Tag Archives: Pain

Surgery Update: 12/28/17

Words

My last “surgery update” focused on one word: PAIN! So, if I were to follow the same format for this post, instead of just one word, I would offer two: Less PAIN!

However, because the pain levels are down, and I am getting more comfortable with “talk-to-text,” the word count of this update will be a little more. Nevertheless, I promise not to use any of “colorful” words both God and my wife have heard this past week.

Colorful words: The kind that unfortunately slip from my quivering lips when the dog barks in the middle of the night and I instinctively sit up with a start, jerking my stiff and immobile right arm, sending searingly-hot waves of pain shooting along the offended nerves in my shoulder in an attempt to ask my brain, “What the blankety-blank were you thinking??!!”

How Am I Doing?

Yes, I am doing better than I was a week ago. Yesterday, I went to the doctor for my first follow-up visit and received good news. After getting the stitches on my shoulder and hand removed…

This pic shows only 2 of the 3 incisions and none of the bruising on my bicep.

Look at the new wedding band my youngest daughter gave me for Christmas 🙂

I was told that I could do physical therapy at home for the next four weeks instead of having to pay for it. Yay! The goal will be for me to regain some mobility, then go to actual therapy for the next level of mobility and strength building.

The worst part of my recovery has not simply been the pain, but the inability to get any sleep, therefore forcing me to endure the pain beyond the medication’s ability to control it. The lack of sleep complicates the whole healing process.

I do not have to wear an arm brace/sling all the time, now – at least not around the house. That’s refreshing. And, speaking of refreshing, I can almost do everything by myself! It’s amazing how degrading this whole week has been.

Prayer Needs

Make no mistake about it, we still need your prayers.  It is precisely at times like this that the Enemy loves to attack the people of God, tempting us with the same old question he asked Eve, “hath God said?” (Gen. 3:1).

Yes! He has! And I will trust in the Lord with all my heart (Prov. 3:5-6).

But we still need your fervent prayer.

Financial Needs

Folks, I don’t know how to put it any other way: we still need financial help.

For at least the next three months, I will not be able to work. If you could help support us in any way, all specified gifts sent either to our church (South Soddy Baptist) or the Hamilton County Baptist Association office would be tax-deductible.

Click HERE for a link with more detailed info on donating.

Of course, if you don’t care about tax deductions and would simply like to donate a few dollars, you can go to the right sidebar here on the main page and click the Paypal “donate” tab.

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Filed under Life Lessons, Struggles and Trials

Losing Track of Time

I’m sitting at the kitchen table at 6:26 in the morning. If today had been a work day, I’d be late. However, it’s Saturday morning, I’ve been awake off and on throughout the night, and I’m recovering from surgery. …Not morning as usual.

Tuesday was the day I had rotator cuff surgery on my right shoulder, plus an additional procedure on my left hand. Since then, my nights and days have blended together to the point I’m rarely sure what day it is, much less the time. I tend to want to sleep when others are awake, and wake up when there’s not even a decent infomercial on TV.

This morning I woke up and realized I needed to text someone about an important issue. Yet, when I looked at my phone it was 5 a.m.

I nodded off.

Then, thinking enough time had passed in order to avoid an awkwardly-early communication, I picked up my phone once again… 5:12 a.m.

Seriously, this was becoming frustrating! My sickness, my brokenness, my wounds, my recovery has twisted and distorted my understanding of day and night, of time itself!

At 6:15, I thought of sin.

In Mark 2:17 Jesus said: “They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”

Then, I thought of how often our spiritual brokenness must mess with our ability to truly appreciate what time it actually is.

In the above verse, Jesus made sin analogous to being sick. As the Great Physician, He can diagnose the problem and provide the remedy. But once the surgery has taken place, and even though we are in recovery, do we not still have difficulty telling the time?

We may know Christmas is around the corner, but sometimes our personal aches and pains negatively affect our preparing for the big day. Even worse, our tendency to rest improperly, or too much, may cause us to miss an opportunity to communicate something eternally important.

It’s now 7:20. My left thumb is tired, and so am I. I’m going back to bed…I think.

And I’ve still got those cursed hiccups!

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Filed under Christianity, Future, General Observations

God IS Good!

This morning at South Soddy Baptist I will be preaching a message on the goodness of God. In some ways it will be similar to one that I preached 2 years ago at my last pastorate, but in other ways it will be different.

Nevertheless, even though the sermon I’ll be preaching this morning will be different in several ways from the one I’m going to share with you right now, the truth of this sermon remains the same: God is good, and we should be thankful.

