Isaiah 64:4 - Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him.
The alarm goes off. I groan and roll myself toward the edge of the bed and sit up.
My eyes scan the room and latch onto my dresser and the clock sitting on it. I shake my head. I must be still dreaming, I’d thought. But I wasn’t.
The lines separating the dresser drawers instead of being straight were at a diagonal. So we’re the numbers on my clock, as if there was a shadow making the numbers three dimensional.
I’d staggered to my bathroom, clutching the door and then the side of the counter. As I tried to follow my morning routine, I knew I had to get to my optometrist, but I didn’t trust myself to drive, so I’d called my care giver and my doctor.
I’d been able to get an emergency appointment, and spent the next hour with my doctor running tests on my eyes. We discovered that the double vision was worse when I looked to the left while I faced straight ahead.
The doctor told me to go to the emergency room and get checked out, because though he knew what my eyes were doing, but he didn’t know why. In the weeks that followed I saw one doctor after the other.
Double vision can sometimes be caused by medications, migraines, failure of the muscles to the eyes and several eye diseases. Treatment can include strengthening the eye muscles through exercise, medications and surgery. Since I suffered from many of the causes for double vision, it became difficult to treat me.
It was something I had to learn to live with, but it didn’t come without changes in my life:
I could no longer drive.
Reading became difficult.
Even when watching TV I found it difficult to make out letters.
I had to retrain myself to perform activities of daily living.
Double vision can cause you to see two sets of everything. With time, I learned that I would have good days and bad days; and found my own way of moving through my world, and how to distinguish which of the two things I was looking at was real and which one was the double.
Medicalnewstoday.com in their article, “Why am I Seeing Double?”, tells us that double vision causes a person to see double images where there should be one, and that the double can be side by side, on top of each other, or both. The article also provides in depth causes and treatments such as using glasses with prisms in the lenses, wearing an eye patch, and surgery on the eye muscles.
Coping with double vision can be difficult, but armed with knowledge about the condition, treatment for it, and the right support system of people who understand what you’re going through can go a long way in helping you live life to the fullest.
Know also that God acts on your behalf. He can bring you through the turmoil of treatments, and can help you accept the way your life will be after all the treatments have been tried. You may feel like you can’t function in your world, but God sees your pain and will comfort you in ways that you can’t even imagine.
Jeremiah 30:6 - Ask and see: Can a man bear children? Then why do I see every strong man with his hands on his stomach like a woman in labor, every face turned deathly pale?
You clutch your stomach. The pain is back.
Everyone experiences a stomach ache from time-to-time, but there’s a big difference between a stomach ache and stomach pain.
A stomach ache can make can make you:
Stomach pain can make you:
When in doubt as to whether you have a simple stomach ache or if it’s real pain, it’s important to see your doctor. Only he can truly diagnose your problem and figure out if what you’re feeling is something to be concerned about.
Some of the things a doctor may do are:
Here are some other reason for your stomach issue and whether it’s serious listed on everydayhealth.com in their article, “9 Common Digestive Conditions From Top to Bottom,” such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or gallstones, and how to treat them.
Take a look at the Bible verse above; there are times when even a man can clutch his stomach like a woman in labor. Understanding the difference between a stomach ache and stomach pain is important to know so that a decision can be made if it’s something that should be checked out by a healthcare professional. If your pain becomes so intense that you can’t function, know that God can give you the wisdom you need and can point you in the right direction to get the attention to help heal your problem.
Psalm 73:26 - My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
Here we are at another Valentine’s Day. Hearts swell with love as one Valentine gives a gift to the other. The gift is meant to express their love by something tangible. But a gift alone won’t prove your love; it must also be expressed in action. All of this leads to two hearts beating together in the rhythm of their love.
When a couple first meets their heartbeats can flutter as they get to know each other. It’s like as if they’re in highschool when just seeing each other from across the classroom is enough to pick up the beat of their hearts.
When a couple begins to date, they get to know each other and their hearts begin to approach a link together just as a chair links when the clasp is closed.
And so it goes, the couple falls in love, and they can feel their hearts beating as one. They long for each other when they are away, and enjoy each other when they are together.
But then it happens. They argue, no longer seem to have the same interests and find themselves falling out of love. Their hearts no longer beat to the same rhythm they used to.
Arrithmias. They can happen when two people fall out of love. And their heart begins to beat separately instead of together. And so it can be in the life of the body.
An arrhythmia or irregular heartbeat, changes the rhythm of the heart. It means that it can beat too quickly, slowly or in an irregular pattern. I should know, because I have three different arrhythmias.
