I have learned in my walk with Christ that the Christian life is not pain-free.  There will be obstacles, pain, loss, and suffering.  Sometimes it is suffering for righteousness’ sake, (Matthew 5:10).  Other times it could be part of just living in a broken, decaying world.  Other times for followers of Christ it could be an attack of our ancient enemy, Satan who “prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour,” (1 Peter 5:8, ESV).  My main point is this… God never promises us, on this earth, to be healthy & wealthy.  He does promise suffering, hardship and trials however.

The Vander Hart clan had a doozy of a day (I had better be careful since it isn’t over yet as I write this).  I don’t know how to qualify this.  I can say we are not suffering persecution, but I don’t know if what we face today is natural or supernatural.  It doesn’t really matter though because our response will be the same.

It started last night when Cheryl suddenly fell ill.  She felt dizzy and nauseous.  It was so bad that she couldn’t walk, so her supervisor drove her home.  When she got home she threw up which is something she never does.  We prayed and sent out a prayer update to some friends on Facebook, and she later that night started to feel better.  Enough so that I felt comfortable leaving to go to my Bible study at the Polk County Juvenile Detention Center.  Later than night after I got back she still didn’t feel quite herself.

In the morning we had an answer to prayer, she was able to get an appointment today with her ENT (Ear, Nose, Throat) doctor.  He goes to our church and he did sinus surgery on Cheryl a couple of years ago.  Great guy… Dr. Marshall Grieman – if you ever need an ENT and you live in the Des Moines area.  Anyway they had a cancellation so they were able to squeeze her in.  We were thankful that she didn’t have to wait.

Cheryl felt well enough today that she ran some errands with the kids.  She calls me around lunch time to say – “the door fell off the van.”  After repeating that since I didn’t think I heard her correctly.  I left to go meet them at Burger King where they had stopped to get some lunch.

Just some background, the van is a 2000 Ford Windstar.  Do you know what FORD stands for?

Fix

Or

Repair

Daily

But I digress.  Anyway, I have images of getting there and finding the side door lying in the parking lot.  Fortunately one cable was keeping it from falling.  After determining that the van was likely not safe to drive even the 3-4 miles to our mechanic we called a tow truck.  You know I’m beginning to realize after this year that our decision to spend a little extra on towing insurance was well worth it.

I got a call from my mechanic later, they got the door back on, but we can’t use it anymore.  The track is too worn, and it can’t be fixed.  Nice.  At least we have two side doors – oh wait!  The other door won’t open… so now we have to get that fixed.

Back to my wife, she was feeling dizzy again and car rides were making her nauseous so I drove her to her doctor’s appointment.  We thought perhaps she had an ear infection or possibly some fluid behind her ear drum.  It turns out that she has Meniere’s Disease.

Meniere’s Disease (MD or endolymphatic hydrops) is a disorder of the inner ear associated with a change in the volume of fluid inside a portion of the inner ear called the labyrinth, which includes the membranous labyrinth and the bony labryinth.

When the head moves, endolymph fluid in the membranous labyrinth shifts, telling nerve receptors to signal the brain about the body’s motion. If the amount of endolymph increases, doctors believe, the membranous labyrinth can balloon or dilate. If it then ruptures, endolymph fluid can mix with perilymph fluid in the bony labyrinth, causing Meniere’s symptoms. The underlying cause of Meniere’s is still unknown, though many hypotheses have been advanced.

Symptoms include dizziness, nausea, vomiting, unsteadiness, a sense of fullness in the ear, ringing in the ear (tinnitus), headache, abdominal discomfort and hearing loss, which can increase if the disease progresses. These symptoms occur in three stages of severity, as the disease advances, and can happen with varying frequency, duration and intensity. Usually, attacks are sudden and may last several hours. The very first episode may last longer than 24 hours, but subsequent episodes do not. While children can get MD, it most commonly affects men and women between 20 and 50.

Basically there is no cure.  There is treatment for it though:

Treatment focuses on managing vertigo, reducing the frequency of Meniere’s attacks and, primarily, preserving hearing. Eliminating alcohol, coffee and salt may help make attacks less frequent and eliminating tobacco and stress may make them less severe. Medication can reduce symptoms, and several surgical options are also available.

