I am currently being hospitalized for combined dermatitis and secondary skin infection on my face. I had a incision and drainage of a sebaceous cyst on the chin last friday and the same afternoon I started to break out with itchy rashes. I thought I developed an allergy reaction and self treated with antihistamines and steroids. But I developed fever the next day and the rashes got worse. On Tuesday I did a couple of screening test. I was surprised to see my total white cells at 22k, ESR 64, CRP 41 indicating an infection element. On Wednesday I saw a dermatologist, given a provisional diagnosis of bad erysipelas and got warded so I could be started on IV antibiotics. That was to prevent the infection from spreading to the cavernous sinus.
I am much better today but I spent the last week with headache, face tightness and rashes. And I had to endure the IV line setting and blood cultures. That brought feelings of déjà vu. I left hospital practice in 2001 to primary health care. Before then I was the one doing the blood letting and IV drips. Now I am on the other side of the bed. One interesting but painful experience was receiving IV potassium. I could feel the stinging sensation coursing through the forearm veins . It was so painful that I told the nurse to slow the drip over 3 hours instead of 1 hour.
So what’s God’s purpose of my short time of suffering? Nothing great was accomplished. No souls were saved. I prayed and there was no specific answer. God is an interesting teacher. I am the patient and the doctor. He gave me a health problem I could not solve so He solved it Himself for me.
The answer to suffering can sometimes be so plain and clear though difficult to appreciate.
1 Peter 4:12-13
Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice in as much as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.
Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered
Benjamin lives in Singapore. He is joyfully working as a family physician in a public healthcare institution. Benjamin is happily married with 2 lovely children. He worships in a Bible Presbyterian church.
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