Friday, July 22, 2011

The One Who Heals You

Well, this week I spent a few days resting and recovering from a minor surgery I had Monday morning. I was truly dreading the whole day. I hate hospitals…and needles…and drugs. Most of all, I hate drugs being put into my body when there is nothing I can do about it.

As we sat there in pre-op waiting for them to whisk me away to the OR, the anesthesiologist came in to ask me some questions and discuss the procedure in further detail. At the end of her little blab of rehearsed information was over, she asked if I had any questions. Without holding back I simply said “How long after until the IV comes out after the surgery? I do not want any pain meds and I want the anesthesia to stop right away.” Hahaha. She was probably thinking Oh Lord, who does this girl think she is? CONTROL FREAK!!! And yes, maybe I am a bit of a control freak—but it is MY body she is pouring that filth into.

Anyhow, my sweet sis Ashley came to balance me out a bit—her laughing at me and rolling her eyes, sitting over in the corner as I put on my ‘serious face’ and asked a million and one questions and barked orders of what I do and do not want done to me—looking back now, I have to laugh a little bit. I am stubborn sometimes and a bit of a control freak I suppose, especially when it comes to my body. I really do have a deep hatred for lacking control over what is or isn’t done to my body.

It is interesting because this is the first time in my life that I have legitimately cared about what is put into my body when it comes to medications, IV fluids, and anesthesia. After making it through a successful surgery and pushing through recovery without the pain meds that were quickly handed to me upon release, it just hit me how very much my mindset about medication in America has changed over several years. To me this is such a testament to God’s faithfulness and healing power in my life.

Three years ago, I spent almost a month in a hospital bed. I was being pumped full of fluids and food, yet felt only emptier and emptier inside. I was on every medication known to man, but somehow there still seemed to be a new pill added to that little plastic cup they handed me each morning and evening. I gladly swallowed it all down, never thinking twice about what exactly was going into my body—I mean why would I? After all, these are being prescribed to me by a fabulous team of doctors who went to years and years of school. They must know what they are doing—they are trying to help me get better! Right?

Honestly, I am not sure. I mean, I am not here to judge the hearts and motives of medical professionals…I am sure they are doing what they were taught to do and what American society expects them to do. After all, we are a prescription nation.

The most humorous part of this whole situation was that when I was admitted into the hospital, I actually could not swallow any sort of pill. I had just never learned—my mom had always given me chewable meds. So during my first three days of being hospitalized, the doctors sent a physical therapist to teach me how to swallow pills. I HATED that lady because I had no desire to even attempt to swallow the stupid pills they wanted to give me. She actually brought packs of Smarty’s into my room and would cut them up—at first into eighths, then fourths, then halves. Eventually, I could swallow a whole smarty. It was at this point, they began giving me a daily regimen of drugs, some of which were far to big for me to swallow. They told me I didn’t have a choice—I would just have to try until I got it. Eventually, I learned to swallow without thinking twice.

I can vividly remember one morning in the hospital when I became frustrated with all of these meds they were giving me, because something was making me feel nauseous morning after morning. When I told the doctor what was happening, instead of trying to figure out what was making me sick, she actually prescribed three new drugs to add to my daily regimen which would treat the side-effects of most of the drugs I was already on. By that point I was taking about thirty pills a day in addition to the meds being fed through my IV.

Just three weeks after being released from this stay in the hospital, it was my very ability to swallow pills that could have ended my life. After an intentional overdose on about fifty pills did not end my life, I realized that God just wasn’t going to let me die—so He would have to teach me how to live. Three, almost four years later, every breath I take is a testimony to His faithfulness in my life. He has shown me how to live—to live life abundantly, as He intended from the start.

For me, part of living out all that life is intended to be, as scripture talks about in John 10:10, is being healthy and taking care of the temple which I get to live in on this earth. The very fact that I am still sitting here today, able to share how God has and continues to redeem my life from the pit, is only possible because I am learning how to care for my body rather then destroying it as I attempted to for so many years.

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”   -John 10:10

I know that I tend to obsess over certain things fairly easily, and by no means do I want to be this crazy, nutso, control-freak when it comes to medicine, vaccines, and food, but I do feel driven to continue to research and learn about these things for the purpose of living life to the full—I know that when my body was full of drugs, prescribed pill after pill to fix my problems, and consumed in binging on and then purging processed foods, I was on the road to death—the opposite of living my life to the full for sure.

I am convinced that this need for “instant gratification” in American society today feeds the drug industry and explains why millions are dying from diseases everyday. You cannot take pills, that are created from chemicals and toxins, for years and years and never expect there to be a consequence—we need to get back to the basics of feeding our bodies whole grains, fruits, veggies, and lean proteins. We need to be active and sleep enough at night time. I am not perfect at this to say the least—I am addicted to frozen yogurt and somehow I always manage to stay up late (blogging!), and sometimes I take Tylenol for bad cramps or a headache. But I do know that I know that I know one thing—medicating the problem does not fix it. In fact, so many medications will alter the way the body functions to the point where you will find yourself taking more pills to silence the side effects of the initial pills. An endless cycle that banks millions of dollars everyday in this country. Medicine has saved many lives over the decades and can be used for good, however I have seen in my life and those around me that very often medication can also have far greater consequences then benefits.  

Praise God for wise medical professionals and cures to disease and medications when helpful. With that being said, we must remember who it is that we serve as followers of Christ. Though the world tells us differently, we must not forget that we know JEHOVAH RAPHAGod our HEALER. I mean, we know the MAKER of the UNIVERSE. We know the One who knit us together in the womb—so who would know better how to heal, nourish, and restore our emotional, physical and spiritual health than the One who made us in the first place?

“There the LORD issued a ruling and instruction for them and put them to the test. He said, “If you listen carefully to the LORD your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the LORD, who heals you.” -Exodus 15:26

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