But really they don’t know why it happens.  Dr. Grieman ended up giving her a prescription that will basically knock her out if it gets really bad.  He said it usually takes a week to feel 100%, and it comes on without warning – which makes us concerned about driving, etc.

This may not seem like it is bad to you, but this is on top of Cheryl having palindromic rheumatism, hypothyroidism, and other illnesses.  We like to kid and say, “Doctors love her because she is like seven patients in one.”

So in life we get curveballs thrown at us.  How are we handling this?  Prayer.  What else can we do?  Nothing.  We can rely upon Jesus who is in control of this situation.  We’ll lean on Him and remember that this earth, and its trials, are nothing but a blip in light of eternity.  Also we will remember that Jesus can use these curveballs in our life to develop us to be more and more like Him.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.  In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and hono
r at the revelation of Jesus Christ.  Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, (1 Peter 1:3-8, ESV).

We would certainly appreciate any prayer on our behalf.  Thanks!

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44 comments
  1. About 15 years ago I woke up in a Hospital Bed . My memory was full of blanks. I couldn’t walk. When I moved my head my vision blurred. I was in general frightened to death. I was told that I’d been hit by a car, and fractured my skull, broken multiples bones, torn ligaments, and had serious facial cuts needing over 200 stitches. I was in a rehab hospital in Chicago, and this is pretty much the condition I would be in for the rest of my life.

  2. About 15 years ago I woke up in a Hospital Bed . My memory was full of blanks. I couldn’t walk. When I moved my head my vision blurred. I was in general frightened to death. I was told that I’d been hit by a car, and fractured my skull, broken multiples bones, torn ligaments, and had serious facial cuts needing over 200 stitches. I was in a rehab hospital in Chicago, and this is pretty much the condition I would be in for the rest of my life.

  3. About 15 years ago I woke up in a Hospital Bed . My memory was full of blanks. I couldn’t walk. When I moved my head my vision blurred. I was in general frightened to death. I was told that I’d been hit by a car, and fractured my skull, broken multiples bones, torn ligaments, and had serious facial cuts needing over 200 stitches. I was in a rehab hospital in Chicago, and this is pretty much the condition I would be in for the rest of my life.

  4. About 15 years ago I woke up in a Hospital Bed . My memory was full of blanks. I couldn’t walk. When I moved my head my vision blurred. I was in general frightened to death. I was told that I’d been hit by a car, and fractured my skull, broken multiples bones, torn ligaments, and had serious facial cuts needing over 200 stitches. I was in a rehab hospital in Chicago, and this is pretty much the condition I would be in for the rest of my life.

  5. I was angry at God. All of my adult life I have prayed to God to protect me from evil of all kinds. I prayed basically shaking my fist at God and railing at him saying “How could You let this happen to me?”. In the midst of my anger and railing, God spoke to me. I heard the words spoken to me in my mind just as if someone had said them to me. He said, “I saved you.”. I knew in that instant how very true that was. I knew that my mind could have been destroyed, and that I could have been dead or laying in a coma for the rest of my natural life, but for the intervention of God against the evil of that horrible accident. I decided right then and there to work my hardest to make myself as well as possible because God wasn’t done with me yet. There was still work for me to do, and God would be there to help me every step of the way. I learned to walk again. Wonderful, skilled surgeons just seemed to be there when I needed them. My leg, and my eye were fixed, my memory came flooding back with just the tiniest jog from my husband, and I was able to conquer my fears, and begin to live again. Now I take every opportunity that appears in front of me to help others. I choose to be happy, yes, it’s a choice we make! My life is pretty much back to normal, and full of giving to others thanks to God’s saving me. Always remember that God won’t let us carry more than we can bear. He is always there for us, and he does answer prayer. I’m living proof of that. Don’t complain about where you’re at or look back, but move ahead with your eyes on God! Whenever I think I’m bad off, I can always find somebody in a worse situation than I am. Even if I’m being stupid, stubborn, or lazy, God will still not forsake me, and he won’t forsake you either. Let God lead you. He knows the way.

