Lana Vaughan

The Queen of Questions

Condition of the heart

Last week I finally went to see the doctor about a pain in my chest that had been bothering me for a couple of weeks. He asked me a series of questions, listened to my chest from the back and the front, and told me Pericarditis, an inflammation of the tissue surrounding the heart. Nothing serious, here’s a prescription, come back if it’s not better in a week.
Looking it up on the internet I found the most common symptoms are stabbing, sharp pain in the chest that can radiate directly to the back or the neck or the arm made worse by deep breathing or lying flat and sometimes relieved by leaning forward.
It was reading about the causes that really brought it from the physical to the spiritual heart so quickly it took my breath away and set off a coughing attack. (Also a symptom, one that I had been ignoring for almost 4 months.)
The first cause described was Idiopathic, which basically means “we don’t know”. How many hearts are suffering from unknown, undiagnosed, and untreated conditions causing pain ranging from stabbing and sharp to annoying bursts of air?
The second cause made total sense, Mechanical injury to the heart. Heart attack, heart surgery, trauma, all have a point in time. Something drastic interrupted the normal rhythm of the heart and life changed literally in a heartbeat.
Then came a sneaky one, Infection Bacterial. How many times have relationships been destroyed by viral, fungal attacks on the heart? Gossip, doubt, jealousy, fear, shame, and a seemingly harmless one, busy-ness can’t be killed with penicillin but require something stronger, readily available without a prescription and no co-pay, the healing power of agape.
The most obvious and most focused on spiritually came fourth, tumors or cancer, something that shouldn’t be part of the body attacking from the inside out. Families are too often destroyed from the inside by something growing and devouring the relationships that are supposed to connect and strengthen the individuals into a healthy functioning body. Hours in counseling and therapy and prayer to root out and treat the darkness threatening the very life it feeds on. But even when the threat has been cut out the scars can mar the rest of life.
Closely related to tumors are the relatives, Connective Tissue Disease. Physically they are rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erytematosus, sarcoisosis, and scleroderma. Yep. I had to look them up too. All of them had inflammation as the main condition. When I first saw the term Connective Tissue Disease I thought of all the people we become connected to that just irritate us to the point of dis-ease. There are some people that I enjoy being with. They just make me feel better. Then there are others who, without doing or saying a thing, just rub me the wrong way. Some put me at ease, some put me at dis-ease.
The next two were called Metabolic diseases, Uremia (kidney failure) and Hypothyroidism. Looked those up and found very definite connection to prayer. Not getting the garbage out of your system leads to kidney failure. Not getting the garbage out spiritually leads to a hard heart. Not getting the input you need from your thyroid leads to all kinds of things spinning out of balance. Not hearing from God in prayer….
The last one is probably the easiest to recognize and the hardest to manage, Medication Reactions. There’s a nice list of commercially produced medications that have inflammation of the pericardial sac and pericarditis as a side effect of treating something worse. But when I read “medication reactions” my mind went to those who use drugs and alcohol and food and cigarettes and exercise and anything else to excess to numb the heart, to try to by pass the real issue of the heart and causing even more harm in the long run.
So, for now, my heart is good. But the tissue around it is inflamed. There are things that rub me the wrong way (Connective Tissue). There are things I definitely need to take to God in prayer today(Metabolic). There are several spots on the spiritual x-ray that need closer examination(tumor). My supply of antibiotics for relationships could use a refill(Infection) and the Wii fit is probably a better treat than the pastry shop (Medication). But in the long run So I guess I’m right back where I started…I just don’t know (idiopathic).

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One Reply

  1. Isn’t it amazing how Papa takes those things in our lives physically and speaks to us in the depths of our hearts?I love it when He does that!Good word, my friend.Love ya,

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