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After the Heart Surgery

March 20, 2008

I know that some of you who have read the posts A Prayer for the Heart are wondering about the aftermath of our son Johannes’ heart surgery. Well, as far as his heart goes, he’s done really fine. Everything is healing rapidly, and his chest scar is looking good also (better than before actually). We have also been able to cut down on most medication since he feels little or no pain, concerning that part of his body, at least.

But… something else has happened. Johannes received a problem with his lower left leg. The days after surgery we remember that he complained about a tinging feeling in his left foot, that actually had swollen some too. Everyone at the hospital thought it was just a small thing in passing, caused by the fact that he had laid still for so long. But he had troubles standing up and walking about, and that worried us. Still we were reached by a constant flow of comforting words that this would soon be over – whatever it was.

The thing was, we wanted to know. We just felt that we couldn’t leave anything to chance. Especially when we saw that his leg wasn’t getting any better, but in fact worse. So for a few weeks now we have let Johannes go through another series a hospital visits here in Stockholm, doing all kinds of tests, including an MRT (in Swedish: magnetröntgen). What the doctors suspect has happened (but they’re still not positively sure) is that Johannes’ left leg was somehow exposed to some kind of pressure during his surgery, resulting in nerve damaged. They think it’s something called peroneuspares, a “drop foot” state when you can’t flex the foot backwards.

We had never heard about this so we got acquainted with it on the Internet. Among other things, it stated that although this condition usually is curable, it can take a long time. In some cases people have lived with “drop foot” for the remainder of their lives. This didn’t exactly add to our hopes.

On the other hand, I had a feeling that this was yet another hurtle for Johannes (and us together) to jump over, and that he would heal rapidly. The hardest part, however, has been helping Johannes to believe this also. Throughout this whole ordeal I admire him for his strength in upholding his faith, but I can’t lie and say he’s happy about this last development. Not seldom has he wondered why he had to go through yet another trail; wasn’t it enough to have a heart surgery? Now he’s often in discomfort or pain, and has great trouble walking.

But overall he’s doing his best. I hope we are too. In the end that’s all you can do, and then leave the rest to God. We have given him a blessing, in which we all felt the love of God, certain that He is there, still guiding Johannes by the hand. We also keep praying for his rapid recovery, and grateful to others we know are doing the same.

But although faith is the answer, I think sometimes people misunderstand the principle. It’s not merely believing, and then sitting back, waiting for a miracle. Faith is also a force which motivates us into action. Like now, for example, with Johannes. We have taken him to a physical therapist who has given him some exercises he must do every day. Here faith has to be transformed into a positive attitude; simply put, he has to know that if he works hard at overcoming his ailment, believing it can work – then it will work. I’ve live long enough to know that this saying is true: God helps those who help themselves.

Although Johannes is not filled with these positive thoughts all the time (but who would be), he is working really hard now at his recovery. And whenever his own faith is lacking, his parents will pitch in an extra dose for him. That’s what we have agreed upon. And he’s happy about that. So… however we get there – we will get there.

And you know what? It’s working.

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A photo from last week, taken with my mobile camera, showing a happy Johannes. He’s smiling because he finally was let out of the MRT machine. For 45 minutes he had to lay dead still, which up until that day had been impossible because of his discomforted leg. It’s a small miracle… but those count as well.

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. April 23, 2009 11:42

    Hej Johannes! Jag hade ingen aning om att du har fått gå igenom så mycket. Jag tycker du är supermodig och jag är verkligen imponerad av att du är så positiv. Du är ett stort exempel för många. När du som trots allt bara är 7 år klarar det, måste väl jag som är vuxen också det?! Du har verkligen bevisat för dig själv, din familj, världen, och inte minst din himmelske Fader vad du går för. Häftigt!!

