Escaping The Cave of Seizures With Faith

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The Simple Days

Many of you know me. My name is Chris Noe.  I’m a Christian, a husband to Denielle, a father of a little boy named Jacob. But what you may not know is that I have been told I am a miracle. Nearly ten years ago, my life took an unexpected twist that I was unprepared for. Only through the Grace of God have I been allowed to stand here today and talk about it. 

In 2010 my life was on a path that I had planned. Little did I know that God had a different plan for me. At the time, I was engaged to Denielle, was writing theater reviews for a small newspaper and I had just enrolled in college courses to pursue Elementary education. I even finished my semester with straight A’s. Life was going great. But something was wrong.

I was having weird sensations, giving blank stares, memory lapses and other unexplained symptoms that was troubling me for several months. A voice spoke to me, as it happened a few other critical times in my life and said, “Chris if you don’t go to a doctor right now something terrible will happen.” I firmly believe this was the voice of God pointing me on the path we needed to take.

Because we were planning our wedding in October, I knew this was something so serious that overrode the wedding plans we were making. So together with my fiancé, who was already worried about my symptoms, we made a new plan to see a doctor. God sent me a woman who was not only Christian and had the same beliefs as me, but she was also a woman who stood by my side. The two of us rode the path of the unknown and uncertainty together. We put our trust and faith in our Lord that helped us on the upcoming journey. 

Through my first appointment we discovered that I was suffering seizures and needed more tests to find out the cause. The moment happened when the doctor’s office called me to come in because the test results had to be explained in person. I was in a panic knowing that the news was not good if they needed to see me to tell me the results. Swallowing tears that came from the fear of the unknown, we walked into the office together to hear the news. 

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Sense of humor before the surgery

 

The doctor calmly explained that the root cause of my seizures was from a cavernous malformation in the left temporal lobe which was bleeding into my brain. The doctor further explained that it is a lesion that resembles a small raspberry that triggers partial seizures, headaches and disrupts cognitive skills that if left untreated, could kill me. Brain surgery was inevitable.

I would be lying if I said that I had complete faith in God’s plan. There were several moments I stood sobbing in the shower so my fiancé wouldn’t see or hear me as I questioned God. Why was this happening now? Why do I have to suffer? Will my life end before I have a chance to build a life together with the woman I love?” While God’s voice was silent, He was answering me in other ways that I could not hear at the time.

God’s plan included more advanced tests with an exceptional team of doctors that would perform my surgery. My doctors reassured me that surgery would be relatively simple, with at least a month of recovery to regain my strength before I could resume the life I was leading. 

So, on July 22nd of 2010, I had the surgery with my fiancé and family at my side. I was told the surgery lasted several hours and I came through without any complications. When I woke up, I was in and out of reality and was hooked up to machines in places that I was mortified to discover. I smiled when I saw my sister and fiancé in the room with me. My memory of this time is like flash bulbs and had some unpleasant side-effects from the surgery. I apparently was speaking backwards and was not answering common questions.  Like, who was the president,? and What’s my name? Those kinds of questions. Denielle was worried. The doctors said it was due to the swelling of the brain. Eventually after a few days, I was talking normal and could answer the questions better and was released to go home and recover. 

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Afterwards, my family was there to support me. God was there to support me. While I was out of work for almost 40 days, I received multiple visits and calls. I was even put to work by my fiancé to mail out wedding invitations since I was on the road to recovery.

Through it all, I kept reminding myself to this very day that I was blessed with a miracle. I hold it close to my heart because I never want to forget God’s blessings! The reason I am alive today is because of God, no question in my mind. I had the greatest neurosurgeon the world had to offer, and I am grateful because he completely removed my cavernoma with the aid of state-of-the-art technology. At the time, some of the nurses even said how amazing it was that I came through the entire experience unscathed.

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October 16th 2010

Had I not listened to God speaking to me that fateful morning, my outcome would not have been so great. It is hard for us Christians to hand everything over to God. (pause) We must trust in him. This is the true definition of faith. Believing that everything will turn out alright even if our fears leads us astray.

Because my brain has gone through so much, I struggle with words at times and my short-term memory has weakened over the years. I had a neuropsychology test about a year past the surgery and the doctor compared my situation to a library staff being fired and then being replaced by young fresh librarians learning how to file and shelve everything. My mind had to find different pathways to communicate and understand knowledge; it has been challenging at times. I have had to lead my life differently because of the surgery and I must constantly remind myself that I am HERE because of GOD and it is a blessing.

The whole experience then and now made me look at myself from a whole different perspective and I think it changed me totally. I didn’t know then what God had planned for me, but I was given a powerful lesson to trust that God knows what he is doing. God doesn’t make mistakes. 

My life was at stake and yet I beat the odds and I have overcome this ordeal. I still got married six weeks after I had recovered and had the most amazing wedding celebration. Over time we were blessed with our son Jacob. Being a new daddy has provided me with confidence that God is always by my side and never lets me down. Before Jacob came along, our faith was tested again when we lost two babies. In those moments of grief, we were reminded of our time in 2010 that God has a plan even if we don’t understand why. Seeing our beautiful son now we know he is truly a gift from God. All of us are tested with our belief in God from time to time. Believing in him and keeping our faith in God keeps us close together.

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Chris, Jacob and Denielle

I knew then at that time I had to hand things over to him because I truly believed in him. That is when it is the most difficult challenge each of us has with our faith. Having to get through such heartache and devastation while remaining true to our Lord. Opening my heart and mind to God’s greatness and not questioning it, is the most challenging part of ourselves when it comes to our beliefs. All things are not perfect, great or simply just happy or sad. Persevering comes from that test because we are all his children. He loves us and takes care of us even in the times where we are most defeated. I am happier now with Jacob and my wife Denielle then I ever have been because of God and his plan. Trust in His plan and set aside your own, for that is truly the path to happiness.

Thank you for listening to my story and God Bless.

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Aside

Daily Haiku

I wanted to start posting a new haiku everyday here at my Happy Place blog. I am trying to bring the muse back into my life.  So by simply posting brand new (and original) haiku’s on a daily basis, the practice becomes a new habit and the passion begins to come alive…

A cave in the brain

pounding drums in French darkness

her song reminds me