I have another Duke appointment tomorrow. It is going to be a pretty big deal too. I will be discussing further treatment options with my doctor. As you may remember the new pain medication didn't agree with me so much at first. The lower dosage helps, but not enough if I were to be out really doing something demanding. But the good news is the combination I was on previously is what was causing my sleepiness/non-musicness/non-writingness. So that is over and done with. I am much happier and active now. I have been playing the piano and working on music.
Now, without grossing you out (hopefully) the next step the doctor wants me to take (most likely) is spinal chord stimulation. That is, by a needle, leads are inserted into the epidural space (above the spinal column) and connected either to a battery in my side or to an RF transponder (thingy). [This sounds all technical, but I am only pretending to know exactly what I am talking about to give you an idea what they want to do; I watched a video. Very entertaining.]
This stimulation interrupts the neural messages to my brain (which are interpreted as pain). Instead I would feel a more pleasant (or at least tolerant) tingling (paresthesia).
There are two devices to choose from: RF or IPG. The RF has the battery outside the body and can be replaced easily or recharged like a cell phone; the IPG has the battery inside the body. It can only be replaced by surgery. According to the video, the RF seems more suitable to my complex pain problem; but I don't know exactly which device my doctor wants me to use.
I think I would much rather try the RF device. It can be increased and decreased, turned on and off and the battery can be recharged. Considering the nature of my pain, from my "lay" perspective, I would think it would be better.
That is my need. Wisdom to know what to do. So please remember me in your prayers. My appointment is at 12:30 at the Pain Clinic in Durham, NC.
It appears a team of scientists from the U.S. and Turkey are arranging a trek to search for Noah's Ark on Mount Ararat this summer.
Here's a link to the complete article: Yahoo! News - Expedition Will Seek to Find Noah's Ark
Here are some quotes: (By HOPE YEN, Associated Press Writer)
An expedition is being planned for this summer to the upper reaches of Turkey's Mount Ararat where organizers hope to prove an object nestled amid the snow and ice is Noah's Ark. A joint U.S.-Turkish team of 10 explorers plans to make the arduous trek up Turkey's tallest mountain, at 17,820 feet, from July 15 to August 15, subject to the approval of the Turkish government....
The writer's conclusion doesn't look too promising for these intrepid explorers:
The biblical account in the Book of Genesis says that after the great deluge, the ark came to rest on the mountain with Noah's family and a cargo of male and female pairs of every kind of animal.
Geologists say even though there is evidence of a flood in Mesopotamia in Sumerian times, it is not possible for a ship to make landfall at an altitude as high as Mount Ararat.
I saw my cat go into the bathroom this afternoon, and as a well-trained human, I went in after him to turn on the bathtub faucet for him to get a drink. As I waited for him to finish, yes, I waited...I saw a solitary ant walking across the floor. One ant on a sea of white tile. It occurred to me again how much bigger God is than I am. Far more so than I am bigger than an ant, but you can see how it would make me think of it.
The ant was in my power. And I could see everything around it. Why are we so afraid to let God lead us? We have such a small picture of what really is. And our God, the "One Who inhabits eternity" (Isaiah 57:15) sees everything.
There was one more thing that made me pause. As I was looking down at that ant, I couldn't imagine being one. Why would I want to? I am so much better than an ant.
I realize this analogy is crass in comparison to what the Lord of Glory did for us. But it makes me think. How much love did He have for us? He became a man...and died to ransom sinners (Matthew 20:28).
Oh how I regret going to this "christian" website I found somehow. It is a joke of course. It isn't Christian at all. I'm not going to give you the real URL. It isn't worth your time. But it made me think...and write...
What is really sad: How much their mocking reminds me of how so many Fundamental Indepedent Baptists preach/come across (especially on some websites I've seen). I see now very clearly some of my dissatisfaction in our circles is our heart attitude.
I know the world will always think we are crazy (1 Corinthians 1:18; 1 Corinthians 2:14), hence their mocking. But there are ways...I think biblically approved ways, to deport ourselves that show God's glory (Matthew 5:16).
I'm starting to feel very disconnected from our government. I see the news, but I don't know half of what is going on.
I am going to post his speech here in its entirety as the extented entry.
March 30, 2004
U.S. Senator Zell Miller
Floor Statement: 'A House Divided Cannot Stand'
Remarks as Delivered on the Senate Floor
After watching the harsh acrimony generated by the September 11 Commission – which, let me say at the outset, is made up of good and able members – I’ve come to seriously question this panel’s usefulness.
I believe it will ultimately play a role in doing great harm to this country, for its unintended consequences, I fear, will be to energize our enemies and demoralize our troops.
