Worship In the Dr.'s Office

My aunt, wife of the pyromaniac, recently posted about the latest drama she experienced in the waiting room of a doctor's office. I don't know why drama always tends to find this family, but my wife made me add to our wedding vows that I would never vacation with them - an activity that ranks on the risk scale just under skiing slopes only reachable by helicopter. If you haven't already, read Darlene's post about her visit to the doctor's office, and search for the prequel. Then sit back and be amazed, because these are not isolated experiences for them. Wherever they are, weird people seem to show up on their most outlandish behavior.

I've had my own share of doctor appointments recently. The doctors have finally diagnosed me with what's called "Ramsay Hunt Syndrome." To put it shortly, in a very few lucky people who had chickenpox as a kid, the virus hangs around and reappears in the form of shingles later in life. For a very few of those lucky people, those shingles decide to attack the inner ear rather than the outside of the body, and eventually attack one of the major nerves in your face. The result is a paralyzed half of your face accompanied by a really fun ear ache. There's really not a treatment; the doctors just hope it will go away. And it certainly will... sometime in the eternal scheme of things. But fortunately, it's not life threatening and isn't really painful - just annoying. So life is good.

You should know that I hate doctors. I'm deathly afraid of needles - deathly afraid of needles. So I dread doctors just because I know they might recommend a shot or blood work, and I wouldn't have any choice to submit to the humiliation of asking some 20 year old nurse to let me lay down on the cot while she tries to locate a vein, and then passing out two or three times throughout the process. Nurses earn their money with me.

But this whole experience has been fascinating to me. It turns out, according to the ENT, that all my problems are due to the swelling and degeneration of the 7th cranial nerve - a teeny tiny nerve that runs along my jawbone, and governs all the muscle movement in the right side of my face including eye blinks, smiles, chewing, frowning, and everything else you can think of. That one teeny tiny nerve malfunctions, and the whole face goes limp. Pretty cool huh?

One of the neurosurgeons who looked at me attached some electrodes to my face and plugged me into a wall outlet to see what would happen to my face (If nothing else, the experience served as a deterrent for my ever committing a crime that would lead me to the electric chair). By sending an electrical shock through my face, the doctor was able to gauge the exact percent my nerve was functioning. Amazing.

If the swelling of one tiny nerve can cause me to look like a wax museum statue that got placed too close to the furnace, imagine the number of things that work perfectly in harmony every single day. Our body is perfectly designed by God, fearfully and wonderfully made. How can you reach any other conclusion? The intricasies of the body combined with its delicate balance is truly an amazing thing. We can't even begin to understand it to the point that we can fix it, but God had the infinite wisdom and skill to design it, create it, and to continue to sustain it as long as I live on the earth.

Last week, I went to the doctor. I passed out twice, but I worshipped there too.

How precious to me are your designs, O God; how vast the sum of them!
Were I to count, they would outnumber the sands; to finish, I would need eternity.
(Psalm 139:17-18)


Phil Johnson said...

Chris: "One of the neurosurgeons who looked at me attached some electrodes to my face and plugged me into a wall outlet to see what would happen to my face."

Did he videotape this procedure? I'd give a lot of money to watch that.

Chris Freeland said...

How much money are we talking? I'll likely have to do the proceedure again, and Kari would likely get a thrill out of videotaping it.