Monthly Archives: December 2013

Give the chronically ill your compassion

The reason I am posting this blog about health care is that there is a growing injustice concerning health care of the chronically ill and with those who have rare medical conditions. I am calling upon my government in Ontario to do something about this issue as I outline in this piece. NO ONE should EVER have to go into debt to pay for their health care. It will take the efforts of community and government working together to solve this problem.

My dear friends: Could you please continue to pray as you have been doing so faithfully. My respiratory bug is not turning a corner. I have now been fighting it for four months. I know God is with me, but it would help to know you as fellow brothers and sisters in Christ are standing with my wife, Karen, and I through this difficult time. She has been sicker longer this year with a sinus infection than in all the time I’ve known her.

God has a wonderful plan for us as He has for all of you. Oh, I pray with every fabric of my being that you would know without any doubt that God has a plan for you! Your Father loves you with an everlasting love. You are the apple of His eye. That means He thinks you’re really quite special. He made you. Even if you can’t walk or think as quickly as others, your Lord designed you in a unique way to prepare you for a Kingdom task your Lord is assigning to you, because you possess the unique qualifications for it.

You see, through the doing of God’s work and being faithful to that call, He is training you to walk in His way.

The Lord called upon me to share the video above on forgiveness with a prayer. The call of your Lord to forgive those who have hurt you is one of the toughest things God requires us to do. Yet, to have the full and victorious life in Christ we must make that journey. 

I took that voyage with my father for abusing me. I know all too well that unforgiveness is as lethal to the soul as the bite of a rattle snake. It sucks the life out of you. Its bitter poison courses through your mind, body and soul. 

Don’t hold on to that smouldering rage for the many years I did. It nearly destroyed me. It affected many of my relationships as hate would not let love in. 

Let the anger go. Let it go. It will only kill you inside bit by bit and drop by drop until there is no life, no health left in you. 

Lay all of your anger at the Cross. Lay it at the Cross. Lay it at the Cross.

I offer this prayer from my heart.

Almighty God, my heart is lifted to Your holy throne of grace for those with rare illnesses and the chronically ill. We ask only for the outstretched hands of compassion and understanding. Too many of us are judged by some medical people and even some members in our own congregation because they deem us to be malingerers. Surely, we aren’t as sick as we profess to be. Sadly, I have met specialists and doctors, who are myopic in their thinking. That which they cannot see in lab results ergo must not exist. But, Lord, they know in their heart of hearts the illnesses do exist.

They are not a figment of our imagination.  We’re not seeking to be special. Oh, God, we would give anything to be ordinary. I don’t want to be Mr. Rare and yet that is my journey. Give me the grace to accept that reality.

Lord, the chronically ill and those of us with rare conditions ask that if it not be Your holy will that we be healed, then give us the health and occupational supports, so we can live the best quality of life possible.

Father, there needs to be a far greater acceptance of the value of naturopathic medicine. More allopathic doctors need to recognize and accept its value in a person’s journey to wellness. Naturopathic doctors in North America have to take a minimum of seven years of training, and many take more than that. They usually have an undergraduate degree in the sciences and then four years of training in many of the subjects studied by allopathic doctors.

There needs to be more acceptance in the medical community that allopathic and naturopathic medicine can yield a much improved quality of life even for those with chronic and rare life-threatening illnesses.

Father, You know the great difference naturopathic medicine has made for my health. I have improved energy and focus. My writing for You has improved markedly because of the improved quality of life naturopathic medicine has provided me.

Lord, hear the cries of the chronically ill as they come seeking You in their hour of need. Calm their fear. Give them the best quality of life possible. Protect them from those who judge them because they are sick. Two pastors in Korea while I was serving as a teaching missionary said I wasn’t saved because I wasn’t recovering from being sick.  I became ill from what was likely from the pastor of the school I was teaching ESL in taking the treated water and replacing it with local tap water to save money. Many teachers became ill.  I had a severe attack of acute gastroenteritis, which causes inflammation of the stomach lining, vomiting and even dehydration.