  6. I was angry at God. All of my adult life I have prayed to God to protect me from evil of all kinds. I prayed basically shaking my fist at God and railing at him saying “How could You let this happen to me?”. In the midst of my anger and railing, God spoke to me. I heard the words spoken to me in my mind just as if someone had said them to me. He said, “I saved you.”. I knew in that instant how very true that was. I knew that my mind could have been destroyed, and that I could have been dead or laying in a coma for the rest of my natural life, but for the intervention of God against the evil of that horrible accident. I decided right then and there to work my hardest to make myself as well as possible because God wasn’t done with me yet. There was still work for me to do, and God would be there to help me every step of the way. I learned to walk again. Wonderful, skilled surgeons just seemed to be there when I needed them. My leg, and my eye were fixed, my memory came flooding back with just the tiniest jog from my husband, and I was able to conquer my fears, and begin to live again. Now I take every opportunity that appears in front of me to help others. I choose to be happy, yes, it’s a choice we make! My life is pretty much back to normal, and full of giving to others thanks to God’s saving me. Always remember that God won’t let us carry more than we can bear. He is always there for us, and he does answer prayer. I’m living proof of that. Don’t complain about where you’re at or look back, but move ahead with your eyes on God! Whenever I think I’m bad off, I can always find somebody in a worse situation than I am. Even if I’m being stupid, stubborn, or lazy, God will still not forsake me, and he won’t forsake you either. Let God lead you. He knows the way.

  7. I was angry at God. All of my adult life I have prayed to God to protect me from evil of all kinds. I prayed basically shaking my fist at God and railing at him saying “How could You let this happen to me?”. In the midst of my anger and railing, God spoke to me. I heard the words spoken to me in my mind just as if someone had said them to me. He said, “I saved you.”. I knew in that instant how very true that was. I knew that my mind could have been destroyed, and that I could have been dead or laying in a coma for the rest of my natural life, but for the intervention of God against the evil of that horrible accident. I decided right then and there to work my hardest to make myself as well as possible because God wasn’t done with me yet. There was still work for me to do, and God would be there to help me every step of the way. I learned to walk again. Wonderful, skilled surgeons just seemed to be there when I needed them. My leg, and my eye were fixed, my memory came flooding back with just the tiniest jog from my husband, and I was able to conquer my fears, and begin to live again. Now I take every opportunity that appears in front of me to help others. I choose to be happy, yes, it’s a choice we make! My life is pretty much back to normal, and full of giving to others thanks to God’s saving me. Always remember that God won’t let us carry more than we can bear. He is always there for us, and he does answer prayer. I’m living proof of that. Don’t complain about where you’re at or look back, but move ahead with your eyes on God! Whenever I think I’m bad off, I can always find somebody in a worse situation than I am. Even if I’m being stupid, stubborn, or lazy, God will still not forsake me, and he won’t forsake you either. Let God lead you. He knows the way.

  8. I was angry at God. All of my adult life I have prayed to God to protect me from evil of all kinds. I prayed basically shaking my fist at God and railing at him saying “How could You let this happen to me?”. In the midst of my anger and railing, God spoke to me. I heard the words spoken to me in my mind just as if someone had said them to me. He said, “I saved you.”. I knew in that instant how very true that was. I knew that my mind could have been destroyed, and that I could have been dead or laying in a coma for the rest of my natural life, but for the intervention of God against the evil of that horrible accident. I decided right then and there to work my hardest to make myself as well as possible because God wasn’t done with me yet. There was still work for me to do, and God would be there to help me every step of the way. I learned to walk again. Wonderful, skilled surgeons just seemed to be there when I needed them. My leg, and my eye were fixed, my memory came flooding back with just the tiniest jog from my husband, and I was able to conquer my fears, and begin to live again. Now I take every opportunity that appears in front of me to help others. I choose to be happy, yes, it’s a choice we make! My life is pretty much back to normal, and full of giving to others thanks to God’s saving me. Always remember that God won’t let us carry more than we can bear. He is always there for us, and he does answer prayer. I’m living proof of that. Don’t complain about where you’re at or look back, but move ahead with your eyes on God! Whenever I think I’m bad off, I can always find somebody in a worse situation than I am. Even if I’m being stupid, stubborn, or lazy, God will still not forsake me, and he won’t forsake you either. Let God lead you. He knows the way.

