Spiritual Journey: From Fear To Pro-Active Faith

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Last day in Florida with my niece, Melanie.
Last day in Florida with my niece, Melanie.

My story starts around spring break of the year 1980 when I was 20 years old. I was a college student, working part-time, and socially living my life (see photos) at the Cosmopolitan Disco Dance Club.  I lived to dance and roller skate and was really in a fog as to what my career of life was suppose to be. I had always wanted to be an Airline Stewardess. I loved traveling to new places.  The traveling bug was in me, because while growing up as a child, my parents had driven me to many different states for my  state, regional and national Amateur Roller Skating Competitions.

While in Arlington (a suburb between Dallas and Forth Worth, TX) visiting my father on a spring break from college,  I tried my best in an interview with American Airlines yet I  did not succeed on that course of planning. I always enjoyed my outdoor roller skating in the warm Texas spring weather.  The day before leaving Texas I had a cold or slight flu virus and I was returning to Cleveland, Ohio on a night flight and arrived on a Friday morning and proceeded to Mentor, OH where I lived at the time.

By early Friday evening, since having no primary doctor at that time, I drove myself to the emergency room at Lake Hospital in Painesville because I had a sharp intermittent pain under my sternum and/or in my left chest that gave me great anxiety. Upon examination including an EKG, the next thing I knew an IV (I’ve always hated needles and would kick the doctors trying to give me Penicillin shots in my rump as a kid) was getting stuck in my left hand and I was being told they were admitting me to the hospital. I told them to call my sister, Marilyn,  who just happened to be still on duty that day at the hospital as a Respiratory Therapist. With her intervention, the hospital’s intent on sending me to the ICU got stopped and I was put into a regular semi-private room. Back then they didn’t let you leave the hospital, now days they try to get you out sooner than later. I was there 4 nights and of course not much gets done over the weekend. But after Lung scans, more EKG’s, Upper GI tests etc.they confirmed the diagnosis of Pericarditis. Pericarditis is an inflammation of the pericardium (the fibrous sac surrounding the heart). A characteristic chest pain is often present. Pericarditis may be caused by viral, bacterial, or fungal infection.

See this link for  full explanation of this diagnosis:

I really do not remember the drug I was given to help my situation at that time, but what I do remember was  that I had suffered an emotional traumatic event( horrible IV pain, no understanding of what was really going on with me in the hospital, subjected to diagnostic tests with no choice, feeling alone and scared)  that stayed with me till the year 2002 when I was 42 years old.  I’ve never had any further problems in my life with Pericarditis. For me it was a one time event that had become the precursor to a complete spiritual change in my life.

Within a month following this event, my roommate at the time and now Dr. Kim Fiucci, shared the scriptures from the Holy Bible with me and salvation came into my life. I had become a born-again spirit filled believer and was on a new foundation in relationship with my Lord Jesus Christ.  I gave up control and humbled myself to accept and believe the Word of God and made a commitment to serve Him all the rest of my life.

Within 2 weeks, I dropped out of college with no regret. I then went to work full-time in banking and never really desired a career path except to meet a godly man to be my husband and  to be a housewife and follow biblical principles. I felt very strongly that it was a man’s duty to provide for a family and not the wife. A wife is needed to keep the home and children.  My life transitioned from living at the Disco back to Amateur Roller Skating.  Because I had not competed for 8 years since the age of 12, I had to have intense practicing and conditioning. Roller skates are heavy compared to ice skates. It is like exercising with weights strapped to your legs. By the summer of 1981, (see photo on the top right on the About Kim Tab), I was the Ohio State Champion in Ladies Intermediate Freestyle along with achieving 4th place at the National Competition in Texas.

Dean and Kim
Dean and Kim on their Wedding Day

Fall of 1981, I had met a dear friend, Evie, in the singles group of the church. Through her, I met her brother Dean.   During these years I grew in my relationship with Jesus. The fellowship of church friends from the early 80’s of northeast Ohio are still the friends I always desire to see when traveling back to Ohio. I continued my high school music talent into  playing my flute with the Worship teams of various churches. In the 90’s I started to take  some piano and voice lessons so I could expand my worship experience. Deep within my heart and mind, I knew I would eventually sing a public solo in God’s timing one day.

