I am a Miracle

Here I am today, a person you may see and say, “She’s so slow, she doesn’t move fast enough.” Well, I’ll tell you, I am a miracle and the fact that I move slowly and don’t do things as quickly as I used to doesn’t mean a lot in the face of what I have been through.

On February 23, 2003, I was having an argument with my oldest son, Stephen, who was a sophomore in high school. He wanted me to take him somewhere or other. At the time, I was having a piercing, eye-splitting headache, one of many that I’d been having lately. All of a sudden, I had a seizure and threw up blood as I passed out. Stephen immediately phoned an RN we knew, who said there was nothing she could do and that my son should call an ambulance. The ambulance took me to Goodall Hospital and I was transferred to Maine Medical Center.

I don’t remember any of this. I was in a coma and remained in a coma for three months. I had a ruptured aneurysm on the left side of  my brain, one of the most serious my doctor, who was an expert in coiling aneurysms, had ever seen.

The doctor did a special coil he had only done on one other patient and, most wonderfully, it worked. However, that was just the beginning. Blood was still spilling into my brain. At this point, another doctor installed a shunt so that the blood would not permeate my brain. The operation worked, but I was still in a coma.

My parents and my husband, Ron were with me constantly. They would come in and rub my arms and legs and do other things to give me some exercise. The doctors, however, were pessimistic and told Ron and my parents that if I survived, they probably would wish that I hadn’t.

While in a coma, I suffered two strokes. I battled pneumonia, a urinary tract infection and super high blood pressure. Maine Medical Center called Ron three times, asking him if they could shut down the machines that were keeping me alive. Twice, he said no but the third time, he said yes. He called my parents and my brother and told them I was dead.

But in the morning, when the nurse walked into my intensive care room, I was breathing on my own and kicking my feet!

At this point, however, I couldn’t walk, let alone drive. I had taught myself to walk; I now have my driver’s license back and although I’m slower and very unsteady on my feet at times, I am alive.

You might think this story would be the end of my struggles, but it’s not. On January 4, 2009, my father Joseph died of a stroke. He was the Head Librarian at Bates College, where I went to school. I was extremely close to my dad. I play the violin because of my dad. And then, on December 17, 2010, my dear husband Ron, to whom I’d been married for twenty-six years, died of bladder cancer. This was earth–shattering. He was (I should say is) the love of my life, and I’m sure we would have celebrated another twenty-six years of marriage if he had lived.

At this point, all I can say to you is that life is precarious. Every day you are alive is a gift. Don’t take life for granted. Spend it doing something positive, something you love. Be grateful and thankful to the Lord above.

love to live, live to love.

~Cathy Lynch