One of the most difficult principles to manage while you are in chronic pain or dealing with a disease state is: how to keep all the focus off of you. When you are stuck in the quagmire of managing your pain and physical body, you forget to put others before yourself as stated in the bible in Philippians 2:3. Coming soon, we will explore what God says about being engaged in the lives of others around you. Stay tuned. I am still waiting to get out the hospital.
Well, with the freshly printed discharge papers in my right hand, I am finally released to do my rehabilitation at home. Boy, where do I start? Let’s start from the middle, or, the start of my medical journey.
About 13 years ago I was starting to notice a strange pattern. I felt thirsty all of the time. I mean, I would guzzle down a huge 40 ounces and I would be just as thirsty as If I never drank the Gatorade. Even though I would ask my doctor to “test” me for something, he would often dismiss it as if I was too young to have this be important. Shortly after that, I was working at a pretty physical job, you know, the kind that can actually make you produce a sweat. One day I felt an abrasion in a weird place on my body. It was rubbing itself raw and beginning to fester. Well, I went to the doctor and he promptly gave me something to take for it. Now, that was not uncommon or out of the ordinary; what was weird: that infection promptly, and without warning,came back exactly two weeks later and stronger than it was originally. This was a very nasty infection. It refused to go away permanently. I would take the medication, it would reduce in size and annoyance, and I would think that it was done. But, boy, was I wrong. It would hold on like a pit bull and never, ever let go. This was the very start of my disease and my suffering which still effects to this day. After a while of dealing with this infection, I began to notice another infection that was starting to form in a different, but similar area. This new infection ended up being so debilitating that it took me about a week to be able to move. It was at this point that my wife and I knew that something was wrong and something had to be done.
Thanks to my wife’s vigor to find some answers( men never get checked out like they should) we promptly walked into my insurance appointed doctor’s office and demanded that some tests and blood work to be done. I waited about 2 days and I received a phone call to come back into the doctor’s office because they wanted to discuss something with me. I arrived with my wife at the office and they relayed to me, with very little deference and care, that I now had Type 2 Diabetes. We road home in the car in total silence. When I got into the house, I totally broke down and cried for several hours. It wasn’t that I had Diabetes that was really the problem. It was the loss of freedom and that I was now armed with the knowledge of the very thing that would be the cause of my death or complications due to Diabetes that would be the very thing that would eventually take me out. It was such a daunting diagnosis and now I knew. Now, I know it is not necessarily a death sentence but, eventually, with many years of the damage that it can do, you will tend to visit death row a few times. I had no idea how right I would be in the future, just a few years down the road when my condition would drastically change, and NOT for the better. Also, this was the worst time to not take the Lord and his plan for my life seriously. I was like a boat tossing to and fro without a rudder and a small hole from which to start throwing pail-fulls of water over the side.
So, I had a long talk with myself, my God and my wife and determined that this new “problem” wasn’t going to get me down. Now that my pity party was over, I wasn’t going to let it beat me. I was only on one medication to control this and I was being told by my doctor and the Diabetes educator that I could very well control this with some exercise and diet. I dove right into it with both feet and a new resolve that would scare the most sane person. I tested 3-4 times a day, I ate a carb-controlled diet and I walked several miles a day, everyday. The one thing I forgot to do, was ask the Lord what He wanted me to do about this new disease. In my own power, I tried to “Fix” my own problem; without the help of my family, friends and most of all; my Lord. What the heck was I thinking? Was I purposely trying to cut out the treatment plan of the most powerful cure ever known. Let’s take stock here of my new treatment plan that I hand crafted for failure: I was trying to conquer one of the most serious diseases and all that comes with such a diagnosis as well. I was doing it all in my own power and stubbornly not tapping in to the power of God to help me in any way. As I look back at my effort and attitude I realize how “Lost” I really was. I had no idea what to do. I had no idea how to pray and I had no idea the insurmountable financial burden that would begin that very day. But, I still want to share with you what the Lord has shown me about the value of this lesson during this pivotal time, right out of the gate. When you are lost, and especially lost at the beginning, this is the perfect time to trust in the Lord and pray. In Proverbs 3:5-6 Says: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”
It seems so simple, but stubborn men can have very knotted heads. I didn’t take the lesson well, or, wholeheartedly, and put the Lord on the back burner and I didn’t draw on His strength at a time I desperately needed to do so. If you are “Lost” right now, It is NOT the time to “superman” it with all your own, ineffectually finite, inefficient, sin-filled and selfish power. If you are doing this very thing, stop right now and ask for forgiveness. Then, ask the Lord to show you how to overcome…….yourself and ask Him for the strength to believe that God can and will take care of your life through His understanding. I wish I would have learned this nugget of truth right here and not had to slide on my rump during this time. But, don’t worry, I would have ample time to re-learn this and other skills in the short-time.