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Dark Road

February 25, 2018

Neurologic testing several months ago revealed that I have cerebral vascular disease.  I have, in fact, had a series of what are termed “silent” strokes.  Medication I was taking masked the subtle symptoms.

The result of inadequate blood flow (“ischemia”), silent strokes can be a predictor of Parkinson’s Disease and dementia, as well as more strokes to come.   The research is not entirely clear as yet.

Contributing Factors

Strokes run in my family, so they are no great surprise.  All I can do to moderate the risk is watch my weight, eat a diet low in sodium, get regular exercise, and attempt to control my blood pressure.

Unfortunately, I have had severe allergic reactions to most blood pressure medications.

No less than eight of the other medications I was prescribed for years (not to mention the OTC medications I took to reduce my reliance on those prescriptions) were all known to raise blood pressure.  There is every likelihood they were contributing factors to the ischemia.

What we rely on to ease our pain and keep us safe can actually be a source of danger.

Between the Ears

In any case, the diagnosis is a little too close to home for calm disinterest on my part.

Lawyers and writers define themselves by what they have “between the ears”.  Our perception of reality and capacity to convey that to others constitute who we are, at least in human terms.

A Different Perspective

“We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;  persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed –  always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body” (2 Cor. 4: 8-10).

We forget that God has a different perspective.

God sees our lives from beginning to end, and knows beforehand every trial we will face.  We may pray for a cup to be taken away.  But if that is not to be, He will neither leave nor forsake us.

More than Flesh and Blood

To God, His children are more than flesh and blood.  This life is not the only one He has arranged for us.  Where this road ends, a door stands open and a light shines in welcome.

A Test of Faith

For me, this new medical condition is, above all else, a test of faith.  It would be a lie to say that I am at peace.  This trial feels unbearable.  I have been alternately terrified, distressed, angry, and overwhelmed.

Will I continue to walk with God down what may be a dark road?  About that, there really is no doubt.

Walk while you have the Light, so that darkness will not overtake you.  The one who walks in the darkness does not know where he is going.  While you have the Light, believe in the Light, so that you may become sons of the Light” (John 12: 35-36).

Please, keep me in your prayers.



From → Christian, Faith, Religion

  1. Dear beautiful sister in Christ — I have been reading blogs for years. This is the most moving and inspiring post that I have ever read. Heartbreaking, but awesome.

    I am praying for you, Anna. I KNOW that our wonderful God answers prayers. Like you, I have learned to trust Him, even when the sky is falling.

  2. So sorry to hear of this diagnosis. It must be so hard. Something that has helped me at such times is a quote I came across – to see problems and trails as opportunities both to learn and for God to show his hand.

    One such happened last year when my granddaughter almost died of undiagnosed diabetes 1. Miraculously she was eventually totally and miraculously healed, thank God, and has been for eight months. The battle was not easy and entailed a restrictive diet and most of all a lot of powerful prayers. The battle is a long story and had many setbacks along the way, but the reason I’m sharing this is because western medicine can only help so far and, as you’ve found, often has negative side effects. While my granddaughter continued to use insulin till it was medically approved for her to come off completely, my daughter and Chinese son in law didn’t cease in prayer and researching other options.

    Please don’t too quickly accept the “you can’t be healed” verdict as being God’s will. It sometimes is, but far more often he wants to heal and that healing often involves life changes also so we won’t be coming back for healing again next year. Hope it’s OK to share this. We have been so blessed in this miracle we can’t help but want to share what we learned along the way.

    She used the Gresham diet but there are many options. The principal is, as in Chinese medicine (also very good) that health problems are a result of an imbalance in the body. They seek the underlying cause rather than treat the symptoms (which is what western medicine does). Part of your problem seems to be an inherited weakness but there are probably things you can do to adjust and minamise this. Anyway hope this helps. Much love and prayers!

  3. I hope all goes well Anna.
    And you will most definitely be in my prayers.

  4. I’m terribly sorry to hear of this development. I’m glad you know where to look for added strength, but don’t forget to release some of that steam building up from the fear and stress of it all!

  5. I will pray that God will keep you healthy and make your faith strong enough so you will trust him completely.

  6. Dear Anna,
    I am praying for you as I write this, that you will know always that you are in God’s hands, and that he will give you wisdom.

    A practical suggestion, if you are not already doing it, which may help control your blood pressure, is to drink more water. Maybe a lot more… I had this advice for years, and resisted acting on it, but when I finally did it, well, my blood pressure went down. My sister-in-law has had a similar experience. I can’t promise it will also help you, but, at the least, it will not have any allergic side effects!


  7. So sorry to read this. I really hope you start feeling better soon. I have a lot of admiration for people who can still walk with God when difficult situations strike. Even if all this sounds bland.

  8. Really sorry to hear this Anna. Many prayers of course

  9. God’s intervention in Jesus Name.. Amen!

  10. Praying for you Anna!

  11. seeingbreathingliving permalink

    Praying for you Anna. It sounds really tough.

  12. Praying as soon as I post this comment!

  13. I am praying for you Anna, and believing.

  14. If you are allergic to blood pressure medicines perhaps you could try eating a lot of celery instead. I have heard that it is good for high blood pressure.

  15. Dear Anna,

    I am very sorry to hear about your severe health problems. 🙁 You are in my heart and prayers, Anna! 💓

    Much love and comfort from God to you! 💗🕊💗


  16. My beloved sister, I wish I knew what to say. You are in my prayers,
    Michael 💗

  17. Dearest Anna, I’m a little late to this, but I’d like to add that you are in my prayers as always. I wish you did not have to suffer so, but it seems that it is part of our life experience while we are here. I pray that Christ will strengthen, comfort and light your way.

  18. Ohhh… so sad to hear this, dear Anna 😦 Love and prayers ❤
    I know you know God is in control of all this.and that all things
    work together for His purpose—for His glory and for our good! .
    Satan tries to destroy what we think we need most, but God is
    our strength and He always provides "enough" 🙂 💜 Jackie@KWH

  19. I’m sorry to read you have this dark cloud of a diagnosis hanging over you. Along with the others, I’ll pray, in faith, that God will gift you with a long, healthy life and that nothing worse/more will eventuate from it.🙏🏼

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