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Michael Rielly

Testimony of Michael Pytlik

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Michael Rielly

Testimony of Michael Pytlik

By Santa Mike P

Introduction

This is a testimony of part of my life when Jesus Christ did a mighty healing work in me.

There is a lot of time and many events which I don't really remember as I am writing this, but as this paper progresses I hope that the Lord will prompt my memory and I can then record the events.

Chapter One, Head Trouble

June 30, 1990

This was a Saturday. That morning I was feeling quite good and I decided that I would weed our vegetable garden. It was cool in the morning, but warmed up quickly. Jason, my younger son, was playing with a friend in our swimming pool. Marion, my wife was still asleep in our bedroom, and I'm not quite sure where Steven, my older son, was. I think that he was at work at Burger King.

I started weeding the garden at about 9:30 a.m., after having breakfast with Jason and, I think, Steven. Usually when any of the kids have a friend over, and they want to go swimming, the visiting friend has to have a note from their parent giving permission. I normally stayed close to the pool watching the kids. That day I decided to let the kids play while I was at the other end of the yard where the garden is. Jake, our new dog, was keeping me company as I was weeding the garden. I spent three hours on my knees, in the sun, digging and pulling grass and weeds out of the earth. I felt fine during this time, although a little tired of the sweat dripping into my eyes and getting on my glasses, which I tossed onto the ground out of frustration. I normally would not have done something like this.

The hospital tried to arrange a helicopter ambulance to fly me to St. Michael's Hospital, but there were problems doing this. This was the day before the First of July and a hot day. When they called for the ambulance, Buttonville Airport denied the air ambulance because of a freak hailstorm, which happened to hit that area just at that time. It was a severe storm, which caused quite a bit of property damage, and they wouldn't let any planes or helicopters take off from that airport. I believe that this was again, direct intervention by God for my safety.

A regular ambulance was prepared for me and they loaded me onto a stretcher with my tubes and my gown and a blanket and that was it. Here I was on the way to Toronto with no clothes, no wallet for identification, no wife, pretty out of it because of the painkillers, to a hospital that I didn't even know existed at the time. The ambulance was radioed as we were leaving the Orangeville area. The driver was told that an air ambulance could now be sent since the hailstorm had stopped. He spoke to Dr. Muldur, who was in the ambulance with me, and they decided to keep going to Toronto. Had they decided to go back, and I had taken the air ambulance, the pressure change from altitude would have caused irreparable damage to by brain and probably killed me. God knew this and kept watch over me. In the next few months, there would be many examples of God's love for his people through what was happening to me.

Chapter Two, Marion's Part

While all of this was happening to me, Marion had to find a ride to the hospital somehow. She also had to arrange for a place for Jason to stay, and somehow let Steven know what had happened. Nancy Graham, the mother of Jason's friend Adam, said she would look after Jason, and Steven was still at work. I still don't know how many people Marion had to call to find a ride, but I know that it was quite a few. She tried to call our Pastor, but he was at the church officiating at a Marriage Vow Renewal ceremony for friends of ours. So were many other people from our church, whom I guess Marion tried to call. She called out to Singing Waters Renewal Center to try to reach Gord and Shirley Macdonald, other friends of ours, but they weren't there. She left messages with a few people that I had to be taken to hospital in Toronto. Marion finally reached John Gibson, another of our friends and got him to get his wife Sheila to call Marion. Sheila is Marion's prayer partner and she came as soon as she was able and took Marion to Toronto and stayed with her. Marion must have reached the hospital around the time that I did, but she wasn't allowed to see me at that time, but finally did get to around eight that evening.

Meanwhile, doctors were attending to me and they were trying to get specialists to me and get tests ordered. I was assigned to Dr.William S. Tucker, a top neurosurgeon at St.Michael's Hospital. They ordered the CAT SCAN, which is an X‑RAY plus dye injection to Colour blood vessels. This makes them show up on the x-rays. I was placed on a narrow stretcher into a metal tube, which holds the cameras. I was told that the test was very noisy and that I would feel my head shaking while the test was being given and not to worry about that. Worrying was the last thing I should do and was not what I was doing. I guess I prayed pretty constantly at this time. I'm not too sure. The test was given and the results of the CAT SCAN showed nothing. The doctors were a bit happier and they told me that so far they couldn't find anything and maybe I didn't have an aneurysm, but only a freak bleed in my brain. Then they ordered a Spinal Tap, which is a tricky test to do. It is also quite dangerous, as they must enter at just the right place in my back to extract spinal fluid to check for blood. They missed the first time and made my body jump on the bed. The second time was okay, but very painful like the first, and when the results came back from the lab, they showed that I had quite a lot of blood in my spinal fluid which was what was causing the pain and stiffness. This blood, they said could only come from an aneurysm in my brain. I was told many things at this time that I can't recall, about what could happen, but one thing was certain; the doctors had to find the aneurysm and fix it. Before doing anything else, they wanted Dr.Tucker to see me.

