Is it 2015? That was actually a question I was asking myself the second week of January. As most of you probably know, I spent the last part of 2014 and the first part of 2015 in a comatose state. Without going into all the gory details, after a couple of seizures, I found myself in a hospital bed in Plano, TX. After I finally started to come to, it took me 48 hours to realize what all had happened, but in brief, I had an auto immune breakdown, thus resulting in the diagnosis of a disorder called Hashimoto’s Encephalopathy, which along the way almost ended my life.
Definitely not the way I had planned on starting 2015! It was very confusing to me, almost to the point that I was afraid I was going to be stuck in 2014, while all of you would surge forward into 2015. Crazy right? In my defense, I was heavily medicated, and most of the time didn’t know if I was coming or going…it’s okay, we can laugh about it now!
My family had just assumed the Pastorate of Apostolic Pentecostal Church, in Campbellsburg, KY, and things were going great! Obviously, this was a very stressful and challenging time in our lives, but the rewards far outweighed anything else! And then there was the whole transition thing (which still is not complete). Getting our kids into a new school and school district. Selling our home. Buying a new home. Moving. Leaving our friends and loved ones. Saying goodbye to our church of over 10 years. Wow. I get emotional just thinking about it.
Which brings me to what I really want to say. Thank you. Thank you for your love and support. Hardly a day goes by where I don’t have a conversation with someone, who had heard about my situation, and they say that they had been praying for me. To the dozen or so churches from the Dallas area, that provided food, brought generous gift bags for my wife and I, and were so kind to my kids; and the Pastors and ministers who additionally would come to Baylor Hospital of Plano and would pray for me, and be with my family. The only response I have is: I’m humbled to be alive.
At times, it has been overwhelming to know that I’ve been loved and cared for in this capacity. I don’t even feel as if I’m worthy or deserve it. To my wife, who hardly ever left my side, as I’ve said…Baby, you went waaaaaay beyond the vows. To my children, who witnessed me in my most fragile and vulnerable state, you three kids, are incredible…there is greatness in you! To my parents: the timing could not have been better for me to have a near death experience…you were right there by my side, and I love you so much. To Gram, well, let’s just put it this way…there’s not another person on the planet like you…you’re not just an old grandma, you’re Sarah and I’s best friend. To my in-laws, who made great sacrifices to fly down to Texas to support myself, my wife and our kids, thank you for always caring for me and my gang. To Jen and Sri, you two are a remarkable couple…I know you canceled things on your busy schedule just to be close by my side, your presence always made me feel safe. And to my youngest sister, Kristen, I know you were ready and willing to hop on a plane and fly 8,000 miles to be with me, I’m thankful for your love and our relationship.
And now for more friends and loved ones than a person should be allowed to be blessed with. I truly am humbled by your love and support. And this is even for people that I’ve never even met before. The love and kindness, the generosity you have shown to my family by your financial blessings, I sit here with tears in my eyes right now, just thinking that you have made a profound difference in our lives. Every card that was sent. Every meal that was delivered. Every comment that was posted on the Caring Bridge site, http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/nateroemer. Every Tweet. Every FB post. I don’t deserve a network like this, but I am so thankful for each and every one of you.
Finally, to the Baylor staff in Plano. I had never been hospitalized before, and you made my stay there feel like I was royalty. Your genuine concern and commitment to providing the best care possible was unprecedented. To Dr. Verma, and Dr. Vaquera, and the nurses that treated me upon my arrival at Baylor, you literally saved my life, and I will never be able to repay you.
I’m not out of the woods just yet, in fact the Doctors would like to run more tests to rule out some other things, but today, I am alive. And today, I want to return the love and the prayers that you offered so selflessly to me.