I have atrial flutter, where a circuit of electrical signals forms in one of the upper portions of my heart called the atria. I also have atrial fibrillation, where there are many circuits of electrical signals that form inside the atria of my heart. These circuits and irregular electrical signals are what cause the arrhythmias. The other rhythm problem that I have is skipped or extra beats of my heart which makes an uneven pattern.
Medicalnewstoday.com, in their article, “Arrhythmia: Causes, Symptoms, Types and Treatment,” provide us with some answers about arrhythmias. They break down the types of arrhythmias into slow heartbeat (bradycardia), fast heartbeat (tachycardia), irregular heartbeat (flutter or fibrillation), and early heartbeat (premature contraction). It also provides causes such as an overactive thyroid gland, symptoms such as fluttering in the chest, and treatments such as medications or ablation therapy.
I had an ablation procedure to help alieveate atrial flutter. Using two catheters the doctor went through blood vessels in my groin up to my heart. Once in the heart, the doctor burned the area where the source of the flutter was coming from.
All of this information may seem a bit overwhelming at first. But with the information on any procedure to be performed and a doctor you can trust, many times the arrhythmia can be eliminated or at least provide relief from the symptoms for you.
Notice the Bible verse above. In it you can see that even if our heart fails to do its job correctly, God is the strength of our heart and will watch over us forever.
Psalm 69:29 - I am in pain and distress; may your salvation, O God, protect me.
It’s not just been one day.
It’s not just been one week.
It’s not just been one month.
This has been going on for a long time and you need answers.
Doctors use many different measures to diagnose a chronic pain or health condition.
Interviewing a patient and obtaining their account is an important place to start. Some of the questions they may ask are: when they first started feeling the pain, if the patient can determine the cause, what have they used for treatment at home up to this point, what is the patient’s medical history for clues, and have they seen any other doctors who attempted to treat the pain.
After the interview, then the physician can determine what other steps might also help diagnose the condition. Let’s take a look at some of those steps as noted on spineuniverse.com:
The next step will be to do a physical exam – Range of motion, posture, and general physical condition.
Then the physician will do a neurological exam – Testing the nerves, reflexes, physical strength, is the pain spreading and how well you can feel.
There may also be a mental health exam which can be conducted initially by your physician, but may then be referred to a mental health specialist for further examination – Symptoms of disorders, such as anxiety and depression that can develop alongside chronic pain.
Then your physician may run diagnostic tests. Find some of the possible tests that will be run such as blood tests and scans, and what each test looks for by reading the article, “Exams and Tests to Diagnose Chronic Pain,” on spineuniverse.com.
When you are in pain and distress, as the Bible verse above states, having tests done to ascertain the problem can be used by God to help diagnose the condition and to protect you from experiencing increased symptoms and pain.
Mark 5:25, 26 - And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse.
“A chew! A chew! Oh dear. I think a cold may be coming on. I’d better take some vitamin C and get to bed early tonight.”
A common cold can be easily treated at home. But what if the cold hangs on and it goes into your chest and you develop a deep cough? Or, what if you develop a fever? These may be signs of more than a cold. You could be looking at the start of bronchitis or pneumonia. And if the flu keeps hitting you over and over, it could be that your immune system is failing to fight off infections and you’ve developed a chronic illness.
In my previous post, I talked about the difference between acute and chronic pain. Some of the same principles I wrote about also apply to a chronic illness.
Evaluating your symptoms with both pain and illness is important. You need to know when it’s time to see a doctor, or if you can you take care of yourself at home. Remember, though, that it never hurts to check in with your doctor.
Select the link below to learn about some suggestions as to when it's time to see a doctor.
The Bible verses above give us a bird’s eye view of a woman who had suffered from a chronic illness for twelve years. She had seen a multitude of doctors with no results. But the story doesn’t stop there. The woman sought out the one person she believed could help her—Jesus. With just one touch of his robe the woman was healed.
God many times just heals us. And other times he uses doctors to help our bodies heal.
But what if you see your doctor, believe that God can use him to heal you, and nothing happens? So you pray some more and ask others to do so. And still nothing happens. I’ve been in this situation many times. It truly does test my faith. But I also need to look at it in the long run. I must be ready to accept that this may be something I’m going to have to live with. Yet, there can still be a purpose to my illness. I just can’t see it right now.
Hang on, dear friend. Jesus will never let go of you and he is always by your side through all of your illnesses.
To leave a comment just click on the blue "comments" below. I look forward to hearing from you.
Karen Dalske is a freelance writer, public speaker, is active in her church and writes her blogs out of her own experiences of pain, illness and loss.