This was still Saturday and Marion finally got to see me in the early evening. She was pretty frightened as I was also. We were told that I could possibly have permanent brain damage, or that I could die, and many other things.

While Marion was with me, the nurses came in and asked Sheila if she could leave because I had another visitor. We didn't have any idea who this could be and were told it was Pastor Lush from our church in Orangeville.

A girl from our church, Zehava Jacobs, had heard what happened to me from someone Marion had left a message with, and had run from her house, across town, to the Church to tell Pastor Lush what had happened. He left the fellowship for Neil and Jenny Jansen‑Vandoorn, who were the ones renewing their marriage vows and took Hank, Neil's brother, and Farouk Patel with him, and drove to Toronto to be with Marion and I, and pray for me. The nurses and doctors weren't too keen on too many people seeing me in my condition, but allowed them to see me for a few minutes and pray for me. That is what the Body of Christ is about. Christians caring and praying for Christians. Then they left the room and I think that Farouk and Hank went back to Orangeville. Pastor stayed a bit longer and saw me again when I was upstairs in the Neurological ICU

During all of this Sheila Gibson was still waiting and staying with Marion lovingly and patiently. The doctors told me that I would be staying in the hospital for probably two to three weeks. That was a bit of a shock because I still didn't really understand all that was happening to me. The doctors still had to do more tests on me. I was admitted to the hospital and they prepared me to go up to the ninth floor, which is the neurological floor. I got them to remove that catheter from me and that was a tremendous relief. I think that that is when Marion and Sheila left and went back to Orangeville and I got ready for the next day.

Chapter Three, Preparation for Surgery

When I got into ICU the doctors put me on a few different drugs for various things. I was put on Dilantin and I was put on Gravol to settle my stomach. I was on strong painkillers. I can't remember the name of them. I was also put on an anti‑seizure drug called Nimodepene. My doctor was one of the main doctors responsible for getting this drug approved for use in Canada. This drug was in pill form and football in size.

I had to take two of them every four hours. They were to keep me from having seizures. I was told I would have to keep taking them for twenty‑one days and that they were very expensive. The full treatment of them would cost about twelve hundred dollars.

The first angiogram was scheduled for Sunday around nine o'clock in the morning and I had to fast until then. I still hadn't eaten since breakfast that Saturday morning and I was a bit hungry. The nurses watched me constantly that night and monitored my blood pressure hourly and would constantly ask me questions. They asked me my name, where I was, and other things like that, just to make sure I could still think and reason I guess. The neurological ICU ward gets patients from all over Ontario and it was pretty scary to see and hear them all night long moaning, crying and screaming. The nurses there had about two patients each if not only one and they had their hands full. I was awakened every two hours for the question period and blood pressure taking and was pretty tired the next morning. I still didn't feel good at all. I also still couldn't eat or drink anything because of the test they were going to do.

SUNDAY

The angiogram is quite dangerous, as they insert a catheter into the femoral artery, move it through the artery to where they want the dye to go and then they shoot the pictures. In my case they had to go past my heart to inside my neck to inject the dye into my brain. This catheter starts in my groin and it was very possible that this angiogram could have caused a stoke, and that pressure could have caused the aneurysm to rupture and possibly kill me. When they got the result back of the first angiogram, it showed no aneurysm, and again the doctors were hopeful that I hadn't had an aneurysm. When Dr.Tucker looked at the results on Monday, he wasn't convinced and ordered another angiogram, which couldn't be done until Tuesday. While waiting for all these tests, I was still on total bed rest and that included going to the bathroom. I cheated and got to go while a nurse guided me to the washroom and back to the bed. Every time I would have an angiogram, I had to fast from the night before, and after the test, I had to rest with a sandbag on my leg for eight hours, without lifting my leg or my body. They also gave me permission to eat something because I hadn't had anything since breakfast Saturday morning. Marion had come back to the hospital with Sheila that morning and Marion was staying with me. I didn't even know that Sheila was at the hospital because Marion didn't know that Sheila could come in and see me. Finally the nurse told her, I guess, and Marion went to get her. Sheila was shy about staying. She offered to get me something to eat when the nurses told us that I could have something. Sheila went to Harvey's and brought me back a double‑burger, which she had to feed to me while Marion was out. I'm not sure where Marion was, but thank's Sheila. That was the best hamburger I have ever had. I was hooked up to monitors and had an I.V. and I don't know what else. Marion and Sheila left and went back to Orangeville. Then I settled in for another night in the hospital. I had been moved out of ICU during the night and spent most of the night on the ward with a man who had also had an aneurysm and had definitely had brain damage. He was a writer named Ben Wheeler, and he didn't make sense most of the time, and he also kept me up most of the night by the nonsense he was talking.

