My Great Physician

Have you ever met someone who is always saying they feel poorly? Like a little, old lady with the never ending list of complaints, only their gait is normal, they always show up to social functions, their cheeks are rosy …

Perhaps they even engage in a little one on one basketball or play an occasional, casual volleyball game.

They just don’t seem ill.

You can read a little more about my chronic illness here, and I say “little” because I have taken to simply not talking about it much. I never write about it. I verbally keep quiet because I’ve grown weary of the questioning, disbelieving looks and because what does it really matter what other people think they know about how I feel? I’ve run out of the need to explain and defend myself or make other people understand.

I am who I am

I have the illnesses I have … 

I can only eat what I can eat …

In the observer’s defense … I do look fairly well. Not ill. I’m the one with the rosy cheeks. A little on the scrawny side, yes. But I sport big hair and glowing, milky smooth facial skin (so I’ve been told) and I try to smile in spite of pain and dizziness, hunger and fatigue, nausea and malnutrition.

Smiling people are not sick people, right?

*rolls eyes

Also in the observer’s defense … they don’t feel what I feel. How can they? Some have the gift of sympathy. But nobody can truly empathize because my body is my body and only I reside there. Only I am trapped there.

So to the observer ... please never assume that someone who “sure looks good” sure feels good. If they say they feel poorly, just believe them. Maybe ask if there’s anything you can do … how you can best pray. I have never been asked this …

How can I pray for you?

It’s always just this: I’ll be praying. Period. Like the pray-ers know exactly what I need and feel. Or this: have you tried acupuncture? Or my personal fave: you’re not anorexic are you? But never this: how can I pray for you?

Doesn’t that just ring of comfort? How can I pray for you? …


And to the sickly one … please never expect anyone to understand how you really feel and that it’s not any fault of theirs if they don’t. Yes, observers often have a knack for saying dumb things. But so do I – when I spout frustrations into their healthy ears and try to explain what it’s like to eat five bites of chicken and 1/2 cup of yogurt but feel as though I’ve eaten two turkey dinners with a slice of apple and pecan pie – a la mode.

It’s just not going to happen. They cannot understand early satiation or esophageal spasms or not being able to eat another bite for twelve hours after said chicken and yogurt consumption.

You know who I’ve found to be the best listener?

Jesus.

Just … Him.

He never rejects, never scoffs, never tells me it’s all in my head. He just sympathizes with the weakness and comforts in the trial and assures me He is sufficient and tells me I’m loved with an everlasting love anyhow. Yes, this girl with the rosy cheeks and dysfunctional tummy and defective heart and brain fog that causes her to be forgetful and get lost is loved by her Creator who will one day heal her so thoroughly she’ll bow down in eternal thanksgiving.

Yeah … that Jesus. My best, most kindest Observer. …

My Comforter …

My Great Physician.

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3 Responses to “My Great Physician”

  1. Rich says:

    Thank you for these words. My wife has been suffering silently for 23+ years. One doctor at that time even said “it must be psychological!” She “looks fine.” But she is not. People don’t understand. Those closest to us (we move fairly often) begin to understand how difficult it is for her to do even simple tasks. Even using the medical term causes people to look like “what?” And so we have given up explaining, telling, describing. She hurts, and some days are unbearable.And some people, maybe most people don’t understand, and we are okay with that… finally.

    So you have written wise words, helpful words, expressing what some others have experienced. And you have done so in a loving, caring way. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

    God’s blessings in Christ.

  2. admin says:

    Yes, I think all chronically ill patients have probably heard something along the lines of “Here’s an antidepressant. You seem to be having psychological issues.”

    Please tell your wife that I will be praying for her. And that she’s not alone. :)

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