Father, if I was given the opportunity I could lecture at  medical schools about the importance of being a coach with a person with chronic illness. Lord, You know because of my own diagnosis of pernicious anemia, which is a result of difficulty absorbing vitamin B12 in the food we eat, other people at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine were recognized as having B12 deficiency early in progression. Lord, if it be Your will, please open a door for me to do lectures at medical schools. Perhaps, these bright medical students would come up with a treatment program in concert with naturopathic medicine.

Lord, we need our government to understand all we are asking for is what is the right of any human-being to live as healthy a life as possible. We need out-of-the-box thinking that will not deem us unable to work. Give us the coverage we need for our medical costs. Too many are drowning in debt over paying for health care. People are losing their homes and all of their life savings.

Father, in Toronto we were paying as much as $1,500 a month for my medical care  that the McGuinty government in Ontario refused to cover. We got in debt. Lord, this just is not acceptable. There needs to be legislation developed that gives Directors and caseworkers in social services more discretion in the allocation of funds to those who need it for their medical care. No one should ever have to go into debt for their health care. It’s wrong and as I write these words there is a call of my Father for politicians and community to work together, so that NO ONE will EVER have to go in debt to pay for their health care.

Father, I have felt the sting of the words of a nurse in a church I attended. She looks at me with anger and disgust saying, “When are you going to get out of that wheelchair?” The pain of those judgemental words challenged me to write the article Blessings of My Wheelchair. Lord, where was her love that day? Where was her compassion? Where was her prayerful support?

Lord, as I was in the ambulance over a week ago experiencing hypothermia as a result of this respiratory bug and sinus infection that has gone on four months, You called me to forgive all people who misjudged the severity of my health conditions. I confess I am still having times when I get angry. Even last night I said to my wife, Karen, “If the medical people  had listened to us when we told them the importance of treating my sinus infection early, I would not be suffering to this extent now. I will write a letter to the doctor in charge of the medical centre in the new year saying how poorly I have been cared for.”

Yet, living in anger and unforgiveness is where the Enemy wants us. He laughs and has his sweet victory over us when anger turns to bitterness. That seething rage spills over into all of our relationships.

I believe when the paramedics supervisor showed up for the first time in all the times I have needed their help, it was my Lord saying enough is enough. The paramedics have become increasingly frustrated with some nurses and doctors here not listening to how I improve when they give me oxygen.

I have what doctors think is a very rare auto immune condition called systemic mastocytosis. The simple explanation is that I have way too many mast cells, which are the cells that form part of your immune system and are in your tissues. When I get a mast cell attack more and more mast cells form. Think of the condition as party crashers at a neighbourhood block party. When there is a mast cell attack the mast cell party crashers bring more and more unsavoury characters to the neighbourhood block party. It takes the mast cell police to use mast cell stabilizers and breathing medications to break up the neighbourhood block party when it gets out of control.

I have been intubated eight times for anaphylactic reactions. For those who don’t know what this means intubation occurs when a person is put to sleep and a breathing tube is put down their throat. The tube is connected with a ventilator that breathes for the person.

Karen has been by my bedside so many times, often laying her weary head at the foot of my bed as she sits in a hard ER chair. One time it takes the I.C.U. team at Toronto General Hospital three days to wake me up because of likely being given too much propophol, which is known as the Michael Jackson drug.

There is another time a clinical education nurse at North York General Hospital in Toronto cries before Karen just before I am to be intubated after exposure to paint fumes. Tears flow as she offers Karen a cup of hot coffee saying, “Karen, I apologize for all the doctors and medical people who misjudged the seriousness of Kevin’s conditions. I have nothing to offer you but this cup of coffee.” She offers Karen the coffee with two hands. Karen is too overcome with sorrow and fear to speak. She accepts the agape gift with both hands. I am in the hospital for three weeks recovering.

Lord, I am doing much better now because of the naturopathic care You are providing. I want what all people with chronic and rare conditions want–to be treated with professionalism and dignity. We want what you who are healthy want — a good job and a quality education.

I maintain with proper medical, educational and occupational supports many of us could work. We could become taxpayers. We ask for your prayers and your understanding.

Lord, hear our prayers as we call out to You. Hear us, oh God. Hear us in the hour of our great need.