MONDAY

After being moved to another bed in the ICU ward, I could see more patients around me. There were a few patients I could watch and keep an eye on their monitors. They were in a lot more trouble that I was, I thought, and I prayed for them. I'll mention one specific case that I can remember.

A young man was brought in from Wasaga Beach, where he had had a diving accident. He dove into a wave and hit a sand bar and broke his neck and back. He lay in the water in a dead man's float and his friends thought that he was fooling. It was almost too late when they realized what had really happened and they pulled him out, and had him flown to Toronto. He was paralyzed and near death.

The doctor told the nurses to watch his pulse and blood pressure constantly and if the pressure dropped to eighty over forty, or his pulse dropped to less than forty, he was in grave danger. Normally pulse is about seventy‑two and pressure is one‑thirty over eighty. He was around those numbers most of the evening, but all of a sudden his pulse started to drop and so did his blood pressure. They both dropped so low that the nurses started to go nuts. His pulse dropped to thirty‑five and his blood pressure dropped to seventy‑five over thirty-eight. I could see this quite accurately as the monitor was facing my way, and the numbers were bright red. Nothing the nurses were doing seemed to help, and they called the doctors. I started to pray for him, and as I prayed that God would keep him alive and take care of him from then on, I literally watched as the monitor went from thirty‑eight back to seventy‑two, instantly! I was amazed, and I guess my heart filled with a kind of love I didn't normally feel. I continued to pray, and within about thirty seconds, his blood pressure was at one‑thirty‑two over eighty. Those numbers remain in my mind for some reason. Maybe as a reminder of the power of God. That night I prayed for all the other patients that I could see on that floor. I think that night I was again moved back to the ward and had a bed by a window.

I don't remember much else about what happened during the day on Monday except that I watched the patients in ICU talked to Marion and rested.

TUESDAY

I was scheduled to have my second angiogram at about nine o'clock that morning, but I don't think that I had it until about one o'clock that afternoon. The results of that angiogram finally showed where the aneurysm was. Dr.Tucker told me that he would operate on Wednesday, if he could squeeze me in. I told Marion that, and we just spent time together. I think that I made some phone calls that day to a few friends I could reach. I called Doug Fyckes and Juan Rodriguez and they came to see me the next day. Marion was still staying with me all day long with the exception of when she would go out for some air. This time was very hard on her. I can't remember too much happening on Tuesday, but I think that day Gord and Shirley Macdonald came to see me, and brought the kids in to see me also. This was the first time that they had seen me since Saturday. I know that they were scared. I talked to both of them and they asked me some questions, and we just had a quiet time together before they went back to Orangeville with Gord and Shirley.

Shirley shared a dream or vision she had on Saturday about me. She had opened a book, and when she looked at the page, it spoke about aneurysm and ancestral ties. I then shared with her that on Saturday night around eleven o'clock, I also had a dream or vision. I saw a man in white walking toward me, and I saw that it was my father waving to me, and calling me to come home, and that I had never said good‑bye when he died two years previously. I remember telling him that it wasn't time for me to go home (heaven) and that I had definitely said good‑bye to him. He vanished.

Earlier that year I had gone to Gord and Shirley for ministry and we talked about my dad's death, and the fact that I had never cried and felt at peace about him, and I said good‑bye to him then. I had been concerned about the fact that I hadn't had a time of mourning over him.

That time Saturday was approximately the same time that Shirley and Gord were praying for me and had seen almost the same thing.

Farouk came back that day after work and brought me some Bar‑B‑Que chips to eat. I had told him that that was one of my favorite snacks.