After being drowned in a tidal wave of all who didn’t do enough before 9/11, I have come to believe that the Commission should issue a report that says: “No one did enough in the past. No one did near enough.”
Then thank everyone for serving, send them home and let’s get on with the job of protecting this country in the future.
Tragically, these hearings have proved to be a very divisive diversion for this country. Tragically, they have devoured valuable time, looking backwards when we should be looking forward.
Can you imagine handling the attack on Pearl Harbor this way? Can you imagine Congress, the media and the public standing for this kind of political gamesmanship and finger pointing after that “day of infamy” in 1941?
Some partisans tried that ploy, but they were soon quieted by the patriots who understood how important it was to get on with the war and take the battle to America’s enemies, and not dwell on what FDR knew when.
You see, back then the highest priority was to win a war, not win an election. That’s what made them “The Greatest Generation.”
I realize that many well-meaning Americans see the hearings as “democracy in action.” Years ago, when I was teaching political science, I probably would have had my class watching it live on television and using that very phrase with them.
There are also the not-so-well-meaning political operatives who see these hearings as an opportunity to “score cheap points.”
Then, there are the Media Meddlers who see this as “great theater” that can be played out on the evening news and on endless talk shows for a week or more.
Congressional hearings have long been one of Washington’s most entertaining pastimes. Joe McCarthy. Watergate. Iran Contra. They all kept us glued to the TV, and made for conversation around the water coolers and arguments over a beer at the corner pub.
A Congressional hearing in Washington, D.C. is the ultimate aphrodisiac for political groupies and partisan punks.
But, it’s not the groupies, punks and television-sotted American public that I’m worried about. This latter crowd can get excited and divided over just about anything. Whether it’s some off-key wanna-be dreaming of being the American Idol, or what brainless bimbo The Bachelor or Average Joe will choose or who will Donald Trump fire next week.
No, it is the real enemies of America that I’m concerned about.
These evil killers who right now, right now are gleefully watching the shrill partisan finger pointing of these hearings and grinning like a mule eating briars.
They see this as a major split within the Great Satan America. They see anger, they see division, instability, bickering, peevishness and dissension.
They see the President of the United States hammered unmercifully. They see all this and they are greatly, greatly encouraged.
We should not be doing anything to encourage our enemies in this battle between good and evil. Yet, these hearings, in my opinion, are doing just that.
We are playing with fire. We’re playing directly into the hands of our enemy by allowing these hearings to become the great divider they have become.
Dick Clarke’s book and its release coinciding with these hearings have done this country a tremendous disservice, and someday we will reap its whirlwind.
Long ago, Sir Walter Scott observed that revenge is “the sweetest morsel that ever was cooked in hell.”
The vindictive Clarke has now had his revenge, but what kind of hell has he, his CBS publisher and his axe-to-grind advocates unleashed?
These hearings, coming on the heels of the election the terrorists influenced in Spain, bolster and energize our evil enemies as they have not been energized since 9/11.
Chances are very good that these evil enemies of America will attempt to influence our 2004 election in a similar dramatic way as they did Spain’s. And to think that could never be in this country is to stick your head in the sand.
That is why the sooner we stop this endless bickering over the past and join together to prepare for the future, the better off this country will be. There are some things - whether this city believes it or not - that are just more important than political campaigns.
The recent past is so ripe for political second-guessing “gotcha” and Monday morning quarter-backing. And it is so tempting in an election year. We should not allow ourselves to indulge that temptation. We should put our country first.
Every administration from Jimmy Carter to George W. Bush bears some of the blame. Dick Clarke bears a big heap of it because it was he who was in the catbird’s seat to do something about it for more than a decade. Tragically, it was the decade in which we did the least.
We did nothing after terrorists attacked the World Trade Center in 1993, killing six and injuring more than 1,000 Americans.
We did nothing in 1996 when sixteen U.S. servicemen were killed in the bombing of the Khobar Towers.
When our embassies were attacked in 1998, killing 263 people, our only response was to fire a few missiles on an empty tent.
Is it any wonder? Is it any wonder that after that decade of weak-willed responses to that murderous terror, our enemies thought we would never fight back?
In the 1990's is when Dick Clarke should have resigned. In the 1990's is when he should have apologized. That is when he should have written his book. That is, if he really had America’s best interest at heart.
Some will say, “We owe it to the families” to get more information about what happened in the past and I can understand that. But no amount of finger-pointing will bring our victims back.
So, now we owe it to future families and all of America now in jeopardy not to encourage more terrorists, resulting in even more grieving families, perhaps many more over the ones of 9/11.
It’s obvious to me that this country is rapidly dividing itself into two camps: the wimps and the warriors.
