Sometimes a very unexpected blessing can come out of pain - if we only look for it and see it for what it is. Thank you to Besty for this reminder!
Thank God for pain. I have thanked God for many, many blessings throughout my lifetime, but never for pain. Until now.
This particular pain began in February 2000. It was sharp, constant, on my left side, and the left side of my back. Little did I know it would be the life I would know for over two years.
I went to doctors, who did many tests and never found the true problem. Then, just a few months later, that pain would be accompanied by a high fever, nausea, vomiting two to three times a week, and would last for 3 months. More tests. Again, nothing was found, so one doctor decided it was all in my head. (I have found out that some doctors like to say that to a patient when they cannot figure out what is wrong).
Eventually, after 2 rounds of antibiotics that I had to practically beg, borrow and steal from this same skeptical doctor, I had no more pain, fever or nausea. For two more months, I would remain pain, fever and nausea free. Then it returned.
By this time, however, my husband, Dale, had developed more problems with one of his two blood diseases, eventually having to have chemotherapy (I have written for 2TheHeart about Dale's story) in 2001. My concentration remained focused on my husband's health, all the while, my sharp pain, occasional fever and nausea were ever present. Despite that, for the next several months, God, Dale's doctors and I would all work together to get him successfully into remission.
Still having pain this time last year, I had made a promise to Dale once he was in remission, that I would finally go back to the doctor. This time, a new doctor, who not only believed the problems I had were real, he immediately set me up with a local gastroenterologist. A colonoscopy was done, revealing Diverticulosis (the cause of the sharp pain, nausea, fever and vomiting, as it had become infected and turned into Diverticulitis). Having the mystery of the few years of intense pain and all other symptoms cleared up was a HUGE relief. However...
I had this colonoscopy for another reason...a reason that I could not have possibly known about, nor, until the procedure was done, could the doctor have known. For there amidst the Diverticulosis, were several polyps. The doctor was very surprised to find so many of them in someone my age (I was 37 at the time of the exam last year). The doctor removed and biopsied one large polyp and burned the rest. The biopsy revealed that the polyps were PRE-CANCEROUS. A follow-up appointment with the gastroenterologist confirmed that it was quite possible that in a year...approximately now...I could have indeed had full blown colon cancer. Had I not had the pain, I would not have had the immediate need for a colonoscopy. Had I not had the colonoscopy when I did, the pre-cancer would not have been found soon enough.
God works in mysterious ways, and I truly DO thank God for pain.