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Believe in miracles, accept gratitude as a lifestyle

By Robert McCool

I am not Lazarus, but I am back.

For a few years I've had the rare pleasure and honor to review books and post a few articles with the Icon. This isn't a book review yet, but I have a new capacity in life to share with book lovers and those concerned about my health.


Let's start back in 2022 when I had a laminectomy, or removal of some vertebra spurs on my lower right back so nerves weren't being pinched and painful. After the procedure I was given an opioid pain killer that was clearly listed on my chart as TOXIC and allergic. I suffered a massive heart attack. But I was blessed that day because the best Cardiologist in Lima was on call, and he brought me back to life, placed two life-saving stents in my heart, and allowed me to live again.


There are also the three years I suffered the symptoms of Parkinson's Disease, was totally misdiagnosed, wrongly medicated and headed downhill so fast I was barely getting by day-to-day. I lost control over my body, could no longer read or think straight nor control my insomnia, night terrors of death, and lost all feeling in my hands and fingers. A neurologist in Lima, a specialist in Toledo, Ohio, and plenty of other health care professionals could do nothing for me.

Then my wife and strongest advocate for me hooked me up with a neurologist at the OSU Neurology Department who gave me the first real exam of my symptoms and told us, "I don't believe you have Parkinson's."

Two weeks later we took ourselves to the OSU Emergency Room and waited about six hours before I was admitted for evaluation and surgery.

The neurosurgeons decompressed my cervical spine (the neck) and laminated it in place through a three inch cut on the back of my neck, which required fourteen shiny staples.

Within two hours I had my hands and fingers back. Within eight weeks, and with plenty of physical and occupational therapy you'll not see a thing wrong with me. Right now I'm cooking up a storm in my kitchen, dancing to '60s Motown soul, and walking without a cane while inside our adult community apartment.

And I can read again.

I am a miracle patient to my doctors, friends, family and everyone I share my story with. Hey, I'm 69 and allowed to hold up things and annoy people. It is my privilege.


But there is a price to pay for being a miracle. You have to truly feel gratitude for your blessings (including my sister-in-law's prayer group and their good wishes that guided the surgeon's hands). You develop a gratitude for your true friends, beloved family members, those who took a moment to care how you are, (thank you Ada Book Club in particular), the wonderful nurses, physical therapists, pharmacists and every passerby who wishes you a smile or "Good Day" when you smile at them.

That gratitude you acquire will give you a more relaxed and accepting attitude in your daily life. It will give you the courage to face what's ahead with enthusiasm and actually say, "Bless your heart," to the good people around you.

I have a whole-new life before me now. I want to share my happiness and my promise to be more patient and listen better to every new sound and voice around me who wishes to talk.

Be peaceful. Be giving to those who need a kind word or acknowledgment. Say thanks to store clerks now and then.

This is my voice again. I'll be back with a review soon as I can.