Q&A | My Health Update - Part 1
Hello MMCM Family,
Last week, I had the incredible opportunity of sharing a small snippet of my story regarding how I came to be severely debilitated...the suffering that would come as a result...and my resolve (but it took time) to trust Christ beyond tremendous loss. (If you did not get a chance to listen to that resource titled: Sweetly Broken—Lessons I’ve Learned in Suffering; you can do so right HERE.)
Fast forward 6 years, and I am still on this arduous journey. These days, I often receive inquiries about my life situation...particularly from family and friends who are no longer in close proximity anymore. And when entering environments where I am not well-known, people are usually nervous or afraid; unsure of how they should approach me about my condition. But they have many questions. And I totally get it. It’s human nature to want to know about someone suffering. I believe God has wired us to care.
Therefore; today, I want to focus on answering some of the most frequently asked questions. I’ll do this in two parts. Half today and the other portion in a few days. Hopefully these two Sharing Space Newsletters will shed some light on me on my story; answering some of your questions. Without further ado, let’s get into it.
1. Are you dying?
AREN’T YOU? Although I know what you mean. As of now, I have no diagnosis of a terminal illness or report of that nature. However, my wellness and mobility have been greatly compromised. However, there is great truth in what I said in the beginning of my answer. We are ALL edging towards eternity…more than we want to admit. Often, I’m most comfortable answering this question by saying, “Yes, I’m heading towards eternity more today than I was yesterday.”
2. Are you physically getting better?
Yes I am. I cannot always perceive or feel it day to day. But from season to season, I can see improvement. Little by little. Praise Christ!
3. What exactly happened to you?
I suffered a chiropractic manipulation from a local doctor in my hometown that went massively wrong. Vital resources within my neck were greatly injured; thus comprising everything from my neck to my feet…and even parts of my face. I had and continue to experience tremendous physical dysfunction. Around the same time, I was also diagnosed with Lyme disease which is debilitating as well. (No it’s not contagious).
4. Did you sue the chiropractor?
Originally, my aim was to handle the situation without involving any legal systems. The doctor was a member of the church I was pastoring at. I wanted to faithfully observe 1st Corinthians 6:1-8. Unfortunately, the chiropractor wanted no part of that verse and was very resistant to taking ownership of the situation. Overtime, we would attempt to pursue legal ramifications. Unfortunately there was no success on that front.
5. Are you seeing a doctor now?
Yes. Over the six years I’ve been injured, I’ve seen every type of doctor and surgeon known to man. These days I see my primary care doctor. He’s the doctor for our entire family here in Oregon. Nice man. Jesus believer. However, I work most closely with my physical therapist. She’s amazing. It would be great if I were able to attend more often as it is very beneficial. That’s a prayer of mine for sure.
6. What are your limitations?
I have many limitations. I have tremendous weakness, stiffness, and discoordinated muscles that make opening a vehicle door, tying my shoes, carrying weight beyond my iPad size, pulling my own covers over my body in bed...or even taking my own shower independently problematic without assistance. Living with severe limitations is a very real and exhausting reality. Because of complications with Lyme disease, I have a host of dietary restrictions to make things that much more exciting.
7. Are you in a lot of pain? And do you take pain medication?
This is a loaded question. And this is not the proper platform to nuance my answer. Simply put, there’s not an hour that has went by since 2012 that I have not had pain… many times, tremendous pain. However...over time, it’s getting better.
8. Are you employed?
I’m not currently on anyone’s payroll, but I am employed by the kingdom of heaven and my salary is crazy good! But practically speaking, I maintain an extremely active/productive work life. (particularly over these past 12 months compared to the previous 4 years) I do AYPB Life Coaching (visit HERE) and I spend time contributing at a local church. However, my main contribution is to this organization that I founded in 2016. If you know anything about me at all, you know that I’m constantly chipping away at many projects and goals. These days, some of those goals are humbling, yet others are quite grand. But if I’m breathing, I’m probably thinking…and if I’m thinking, I’m probably meditating deeply…and if I meditating...I’m probably producing and creating something meaningful for my joy—others benefit—and God‘s glory.
UNTIL NEXT TIME.
That’s all we have time for today. In a couple of days, I’ll finish by answering the final 6 or so questions; concluding the Sweetly Broken: Lessons I’ve Learned in Suffering Project. Here’s what you can expect me to tackle:
- Are you angry at the chiropractor?
- How is Jillian dealing with all this?
- How are your kids doing with all of this?
- What sort of activities can you do?
- What is a typical day look like for you?
- What’s the hardest part about your situation?
Looking forward to finishing this with you…God allowing. Hopefully, you find some encouragement from this for your life. it’s there if you can perceive it. Until next time.
Loving you with all my heart...more than you know
Brandon K. Rachal
Founder. President. Content Author.