Later this morning I visit the Urologist. Something is very wrong with my bladder and has been steadily worsening for the past four years. The problem has kept the organ in a constant state of irritation. My appointment is meant to get to the bottom of the matter. When answers are often elusive, I pray for complete clarity. Rarely do I receive it.
I remind myself in this situation of an old man with a prostate problem. I've taken to sitting on the edges of a theater while watching a movie, so I don't have to crawl over everyone on my way to the bathroom. I sit in awkward positions so to not place too much pressure on the bladder. Specific, targeted tests will be run soon. I hope to avoid the most invasive one of all, which involves the insertion of a catheter. The very thought of that procedure makes me wince.
Time for some good news. The CPAP machine used to treat sleep apnea has really been helping. I've felt much more rested now than without it. The constant air pressure has opened up blocked nasal passages. Sleep apnea negatively affects the pituitary gland. The pituitary regulates testosterone level. With time, my body systems might reassert their natural balance and normality. I may also lose weight, which has been almost impossible when hormone levels are not as they should be.
I'd always had severe chronic health conditions before now, but 30 is when everything came to a head. As I briefly pause to reflect, several of these had their nexus years beforehand. They had been slowly building to a crescendo. When I entered my thirties, these symptoms worsened and presented themselves. I won't lie. It's been a struggle, and I've been in lots of pain. I am never well for long.
I am reminded of a story. My paternal Grandmother was very religious, being the daughter of a minister. She went from church to church, seeking a minister who might be able to heal her. While I consider faith healing to be a kind of quackery, I have trod my own path from specialist to specialist. A passage in the Gospel of Mark has always spoken to me.
One of the men in the crowd spoke up and said, "Teacher, I brought my son so you could heal him. He is possessed by an evil spirit that won't let him talk. And whenever this spirit seizes him, it throws him violently to the ground. Then he foams at the mouth and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid. So I asked your disciples to cast out the evil spirit, but they couldn't do it."
Jesus said to them, "You faithless people! How long must I be with you? How long must I put up with you? Bring the boy to me."
So they brought the boy. But when the evil spirit saw Jesus, it threw the child into a violent convulsion, and he fell to the ground, writhing and foaming at the mouth. "How long has this been happening?" Jesus asked the boy's father. He replied, "Since he was a little boy.
The spirit often throws him into the fire or into water, trying to kill him. Have mercy on us and help us, if you can." "What do you mean, 'If I can'?" Jesus asked. "Anything is possible if a person believes."
Is it selfish of me to want to be healed by a force more powerful than modern medicine? I want resolute, definitive answers. Few ever arrive. And if this cup cannot be taken from me, God, help me find a way to cope. Recently, I read that our darkest moments are meant to ensure we do not forget to put our trust in the Almighty. If this is the case, help me understand it.