I made mention of this in my message yesterday and thought it might give someone a ray of hope as they struggle with their difficulties. It is written by Dr. Bob Griffin. I wish you could know the whole story, but this gives you a glimpse of what he has gone through the last ten years. It also reminds us that nothing is impossible with God!
Reflection: Ten years ago on Mother’s Day I broke my foot. No pain. Wife
looked at toes (2 at 90 degree right angle from side of foot). She reset
them. Still no pain. On Monday May 12, 2003 I went to the foot doctor for
x-rays and a “boot”. He was more concerned with “no pain”, no feeling at
Later in May 2003 I went to the neurologist for intensive testing to find
out why I could do such damage (I was in a wheel chair by then) and no
feeling. Found out I had rapidly progressing Profound Neuropathy – death of
nerves in my feet. The only sensations I had were “phantom” burning,
cracking, smashing, not based in real injury. Tell THAT to the brain.
July 2003 we returned to see how this condition was improving. It wasn’t; it
was getting worse exponentially. My loss of all nerve function now raced up
to my knees (I flat-lined the testing for conductivity and they kept poking
needles all over my body until I bled). I had little nerve function left in
my hands and arms.
The doctor soberly looked at me and Teresa and said at this rate, the nerve
loss would reach my lungs in a few months and that I would die a slow,
agonizing death over the next year or two. He warned about “quack
treatments” and said there was no cure. This was a thousand times worse than
the diabetic neuropathy that often leads to amputations; mine was fatal.
We were in shock. His last words were to go home, make my will, say my
good-byes to family and friends, take a long trip, spend my money and live
with 8-9-10 level pain 24.7. Get ready to suffer and die. Thanks for the
sweet bedside manner. Grrrr.
That was ten years ago. I moped a bit, questioned God a lot, whined about
being pushed around in a wheelchair by my ever-patient saintly wife (who
also was digesting this horrible prognosis). We and others around the world
prayed. We sought natural health alternative treatments and supplements to
help with this condition. In September 2003 I began therapy to learn to
balance and walk (without feeling in my legs I simply tried to look and let
my eyes replace my nerves; I learned to let my inner ear to the work of
balance). Blindfolded. Trussed in a harness so the therapists could keep me
from falling. Walking on squishing deep foam. I learned.
So ten years have passed. I progressed from wheelchair, to crutches, to
walker, to cane and now nothing. I can now jog, ride a bike, swim, hike
around Wyoming and climb mountains. I am 90% free of pain. I love to
travel the world (and spend money – following doctor’s orders, you know). I
pastor a church, am CFO in my wife’s clinic, and just got in from
roto-tilling the garden and after a break will head off to mow the lawn a
second round this spring (hey – I was shoveling 20″ of snow a couple weeks
ago). I still have no nerve function . . but the condition STOPPED its
progression and even a bit of the damaged areas seem to be somewhat better.
Ten years. God is faithful and the Blessed Controller of all things. This
morning mulling over His goodness I am reminded to “count my blessings”.
Every day is a gift from God; that’s why I call it the “present”. He alone
gets the glory for my salvation, glory in every day of my life and glory
even in the day when, like the Pillsbury Doughboy, He pokes me and says
“You’re done” and I get to die.
I get to die. But then, last I checked, nobody gets out of this life alive.