I never imagined I would spend much of my birthday in the emergency ward, but that is what happened this past week.
I called my doctor's office this past Wednesday to make an appointment as I had been experiencing dizziness and numbness on my right side on New Year's Eve and Day. The nurse feared I might be having a stroke and said I should go to the ER as soon as possible.
The good news is that the MRI of my brain showed no signs of a stroke or of anything else that might be a concern. My doctor later said my MRI was as good as possibly be expected for someone my age.
On the other hand, my doctor still does not know what is causing the ongoing symptoms of dizziness and numbness/tingling on my right side though he suspects it has something to do with my spine. He has ordered another MRI and is trying to get an appointment for me with an neurologist as soon as possible.
What have I learned from all this? I am glad you asked! :)
1. The prayers of others help a great deal!
The scariest moment was when I woke up on Thursday morning and the entire right side of my face was numb. I wept some as I asked my pastor for prayer and he along with many others prayed for me. As the day progressed, I felt the Lord strengthening me and providing courage for whatever lies ahead. It certainly helps to have others praying for me.
2. Our future hope matters!
As I rested on my back in the ER waiting for more tests, my thoughts raced ahead to a better day, to a day when I would have the resurrected and imperishable body Jesus has promised to me (1 Cor. 15:51-57) and with it forever enjoy a new earth and marvelous new city, the New Jerusalem (Rev. 21-22). There is a peace that comes from knowing this life is not all there is; our hope indeed matters in times of distress and weakness.
3. Scripture is a firm foundation!
As I looked at my Bible through teary eyes on Thursday morning, Jesus' words in Matthew 24:35 came to mind, "Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away." The Lord then reminded me of the security that comes from knowing He indeed is my risen Savior and His Word is true and will never ever fail us. From Genesis 1 through Revelation 22, God's Word infuses our lives with hope regardless of what we face.
So yes, the right side of my mouth feels it was frozen at a dentist office, my right hand feels like it is asleep, and I am dizzy at times. But I know the Lord is with me and I have also felt His presence through Ruth, my wife, who has been a great comfort and joy through all that has happened. I also know a much, much better day is coming and perhaps it could start at any moment.
Please pray as I face more tests in the coming weeks. My writing may be a bit more infrequent, but I will continue to write of the hope we all share.