Thank God for Kidney Stones!
By Richard Spangler
CBN Staff Writer
-- I have gained an understanding of I Thessalonians 5:18 (AMP):
"Thank (God) in everything (no matter what the circumstances may be, be thankful and give thanks), for this the will of God for you (who are) in Christ Jesus (the revealer and mediator of that will)."
Over the past six years I had lost over 175 pounts with diet and exercise (walking two to three miles in an hour, five days a week). After regaining 50 lbs, I decided I needed to do more then walk and joined a gym in March 2007. I started an exercise routine of treadmill, weight training, and stationary bike three days a week and continued to walk two days a week.
On Monday, May 5, 2007 I did my normal workout in the gym in the morning and went to work that afternoon. Around 10 p.m., I began having intense pain on both sides of my lower back. A supervisor (Ben) and a Lead (Ed) took me home. By the time I got home, the pain was so intense that I could not get out of my car. My wife, Dorothy, with Ben and Ed drove me to the hospital.
After being in the Emergency Room in pain for three hours, they finally gave me something for pain. The next thing I remember was waking up late Tuesday afternoon. Dorothy and a doctor told me that I had two large kidney stones (one in each kidney). I had surgery and stents were put in place in my kidneys to control the stones and the pain.
On Wednesday, I was told that I had a mild heart attack (this was later downgraded to a minor heart attack). Things seemed to be going from bad to worse. On Friday, May 9th, one of the stents moved, and I was back in pain and back in surgery.
Monday, May 12th, the doctors decided to remove the stones. But, the doctors wanted a heart catheterization, first. Tuesday afternoon I went for the catheterization. It showed, to everyone’s surprise, an 85% blockage of the left coronary artery. I had no symptoms and the doctors stated that I was a prime candidate for the “widow maker heart attack.”
Within three hours, I was transferred from Chesapeake General Hospital to the Sentara Heart Hospital in Norfolk, VA and scheduled for by-pass surgery on Friday, May 18th. The doctors not only by-passed the 85% blockage, they also by-passed three 30% blockages, for quadruple by-pass. Of course with all this happening the kidneys had to wait.
The week after by-pass surgery, I began to question, “How did I end up here?” Wouldn’t you? The Lord reminded me of a prayer I had prayed three weeks before all this started. I was on the treadmill and prayed,”Lord, if there is anything that would keep me from doing Your Will for the rest of my life, either reveal it or fix it.” Thank God that He answered that short prayer in a powerful way with kidney stones.
I had to wait three months after heart surgery before anything could be done with the kidneys. It took another two months and four different procedures, due to complications, to get rid of the kidney stones. The good news is my heart is doing great, and the kidneys are healing. My physical strength is returning and I have lost 50 pounds.
The cause of all this was the abuse of my body (the Temple of the Holy Spirit). I ate the wrong foods, in the wrong quantities, and did not exercise. It is truly God’s grace that saved me.
My pastor, Mark Stafford stated, “The Lord has given me a 50-year overhaul and I am good for at least another 50 years.”
I believe it and will do what I can to live a balanced, healthy, disciplined life. It is my hope, that my story will encourage you to do the right things for your body. Please, take the time to eat right and exercise and get regular check-ups. This is so important, so that you will have the health and strength that God wants you to have and to be able to do His will.
On a final note, I was blessed in knowing that people from my church and my co-workers at the CBN Prayer Counseling Center were praying for me. The love I received during the last five months and upon my return to work has been overwhelming. Thank you all and I love you all.
Richard Spangler has been in active ministry for 30 years. He has been working for CBN since October 2003 and is currently ministering in the National Counseling Center Partner Service Team.
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