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Celeste Baronzzi

April 27, 2024

Philippians 4:7, New International Version

“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”


Endurance Part Three


For a hot second they determined that, although my condition was critical, surgery was impossible.


The plan was for me to live the rest of my life flat on my back, unable to safely lift or turn my head.


I was still able to make decisions on my own behalf, and I started to panic when they told me this because it was an unacceptable conclusion.


I wanted them to try anything to help me.


I was fighting to come up with a way to communicate that to them, but it wasn’t necessary, even as they explained it to me, they could see my life was slipping away and they knew it wasn’t going to work.


That whole team of amazing, world-renowned doctors looked more scared than I felt. Through God ‘s grace, I was truly at peace.


But I didn’t want them to give up. What did they have to lose? I was going to die anyway.


My surgeon and medical team had me sign non-liability waivers to protect them from getting sued if I didn’t make it through the surgery.


I was given last rites.


During that precarious surgery, they placed a stent in my left carotid artery, and restored 30% of the blood flow. Enough to sustain life!


I had survived.


By all accounts, it was a miracle!


They said my body would adjust to the blood flow pattern with time, and they were optimistic that I would make a full recovery from most of my strokes.


That was great news! The whole vascular intensive care unit was celebrating. I was thrilled to be alive.


But… wait! Did they say most of my strokes?


They firmly and thoroughly explained that I would not get my sight back.


Remarkably I was discharged from the hospital three days after surgery. I was given a long list of restrictions…ones I still live with today….things like swimming, running, and biking, lifting, blowing up a balloon, going on a roller coaster, painting, a ceiling, looking up under something…anything that puts pressure or torque on my carotid arteries could be fatal or cause disabling strokes.


I was scared to leave the hospital. I felt so fragile. My equilibrium was all off, and my brain kept threatening to shut down like a computer with a virus.


One week prior I was winning cycling races, now turning my head quickly, could kill me?


It was too much.


I couldn’t read or write. I couldn’t watch a movie or see the sunset.


I would look at my son or my daughter’s beautiful face, and watch my brain try desperately…but fail…to put all their unique features into any cohesive pattern.


Why would God grant me all those blessings and accomplishments and then let them be stripped away in an instant?


Please come back next week to read Endurance Part Four.

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