  9. “FORD” also stands backwards for “driver returns on foot.”

    this doctor recommends no more fords.

    but also, i’ll pray for cheryl as i think of her. funny thing, however, dr. sanjay gupta on cnn did a thing just this morning on the inner-ear, balance, and how the fluids in your ears affect everything. how pilots of fighter jets have to do certain things while flying at 800mph to avoid getting dizzy and falling unconscious. he explained stuff from both extremes.

    weird.

  10. “FORD” also stands backwards for “driver returns on foot.”

    this doctor recommends no more fords.

    but also, i’ll pray for cheryl as i think of her. funny thing, however, dr. sanjay gupta on cnn did a thing just this morning on the inner-ear, balance, and how the fluids in your ears affect everything. how pilots of fighter jets have to do certain things while flying at 800mph to avoid getting dizzy and falling unconscious. he explained stuff from both extremes.

    weird.

  11. “FORD” also stands backwards for “driver returns on foot.”

    this doctor recommends no more fords.

    but also, i’ll pray for cheryl as i think of her. funny thing, however, dr. sanjay gupta on cnn did a thing just this morning on the inner-ear, balance, and how the fluids in your ears affect everything. how pilots of fighter jets have to do certain things while flying at 800mph to avoid getting dizzy and falling unconscious. he explained stuff from both extremes.

    weird.

  12. “FORD” also stands backwards for “driver returns on foot.”

    this doctor recommends no more fords.

    but also, i’ll pray for cheryl as i think of her. funny thing, however, dr. sanjay gupta on cnn did a thing just this morning on the inner-ear, balance, and how the fluids in your ears affect everything. how pilots of fighter jets have to do certain things while flying at 800mph to avoid getting dizzy and falling unconscious. he explained stuff from both extremes.

    weird.

  13. Praying is not the only thing you can do when illness occurs. God works wonders, but you can’t expect him to work alone. Healing is a joint effort. You have to find a good doctor, not a mediocre doctor, but a GOOD doctor. God puts them in front of you. You just have to look. Then you have to do everything in your power to follow the regimen for diet, medication, and lifestyle the doctor reccomends. It sounds like it’s time to get on a healthy diet, exercise daily to relieve stress, and simplify your lifestyle. Take a daily walk or bike ride in the park. Put a chaise on the deck, and spend some time there every day doing breathing exercises to relieve stress. Go to a health club for half an hour and walk on a treadmill or do some other exercise. Let the kids exercise too. You’ll all be better off. Get plenty of rest, and that means regular bed time hours with no more burning the midnight oil. Practice saying No to some of the stress makers in your life.

  14. Praying is not the only thing you can do when illness occurs. God works wonders, but you can’t expect him to work alone. Healing is a joint effort. You have to find a good doctor, not a mediocre doctor, but a GOOD doctor. God puts them in front of you. You just have to look. Then you have to do everything in your power to follow the regimen for diet, medication, and lifestyle the doctor reccomends. It sounds like it’s time to get on a healthy diet, exercise daily to relieve stress, and simplify your lifestyle. Take a daily walk or bike ride in the park. Put a chaise on the deck, and spend some time there every day doing breathing exercises to relieve stress. Go to a health club for half an hour and walk on a treadmill or do some other exercise. Let the kids exercise too. You’ll all be better off. Get plenty of rest, and that means regular bed time hours with no more burning the midnight oil. Practice saying No to some of the stress makers in your life.