As Thanksgiving approaches, why not take a few minutes to consider what your life would be like if God was NOT good. If God wasn’t the definition of good, the judge of what is good, and the very standard of goodness – if God was not good by nature – all of His other characteristics could be called into question; any of His actions could be suspect. But God IS good, and we have plenty of reasons to praise Him.

http://RiversideSermons.sermon.net/main/main/20542053

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Filed under God, Thanksgiving, worship

My Allergy Will Be Gone!

My daughter Katie is allergic to a list of things, and although the list is not a long one, it does include bacon, so she does deserve our pity.

On the other hand, our young and uber-talented pianist at church, Olivia, has list of allergies longer than the strings on a Steinway concert grand! Seriously! Let’s just put it this way: just listening to the song “99 Balloons” could kill her.

But for me, I’m allergic to nothing… well, almost nothing. I’m not allergic to any foods, liquids, or chemicals; I don’t reach for an EpiPen whenever I see a bee; nor do I provide a list of medicines that could kill me should I visit a doctor.

I am, however, allergic to one thing… PAIN. The following are symptoms I experience when I receive a dose of pain, each one varying based on the length or intensity of exposure:

  • Immediate onset of watery eyes, the accumulating result being streams of salty fluid running down my face.
  • Widening of the eyes.
  • Convulsions of the hand and fingers, usually in conjunction with flailing arms and connecting concussions with inanimate objects.
  • Mental delusions, temporary insanity, and near-death experiences.
  • Random bouts of temporary-onset Tourette Syndrome.

Some people say “pain is weakness leaving your body.” To those people, I say, “Go eat a worm.”

Unfortunately, barring being put into a coma – and that’s no guarantee – I will have to suffer with my pain allergy until the day I die. There is no known cure on this earth, only items meant to temporarily mask or lessen the effects of the allergic reaction.

But someday… one day… I will have a new body! No more pain allergies for me!

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. – Rev 21:4 KJV

No allergy shots in Heaven!

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Filed under Life/Death

Hurting

Guest Post by: Dorissa Vanover


“I’ve lost my song,” my mother-in-law told me, as her tender heart broke into a million pieces.Today, I understand exactly what she meant.

Sometimes the pain seems relentlessly intense and hopelessly never-ending. During those times, the singer can’t sing, the writer can’t write and the artist can’t paint.

Each of us is born with a unique gift or ability, given to us by our Creator, so that we can fully express ourselves. Using the gift is a way of expressing our love and thanks to our Heavenly Father, a way to encourage others we meet along the way, and a way of joyfully immersing ourselves in our passion. We make time, knowing that we affirm ourselves and our God-given abilities as we express ourselves.

And then…unexpectedly, because we are imperfect humans living in a fallen world, we encounter heartbreak so overwhelming, it immobilizes us. We may be able to awaken each morning, get dressed and make it through our day; we may even remember to thank God for the blessings we know are still all around us. Truth is, though, we feel hopelessness inside. While we may be able to continue to function, we are not able to thrive.

Finally, knowing our spirits will break if we don’t get help, we fall to our knees beseeching our Father for the comfort only he can give. We quietly absorb the grace and mercy of being in his presence. His love surrounds us and our burden is lifted. We are renewed.

Once again, the singer sings, the writer writes, and the artist paints. It seems amazing, but the time spent away from the gift seems only to enhance the song, the words, or the painting. Yes, our Father created each of us with a wonderfully unique gift and gives us a time and place to use the gift. The greatest gift he gave each of us, though, is the freedom to have a relationship with him. He alone can replace our brokenness with joy and thanksgiving.

There may be several periods during a lifetime when the hurt seems greater than the hope. We know, though, because we belong to him, he is our hope, and there is nothing greater than him!

 

 

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Filed under Guest Posts, Life Lessons, Struggles and Trials

What We Can Do When It Hurts

UPDATE: The following post was NOT emailed to me by Donald N. Norris, but Dave Peever. Thankfully, this is the only mistake I have made today 😉

So, please check out Dave’s blog, Live 4 Him. I’m sure you will be blessed there, also.  


Guest Post by: Dave Peever

I Have Nothing to Offer

It hurts and it should. It may be my hurt or it may be someone else’s hurt that I observe, but it hurts, and it should. Still, we try to avoid it or at least address it as quickly as possible and move on. Logic does not play into it or at least cannot be used to lessen the impact. The passage of time may help but when everything seems to be going by so slow, the future is not even in the mix of thought and emotion. We wish it never happened, we hope we can somehow forget, but we know that it’s not going away. Like a rotten tooth that needs to be pulled or a wound that must be reopened and cleaned, it must be dealt with or the long-term issues will far outweigh the short term pain. It hurts and it should.

