Published by Ronnie and Sharon Stricklin
My brethren, count it all joy when ye
fall into divers temptations:
James 1: 2
June 30, 2011. The day after surgery to remove a second cancer in two plus years, I was being rousted out of my hospital bed to walk about a bit to help improve my recovery process. My bed had a stationary grip-bar movement assist overhead so I decided to use it to help the nurses help me get out of bed. “1…2…3! Arggggggggggggg! Count it all joy!!!” and they lifted me out of the bed and onto my feet.
A couple of weeks out of the hospital, my wife and I were in study around a subject taught by Apostle FKC Price. Part of his discussion included the above verse and the knowledge that all Christians must have that Jesus took our “stripes” (from Satan’s whip); punishments, sins, death, and tribulations away when he gave his life for us. When trials and tribulations (“divers temptations,”) come into our lives, that reality should make us joyfully face whatever comes, knowing that we already have been redeemed, we have but to accept and confess.
My wife commented, “Oh, you were just talking about that when you were in the hospital.” “HUH?” was all I could muster. “When did I say something like that?” “You mean you don’t remember saying that?” She went on to relate the story above. The more she talked; the memory came back to me.
During this journey to and through God’s healing, I have learned many things. Primarily, when you study God’s Word, you have multiple resources to call upon, consciously or subconsciously to help you get through. God always provides a way. I understand why I didn’t remember the incident. I was hooked up to an “iv” with some serious drugs that day and many things are still fuzzy. I’m still learning about how to understand, access, and utilize God’s promises. And how to accept and obey the Creator.
Prologue (1877-2006)–Giving background and context for what is to follow. For example, I begin with the births and birth locations of my parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, myself and my siblings. I do this to set the stage for the impact of high humidity and land wetness on my life-long struggles with respiratory problems. I was born and raised in one “wet” place after another;
Chapter 1 (2006)–We begin a new life inMesa,Arizona, a close-in suburb ofPhoenix. After multiple respiratory and other infections and crises, we made numerous visits to the southwest. The decision to move was not without a great deal of praying and planning;
Chapter 2 (2007-2008)—I began working in February, 2007, forMaricopaCounty (Sharon had started working at Arizona State University the previous fall.) I enjoyed a great position in the Department of Transportation. My supervisor and his family were also “transplants” from Milwaukee.
Everything was going along until June when I had my first sinus infection since April ‘06. Something seemed a little different and I remember telling a co-worker that I was under some sort of attack. The infection lasted one week, then disappeared.
Again, everything was going great until mid-December. I was again ill. This time it seemed to be “the flu.” I had body aches, fever, sneezing, etc. I was uncomfortable about a week. Things came back to “normal” until February 2008. Then the bottom began to fall out; In February, I started developing stomach and digestion problems. I was medically advised to take a “good” probiotic. By May, I was hospitalized. While there, my kidneys failed, but began working again before I was discharged. I went home knowing that something was not right. What an understatement!
Chapter 3 (2009)—By now, we were losing faith in medical practice as I lost sixty pounds and was rapidly and discernibly deteriorating. NO ONE could tell us what was happening to me. In January, we finally made it to the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix. We had an appointment, but ended up being admitted in the emergency room. A lot of experiences and procedures that I’d only heard, read or seen on television soon became part of my experiential reality;
Chapter 4 (The Road Back)—My experiences with chemotherapy, homeodialysis (since realized as “Life-alysis,”) The Living Word Bible Church, my sister, the nurse, and “To Love and Life.”
Chapter 5 (2010-2011)—Checkups; Ever Increasing Faith Ministries; new primary care physician; PSA and Prostectomy!
There are a few other health things I want to share with you. Certain advances in medical/health care and advocacy were not known and/or practiced by most of us in the past. It is also true that all of us know of, or will know of someone suffering from spiritual/health dis-ease. It is very important to help yourselves/family/friends/others to understand how critical it is to be an active participant in your own care and recovery.
Always know who is giving you care-doctor, nurse, tech, anyone. Also make yourself aware of all diagnosis of your situation-in English, or your natural tongue, not “medical-speak.” NEVER allow anyone to tell you that it is alright if you/your helper(s) don’t understand or know what is going on. Don’t’ take any drugs until you know what they are and how they are expected to affect you.
Be aware of, and get copies of, all laboratory reports, clinical reports and anything that you or your representatives are asked to sign. Make sure your primary doctor is aware if you are not being treated by her/him. Of course, DO read everything before you sign. Someone in your family, circle, or colleague group has skills or knows someone with skills in the health care area.
Never hesitate to ask them questions, and ask HOW to ask questions of health care professionals. Educate yourselves to the factors of your situation. That will help you know what to ask and also when an answer “doesn’t sound right.” If you find yourself with difficult health care providers, or people who question why you have questions GET THE HECK OUT OF THERE! If you don’t, you may wind up dead.
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