I’m hanging around the house longer than usual this morning, waiting for my bowels to calm down long enough to allow me to get to work. That sounds grim, doesn’t it? Actually, it’s not too bad. The house is empty and peaceful after the frenzy of everyone getting ready to leave. I can hear the rain falling on the roof and trickling down the gutters. I hear thunder. The birds are singing.

I start a new drug to treat my ulcerative colitis either today or on Monday, depending on when it arrives at the pharmacy. Thalidomide has a sad history as it was originally prescribed to pregnant women to help with morning sickness. Its unknown side effect resulted in thousands of babies born with severe physical defects. However, by chance the drug has been found to ease the symptoms and even cure a variety of immune deficiency related diseases, including mouth ulcers, leprosy, and ulcerative colitis.

My body has not responded to standard treatment. My doctor advised, and I agree, that the usual next step is surgery to remove my colon. But I searched the Internet and found just a few references to treatment with thalidomide. My doctor is willing to give it a try. From what I’ve read, if it works I will know within five to eight days after starting the drug if it’s going to help me. At that time my colitis symptoms will completely disappear. I will keep taking thalidomide for a relatively brief time, with the hope that the drug will heal the ulcers on my colon.

After having suffered these symptoms for as long as I have, I find the idea of such swift relief almost impossible to believe. But this morning, as I listen to the morning rain, and the thunder, and the birds, I know hope. I have prayed for several weeks now a simple prayer: “I will receive healing from God when it comes.” The day after my doctor and I made the decision to try this unconventional treatment, I attended worship in The Upper Room Chapel. I do that just about every week, but on this day worship included a service of healing. My weekly healing prayer, the doctor’s visit, and the healing service have worked together in my mind to bring hope to my spirit. If this treatment doesn’t, work it will be okay; I’ll have the surgery. But I hope the drug works.

I personally know of others who are suffering from physical ailments. May they also receive their healing when it comes, and may they know hope.

One thought on “Hope

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