I don't know how long it was there, hidden from view. I have my supicions though. Over the past couple of weeks, I have been ... agitated. I felt anxious, stressed-out, had a sense that I was not doing well. I attributed it to stress.
When you consider all things, many people would say I have good reason to be stressed. I have faced some pretty serious ongoing health issues as well as financial issues over the past six years and after awhile, you get pretty worn out at times. I figured it was just that coupled with a flare-up of TN (trigeminal neuralgia) but deep in my heart, I still had this sense that something just was not quite right.
On Saturday, I became aware of some pain in the left side of my abdomen. I attributed it to something I ate which was probably bothering my large intestine. I would be fine in the morning. I wasn't. Thinking I had some sort of bug, I decided to monitor it and if I got sick or began to run a fever, I would call my doctor. While that didn't happen, the pain did not go away either.
My TN was acting up at the time so to tell you the truth, I was focused more on the pain in the right side of my face far more than the left side of my abdomen. Besides, I had an uncooperative furnace to keep an eye on.
On Monday, I was still in pain but since I had a doctor appointment on Tuesday, I decided to just keep an eye on things and the MOMENT I began to run a fever, I would fly into action. I was starting to get a bit worried and began to pray.
On Tuesday morning, I headed to the doctor. I thank God for my doctor. I truly do. She has been my doctor for about 15 years or so, I believe. She takes her patients health extremely seriously and when you mention her name to her co-workers in the health network I belong to they smile and say, "She is very thorough." I always smile back and say, "Yes, she is and that is what I love about her." One needs to have a physician who is "thorough" and does not view people as human flesh on an assembly line. To her, we are people who have entrusted themselves to her care and she takes that very seriously.
It was a routine physical exam during which time, I shared this recent development lamenting that I became aware of it the day after I had visited my oncologist who in my opinion also views being a doctor as a calling rather than merely being a way to earn a living. I thank God for him as well.
She said she would get to the pain issue in a moment and proceeded with my routine exam. Suddenly, while I was in mid-sentence answer a question, she pressed very hard, not on the area I had indicated but the lower center of my abdomen. I yelped in pain. Quickly she pressed the area I had indicated and while I flinched... YOW!!!!! She pressed my lower abdomen again.
"So the real problem is down there?" I asked. As soon as I said that, I realized that was a rather dumb question.
"Yes, the other is secondary even though you weren't aware of the other area that much."
I needed to be examined by an expert in order to identify the true source of my trouble. The expert, knowing my history, was pretty certain what my problem was. However, knowing my history of cancer, she needed to be sure it was what she thought it was and not something else like a tumor. Sigh...
So, without delay I was ordered to immediately get a CT scan that same day. The clinic which does them did not have an opening so I had to go to the hospital and wait until they had time to squeeze me in. I spent all afternoon sitting in a waiting room at the hospital. Finally my turn came. After a half hour wait during which time I assume the radiologist was making sure I would not explode if they sent me home, I was released.
My doctor called me from her cell phone shortly before 6 p.m. Like I said, she is a good doctor and does not let the grass grow under her feet. I had what she suspected. I have diverticulitis meaning one of the pockets which we already knew I had in my colon, is infected. Oops!
Fortunately, a regimen of antibiotics and a few days of a liquid diet will set things right. I am already feeling much better today.
When it comes to the spiritual man, there are times when we are plagued by hidden problems. On the "outside" we appear to be fine but we have this sense that all is not well. Something is just not quite right. Hmm...
While we or even others may speculate about the source of our problem, in reality, what we see may only be a secondary problem. We must go to "The Expert", the Holy Spirit who will scan our heart and mind so that we will receive the correct diagnosis as well as the treatment plan for our "condition".
We must place ourselves in his care and give our consent, just like I had to do in regards to my physical ailment. Then it is left up to me as to whether I will accept the diagnosis and follow instructions or if I will ignore them. We too must be willing to accept the diagnosis and the instructions of the Holy Spirit if we wish to remain spiritually healthy and strong. Will we do that?
The instructions are not always fun or easy. Anyone who has been on a liquid diet for a few days will tell you it is not their top choice of diets. My doctor, though she would like me to be "comfortable" knows that my health is more important than being "comfortable". If I follow her instructions, I will be more than ready to feast at the Thanksgiving table next week. If I don't... I won't get well and in fact, I could even risk the infection becoming so serious that it could threaten my life. Now... can you pass me the jello?