The ones who want to argue and assess and appease, and the ones who want to carry this fight to our enemies and kill him them before they kill us. And, in case you haven’t figured it out, I proudly belong to the latter.
This is a time like no other in the history of this country, and this country is being crippled with petty partisan politics of the worst possible kind. In time of war, it is not just unpatriotic; it is stupid, and it is criminal.
So, I pray that all this time, all this energy, all this talk and all this attention could be focused on the future instead of the past.
I pray we would stop pointing fingers, assigning blame and wringing our hands about what happened on that day David McCullogh has called “the worst day in our history” more than two years ago.
And instead, pour all of our energy into how we can kill these terrorists before they kill us - again.
For make no mistake about it. They watch these hearings. They are scheming and smiling about the distraction and the divisiveness they see in America. And while they may not know who said it years ago in America, they know instinctively that a house divided cannot stand.
There is one other group that we should remember is listening to all of this - our troops.
I was in Iraq in January and one day when I was meeting with the 1st Armored Division, a unit with a proud history known as Old Ironsides, we were discussing troop morale, and the Commanding General said it was top notch.
And I turned to the Division’s Sergeant Major, the top enlisted man in the division, a big, burly, 6-foot-3, 240 pound African American and I said, “That’s good, but how do you sustain that kind of morale?”
Without hesitation he narrowed his eyes, and he looked at me and said “The morale will stay high just as long as these troops know the people back home support us.”
Just as long as the people back home support us. What kind of message are these hearings and the outrageously political speeches on the floor of the Senate yesterday sending to those marvelous young Americans in the uniform of our country?
I say Unite America! Before it is too late! Put aside these petty partisan differences when it comes to the protection of our people.
Argue and argue and argue and debate and debate and debate over all the other things – jobs and education and the deficit and the environment – but please, please do not use the lives of Americans and the security of this country as a cheap-shot political talking point.
I'm providing a link to a blog entry at www.graceandpeace.us.
The entry is a quote from Bryan Chapell's Holiness by Grace. David explains his purpose for posting the quote far better than I can paraphrase him. I hope that you will check it out.
what will be my necklace? what will adorn my neck? the pride of the wicked? or the grace of Your wisdom?
Here we are after the service this morning: (from left to right) me, Donna, Sarah, and Kyle.
My Father is Jesus' Father.
My God is Jesus' God.
Jesus went to His Father and to my Father.
Jesus went back to His God and to my God.
And He is coming back for me.
I really was going to take a memory stick of photos when I was at BJU/ in Greenville. But I haven't gotten over my camera shyness yet. When I pick up a camera I feel like everyone is staring at me. In other words, I only took a few pictures. I could kick myself. I might yet. But hopefully, I'll get some more pics when I'm down for graduation.
Here are a couple from our picnic on the grounds that turned out.
nasty, tricksy doctor made me take even nastier, tricksier medicine.
I was sick all week. I called TWICE. And no call back. You'd think they'd call back to make sure I was still alive.
I just changed my dosage. So I felt much better today. Of course I probably wasn't supposed to, but she should have called me back.
I'll try to write happier posts soon.
If you remember, in February, Democratic Senator Zell Miller made a stunning speech on the floor of the Senate about the "Deficit of Decency" in America.
I e-mailed the Senator commending him for his stand, and recieved this e-mail back today.
March 31, 2004
Dear Mr. Bohannon:
Thank you for your recent e-mail and I apologize for not getting back with you sooner. I have been overwhelmed by the correspondence I have received from Americans like yourself who share my concern about the Values Gap in this country today.
God has been at work since the beginning of this country. The first line of the Mayflower Compact states, "This voyage was taken for the glory of God and the advancement of the Christian faith." That's why they came. That's why they endured the hardships of a dangerous ocean crossing in a frail little vessel. And literally with a musket under one arm and a Bible under the other, they built this country. We must not forget that.
When the French journalist, Alexis de Tocqueville, traveled through this country he wrote about going into churches and seeing them "aflame with righteousness." That is what made this country great and that is the only thing that will keep it great. But we must also have our political leaders "aflame with righteousness."
I shall continue to fight to restore the America our Founding Fathers envisioned and I am proud and humbled that you are at my side. God Bless you and thank you for your support and prayers.
With kindest regards, I am
Senator Zell MillerPosted by micah at 01:13 AM
We are here. We arrived home a little after 12. I just got online now. I am too tired to write anything else until tomorrow (today...).
A rainy day is one where you don't run outside to play because you have forgotten how to be a child. So instead, you curl up by a window with your tea and book to imagine you are someone else, in some other place, outside of time.