One More Day

I finally started my new medication to treat my ankylosing spondylitis.  I had my first Remicade infusion Monday.  Now I guess it’s time to wait and see.  The nurse told me that it could take up to six weeks before I feel any effects.  Six weeks is a long time.  I hope I get relief sooner than that.

I’ve been going to physical therapy for a few months to improve mobility as well.  There is nothing better that the fuzzy sensation from the electrical stimulation machine.  It helps alleviate pain so well that I was prescribed my own TENS unit.  I finally got it yesterday.  I went to bed with it on my lower back and kept it on while I worked today.  I took it off a couple of hours ago and the pain has increased in intensity and determination.  Pain seems to be intentional in gaining your attention.  The object isn’t finding a cure.  The object is to make it one more day.

One more day.  I’ve dealt with five and a half years of one more days.  Swapping medications and waiting for the new one to establish authority over my illness makes those days longer.  Those days are harder.

I want to just vegetate on the couch like I used to when dealing with these flare ups.  I’m working again, so I have to suck it up.  I have other responsibilities.  “Suck it up, Princess,” is something I occasionally hear.  Sometimes I hear it from myself.  

I’m not trying to turn this into a whine fest.  This time yesterday I was telling myself, “One more day.”  I’m saying it now and I will likely be repeating it tomorrow.  I’m confident the medication will help.  If not, I can go back to Humira and those dreadful injections.  At least they are somewhat effective.  I’m hoping for even greater relief on this new medication adventure.  (I would say drug adventure, but that sounds more like an excursion with the late Hunter S. Thompson).

Just one more day.

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Can You Really Separate the Two?

It seems like everyone is crying about it these days.  Especially the atheists.  Some people bang it like a cheap drum.  It’s the tired battle cry of separation of church and state.

The original intent was to keep the state out of the church.  The individual should be able to believe and worship as he sees fit without government intrusion.  Unless, of course, you want to slaughter babies.  Baby slaughter is unacceptable in all circumstances unless the baby is preborn.  I only wish that was a bad joke, but abortion is big business.

The First Amendment is also supposed to be a safeguard against state-sponsored religion.  The mere thought of that makes me shudder.  As a Christian, I believe that Christian values are beneficial to society, but we have seen time and again that the government can wreck even the best of intentions.  The government has a knack of turning A T-bone steak into a crap sandwich.  This protection should include worldviews.  This atheistic “freedom from religion” movement has reached a fervor that rivals the intensity seen in many religious circles.  This is where I take issue because I believe this rabid secularization violates the original intent of the First Amendment.  I would be less inclined to take exception if this anti-religion witch hunt didn’t appear to single out Christianity.  

For example, Christians are being targeted for their views on abortion and homosexuality.  Muslims certainly hold unpopular views regarding homosexuality as the Koran calls for their execution, but Christians are challenged if we make a stand that opposes sin.  It’s not that we arbitrarily decide what is sinful and what is not, God has determined that.  We are exercising our faith when we are being obedient to what God tells us in the Bible.  We are considered intolerant if we uphold God’s word.  The godless insist that we essentially renounce our faith if someone gets their feelings hurt.  The Christian mustn’t be compelled to violate his conscience which is a sin for both parties involved.  

These protests are more insidious than merely overlooking sin.  The hidden reason is to seek approval.  Affirmation of sinful behavior is what is desirous as if this was a matter to be resolved in the court of opinion, not in God’s holy court.  Christians must remember Romans 1:32 lest we be inticed to ignore our conscience.  Paul states, “Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.”  Christian, do you think it is harmless to leave others to their own devices as long as they are pursuing “happiness?”  Think again.

This atheist goal is less about keeping Christianity out of government than it is about separating the Christian from God.  If it was merely to have freedom from religion, then one could come to the conclusion that these opponents to religion would be equal opportunity offenders.  Instead, the main thrust seems to be against Christianity.  If the atheist truly believes that God is some contrivance, why does he expend so much energy to dismiss him?  We can agree that Santa Claus is a fictitious guy, but where are the Santa protesters the day after Thanksgiving at the mall?  Perhaps they are standing in line to tell Santa if they’ve been naughty.  

Mall Santa lives on because he really is a fake, but the atheist doesn’t simply oppose a make-believe Jesus.  The atheist attacks him with such veracity that Psalm 14:1 gains credibility.  The Psalmist writes, “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.'”  After all, only a fool is foolish enough to entertain such a thought.

Here’s To Mobility

It has been a couple of months since I have had a full-on flare up.  Maybe even three or four months.  I gave up counting time from the last flare up.  I just try to enjoy my newfound mobility.

I’ve been on Humira for some time now.  It is certainly no panacea, but it definitely helps.  I’m actually surprised that I have been back to work for two months now.  It can be physically demanding, and when I get home from work, I crash on the couch the rest of the day, but I’m able to do it again the next day.  It is gratifying as I haven’t worked much over the past four years.

I’m switching to Remicade to see if it does better as I still have nagging pain in various parts of my body.  My left SI joint has been aggravated pretty much since I went back to work.  I have yet to undergo my first infusion, but I hope for some improvement.  I can always go back to Humira if it doesn’t work.

I’ve also lost fifteen pounds over the past couple of months.  That makes thirty pounds over the past year or so. I’m hovering around 195, but am working to get down to 180.  Less weight = less stress on my joints.  That, and I’m looking svelte.  At least that’s what I keep telling myself.

Quagmire of Hypocrisy

It’s a good thing that I don’t have any original ideas and I crank out mindless drek, because I never considered how much working again was going to interfere with my free time.  I was going to say productive free time, but time spent watching cartoons isn’t all that productive.

I was listening to Wretched today when it occurred to me that this trend of requiring affirmation for certain proclivities is an effort to dull the conscience.  (More like Todd Friel, the host, said it and I ripped him off.)  If we are really honest with ourselves, we know right from wrong, we know sin from virtue.  But in our fallen condition, we want to eat our proverbial cake and we want society to cheer us on as we sin with impunity.

We must consider this:  does society determine right from wrong or is there a higher authority?  If there is a higher authority, are his laws nullified if society rejects them?  

If society is in charge of determining morality, then there is no absolute standard.  We can find societies through history that have sanctioned all kinds of evil, but if society determines right from wrong, racism isn’t inherently evil.  It is reduced to a preference.  Segregation was legal at one time, so who are we to say that segregation is bad?  Our conscience.  

If we rely on subjectivity, what is good today is evil tomorrow.  Further, how do we know we weren’t wrong in integrating blacks and whites here in America?  If anything, if we deny an ultimate authority, it was wrong to upset the status quo.  The wrongness stems from the imposition of values.  After all, if you think abortion is wrong, don’t get one, right?  But if you tell me that, you are wrong for telling me what (or what not) to do.  

The problem is that we are sinners.  Our conscience clearly tells us right from wrong which comes from God, the one who made these laws.  We don’t want to feel guilt, so we try to rope others into our delusion because some of us think that our guilt will be assuaged if everyone affirms it.  Murder is always wrong no matter how many people affirm it.  Some want to blur the lines to equate killing to murder, but they are not necessarily the same.  All murder is killing, but not all killing is murder.

We can shut down all bakeries that don’t toe the party line.  Some call us Christians intolerant.  That’s fine, but should you fight intolerance with intolerance?  If you do, you step into a quagmire of hypocrisy.  Besides, the real problem isn’t with Christians.  For the unrepentant, the problem is with God.