No Pain, No Gain
Feb 27, 2022 | by The Fellowship
Recently when I had an annual checkup, my primary care physician mentioned that all the health information online has changed the practice of medicine. People can do research on symptoms they are having and frequently figure out the problem and learn what treatment options are available. It used to be that doctors had a corner on medical knowledge, but that is not necessarily true any longer.
As I reflected on what he observed, it made me realize how very much some information gathered online has made a big difference in improving my husband’s health. We discovered that reversing a health condition often involves a lifestyle change -- which can be very challenging! But there is so much truth in: “No pain, no gain!” Many people seem to just want a prescription for a pill or two and still be able to continue with unhealthy lifestyles.
Thirteen years ago on the 4th of July, my husband got up early to mow the yard before it got too hot. After a bit, he came in complaining of chest pain. I had just gotten up, so hurriedly put on some clothes, and insisted on taking him to the hospital. (I was told at the hospital to always call the EMTs in such a situation as they can immediately begin treatment -- which could make the difference between life and death). My husband was having a heart attack and required a stent to unblock the “widow-maker” artery.
Besides taking medicines for high blood pressure and cholesterol, lifestyle changes were necessary for my husband! He took off 30 lbs. in record time. We had to practically eliminate red meat and saturated fat from our diet, decrease salt intake, walk 30 minutes nearly every day, and make sure to maintain a healthy weight. And advice online convinced us to lower carb intake and eat eight servings of vegetables and fruits every day.
That worked well for several years. But one day, when my husband lost control of his right arm for 15 or 20 minutes, a mini stroke was diagnosed, and he had to add a blood thinner. Then a couple of years ago, my husband began developing swelling (edema) in his legs and feet, lost energy, and began to do less and less as he became weaker. His cardiologist diagnosed congestive heart failure and advised us to drastically lower salt intake.
Ever since his heart attack, we have never had a saltshaker on the table. I also cut back on using salt in recipes and bought low-salt products when they were available. But now I started using a lot more fresh and frozen vegetables and only bought “no salt added” canned vegetables. I read labels on products like never before and decided to eliminate things like canned soups and sauces as well as other things which are notoriously high in sodium.
Not wanting to lose him without trying everything possible, I asked the Lord to show me what else we could do. That is when I discovered a wealth of information online. My husband was not willing to do some of the suggested things -- like sleep with his feet elevated or take Epsom salt baths! But he did start wearing compression stockings every day (though at first grumbled every morning as they are hard to put on) and soon grew to like having his feet and legs massaged every night with strokes that move the blood toward his heart.
We prayed at every meal for his condition to improve. Very gradually the swelling began to recede until eventually his feet and legs returned to normal size. His energy level and enjoyment of life are back on track!
All of the things that help him will continue to be part of our daily routine. How we thank our Lord for supplying knowledge, giving us will power to make changes, and for answering our prayers! He truly has shown the way to “life more abundantly” for body as well as spirit and soul.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him,
so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.