Over the years I’ve learned I have the spiritual gift of exhortation and  enjoy hospitality. Here is a link to a PDF file on a teaching by Bill Gothard on the subject of exhortation.    Gift of exhortation   I cannot even begin to come close to match his effort on the subject. I simply want to quote from his text:  “This exhortation can manifest itself in many ways, including: within personal friendships, by short words of motivation, by long conversations in a coffee shop, or by anything that shows an obvious personal interest in the spiritual growth of others.”  It has always been my desire to have one-on-one conversation with people and encourage them in their spiritual life.

As I write, I am flashing back to a moment when my roommate and I were sitting at Baker’s Square restaurant having coffee and over hearing older people(anyone that looked over 40 yrs old) talking about medical issues and doctors appointments. Her and I being 19 and 20 years old  at the time, said to each other that we would not be like those older people talking about medical issues all the time. Well God works in mysterious ways. She is now 52, with 6 children, a grandchild and she is a gifted holistic doctor.  I, now at 53,  with my wonderful 28 years of marriage to Dean and one lovely daughter, am working on finishing my personal medical journey with running to doctor’s appointments not only for myself  but with  helping others too along their medical path. If we only had the wisdom we have at our age now back when we were 20, we certainly would have been talking differently.

On a side note, I did get my fill of world travel. I never missed out on becoming an Airline Stewardess. For 10 years before our daughter was born, I traveled constantly flying around the world to meet up with my husband on his job as a United States Merchant Marine Captain on commercial deep sea ships. Being a housewife with no conflicting career choices, I was available to be with  and follow my husband’s career path and God’s provision for our family.  Yet I have always worked on the side doing temporary office work, promotional modeling, bookkeeping, and now for the last 14 years the General Manager of our home based business “K & K Consultants Home Inspections & More” located in North Central Idaho.

Blessings come to those that seek and follow hard after God according to His Word in the Bible. I have had my share of sorrow but it certainly has helped mature me into who I am today.  I am not ashamed to say that I know deep within that God’s hand is in my life.  Whatever crisis or fire we face in life, if we choose to be completely surrendered to God working through us in the crisis or fire, we will come out of the fire refined as pure gold. Hallelujah!

24 hours of Labor at Home
L>R Catherine, Dean, now Dr. Kim
Exhausted from 24 hours of Labor
Kim with daughter Ally just born at home

Thru the years from the traumatic hospital event in 1980 till the present time, I have pursued and continue to pursue alternative medicine. I do regular chiropractic care, acupuncture, a box full of supplementation as prescribed by holistic doctors, medical message with pure therapeutic grade essential oils by Young Living and whatever else I feel led to research and try. I was bound and determined that I would not have anything to do with a hospital and that was the last place you would ever find me and certainly I would not have my baby in the hospital. By 1995, I was well read on home child birthing and well into supplementation for my body. I had a beautiful birth experience with my daughter born 8 lbs, 8 oz  at home in our bedroom even though I labored almost 24 hours. I can say one thing, once a woman has been through labor, other pain that may come later in life doesn’t compare to childbirth labor.  Talk about pain in the low back and sacrum, for me the massive herniation I had later on in 2002 did not compare to what I had experienced in natural childbirth without one drug in me.

During the 90’s due to sport injuries from my horseback riding, I was blessed to meet a Dr. Michael Kellis, DO of Precision Orthopedics, Chardon, OH.   Besides alternative doctors, Dr. Kellis was the first and only medical doctor that I would have anything to do with. He won me over. His kind, caring and compassionate nature that reflected his deep spiritual walk helped me through several sports injuries. Because my husband and Dr. Kellis shared the same Greek heritage, he also became a family friend. He was very supportive of integrative medicine combining the best of traditional and alternative healing modalities.

