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Spiritual Warfare Forum: Your health

by Catherine Frakas 24 Sep 2002

Your health QUESTION from Kevin August 30, 2001 Hi Brother J.P.
I'm sorry that this isn't really related, but you don't have a health forum so I have to ask here. My question is about your health. From following your wonderful site, I've also seen periods when you've been ill. I've often wondered what lays you out for those long periods. Is this a permanent condition? Do you have help when your bed-ridden? I become concerned when I sense that your laying in bed in the middle of South Dakota. Are you in constant pain? Know that my prayers are with you; especially for your health.
Yours in Christ, Kevin.
ANSWER by John-Paul Ignatius, OLSM on August 31, 2001 Dear Mr. Kevin:
Thanks for your concern, prayers, and support.
You asked, so here goes...
I am permanently disabled with a number of things. According to the Veterans Administration, which is kind of funny, I have about a 140% disability when it is all counted up individually. To give you their diagnosis:
10% - Degenerative joint disease/arthritis, right knee
10% - Degenerative joint disease/arthritis, left knee
20% - lumbar spine spondylosis
30% - sleep apnea
10% - hypertension
60% - Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
The Joint and spine problems means is that I cannot walk any distance without the use of a cane, nor can I stand up for more than about two minutes without a cane because of the pain.
The Chronic Fatigue, and its some 25 symptoms, cause the most problem. This condition is like having batteries that are almost worn out and can never regain their charge. This is like having the flu 24 hours a day for the rest of your life -- brain fog, weakness, fatigue, achiness and pain all over all of the time, lack of stamina, headaches or light-headedness, cognitive problems such as grossly impaired short-term memory, dyslexia, inability or delayed ability to connect things (like what comes after c in the word cat). This is like having corroded spark plugs -- there just isn't enough spark. This is frustrating especially since I am used to a high level of intellectual acuity. (These problems also place me at higher-risk for Altzheimer Disease as well).
The severe fatigue has cost me a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The Patriarch of Constantinople was in town and visiting a friend of mine who was a Greek Orthodox Priest. I could have had a person introduction. The Greek Orthodox Church was only two blocks from where I lived. I intended to to go see the Patriarch, but I was just too tired.
When the Pope was in St. Louis, it was close enough for me to have travelled to St. Louis, but I couldn't because of this disease.
I need to go to Rome on business at the Vatican, and hopefully arrange an audience with the Pope, but that will not likely happen again because of this disease. I would get to Rome and spend the entire time in bed (that is an expensive bed), plus I would have to have a wheelchair to go anywhere. Walking across St. Peter's Square would be impossible even with a cane, and may be nearly impossible even with a wheelchair unless someone was pushing me or the chair was motorized. Being too far away from bathroom facilities is also a problem.
The heat and humidity can make symptoms 10 times worse to the point of being bedridden. It is not uncommon for me to essentially be in bed or otherwise 95% unproductive for all of August and September. (Though I am in a cooler place now, so it is not as bad normally, though the hottest temps in local history -- probably for my benefit -- occurred in July and August.)
In general my productivity can last only a couple of hours at a time. There are times when I have a burst of energy and can work eight whole hours, but I may be in bed for 14 hours as a penalty.
A rarity, I had a BIG burst of energy last Saturday - Wednesday. I got a lot done. But I woke up at 11:30 last night and realized that I was missing a day. I completely missed Thursday -- I was asleep the entire day.
There is a need for a Home Health Worker to come and clean the house once a week. It is very difficult for me to do any physical work and even getting groceries wipes me out for hours on end.
Such is the life -- essentially homebound, can only marginally provide for my own meals and housekeeping (though if this was a restaurant, I would the health inspection). I also cannot drive a car more than about 15 miles without falling asleep at the wheel.
Such is the life......what is left of it.... according to doctors, not much is left! Ah well, remember, you asked :-)
But I praise God for my illness. It is a great blessing that has saved my soul. Thus I do not ask God for healing, I only ask Him for His will, and I ask others to do the same.
It is a privilege to suffer for Him; a privilege I do not deserve.
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