After Farouk prayed, he went home and Marion and I talked a bit more, and prepared ourselves, because I was supposed to have the surgery Wednesday. After Marion left to go home, the doctor came back and told me that I wouldn't have the surgery until Thursday. This was because Wednesday wasn't Dr.Tucker's regular day in the operating room, and it was too booked to fit me in. He told me that the operation would take about four hours and about three hours in recovery and that it would be done under a microscope with microminiature instruments. I called Marion and left a message that the surgery was rescheduled.

WEDNESDAY

Wednesday was quite uneventful until evening when Doug came to see me and Pastor came back to see me. Marion and Pastor and Valerie, and Doug Fyckes prayed for me before they left to go home.

I knew Juan and Doug from Arrow Electronics, where I worked for almost four years. Juan and his family are friends who I still keep in touch with and Doug is a Christian friend that I don't see often enough. Juan was downtown with a brother in law or something like that and took the bus to see me. He was quite shocked to hear what had happened and we have kept quite close since this summer. As a matter of fact, I now teach Lorena, his daughter and Juan piano on Monday nights.

THURSDAY

I don't even remember when the surgery was that day, but I remember being in the operating room telling the nurse that I wanted to be asleep when they put the catheter back in me. I remembered how it hurt the first time on Saturday. She said I had nothing to worry about and that's the last thing I heard her say or do.

Chapter Four, Surgery

I woke up in the recovery room, and it felt like I was covered from head to toe in bandages, even though it was only my head. I had tubes coming out of my nose, my head, and I think my chest. I didn't feel very good and finally the recovery room nurses got me ready to go back upstairs. I remember waking up again in the ICU room and a nurse named Olga was looking after me. I knew her from a few days before and liked her. She was very good and gentle. I was on painkillers, and had a turban like bandage on my head that hurt a lot. I found out that I had twenty-seven metal staples in my head instead of stitches. They wouldn't come out until the day before I went home to Orangeville. I was constantly groggy from the medicines I was on and didn't care much about what was going on around me.

Chapter Five, Recovery

I was moved out to the ward area pretty quickly, into a semiprivate room. I don't remember who was in the room with me. The doctors came to see me regularly and Dr.Tucker told me that I was recovering very well. He didn't tell me too much except that I was lucky to be alive. I know that it wasn't luck. God spoke to me about many things since my operation, and I'm trying to do what He told me to do most of the time. I forget a lot, and I'm not always following His will for me.

The next few days in the hospital were spent resting and building up my strength again. I was soon out of bed, although only for a short period of time each day.

Talent is one of the things God specifically spoke to me about. I must use the talents God has given to me before they are taken away from me. That is why I am teaching music again. I have also started to draw and play piano again, except not nearly as much as I would like to do, but that is my own fault.

MONDAY

They finally took the turban off my head and cleaned me up. I then saw my head for the first time since I came to the hospital. That was a bit of a shock because I wanted them to shave my head completely so that my hair would grow back in evenly, but Marion wasn't too keen of having it that way, so we asked to have it (my head) half shaven. This they did, but instead of shaving the front and leaving the back, they shaved the left side of my head. I really fit in with the people on Yonge Street then. I also had this line on my head with the metal staples in it. That is the way Marion saw me the day I was being taken in for a bath to clean my head. I think that I was outside my bedroom going toward that bathroom when she came around the corner and almost bumped into me. I was glad to get cleaned up and back into bed.

Dr.Tucker came in to see me and talked about what I did for a living and told me that I would not be able to do any heavy work for quite a while. He also asked me if I had any kind of disability insurance or drug plan. When I told him that I didn't, he told the nurse to put the Nimodepene pills that I would have to take on his account. This was another time when God acted, because He knew we didn't have any money to pay for these drugs. Dr.Tucker told me that I would have to come and see him in August. He discussed when I would be released, and told me that because I was recovering so rapidly, I might get out by Saturday. This was quite a bit earlier than most people would be released. Some were in the hospital months.

TUESDAY

An amusing thing happened one afternoon when Marion went out for a walk to get some air. I was pretty tired and Marion asked if I would mind it if she went for a walk. I decided to take a nap until she came back. I'm not sure what time it was, but I remember waking up slowly as my head was being held. I was going to raise my hand and kiss the other hello, when I opened my eyes and to my surprise, I would have kissed Val Dodd, a good friend of ours. Val was visiting before he had to go to Ireland with his family as Missionaries. I guess I surprised him. Although we hugged in church during greeting time, we were never that affectionate. He laughed when I told him what I almost did. We had a good visit and Marion came back from her walk and stayed with me. When I told her what had happened with Val Dodd, she laughed and laughed. I think that tonight I actually got the dinner I ordered because I had been in that room for a day or so.

