The Phil Files

Musings & messages on everyday worship, Jesus, and the stuff of life.

Archive for the ‘medical’ tag

A Month

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A month.

30 days.

Sometimes a month can take forever — like when you are six and it’s Thanksgiving and you can’t wait till Christmas comes.

Sometimes a month seems like the blink of an eye — when you are a parent of a child home on a missions furlough or visiting a friend overseas on a month vacation or you are in the service home with your family for a month on leave.

For us, one month has seemed a bit of both. Donna and I are home tonight after a whirlwind visit to a medical center three hours away. A “routine” visit to a specialist. The interesting twist to all of this, however, is that there was awful weather — at least 3 tornadoes, high wends, hail, and flooding rains — between us and our destination and it all parted like the Red Sea for Moses. After all is said and done today … and after all that has gone on over the last month … all is well.

You see, starting a month ago, our family (either one of our parents, our children, or us) has experienced a knee replacement surgery, four separate sets of X-rays, an ultrasound, an MRI, two sets of blood work, a colonoscopy, ankle surgery, emergency trip to the hospital by ambulance, a heart cath, an arterial splint, and today’s trip to Lubbock.

So when I say it’s good to be home tonight … you understand.

When I say God has been good to us because all of this has turned out well … you understand.

In some ways, the last month has passed so quickly. In some ways, however, 30 days seems like forever ago when we started down this path.

But … we have never felt alone, singled out, or abandoned. And when Sunday, shortly after finishing my sermon and while we sang and our Shepherds prayed over the church, three of my elders encircled me and prayed thanksgiving and God’s grace on our family, I was reminded the blessing of faith and family and friends. Not a bad lesson to learn in a just a month.

Written by phil

April 23rd, 2008 at 9:02 pm

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Deductible

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Despite all the appearances that I have dropped off the face of blogdom, I want everyone to know that I am alive and still kickin’ — at least for one more day. However, it feels like our family was asked by the DNC to be a volunteer poster family for the Hillary and Obama nationalized health care debate — we were the test family this week to see how health insurance works. (I think this also may be payback for my mom voting republican all these years.)

This is what I mean on the health care issue. My mom had knee replacement surgery on Tuesday … but hold on, that’s just the beginning! While I was waiting with Grady (mom’s husband) at the hospital for mom to come out of recovery, Donna (my wife) was with Megan (our daughter) at the doctor having an MRI read on the ankle she broke five years ago playing softball in high school — a plate and 7 screws was required then to patch it up. Megan did not receive a great report, so she is now referred on to an orthopedist — the same one who did mom’s knee surgery. Megan has been limping around and hurting pretty badly at the end of each day working as a tech at a physical therapy center. Meanwhile, I start my “day before colonoscopy” liquid diet today to get ready for my appointment tomorrow with the dreaded “long black snake” — be warned, I get a little cranky on water and Jello diets in anticipation of drinking concentrated saline so they can look at me where the sun doesn’t shine. While I am having my “procedure” tomorrow, Donna goes for blood work. Ah, can you say “insurance deductible” four times very quickly?

Of course it’s been a crazy and nutty work week for Donna at school and church is its normal insanity for me. Hopefully we all — mom, Megan, Donna, and myself — go home at the same time, in good health,. Of course I can’t be the one driving! They promise that they will dismiss me before I’m fully returned from “lala” land. But that’s what they said last time when I woke up during the beloved “procedure” — but that is a story for another day and time.

So if you ask me how the week has been, I would say, “We’ve paid our insurance deductible and are still standing.” But then, I haven’t survived the long black snake.

Nobody told me when I was 20 that falling apart when you are over 50 is “so much fun”!? Who needs TV when you can watch pictures of … well, let’s not go there.

As I have searched for spiritual application for my “procedure,” phrases from Genesis 3 keep popping into my mind:

“I was naked and hid myself.” (Yeah, that’s what I will want to do in the morning when they take my clothes, put me in that “gown” with no back door. I will want to hide.)
To the snake God said, “Because you have done this, curse are you among all the animals … upon your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life.” (Yeah, we all pretty much want to put a curse on the snake in moments like this.)
“I will put enmity between you and the offspring of the woman .” (Yeah, I’m going to hate this whole deal!)
“By the sweat of your brow …” (Yeah, I’m going to be doing this!)

On closer inspection, the only Scripture that seems to righteously apply right now is this:

[Jesus asked] “Do you not see that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot defile, since it enters, not the heart but the stomach, and goes out into the sewer?” … And he said, “It is what comes out of a person that defiles” (Matthew 7:19-20 NRS).

Which is, I guess, the Lord’s way of reminding me to not sweat the deductible, but work on the heart of the deductee — a heart that needs to be more patient, kind, gentle, appreciative, thankful, forgiving, empathetic, holy, and joyful. Amid all the whining, I’ve got a place to sleep, a family who loves me, food to eat, a church family to support me, friends to hold me accountable, resources to help provide health care for my family, and a million other blessings I don’t have time to name … and, by the Lord’s grace, I can pay my deductible.

So Lord, I ask that you take the whiny voice out of my heart and replace it with the heart of grace that Jesus had when he compassionately touched the lives of others. And LORD God, please be with all those we know who are truly wrestling with life and death health issues today, and help them to feel your presence and know that they are not alone in their struggles. Bless, especially O LORD, those who do not have access to health care or cannot afford it, and help us find ways to change that situation in our country and in our world, to Your honor and glory. Because of Jesus’ love for us, and in the name of the Great Physician, I pray. Amen.

Written by phil

March 27th, 2008 at 7:35 am