I haven’t said much about this, because it bothers me when people put me into a box. I don’t like being labeled as someone with “health issues” because it becomes a focal point of conversation for some people every time they speak to you. People can become a constant reminder of the very problems you try to overcome by reminding you of them every single time they see you.
With that being said, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the notion of “suffering in silence”. Sometimes, it can be as admirable quality when you continue to live in a positive manner despite the troubles you’ve faced. It’s cool sometimes when people say “Wow, I had no idea… you always seem so positive for someone who’s been through all of that.” And, yet, other times I wonder if it is harmful to suffer in silence. Sometimes, I think people need to hear about the problems you are dealing with and the hope you have that gets you through it all.
A little over a month ago, I was driving my daughter to school and myself to work. Somewhere along the way, I remember everything going white, except for a few streaking red lights. The next thing I remember is my daughter saying “What happened?” and as I looked around to see people running at my car, I realized I was off the road. I told my daughter that I wasn’t sure what had happened, and asked if she was okay. Thankfully, she was unharmed. I looked to my left and saw an SUV with the bumper knocked off of it and I saw a telephone pole lying across the road. Then people were asking if we were okay and I noticed that the front end of my truck was all smashed up.
I remember a police officer grilling me about drugs and alcohol. It was roughly 6:45 am and he was asking if I had been drinking (which, obviously, I had not but thought was a funny question). I called and left my wife a voicemail telling her that I had been in an accident. When she arrived, she noticed that I was speaking very slowly as if something were wrong. She took my daughter to school and the police officer came back to talk to me about how “he could have me taken in for a toxicology test” and “he could write this into a traffic citation for driving under the influence of ‘something’ “. He told me he was “going to give me a break” and that I should “consider this a wake-up call”.
Needless to say, I was not under the influence of any drugs or alcohol, but he obviously thought so. I had a complete work-up at the hospital to determine if I had a stroke, another heart episode, or maybe a seizure, blah, blah, blah… only to find: Nothing. No stroke, no seizure, no heart issue… nothing.
I’ve been here before. Nothing.
I had to go see a neurologist to rule out seizures and he was left scratching his head with no explanation. Given my medical history and the length of time for any doctor to make an accurate diagnosis, “nothing” has become a regular answer that I’ve come to expect until two years ago, when one doctor was finally able to figure it out. I have Ankylosing Spondylitis and Hereditary Hemochromatosis. Both are hereditary and both are terrible, but knowing is better than the private hell of not knowing.
I still don’t know what caused the accident and I can’t drive for six months.
So here I am again, at the corner of nothing and something.
Perhaps you are in the same place. Sick of the answer nothing, when you know there is not only something, but a big, hairy, stinking – something.
I guess what I’m getting at but am having a hard time articulating concisely is that, sometimes, keeping things to yourself is the appropriate thing to do but other times it is totally appropriate to let others know of your struggles because you never know who is sharing with you in your self-imposed solitary confinement. There is hope, friends. There truly is a light at the end of the tunnel and it isn’t a train. One day, when this body is dead and wasting away back to the dirt from which it came, I will have a new body free from disease, pain, and sorrow. I am assured of that through the life changing gospel of Jesus Christ, the Great Physician. It is through my faith in Him that this body will be restored.
Do you have that hope? If you don’t, I pray that you are able to find Jesus to be your Savior and the Lord of your life and I ask your forgiveness if my actions have ever caused you to doubt the truth of the Word of God.
As for me, I will continue to laugh with my family and friends about the cards I’ve been dealt. The struggle is still there, and the situation doesn’t change, but the outlook is positive. I give thanks for this amazing life even when it is the constant health issues raise their heads and cry for my attention.
Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:18