I just got off the phone with my good friend Shaun, and I am relieved! Shaun and I have been friends for about 4 years now, I guess. Shaun was a youth pastor in New Mexico before moving to Arlington and he worked with me in the youth ministry here. He ended up taking over the newly-formed Jr. High ministry and ultimately taking my place as youth pastor when I transitioned to Administrative Pastor.
Over the years that Shaun and I have been friends, he has had so many heath issues to overcome I cannot keep track. It started with cancer. He went through treatment for that and all that goes with it. They had to cut out something in or near his vocal chords, so they told him he would never talk again after surgery. God had other plans for Shaun and with the help of an artificial vocal chord (not exactly, but close enough), he can still talk. Then he back problems...major back problems. During his back surgery, his doctor messed up and ended up killing a muscle in Shaun's leg. The leg swelled up and hurt him so bad he could not walk on it or even sleep. That required another surgery to take the muscle out of his leg and the doctors told him he would not be able to walk (at least not "normal"). Again, God had other plans. And then, one of the many surgeries had another complication...they nicked or cut his vegas nerve. This appears to be a MAJOR nerve that has to do with your digestive system, heart and many other major systems in your body. This left Shaun unable to keep down solid foods permanently. It has also messed with the chemical balances in his body so that he has to contend with depression and mood swings. Through all of this, Shaun has been quick to give God glory for every victory along the way and has kept a positive attitude that I do not think I could have maintained. I really admire him.
And then there was the call from the doctor this past Monday. Shaun has been feeling terrible and extremely fatigued recently. Last week he went to see his doctor because he thought he was having a heart attack. They examined him and ran some tests to determine he was not having a heart attack, but they also did some blood work. On Monday, the doctor called Shaun and said, "You test results came back not good. You need to come in and see us immediately." Shaun could not get into the doctor until 5pm Tuesday, so you can imagine the torture he, his wife and kids went through.
I wasn't able to talk to Shaun until this morning, when he told me the good news. The "bad results" had nothing to do with cancer. Because Shaun cannot eat solid food, he has developed a bad bacteria infection in his stomach. This infection could easily account for the fatigue, nausea and even symptoms of a heart attack that Shaun has been having. They have him on three antibiotics and after this is treated, he will have to be on medicine twice a day to keep this from redeveloping. I'm still praying for my friend that God would heal him of this infection and even work a miracle of total healing in his body...but I am relieved.