  2. March 25, 2008 09:49

    DEAR MICHAEL LOUIS PER HERREY THANK YOU FOR THE BEAUTIFUL WEBBLOG . I WISH YOU AND JOHANNES AND REST OF YOUR BEAUTIFUL FAMILY THE BEST.THIS WORD IS TO YOU.1 LIVET ER EN UTMANING- MØTE DEN.2 LIVET ER EN PRESENT – TA EMOT DEN. 3 LIVET ER ETT EVENTYR – VÅGA DET. 4 LIVET ER SORGLIGT OVERVINNA DET. 5 LIVET ER EN TRAGEDI – INDSE DET . 6 LIVET ER EN UPPGIFT -UTFØRA DEN. 7 LIVET ER ETT SPEL – SPEL DET. 8 LIVET ER EN SÅNG – SJUNGA DEN. 9 LIVET ER EN MULIGHED – GREPP EMOT DEN. 10 LIVET ER EN RESA – FULLFØLJA DEN. 11 LIVET ER ETT LØFTE UPPFYLLA DET . 12 LIVET ER KÆRLIGHED – NJUTA DET. 13 LIVET ER SMUKT – PRIS DET . 14 LIVET ER EN KAMP KÆMPA DEN 15 LIVET ER ETT PUSSELBIT – LØS DET 16 LIVET ER ETT MÅL – NÅ DET . HERE IS JUST A LINE MORE THAT I HOPE YOU WILL REMEMBER . NÅR ALT OMKRING DIG BRINGER TÅRER FREM, SÅ HUSK AT NOGEN ELSKER DIG OG NOGLE HOLDER AF DIG . DET VAR DERFOR AT DU FIK DENNE BESKED AF MIG .TAKE CARE LOUIS LOVE AND HUG TO YOU AND YOUR BROTHERS AND FAMILY , I HOPE THAT YOU ALL WILL PRAY FOR ME . LOVE FROM LENE MARIE HØGH (KAMPANG ANUMAT MY THAILANDSKE NAVN)

  3. March 21, 2008 18:33

    I like what you said about faith – it is so much more than just believing, but doing. I am really impressed with Johannes and your whole family pushing on with such a positive attitude. We have a daughter we have been struggling with who has a very negative attitude about so many thing (she is only 7, but can always find something to be negative, mad, or upset about) and we are constantly trying to help her look on the bright side of things and to find the good even in the midst of the trials and hard times and to see our Heavenly Father’s love for her and all His children.

    Anyway, I love seeing Johannes and your positive attitude – and seeing how even though it is tough you continue to push through. You are a good example that you can be happy even in the midst of trials and tribulation.

  4. Anna permalink
    March 21, 2008 17:36

    Well, I have to agree with Johannes, sometimes it IS hard to understand why one person has to go through so much. Not that I mean that God is wrong allowing it, but it´s heartbreaking. Especially when it´s children that have to go through so much!
    Still I´m certain that Johannes (and you all) will go through it unharmed. Both because God is greater than our circumstances and because a human can take almost anything as long as he or she knows that he/she is truly loved. And you seem to have a lot of love for each other in your family.

    Best wishes
    Anna

  5. Linda NH permalink
    March 20, 2008 23:43

    Hang in there Johannes – sometimes it can be hard to keep your chin up, but you just do your best working on your exercises and try to stay the brave young man that I believe you are, I’m sure the future holds better days for you.

    We will still be praying and hoping that things will work out for the best.

    Thanks for the update Louis

    Best wishes
    Linda NH

  6. Karlo Lopez permalink
    March 20, 2008 23:00

    Hej Herreys!

    All the best to Johannes. Our five year old daughter is now 18 months post surgery to repair an anomalous pulmonary artery. It is amazing how quickly kids heal as she is now a “normal” kid. Of course, every cardiologist appointment is nerve racking for me but we are thankful for the blessing of modern medicine.

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you. We know how you feel, we’ve been there. Keep your chin up, and remember, when it gets tough our Savior can and does take over.

    Med varma halsnigar,

    Familjen Lopez

  7. Jeanette permalink
    March 20, 2008 21:44

    Johannes, we wish you all the best.

    Best wishes from
    Fam. Tanskanen

  8. Lene Klamer permalink
    March 20, 2008 20:22

    Hi,
    All the best for Johannes, hope he will soon be well.
    ~Lene

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