Here on this momentous night (the night before the start of school for most of you Cherokee County families), I am considering the impact of the unexpected. And how you deal. It’s interesting for all of us if we think back to our childhood, and imagine a first day of school that didn’t go as planned. Or perhaps a specific event along the way in our normal school day. I can remember the day a girl, who had professed her love for me, turned on me and told me “(I) wasn’t worth one cent”. I was 9 years old. :)
More importantly in my memories of the unexpected, is the morning of August 3rd, 7 years ago yesterday (Saturday), when I started the day like most. Though this morning my wife and daughter were with Nana and Papa, as they had spent the night for Papa’s birthday (my father-in-law). I got up as usual, went off to hockey, and found myself in the ER not much later.
I think often about those patients who I have had over the years who first are given a scare about a test result. Then so many, it returns as negative, no concern, false alarm. But for some, the next appointment is the shock. The moment of truth. What will you do? Who do you trust? Do you have faith in medicine, the Great Healer, a natural approach? Cancer. The most common killer of children, the third most common killer of adults after medicine and heart disease. Not a word you want spoken to you, but not always as bad as you think.
For me, 7 years seems like a lot of time, for what didn’t take too long. I was hit with a hockey puck. I had played since I was 3 years old, and after a couple of collegiate national championships with Life University, and a strong effort to take our regional championships while at the University of Buffalo one year… I felt accomplished enough to trust myself on the ice without a mask, like so many of the ex-pros and other ex-college players that took to the ice with me every Thursday morning.
For me the moment that hit me like a ton of bricks was the one when I was in the ambulance with the EMT, and I was on the phone with my wife. I was just telling her that I was hit in the eye with the puck, but I thought I would be ok. Then the EMT gave me the reality pill…
EMT: You are not OK, your eye is not OK, your pupil is blown, and the eye is in very bad shape.
Me: How can you tell my pupil is blown, isn’t my eye swollen shut?
EMT: No! I have it propped completely open right now.
Me: Oh :(
The moment that I realized that I was at least temporarily blind, was the moment that I began fighting for my sight. I immediately began praying, and I immediately considered my situation as one of hope and confidence. Now, 7 years later, I feel the same. Every year on the anniversary, I try to remember really hard, what it was like to see with two eyes. How the world looked with depth, and what my field of view was like. All to spur myself on towards a confidence in one day being healed. I trust God to do it.
So when you are hit with the moment of, its over. What do you do? I was told that my eye had to be removed, but I wanted to keep it, as I believe God would heal me more readily with my existing eye still present. I was told that I would go blind in my good eye if I kept the bad one, but I chose not to believe, I chose to believe that my immune system is one of intelligence, and that it would not attack myself, as I was told.
I believe the same can be said for you. That at any point in time, a doctor will lay into you with a moment of fear, and most of you will think I am a fool when that happens, and you will follow whatever the doc tells you. And sadly, you might come through the initial illness ok, but you will leave yourself weakened because of it. Not able to fight against the damage done to your body. 4-8 years later, as you begin to face the secondary effects, you will then think of my words, and decide that there was value.
See, what I am telling you, is that you need to have faith first. Faith that there is a healing path to all problems, to all damage to the body. That you will be able to find a way. Just like I wrote a few weeks ago, that all health starts with philosophy. It also starts at the moment you are faced with a health challenge. It is timing, as well as follow through, as well as commitment to the truth. So when the unexpected hits you, or your mom or dad, or your sibling or spouse. Don’t crumble under the stress. Start with trusting in the body that you have been given, then turn towards the methods that will strengthen the vessel.
Be well and Be blessed! - Dr. E