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Sitting on the side of my
hospital bed, the doctor tried to explain why I couldn't speak above a
whisper. During the surgery to remove my cancerous thyroid, he tapped on
my recurrent laryngeal nerve, thinking it was fatty tissue. Twice he asked
for an instrument to sever the structure, but when he tried, his hand wouldn't
move. Because he tapped on the nerve, it no longer transmitted the signal
from the brain to the vocal cord, leaving my right vocal cord paralyzed.
But, since he didn't cut the nerve, he felt normal function could return
in a few months.
Clearly, God's hand kept
him from cutting the nerve and I fully expected to get my voice back. Every
morning when I awoke, I said "I love you, Susan." When the words
came out in a whisper instead of a normal voice, I swallowed and thought,
tomorrow--tomorrow will be the day. My miracle will come.
Tomorrow never came. I was
confused the day I checked into the hospital for additional surgery to
correct the problem. God where are You and why didn't You heal me?
Immediately after the surgery,
my voice was strong, but after the swelling went down, I was left with
a course, breathy voice that projected slightly above a whisper. With every
day it got weaker--and I grew more confused. Though the congregation encouraged
me, I knew I was no longer a good preacher. My voice was too weak.
After a third surgery, I
have a near-normal voice and usually have a strong preaching voice. Though
I thanked God for giving Dr. Netterville the skill to heal me, I still
wondered why God didn't intervene. That is until a comment the doctor made
during a checkup. "Your nerve is transmitting enough signal that the
vocal cord is staying healthy--not enough that it can ever move again,
but enough to give a rich sound when supported by the silicone implant."
"Doctor, what would my voice sound like if the surgeon had cut the
nerve instead of tap it?" I heard his voice and God's at the same
time. He said, "Your voice would have always sounded hoarse,"
and God said, "See, you got your miracle after all."