After moving to Idaho in 1999, I missed Dr. Kellis very much anytime I would have a muscle/skeletal  injury. If it were not for the local holistic doctors located through out the hills of rural Idaho, I don’t know where I’d be today. Well a day of reckoning happened in January 2002.   After several years of Sacroiliac Dysfunction, I somehow  ended up with a massive herniation of L5-S1 with subsequent Foot Drop of my left foot  not due to a major trauma. It was probably the accumulative result of bad body posture, sitting and traveling greater distances by car, and more heavy physical work (bucking hay bales, cleaning horse stalls) on a small ranch here in Idaho than my suburban lifestyle in Ohio had required of me. Every alternative modality of healing was tried to restore the foot drop. Chiropractic care did reduce some of the low back pain but I was never the same as before the herniation.

Upon review of my MRI, Dr. Mike Kellis called me and said he already conferred with his brother Dr. George Kellis an orthopedic spine surgeon. I had no choice but to surgically remove the disc material pressing on my spinal column and nerve roots to prevent permanent damage with the Foot Drop. After fighting a  month of denial because I was still highly functional and riding my horse with the herniation, I did  finally end up back in Ohio April 2002 for a micro-disectomy surgery.

The good news is this. The Lord gave me a dream one night of the entire surgical experience.  I saw my doctors in the dream as though it was an absolute daytime reality. This gave me the faith to proceed. After meeting with the surgeon, I had several days in between before the surgery. During this time on my bed in my old bedroom at my mother’s home, I had a very touching moment with God. He asked me something like this in my heart and mind, “Are you willing to give up full control and trust me in this? Are you willing to completely surrender your physical body under anesthesia into my hands?”  I responded, “Yes, Lord”.  I had no choice but to trust Him and I wanted to please God and have a heart of obedience to His will. I prayed a prayer of faith for all the physicians and hospital workers that would be involved in my care. I asked God to divinely protect me and that His Will would be manifested through all workers even if they did not have any relationship with God themselves.

The surgical and hospital experience went absolutely wonderful. A very positive, joyful experience which was 100% the opposite of 1980.  I woke in recovery seeing Dr. Mike Kellis visiting my bedside, yet feeling like a knife was stuck in my back. I came to find out it was a surgical drain that was in my back  that they took out the next day and then I began to feel much better. In fact when they were checking on me for leaving the day after the surgery, I insisted I wanted to stay the second night of the 2-day authorization.  I wasn’t ready to walk up stairs in my mom’s home yet so with the 2nd night at hospital and 2 nights at a friend’s house, I then was able to go home.  In fact I walked into my chiropractor’s office 4 days after the surgery for him to adjust my upper back that felt out of wack due to the surgical position. I proceeded with physical therapy and all my normal alternative modalities especially the essential oils and supplements  and I was riding my horse in a horse show at 3 months post-op.

Going with God and supportive, compassionate doctors, surgery can be a successful positive life changing experience. However, I will say this first surgical experience was the beginning of me learning to ask a lot of questions and kindly demanding that no one do anything to me without my consent. I insisted on a full explanation as to why a certain procedure or protocol was being done to me while in the hospital. I took the least amount of medication necessary and only when I asked for it. I believe the sooner you can get your brain out of the drug fog, the quicker you can heal. I absolutely do not buy into the drug scene.  God gave us natural ingredients that help our bodies heal much quicker. Pure clove oil is only just one example of natural pain medicine. And the sooner you can get your plumbing going  again with herbs and healthy post-operative food the better. Don’t forget to ask for the Fleet before leaving the hospital!

Till this day,  I do see Dr. Kellis every time I am in Ohio and I keep him current with all my chart notes of the team of doctors that I now have here the Spokane, Washington area.   I’ve lived in Idaho now for 14 years and never really had any medical doctors here until December of 2010. And guess what, the reason for having a  doctor here began with needing another surgery on my wrist. Now 6 surgeries later I’m writing this website. Those successful surgeries are or will be discussed under my medical journey tab/sub-tabs on my home page.

While not knowing the Lord during my first hospital experience, I suffered with fear, trauma and pain. Not any more! I am now a truly changed person. I feel like I can handle all things thru My Lord that gives me His wisdom. He truly is the one and only Great Physician and I constantly ask of Him to guide the human physicians. I have compiled a list of my preferred Medical Providers that have all in some degree been a part of my medical journey.

For the continuation of my spiritual journey, see my next blog.

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Dr. Trumble, My Upper Extremity Surgeon, at Bellevue Hand Surgery