You’re a pastor, you should know what to say, how to bring comfort, how to rise above the pain.

I often wonder how people see me and others who have been called to pastoral ministry. When we are in the pulpit we are in control or at least appear that way. We tackle the tough issues head-on with Bible verses pre-selected and marked, script written and rehearsed. Everyone’s attention (we hope) is focused on us with little else competing for space in people’s thought process. We are in charge with little question about who is there to give out the answers to life’s problems. Before I go further, there are many times I haven’t felt in control in the pulpit, but by its very nature preaching creates the appearance of having it all together. Then comes the hospital visit, the funeral preparation family meeting, the pregnant unwed mother discussion, the abused wife’s plea for help or the drug or porn addiction revelation and people expect that same sermon preaching confidence. It is as if there are magic words that will make it all better and somehow the pastor is supposed to have them all stored up in his brain, ready to use at the appropriate time.

God’s word is full of comfort but God’s design does not allow us to avoid pain.

Biblical words of comfort are not the recipe for griefless living. To love someone is to invite pain into your life no matter how much they love you back. At some point something will happen that will hurt you. It isn’t always between the people in the relationship, but it is always felt by the people in the relationship. If we truly love the other person, their pain becomes our pain even if we are not directly affected. The only way to live life pain free is to ignore the Bible and never love anyone.

By calling and vocation, a pastor is placed in the middle of pain. By calling and obedience, a pastor experiences pain just like anyone who loves as Christ loves. Pastors may have a responsibility to the congregation defined in their job description but all Christ followers have an obligation to love and therefore are exposed to pain. The comfort we have and the comfort we offer is not found in the removal of hurt, pain and grief because we know the right words to say but instead it is found in the sharing of life as it happens.

Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Romans 12:15 (NIV)

You may say that you have nothing to offer because you are not a pastor, but the truth is, even though I am a pastor, we both have the same thing to offer.

I hate hospital visits as much as the next guy. I want to avoid the tears of a grieving family just like most people do. If I could miss funerals, including my own, I would. To seek out pain, physical or emotional, is not the sign of a stable person, to enjoy the depths of despair is not normal behavior. I understand that people want a pastor to be with them in their time of need and I accept that as part of my job. I may not like feeling that I can’t make the pain go away, that I am not in control and have nothing to offer, but I accept that just being there brings a level of comfort.

What I have to offer is the same as you. We all need to live out Romans 12:15 because we all, if we love like Jesus, have something to offer. Love has a cost, a price to pay. Sometimes we get to rejoice together other times we share pain but all the time we need to be there for each other. God does not leave or abandon those He loves but stays with us in part through the people He surrounds us with in our time of need. Be there for others, you can’t fix it, you can’t make it go away, that’s not the way God designed us, but you can share in the pain, help carry the burden, you have something to offer.

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Filed under blogging, Guest Posts, ministry

Escapist or Expectant?

As I was lying in bed this morning, shivering in the cold – the house is like a dadgum freezer – I proceeded to do an mental inventory. No, it wasn’t an inventory of all the things that need to be organized and packed for our upcoming move in a few days. I wasn’t even thinking about all the bills that need to be paid with money we don’t have (that’s a growing list too depressing to think about). Actually, it was a mental inventory of pain. 

It’s the last day of 2016 – this is the last post of the year – and with every day that passes I’m acquiring a new pain. As I lay there covered up, not wanting to get out of bed, I came to the realization that there was not one part of my body that didn’t hurt – literally. 

I’m not yet fifty years old, but I hurt from head to toe. Seriously, I’m looking forward to that “new body” the Bible says I’ll have one day. Maybe that is why I’m not as critical as I used to be of certain hymnals that have more songs about heaven than other, more weighty themes. Maybe it’s because I wake up and go to sleep with pain that I look forward heaven a little more than my younger, healthier theologians. 

One of the criticisms leveled at Christians is that we are “escapists” (i.e., those who care more about escaping this world than saving it). Sometimes we are accused of being so “heavenly-minded” that we’re no earthly good, all because we believe there’s a place to go after the cares of this life are over. Well, I’ve got news for everybody: I’m ready to go!!

No, I don’t want to die. No, I don’t want to give up on reaching the lost in order to selfishly escape to paradise. However, with each new day that passes by…with every New Year’s celebration that comes and goes…I’m that much closer to my faith becoming sight. …And no more pain. 

No, I don’t want to escape, but my expectations are pretty high. I’m looking forward to what God has in store for those who love Him… and believe it or not, that includes 2017. 

Happy New Year, my friends! 

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Filed under current events, Future, the future