Friday, September 16, 2016

Miracles do not always appear to be miracles, at first...

This is a message for all of those who have been so kind in sending messages and making calls to offer your prayers and support for our sweet Elizabeth. Some reading this post, who have stumbled here without a knowledge of what has really transpired, might be a confused about a couple of details. Please feel free to email me and I will fill you in on the details.

This is just one part of a very long, learning, faith testing journey...

We have had a absolute miracle.

On Wednesday morning, of this week, I received a phone call from a hospital 3 hours away where a Pediatric Neurologist had reviewed an MRI that was done of Lizzy's eyes and brain last week. Upon reading the findings, the doctor had told the Nurse Case Manager to call me and get Lizzy in to see him ASAP. He was concerned that if we waited for a regular appointment time, which would be about 8 weeks away, Lizzy's optic nerves and vision could be damaged and compromised if treatment was not started immediately.

I listened to my "Mommy Gut" which told me to go, so we went.
Thank you so much to all of you who helped with Ben and seminary and other duties at the last minute. I wish I could repay you with more than just a "thank you" but please know the gratitude comes straight from my heart.

It took us longer to get out of town than I had hoped and there were two accidents along the freeway toward Mesa that made our trip take longer than it should have. (That's important to the story) Once we arrived at the ER, the doctors there were very confused as to why we were there. I had been told that Lizzy's records would be made available and the ER staff would understand the situation.
They did not.
They were kind and helpful, but they were baffled.
It was weird.
Of course, there were those questions that implied I was probably a psyscho mom who had made this all up and I'm sure there were hushed conversations out of the room about how to get rid of the crazy mom.
I was asked to tell the reason why I was there again and again.
I am typically not an easily agitated person, but I remained even more calm than usual. I literally felt the Lord keeping me calm. To be truthful, I'm sure my ancestors were helping me as well.

Our Father in Heaven gave this daughter of His a great sense of humor and a bit of a crazy personality. It sure comes in hand sometimes. She and I had some good laughs in the ER together that day (and the next.)
The staff still didn't know what to do with us.
Here was a little girl in the ER with NO symptoms.
They treat symptoms.
They called the on-call Pediatric Neurologist who told them to tell me to go home. (That is important to the story - remember this part.)

"But it's a Pediatric Neurologist who told me to come. Can you call that Neurologist? I would not have come this far and on such short notice if I hadn't been told to do so by this doctor."

They could not locate him. Nor could they locate the Nurse Case Manager. They had all just left for the day and could not be reached.

The ER Staff called in their best doctor who came and did a thorough exam on Lizzy. She gave her a clean bill of health and told us that was the best she could do for us.
We were told to go home.

I did not feel that was right.
You don't tell a mom in an urgent phone call that if she doesn't get her daughter to the ER ASAP that her daughter may become blind, and then expect that mom to just leave if that hasn't been addressed.

I was filled with the KNOWLEDGE that the Lord had arranged this and I was to stay put until He let me know we were done.

There was no question in my mind of what to do.

A good friend had come to the hospital to see us, so we went home with her and slept at her apartment that night.

The next morning Lizzy and I got up early so that we could be the first ones at the door when the Pediatric Neurology clinic opened. This was where the urgent phone call the day before had originated, this was where I was to go. It was a wild goose chase finding that place, but I still felt that was what we were supposed to do.

Never once did doubt enter my mind.

We found the case manager.
She was so kind.
She had no idea we had been turned away from the ER the day before.
I told her that I wasn't going to leave the hospital that day until my daughter was seen by a neurologist.
I said it with a smile on my face and a resolve in my tone and this sweet woman got a tear in her eye and told me she was supporting me 100%.
She went back and talked to the neurologist who had been so concerned.
He called the ER himself and said he was sending us over there and they were to let us in and begin a list of tests he felt she needed ASAP - CT, Spinal tap etc.

So, back we went.

Once again, the ER staff was SOOOO KIND! They ushered us in and treated us with concern and I was so grateful.

But then it started to happen again.

I could hear the doctors and nurses out in the hall saying, "But why is she here in the ER?" "Who talked to the doctor?" "What do we do with her?"

One ER doctor came into the room and asked me to tell our whole story beginning from the very first Optometry appointment in April of 2015 when the swollen optic nerves were discovered.

Then another doctor came in and asked me to share the story.
Then a nurse came in and asked me to share the story.