I remember Jean coming to see me. Peter, Heather and I think Brian came to see me also and I think that it really bothered them to see me the way I was. They also gave me a beautiful plant basket, which we still have. I was glad to see them.

Chapter Seven, Getting Ready to Leave

Marion went shopping and bought me a bunch of new shirts and shorts. I was going to wear a set home on Saturday. I sure would look smart dressed in beach short, a multicolored T‑shirt, running shoes and a hat.

Marion told me that some friends from Montreal, Debbie and Vic Shevchenko had shown up on our doorstep on Friday when she was about to come to Toronto. They were shocked to hear what had happened to me. They were up for a wedding and came to see me in the hospital. I think they were really concerned and we had a good visit. We've seen them since at Christmas time and we all wish we lived closer together. It's good to know people care.

Well, Friday went by, and again, while I was on the fifth floor, my meals from the ninth floor never got to me, and I had to eat whatever they sent me. This was annoying, because I had chosen food I really liked, and what I got, because of the food orders not being written for the fifth floor, was not very good at all. There was nothing wrong with the food; I just didn't like the choice. Well, I would be home soon.

Chapter Eight, I Don't Smell So Good

A couple of funny things happened as a result of the aneurysm and the surgery. I could no longer smell out of one nostril, and I couldn't open my mouth wide at all. To this date, these two things are still with me. While I was in the hospital, certain odors made me sick, and others I just couldn't smell. Peppermint drove me nuts, so I couldn't use the toothpaste that I had. Perfume was much too strong and I couldn't smell most foods. Except for the oriental food the people brought for the other man in my room.

Chapter Nine, Goin' Home

Dr.Tucker came in to see me and told me that I would be checking out Saturday morning. I couldn't wait. When Saturday came, I got ready to leave while Marion drove down from Orangeville with Leo Landriault, another friend of ours.

Before I was to check out, I had to pick up the medicine I had to take home with me. This was the medicine that Dr.Tucker had told me he would make sure I had enough of. The nurses gave us a box and told us that that was the balance of the prescribed treatment. I had to have enough for another fourteen days or so. We were thankful because the whole prescription for this medicine would have cost about twelve hundred dollars. I had to take twelve of them a day.

We packed all my stuff up and left to go to the car. Leo was sitting by the side of the road and he was shocked to see me walk out of the hospital dressed the way I was. I think that it really affected him to see me. He was our chauffeur for the day and took us back to Orangeville. He dropped us off and came in for a few minutes. He is a really good friend and I know it bothered him to see me the way I was.

He went home to get a lounge chair for me to use while I was recuperating. This enabled me to lie down comfortably without having to go upstairs. I had to rest most of the time. Linda, his wife brought the chair back and she also brought her video camera with her and took some movies of me, the INVALID. They were pretty funny when I finally saw them.

Being home again was great and I was sure glad to be here. I might never have seen Orangeville, my house, and most of my friends ever again had the Lord not kept me safe during this time. I had seen my family, but it was a relief to be home where I could talk to them and hug them any time I wanted. It was great to see our dog and cats again also.

I had many many visitors after I got home. While in the hospital, we didn't want visitors so that I would be kept as quiet as possible. Now they came whenever they wanted. It was great to see them.

Chapter Eleven, Getting Back to Normal

I was planning to spend quite a lot of time working on my computer, but I couldn't stand watching the screen for a long time. I never did do much then. I was also planning to do some artwork, painting and drawing. I started this in August.

I went to Singing Waters to spend a few days resting in the quiet. I spent most of the time reading and drawing. I started sketching with pen and ink, and the drawings turned out quite good. I felt that the Lord was giving me that talent to draw and I am going to keep it up. I also wanted to start writing, but I have never been very good at it. This testimony if really the first thing I have ever done like this. God is giving me the ability to express myself this way.

After coming home from Singing Waters, I went back about two weeks later and really felt the Lord touching and healing me further. Then Marion and I went to see Dr.Tucker for my checkup.

Epilogue

At the time of the originally writing of this Testimony I was married to Marion Pytlik who is now my ex-wife. She and I have both remarried and have remained friends since going our separate ways.

-- Michael Pytlik

###

Michael Pytlik © 2009 - All rights reserved.

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