By Milton J. and Pamela K. Orgeron
“Bonne Année”, “Feliz Año Nuevo”, “Frohes Neues Jahr”–however you say “Happy New Year” we want to wish everyone around the world whether your nationality be French, Spanish, German, or another nationality a very happy new year from our home to your home. We don’t know all your stories but for us, 2017 has been full of change and challenges.
What changes have we experienced? First, as most people probably have, we have lost loved ones through death. Off the top of our heads, three names come to mind. First, we lost two friends, Beverly Gilbert and Robin Slaughter. Pam also lost one of her cousins Paul Sturgill in death this year. Pam especially was affected by the deaths of Robin and Paul. She and Robin had been best friends and prayer partners for years. Paul not only was a cousin but a friend in her childhood. They attended the same high school.
Another change has been in our search to find a new church home where the Holy Spirit would have the freedom to work through us to use our spiritual gifts and talents and where we will be fed spiritually by the Holy Spirit through other Believers. Our biggest challenge to finding a church home has been not having a car that keeps us from being able to commit to church activities on a regular basis.
Our biggest challenges in general have involved our health concerns. Our biggest scare was when a CT scan taken in November revealed a mass in Pam’s left lung. Her PCP suspected cancer. However, after a PET Scan, a lung specialist ruled out cancer as a cause. PTL!!! We enter the new year not knowing what the mass in Pam’s lung is but trusting that God is in control and will heal her.
Milton’s health issues were, thankfully, nothing so dramatic or worrying. Much time has been given to trying to reverse the effects of pinched nerves in the right shoulder, arm, and wrist that were brought on unknowingly by bad sleeping position for years. Doctors have been no help at all in several years of on and off again visits. The ulnar nerve was apparently pinched in such a way as to cause the right index finger to curl tightly and press against the middle finger whenever doing something like typing, playing guitar, or anything that requires independent use of all the fingers. This has required some adjustments – trapping the index finger against the thumb when typing and using the remaining fingers, training the left hand to take over from the right whenever possible, and playing guitar is sadly a thing of the past so far. Recently work with a lacrosse/massage ball has helped work out some of the knots in the shoulder (rhomboid muscles mostly) that just never go away. But trying to push hard enough on my right shoulder with my left hand before using the ball has resulted in a left middle trigger finger that cortisone shots helped only temporarily. Oh well, at least Milton can still type this post, even though his right hand looks funny doing an “OK” sign while typing!
One issue of Milton’s that has been resolved may help others as well. His last 3 yearly physicals showed his vitamin D level was low, but he had not taken a supplement for a couple of years. Last fall and winter, and even worse this fall, Milton found himself feeling down, especially just after dark. The light bulb finally went on in his head. He Googled “seasonal affective disorder vitamin D”. Sure enough, low vitamin D can cause or aggravate SAD. A week or so on 2000 IU daily of vitamin D, and the walls didn’t feel like they were closing in an hour after sundown for Milton. Things that would have had him feeling depressed before, which was pretty much everything in general, are taken in stride now. Sure beats antidepressants! Milton highly recommends vitamin D for seasonal blues, with a follow-up doctor’s visit if none or little relief results.
We have a big praise for the Lord for providing for all our needs this year. We have always had enough, though usually no more or little more than enough to meet our needs. Milton’s employer has been consolidating and downsizing (called “reengineering”, hah!) for the last 3 years, and many long-time employees have been laid off and many positions have been eliminated. But his job seems secure, his supervisor is happy with his work, his coworkers are pleasant and professional, and he doesn’t have to sell his soul to feed our bodies. The Lord has set Milton in a good place, and it is clear that what Paul wrote is still true:
Philippians 4:11-13 11 Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. 12 I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. 13 I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.
Happy New Year, and prayers for all to have a wonderful and blessed year in the Lord! If you have a story from 2017 you’d like to share, we’d love to hear from you.