On September 2nd of 2011 I was admitted to the hospital for flu like symptoms. It was the Labor Day weekend I’ll never forget. The truth is, I felt worse than any flu. Inside, I thought, just maybe, I might die. I had all kinds of stuff happening to my body for which I will spare you of the gory details, but seriously and without exaggeration, I thought my life was coming to my end. Needless to say, it was a terrifying Labor Day weekend. They did blood work and ran tests and discovered that my lipase blood level was 3500 of which it should have been in the low thirties. I had no idea what lipase levels were or what that meant, but from that moment, a series of anomalies began.
First, they thought I might have been infected with West Nile virus so they quarantined me for a few days. Then, they didn’t know why my levels were so high so they put me on a diet which included no food or water–not even so much as an ice chip. This diet was supposed to be for a day or two but turned into 8 days! Then because I was hungry, in pain, and had a hacking cough and other stuff too embarrassing to mention, they gave me an IV with nothing but morphine and potassium. Now in case you’ve never experienced this, just let me tell you, potassium burns like the dickens going into your veins. And, because I couldn’t sleep, they would knock me out with something, and then because they needed blood and urine and to run CAT scans and all other kinds of stuff, they woke me up with something else.
Surely, I thought, it was my end.
It was during that time that I got to spend some “like never before” time in the hospital in prayer. Without food and water, I felt like I was getting modern day manna. After my levels finally rose and they were prepared to discharge me, they told me I had what they called “an idiopathic illness” (which means they couldn’t figure it out and it was a mystery to them,) I came home to a new life and new beginning. The one thing they did tell me, was my job in education working with some of the most challenging youth at an inner city school could be the culprit. In retrospect, it amazes me that I didn’t see that.
It was from that experience that I was finally able to quit, surrender, and be healed from my cigarette addiction that began before I was even a teenager. What started as a thing teenagers do to be “cool” turned into a 30-year run with me stopping and starting smoking several times. It finally came to an end on that 8-day quarantine. The day was 9/1/11.
Plus, a year prior, I had also been diagnosed with hypertension, something I never had before, but from that experience, I got a new lease on life and from then until now, I still have normal blood pressure without the use of any medication.
I am not advocating that you do not follow your doctor’s orders, but I AM suggesting that you get to know the Real Doctor who can heal all diseases, wipe away all habits, give you peace in the midst of the storm, and feed you with the bread of life when others can or will not. The Lord Jehovah is real, alive, and present, and I encourage you to get to know Him. God, through His Son Jesus, gave us the ultimate labor of love by shedding His blood on the cross for our sins. Now, as I look back over my life these five years since diagnosed with my idiopathic illness, I can remember the Labor Day weekend I almost died, which actually has become, the Labor Day I got a new lease on life and an understanding of real love.
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