iab-728x90

The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

iab-728x90

'I'll never be well again'

Chronic illness doesn't kill the body, but it plays havoc with the soul

It's difficult to remember what life was like before I was sick. I recall that once I had enormous energy and was hardly ever ill.

My personal and professional life was satisfying and full of hope.

But 23 years ago everything changed. After a wonderful evening with my wife, I woke in the middle of the night with excruciating abdominal pain. We rushed to the hospital where tests and examinations revealed an acute small bowel blockage. A tube was inserted through my nose into my stomach--an inhumane procedure. But this gave no relief. Surgery was completed early that morning.

I was told I had Crohn's disease. I felt relieved, at least there was no cancer, no terminal disease. "Just a chronic illness," my surgeon said.

Now--after three more major surgeries and a dozen or so hospitalizations--I know what that means. My daily ritual involves multiple medications. Each new flare-up is unpredictable. I no longer trust my body. It operates on its agenda quite apart from my wishes.


The rest of this article is only available to subscribers.

text size:

this page: email | print

iab-728x90
August issue

AUGUST issue:

Advice for evangelism

More...