I very kindly, but firmly, again, said that the only reason I was there was because a pediatric neurologist had told me it was urgent. I explained that we live 3 hours away; we don't even have a working car at this time; I had to borrow a friend's car to make the trip; I have no money and now have two ER visits to pay for and why in the world would I have done that, if I hadn't been told to do it by someone I thought I could trust?

I asked them to PLEASE call the Neurologist over in the clinic.

That's when the biggest miracle happened.

The Pediatric Neurologist who had been on-call for the ER the night before, the one who had told them to tell me to go home, happened to wander into the ER. He had wanted to get Lizzy's information so that he could tell the other neurologist that he would be happy to see us on Friday (today) if we wanted to come back.

"Well," they told him, "She's back."

He wasn't very happy about that and so he thought he would just nip it in the bud and get us out of there himself.

What came next was 70 minutes of one on one care from one of the top doctors in the country, maybe the world, in the field of pediatric neurology and childhood Multiple Sclerosis.

Once he realized why I was there, and how far I had come in order to be there, he calmed down and his concern for our situation took over.

This doctor lives in Wisconsin. He comes to Arizona about once or twice a year to see his grandchildren. While he is here in AZ, this hospital has asked if he would be willing to assist at the hospital when he can. This doctor, I was told, is the one all of the other doctors call and consult with when they need more expertise. He doesn't ask them for help, they ask him.

He did a thorough exam on Lizzy, looked at the results of tests that have already been done and determined that she is a perfectly healthy little girl, who just happens to have optic nerves that are a bit swollen. He cautioned me to keep an eye out for any changes in her vision, blurred vision, double vision, seeing lights, seeing spots, seeing colors differently, sharp pain in her head or eyes etc. He also instructed us to have our doctor check on Lizzy's eyes every 6 months for the next 2 years. Other than that, he feels everything is okay. Lizzy still has the food allergies and she needs to adhere to those guidelines, which, actually will help her body continue to be strong and healthy.

My "mommy gut" felt peace. I felt that this is what we had come for and we could now return home.

I asked him why he thought I received the urgent phone call just the day before. He said that the textbook answer to swollen optic nerves is MS - every time. He was certain the other neurologist felt the need to start Lizzy down an aggressive MS treatment path - a path he does not feel she needs to go down. The other doctors are all very good doctors, I have no doubt. But Lizzy is not a textbook and she does not have MS. It appears that only a very skilled, very experienced, very intuitive doctor would have known that. The Lord arranged for us to meet with that doctor.

1. If my friend had not called me the other day to say that she felt impressed to let us use her old van for as long as we needed to, I would not have had a reliable car to make the quick journey.

2. If I had not received the urgent phone call telling me my daughter might go blind if I don't go ASAP, I would never have gone in the first place.

3. If we had arrived a few minutes earlier, the first doctor and the case manager would have been available and they would have called the shots.

4. If the ER staff had the correct information, they would have started the tests the first doctor had ordered.

5. If I had gone home that night, I would have still thought Lizzy needed to see a neurologist and whomever I took her to, probably would have started the MS treatments.

6. If I had not gone back the next day, we never would have been able to meet with the great doctor who helped us so much. Who also happens to be leaving AZ tomorrow.

Basically, what the Lord did was orchestrate the most amazing plan to help us know that everything is okay.

Isn't that wonderful?!

My whole life, I've been telling myself "Everything is going to be okay." as a way of calming my fears and sadness because of the constant challenges that have been given to me. It has become the norm for me in the past few years to think in my mind "Everything is going to be okay after this life." because it seemed to me that was when I was going to need to wait for the "okay" to happen.

On the 3-hour drive home, I imagined the Savior sitting in the passenger seat next to me.

Him: "Did you get my message today?"
Me: "That Lizzy is okay? Yes, thank you so much!"
Him: "Well, yes, that is one of the messages. Did you get the other message?"
Me: "Um, that you love us and you will take care of us. Yes, thank you so much!"
Him: "Well, yes, those were also messages I sent. Did you get any other messages?"
Me: "Um, well...."
Him: "Why did I orchestrate all of this?"
Me: "To help me know that everything is going to be okay."
Him: "Going to be okay? or ..."
Me: "Oh, wait, I see, often we think you are just there when something is wrong so that we can take care of it and to comfort us. We think of you healing the wrongs and the hurts and that you are there to fix things."
Him: "Yes, keep going."
Me: "But this time, you showed me that you also rush in to tell us when life is okay. Truly okay. This time, you didn't rush in to fix a problem or heal my daughter's eyes. You rushed in to tell me that they didn't need healing."
Him: "Yes. I wanted you to not only feel that everything is going to be okay, but that there are some parts of earth life that are okay right now. I know I have allowed you, and continue to allow you, to go through a lot of hard, hard experiences in your life. You have felt great amounts of heartache. You know that I've always been there, right next to you, holding you and loving you. You have learned so much and I'm so proud of you.  I just wanted you to know that not everything is hard and that I have not forgotten you."
Me: "You're not supposed to make me cry while I drive!  But thank you. Thank you so much. I love you."
Him: "I know. I love you too."
Me: "I know."
Him: "Now, dry your tears so you don't get in an accident. Then things won't be okay." (With a wink and a smile - He does have a sense of humor you know!)

