By Patrick Hawthorne
I am, at the time of writing this post, two months and one week post-surgery for a torn rotator cuff. For anyone who has experienced a shoulder surgery, you will definitely identify with what I am about to write.
It was the second full day following surgery when the pain hit. It was so intense that I was struggling to hold back the tears. I had learned, to my dismay, that narcotic type pain killers do nothing for me. When I say nothing, I mean that they do not make me sleepy, dopey, sick, or anything else. Well, I guess that is not quite true. They make me hungry and slightly unsteady on my feet but do not really touch the pain.
As I sat upright on the bed, clutching my arm and rocking back and forth, my wife, in desperation to help me, brought me an 800mg ibuprofen. Within hours the pain began to subside to a point where it was nothing more than a tolerable ache. The next morning, I was feeling about as good as a person could feel following surgery. I continued my ibuprofen regimen faithfully and got to the point where I shoved all other pain pills to the side. It was me and my good buddy ibuprofen.
Ibuprofen accompanied me everywhere I went. It was such a good friend to me that I was able to return to light duty work ten days following the surgery. Ibuprofen went with me to physical therapy and to church; to restaurants and on little road trips. Ibuprofen was my pal…until…
A couple of days ago, at the time of the writing of this post, I was playing around with an automated blood pressure monitor and decided to take my blood pressure. To my horror, my pressure had jumped to a level that, for me, was extremely high. After praying about it, I felt led to look into the side effects of ibuprofen. To my discovery, ibuprofen in large quantities can cause the kidney’s – among other things – to work overtime, thereby causing the blood pressure to rise. My friend, I learned, had just become my enemy.
Immediately I said “adios,” to ibuprofen and began to flush my kidneys with copious amounts of water. It took three days but eventually my blood pressure returned to normal. What else returned was a low steady dull ache from a surgically repaired rotator cuff. But, that is alright. I know that it is well on its way to full recovery.
So, what is the relationship of ibuprofen to sin? That is simple. Sin, like the ibuprofen (for me,) brings joy for a season. What we don’t realize, while in the midst of our sins, is that it is silently killing us. As the Proverbs says, sin appears beautiful for the moment but hides behind its beauty a veil of death and destruction (Proverbs 9:13-18).
It may be difficult, but we have to treat sin as the killer that it is. We must cut it off at its source. Yes, there may be a bit of pain involved but that is alright. With the pain comes the knowledge that we are well on our way to a full recovery. Be blessed.
Disclaimer: I am not a medical doctor and am not advising anyone to get off ibuprofen if your doctor has prescribed it to you. Medications react with different people in different ways. Talk to your doctor before deciding to change any medications.