My Bethlehem, Day #134

Merry Christmas!

Many have asked my status:  in holding pattern waiting for a late Jan CT-Scan to see results of radiation therapy. Overall feeling pretty good. Not sure if Sjogrens or radiation, but the taste buds remain affected (cannot eat spicy or hot foods, don’t care for dry foods like bread).

The prayers and encouragement that many of you shared with me are further evidence of “on Earth as it is in Heaven”: y’all were great Ambassadors (2 Cor 5:20) of that Kingdom in my life. I will do my best to pay it forward!

Next Steps

  • CT Scan late January 2018

Observations: Dry Mouth Sucks!

The saliva produced in our mouths is one of the most underrated human features.  Both radiation and Sjogrens are known to kill or disable the parotid glands, little-known glands in our cheeks that produce saliva.

Dry mouth sucks (yes, a relative suck compared to what others go through). It seems like every 10 minutes I need a drink, and too often find myself far from a water bottle. While officiating basketball, I have a little ‘mouth moisturizer’ spray that I use every timeout or break I get.

While eating I miss the food swallowing prep that saliva performs (who knew!). I rarely eat a meal without water or something nearby to help with that prep.

Observations: Dietary Changes

The lack of saliva has changed my diet, mostly for the better.  I drink more water than ever: I used to think “I wished I liked water more”, now I DO like water! When I eat a sandwich I often bail on half of the bread: just too much work to eat it!

Originally I thought I’d be heading full speed down the anti-inflammatory diet route due to the Sjogrens. The initial visit with a rheumatologist did not suggest that would help much so that plan is currently on hold.  It is not a trivial plan to execute, especially for someone not very disciplined or skilled in a kitchen. And I have not convinced my skilled bride yet!

Observations: My Bethlehem

I recently heard someone describe our relationship with Christ as ‘our Bethlehem’: Just like Jesus came into this world humbly in a manger, He wants to enter each of our worlds too. I believe He uses many different avenues and ways and people to achieve that.

This Christmas I found peace knowing that the manger I’ve setup for the Baby Jesus in my life is sufficient.  It is not the Four Seasons, but that is not what He requires. I’m thankful to all the Kingdom Sherpas that helped get me to this point.

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