A Time of Trial – A Time to Trust
After his 39th birthday in January 2008, Jamie Hayden, owner of Hayden’s Physical Therapy, knew something was amiss. Usually full of energy, he realized he was overly tired and having a difficult time concentrating, signaling the need to seek medical attention. Within a week, Jamie met with his family doctor, Dr. Mark Stein, to discuss his symptoms. Dr. Stein ordered a full blood work panel.
After tests indicated his free testosterone level hovered near zero, they performed additional diagnostic testing. Then came the MRI with a contrast of his head/brain. Jamie glanced at the scan, noting a mass slightly larger than a golf ball embedded in his brain’s parietal lobe. “Hey, that’s not supposed to be there.” The technician hesitated and became quiet.
Informing his wife, Melissa, was one of the most difficult moments in his life. In spite of devastating news, they still managed to share a funny story that evening. Despite Melissa’s reluctance, they decided to use their previously-purchased Bruce Springsteen concert tickets. While there, Melissa left for the restroom crying. After her phone fell into the toilet and the toilet automatically flushed, she returned to her seat laughing—welcomed comic relief in an emotionally intense night!
“My faith gets me through each day.
I listen to the Bible everyday on my iPod.
And I am so thankful for the godly people who surround,
unconditionally love, and assist me on a day-to-day basis.”
Maintaining a positive attitude, they continued with their next step, a meeting with neurosurgeon Dr. Carl Sartorius of St. Vincent Hospital. After extensive testing, surgery was scheduled for April 11. While the tumor was extracted easily, a blood clot developed a few days later, requiring more time in ICU.
“I don’t remember seeing my girls after surgery. In fact, that period of time has simply disappeared.”
The tumor’s effects have left Jamie with diminished cognitive recall and difficulty with depth perception and spatial orientation. As a physical therapist, Jamie always dreaded telling his patients their health issues could result in losing their ability to drive and, consequently, their independence. During his recovery, he experienced how that felt. Even now, five years later, it’s not easy. “My new norm is a moving target. Some days are awesome. Some are awful. I still have seizures and take lots of medicine. It’s hardest when my daughters see me sick or having seizures. It makes me heavy-hearted.”
Besides continual support from his family, his church, and his co-workers at Hayden’s Physical Therapy, one of the biggest blessings came from well-wishers on Caring Bridge, a website where both patient and family can update status and others can post encouragement and prayer.
As he did five years ago, Jamie still depends upon his faith, family, and friends.
“My faith gets me through each day. I listen to the Bible everyday on my iPod. And I am so thankful for the godly people who surround, unconditionally love, and assist me on a day-to-day basis.”