  15. Praying is not the only thing you can do when illness occurs. God works wonders, but you can’t expect him to work alone. Healing is a joint effort. You have to find a good doctor, not a mediocre doctor, but a GOOD doctor. God puts them in front of you. You just have to look. Then you have to do everything in your power to follow the regimen for diet, medication, and lifestyle the doctor reccomends. It sounds like it’s time to get on a healthy diet, exercise daily to relieve stress, and simplify your lifestyle. Take a daily walk or bike ride in the park. Put a chaise on the deck, and spend some time there every day doing breathing exercises to relieve stress. Go to a health club for half an hour and walk on a treadmill or do some other exercise. Let the kids exercise too. You’ll all be better off. Get plenty of rest, and that means regular bed time hours with no more burning the midnight oil. Practice saying No to some of the stress makers in your life.

  16. Praying is not the only thing you can do when illness occurs. God works wonders, but you can’t expect him to work alone. Healing is a joint effort. You have to find a good doctor, not a mediocre doctor, but a GOOD doctor. God puts them in front of you. You just have to look. Then you have to do everything in your power to follow the regimen for diet, medication, and lifestyle the doctor reccomends. It sounds like it’s time to get on a healthy diet, exercise daily to relieve stress, and simplify your lifestyle. Take a daily walk or bike ride in the park. Put a chaise on the deck, and spend some time there every day doing breathing exercises to relieve stress. Go to a health club for half an hour and walk on a treadmill or do some other exercise. Let the kids exercise too. You’ll all be better off. Get plenty of rest, and that means regular bed time hours with no more burning the midnight oil. Practice saying No to some of the stress makers in your life.

  17. Shane, I am so sorry to hear about Cheryl’s diagnoses. I wish I had some encouraging words but Mienere’s seems to be one of those really elusive diseases that comes and goes and causes lots of havoc. I do know that it usually gives a bit of a warning so it she’s driving she will be able to pull over before its too severe.

    I will be praying.

  18. Shane, I am so sorry to hear about Cheryl’s diagnoses. I wish I had some encouraging words but Mienere’s seems to be one of those really elusive diseases that comes and goes and causes lots of havoc. I do know that it usually gives a bit of a warning so it she’s driving she will be able to pull over before its too severe.

    I will be praying.

  19. Shane, I am so sorry to hear about Cheryl’s diagnoses. I wish I had some encouraging words but Mienere’s seems to be one of those really elusive diseases that comes and goes and causes lots of havoc. I do know that it usually gives a bit of a warning so it she’s driving she will be able to pull over before its too severe.

    I will be praying.

  20. Shane, I am so sorry to hear about Cheryl’s diagnoses. I wish I had some encouraging words but Mienere’s seems to be one of those really elusive diseases that comes and goes and causes lots of havoc. I do know that it usually gives a bit of a warning so it she’s driving she will be able to pull over before its too severe.

    I will be praying.

  21. FORD= Found On Road Dead

    IF no one said that one yet! I can say it becuz my daddy worked for GM for 30 years!

  22. FORD= Found On Road Dead

    IF no one said that one yet! I can say it becuz my daddy worked for GM for 30 years!

  23. FORD= Found On Road Dead

    IF no one said that one yet! I can say it becuz my daddy worked for GM for 30 years!

  24. FORD= Found On Road Dead

    IF no one said that one yet! I can say it becuz my daddy worked for GM for 30 years!

  25. Jill, ahem, thanks for the motherly advice (she’s my mother-in-law).

    Becky!!!!!! thanks for the comment and your prayer!

    Stephanie, Barbara, & Sweetiegirlz thanks for your prayers as well!

  26. Jill, ahem, thanks for the motherly advice (she’s my mother-in-law).

    Becky!!!!!! thanks for the comment and your prayer!

    Stephanie, Barbara, & Sweetiegirlz thanks for your prayers as well!

  27. Jill, ahem, thanks for the motherly advice (she’s my mother-in-law).

    Becky!!!!!! thanks for the comment and your prayer!

    Stephanie, Barbara, & Sweetiegirlz thanks for your prayers as well!

  28. Jill, ahem, thanks for the motherly advice (she’s my mother-in-law).

    Becky!!!!!! thanks for the comment and your prayer!

    Stephanie, Barbara, & Sweetiegirlz thanks for your prayers as well!

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