too, who has always accompanied me in our joys and struggles.
We decided to set a surgery date. Any date was fine… I thought. God knows my heart, though. He knows my love of significant dates.
“How about February 11?” He asked, looking ahead.
“I think so,” I said, with a bit of hesitation. Seriously—I’m going to do this?! I wondered. No, wait, I thought. I should pick a special saint’s day or something. Oh well, OK, I told myself. I’ll just go ahead.
So we set it for February 11, 2010.
“Dr. Hey, I’m a little nervous. Would you mind if we prayed about it?”

“Sure,” he said warmly, with a gentle smile. And so we did. At that moment, I didn’t feel any wave of peace wash over me, but I simply bowed my head in trust.
As a lifelong Catholic, I have invoked the help of saints, good examples of real people who’ve gone before us, who’ve struggled and fallen, but get back up and strive for closeness to the One who made everything, including them. Someone a little like how our kids look up to sports heroes, like Michael Jordan or Peyton Manning. Each saint has a particular feast day where we celebrate their life of virtue; some are more well known than others. Since I’m kind of a date-junkie, I’ve always been interested in seeing which feast day falls on certain events… oftentimes I have found that they coincide with special events in my life, and I will feel a special connection or intercession from that saint on my behalf.
I drove home after the appointment, thinking over the conversation I had just had. Never had a doctor really listened to me as Dr. Hey did. His physician assistant, Jenny Chapman, was so kind and professional, as well, and I could ask her anything. And never had a professional prayed with me before. All these thoughts distracted me from the deeper question at hand: whose feast day was it on February 11?
When I got home, I went to the calendar and flipped the page.
February 11 is the feast of our Lady of Lourdes, France. Thousands of pilgrims have been healed there both spiritually and physically. Well, I would definitely need a whole lot of intercession from above on that day. She would look out for me, and make sure I did heal, and watch out for Jenny and Dr. Hey.
Healing was nothing but tough. Many, many days I did not think I could go on. I was confused. I wanted things to happen yesterday! I wanted to heal, and I can tell you there were days that I felt I regretted going through the surgery, because it was physically and emotionally difficult.
But as I healed, I found out so many good things about myself: I am strong—in God. I am cared for and about—by so many. There were so many people who reached out to me and to my family in countless ways. God wants to make us new. I can face tough things and come through—with Christ’s strength (Phil. 4:13)!
As time progressed, I began to say, “I CAN!” The physical healing I have experienced is incredible, but the emotional and spiritual healing is way beyond. Perhaps I never visited Lourdes in person, but I feel He has healed me through the miles. He is everywhere, of course; nothing is impossible for God!
It is now February 11 once more. February 11, 2011. Today I saw Dr. Hey and Jenny once more. There were lots of smiles and laughter. I still have a small amount of pain, but nothing compared to what I had before. I feel myself getting stronger. Was it worth it? Yes. How refreshing and edifying to see a complete team of professionals so dedicated to the complete healing of each individual, from the front desk, to billing, to appointments!
And God willing, I’ll have many more dates to look forward to. But I’ll never forget this one. Thank you, Jenny, and Dr. Hey, and to your entire staff who made it all possible. May God bless you all in the calendars to come.
Chrissie _____


On 2/21/11 8:19 PM, "Chrissie ---- wrote:

> Hi, Dr. Hey.
> I would be honored to be on your blog!
> It is so good to hear from you. This past week has been nothing but a
> blessing, as I recall all the wonderful and simple things I am able to do. I
> have to say I am a more grateful person because of everything you and your
> staff has done for us.

> I have to tell you that that immediately following our visit, I went to the
> chapel next to our house. This is where I wrote the reflection--in Christ's
> presence. I shed many tears of joy and gratitude. I really believe that you
> are living your mission of healing and I want to encourage you to keep up
> your powerful work.
> Now every time our kids see huge cookies, they point and laugh and call them
> "Dr. Hey Cookies". :)
> God bless you always!
> Chrissie

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