Thursday, December 21, 2006

A Gaudete Sunday Healing

I believe that I shall see the good things of the Lord in the land of the living.
-Psalm 26

Well, this is a surprise.

Hours after my post marking the anniversary of my ailment's birth, I seem to have been healed.

The chain of events which brought this about is remarkable to me.

My parish young adult group had organized a Eucharistic Adoration for the evening of December 10. A few minutes before beginning, I requested from the priest that I receive the anointing of the sick.

After adoration, one of my fellow group members came up to me asked if I had considered whether I had Lyme disease.

A few days later I looked up Lyme disease, rejecting it out of course. But I noticed one of Lyme's symptoms was balance problems, which had become quite a noticable factor in my life.

So I looked into balance problems, and learned that they were a symptom of ear afflictions. I played around with my ears. They would slosh when I made sudden movements, which made me realize I had made no sudden movements in ages. My motion was slow and deliberate, like a turtle's.

I also recognized gait problems. My feet were more spread out when standing, and rather than walk with one's legs straight below one's center, as everyone else does, I would walk with my feet spread out from my sides, even with the outside of my shoulders rather than the inside of my armpits. Little wonder my left shoe had begun to irritate the left side of my foot, and the outer sides of my knees had begun aching at the joints.

Most important of all, I recognized that motion of the fluid in my ear correlated with nausea, inducing vomiting when disturbed.

I talked things over with my GI specialist, and planned to schedule an appointment with an ear specialist.

Then I kept playing with my ears. On a whim Sunday evening at about ten o'clock, three years to the day after my ailment first began in full strength, I placed my left hand to my stuffed and uncomfortable ear. I forced air out from between the two body parts as if using a plunger. After two pushes I ceased and, removing my hand, for no reason in particular I snapped my fingers loudly near the ear.

What a surprise followed!

Fluid flowed out from my ear, as air flowed in. Picture a full upside-down water bottle, newly opened and emptying through a single straw. Now picture an analogical phenomenon within one's middle ear and eustachian tube. And try not to gag.

The feeling was in no way pleasant. So long had it been since that ear was empty and functioning normally, I worried my eardrum had burst. I felt like I was breathing through my ear, as fresh air hit the heated, long-submerged inner side of my eardrum. It hurt to hear all but the softest sounds.

Panicking, I urged my family to take me to the emergency room. To my relief nothing seemed damaged, even though a doctor whistling in the hall pained my ear considerably.

Follow-ups suggest that the accumulated fluid had indeed been causing vertigo and its accompanying debilitations, yet a dysfunctioning eustachian tube did not let it drain.

For three years.

God willing, I have no permanent ear damage from its long embalmment in otic serum. My balance is still rather uneven, stuck in its old habits. To this point I have been unknowingly worn out by my own balance systems, which have instructed my body to make continuous and confused corrections to a problem I didn't truly have.

The nausea has receded to undetectability, and for the first time in a long time I have confidence in my health. What I thought was adequate hearing was instead muffled and limp compared to how I hear now. A few more days or weeks of recovery and I hope to at last rejoin my rudely interrupted life.

Yesterday and today I have been digging out from a beautiful Denver blizzard. My strength and endurance is more than I can remember.

December 17 was Gaudete Sunday. Rejoicing in the Lord just got a lot easier.

The Lord has done great things for me,
Holy is His Name!


William Luse said...

I remember your writing about this some time ago (seems a year at least) and rejoice with you that it now seems to be over. Hard to believe the doctors couldn't have figured it out. Since the cure was natural, ascribing it to the miraculous seems presumptuous, and yet its following so fast upon your reception of the sacrament makes one wonder. I guess in the end it doesn't matter. You have found some measure of mercy, and any occasion on which suffering is relieved is one to give thanks to God. May He, in that mercy and in the season of His birth, bless you ever more, Kevin.

ben said...

Deo Gratias!