Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Through the Roof

I returned home from the hospital yesterday with some news that is both good and disappointing at the same time.  The good news is that they did not find anything on my EEG or ECG while I was in the hospital.  The disappointing news is that they did not find anything on my EEG or ECG while I was in the hospital.    Having a clean EEG and ECG is a good thing because it means there is nothing wrong with my brain or heart.  It's disappointing because it means the doctors have no idea what is wrong with me.  We have no more answers than we did when I went in to hospital a week ago.  The diagnosis that has been applied to me is "psychogenic non-epilipetic seizures" or PNES. 
Dr. B (my neurologist) and Dr. D (the psychiatrist) told me that in about 50% of people with PNES the seizures are a manifestation of depression or anxiety, however, neither Dr. B nor Dr. D see any signs of depression or anxiety in me. A conclusion with which I agree. This means that I’m in the other 50%. This 50% is the category of people for which medical professionals have no answers at all. Many cases of PNES will disappear on their own. The others persist. There is no known reason why some cases disappear and others linger. There is also no projected time frame.

All this basically means we are at a dead end as far as the seizures go.  There is no next step at this point.  Being completely honest, it is hard not to be discouraged at this.  It's hard to focus on the positive.   While I was in the shower this morning, trying yet again to get the EEG glue out of my hair (nasty stuff) I was reflecting on this "dead end" and praying about it.  G-d brought a story to my mind.  It's from Luke 5: 17-26.  The part that really stood out to me was verses 17-19.   For those of you unfamiliar with the story it is about this man who was paralyzed since birth.  He had never been able to walk.  He had some awesome friends who heard that Jesus was in the neighborhood.  They decided to take him to see Jesus so that Jesus could heal him.  They wanted their answers.  They wanted the problem fixed.  They carried him to Jesus, however when they got to the house where Jesus was teaching they couldn't get to Him.  There were too many people between them and Jesus, their hope.  I can't know exactly what was going through their heads when their way was blocked, but I imagine that they weren't overly impressed.  This was not how things were supposed to go.   Mark 2 tells us that there were at least 4 men carrying the paralyzed men.  I imagine that at least one of them was ready to give up.  There were just too many obstacles.  Then one of them got an idea.  What if they went up on the roof, took it apart and lowered their friend in, through the roof?   It's a crazy idea.  This is probably a stranger's house and they are going to go up, on the roof and take it apart.  I wonder how long it took him to convince the others that this was a good idea, their only chance.  He must of been convincing because we know that they did go on the roof, take it apart and lower their friend in.  Luke tells us that Jesus was "saw their faith" and as a result, healed the paralyzed man. 
These men were looking at tough situation, one that wasn't going the way they wanted it to go or the way they thought it should.  They most likely did not leave home that morning with the intention of taking apart a roof and lowering their friend through it.  It wasn't conventional.  It was a crazy idea that took a lot of faith.  It was a crazy idea that was a perfect part of G-d's plan (Jesus used this situation to express His authority. see verses 20-24). 

The conventional and ordinary plan was for me to go to the hospital and for the doctors to figure out what was wrong with me and fix it.   However, this wasn't G-d's plan.  Somewhere there is a roof that I need to go through.   G-d's got a plan for this that is bigger than the conventional, easy plan and He's going to be glorified through it.  After Jesus healed the paralyzed man "Everyone was amazed and gave praise to G-d. They were filled with awe and said, "We have seen remarkable things today."" (Luke 5:26). 
I don't know where or what my roof is, but I do know that I have amazing friends who will journey with me and I know that I have an amazing G-d who has a plan for all of this.   Who's coming through the roof with me?

As a side note, at a prayer meeting before semester break, someone spoke this story over me as a word from G-d intended for me. I didn't understand at the time, but I do now.  G-d has had this planned way long ago.   "All the days ordained for me were written in [G-d's] book before one of them came to be." Psalm 139:16

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