So, there you go! There's the story.
So many prayers have been said and so many prayers have been answered.

I believe that these experiences happen to us more than we know and realize.
I believe that our Father in Heaven and the Savior and all those interested in our success and happiness are very, very involved in our day to day earth life.
I believe that the more we believe that, the more we will recognize their help and the more it will be offered.

We do not have to travel through this life alone.
Wait, let me rephrase that.
We do not travel through this life alone.
We just don't always recognize the Heavenly help that is always there.

Thank you, each of you, for your generous help and prayers. Prayer is more powerful than we know. I mean it when I say that I felt stronger from the prayers that were being said.
I hope you all see God's Hand in your life today. Somehow, somewhere, in some way, He will send you a message and it will most likely be, "I love you."

Love to you all!

P.S As the good doctor was leaving the ER exam room, he turned and said, "I apologize again for not coming in to see you on Wednesday night. My two grandchildren are severely autistic. I had told my daughter and her husband to go out and enjoy themselves before I leave on Saturday while I took care of the kids. It ended up being a challenging night with both of the kids and I just couldn't leave them." The tears filled his eyes and I said, "No need to apologize. You were right where you were supposed to be."

And with that we see that the Lord is truly in charge. His timing and His methods we do not always understand, but they are always right. Our trust in Him can be absolute!


  1. I love your words of wisdom and stories on faith Lisa. and I love you and all my Yuma family. I put all your names on the Temple Prayer role yesterday and all day had a prayer in my heart.

  2. Thanks for sharing! I loved your conversation with Heavenly Father! I feel like I never get answers, maybe because I'm a visual person, but reading your story I could picture myself having this conversation. But at the end Heavenly Father said, see this is what I was trying to tell you! I hope everything works out for you guys!

    1. I know a lot of people wouldn't guess this, but I am actually a private person. But I have these burning feelings of the need to share some of my experiences because of how they will help others. So I do. I'm glad you were able to feel a message from our Father through this post. You know, I have had to learn over the years how to decipher His voice above the others. You will learn as well. In fact, you are probably better at it than you know - you heard Him today right? Thank you for your comment.

  3. Oh my, how I miss your blogs. You always, always feed my soul. Your life experience with your daughter and then blogging about it confirms that tender mercies are there, always there. I am so happy to hear that all is well with Lizzy. Your conversation with the Savior - the best...puts everything into perspective!

    1. Thank you Marsha. It means so much to me that you find something useful in the words I feel inspired to write.

  4. Perplexing frustration in the short-term is SO worth peace, lasting and immediate peace and the KNOWLEDGE that your trial of faith was rewarded, knowing He holds you in His hands, bestows a gift of divine timing and hand-picked expertise from the top of the national specialty field for sweet Lizzie and her parents! That is priceless! That is another layer on your sure foundation!

    1. As always, well written Rosalie. Yes, this is one more layer in my foundation. A foundation I hope is as is sure as yours.

  5. Lisa I realize,that we only met a short time ago (again) but I LOVE you! Truly and deeply! My faith in Heavenly Father was just increased so much that I feel it could explode and encompass the world. This is my testimony in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

    1. Thank you so much for sharing your testimony!

  6. Lisa, so very well said. I do know the Lord is mindful of you and your family and He did orchestrate this miracle. It reminds me of a similar experience I had when I was to go blind, but did not. I will have to tell you about it later. Thank you for sharing. You and your family give me strength and I continue to pray for all of you. Take care and stay in touch. Carol Hawkins (used to be Carol Hesprich)

    1. Thank you Carol. I would love to hear your story some day. I know that you face your own challenges in life that have not had such miraculous conclusions and yet your remain faithful. You are an inspiration to me and you are also in my prayers.


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