Monday, June 27, 2011

Unsure of Treatment for my Central Serous Retinopathy

Some of you know this but I'm sure many of you don't but I have a rare eye condition called Central Serous Retinopathy (CSR). In short, I have swelling and scarring on my retina that affects my vision. Usually, for most people, this stuff clears up on its own in a few short months or goes away after treatment. Mine, on the other hand, has lingered for a good 6 years. I go annually to see an ophthalmologist (Dr. Keith Fisher, great doctor if you need one) to monitor my condition.

Each year the prognosis is the same: the fluid is still there, no change. The condition seems stable which is good and bad: good that it's not progressing, troubling that is has remained for SOooooo long. Anytime there is fluid under a person's retina, doctors give pause and usually seek means to remove it. Doctors really aren't sure what causes CSR. They also aren't really sure how to effectively treat it. And the fact that mine has moved in and taken up residence for the majority of my adult life, that makes things even more complicated.

At my visit today, my doctor recommended a possible treatment to remove the fluid that is present. Rifampin is a medicine used for the treatment of TB but has been shown to have positive effects with CSR. Here's an article discussing it.

There are many questions to be considered when deciding whether or not I should pursue this treatment.

1. My vision has worsened slightly each year for the last few years. What's the direct cause of it? Is it just the natural effects of age or is it the fluid that currently sits in several spots under my retina?

2. There are side effect risks associated with any medicine. Rifampin has some minor side-effects, like all medicines, but it has also been known to cause trouble with a person's liver. Not to mention that my urine, stools, saliva, sputum, sweat, and tears may turn red-orange (this they declare to be harmless). Can you imagine? Me turning red-orange every time I got a little sweaty? Or having big streaks down my face every time I shed some tears? That's one more reason for me to avoid exercise and sad chick-flicks, I suppose.

3. If Kyle and I consider having children soon (didn't say that we are..just if), this medicine could affect that greatly.

4. There is no telling how long I should remain on the medicine if I do start to take it. In the studies done, it seems that the fluid returned after patients stopped taking Rifampin. Would I have to take this medicine indefinitely?

Whenever considering any type of treatment, there are so many factors to weigh. I honestly don't know what to do. Talking about it makes me feel anxious but oddly enough, writing about it has taken some of the anxiety away, though it hasn't given any insight into what I should do. Since I've lived with this condition for 6+ years, there's no need for a hasty decision. Normally the decision has been "wait and see what happens." With my vision gradually deteriorating each year, very slightly, I wander when the benefit will outweigh the risks.

Please pray that Kyle and I can make a wise decision about this. I want to take care of the body God has given me best that I can (sans exercise, of course) and I don't want to make a hasty decision or delay a treatment that will be beneficial.

Monday, March 14, 2011


Maybe I'm just cynical but I think these are stinking funny. For more, check out

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Does Nothing In Biology Make Sense Except in the Light of Evolution?

"Nothing in biology makes sense except in light of evolution." One of my professors said this to me in 2004 when I was struggling with aligning evolution with my faith in Christ. His words caused me great angst and I prayed and cried many tears in search of the truth. After several years, though I've learned much evidence to point out the flaws in NeoDarwinian evolutionary theory, my general conclusion remains the same: there is a person named Jesus Christ who walked this earth, died on the cross, and rose from the grave proving His divinity. This all points to an active and benevolent God who created the earth not by means of chance but with intentionality and forethought. Without sheer uninhibited chance, there is no evolution in its true NeoDarwinian sense. Sorry folks. You can't have your cake and eat it too.

Anywho, I like this Podcast (link below) discussing that devilish quote. Seems like NeoDarwinism is more of a philosophical position than a necessity to be successful in the world of science. Whodathunkit? :)

Does Nothing In Biology Make Sense Except in the Light of Evolution?

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Mercy for the merciful

Just a brief note on some connections I've been making recently. For the next few weeks, we'll be studying spiritual gifts in the Jr. High Sunday School class. This week we started off looking at 1 Cor. 12:4-7, where the gifts come from, what their purpose is, etc. To wrap up the class and lead into next week's class, I had my students start working on a Spiritual Gifts Survey. I completed the survey the night before, and as expected, I was strong in certain areas (teaching and administration) and weak in others (mercy and exhortation). This was no surprise to me, particularly in my weak areas because I am very aware that my first and natural tendency is not to build others up, but instead to tear them down and build myself up. (Praise the Lord His love for me is based on His holiness and steadfastness and not my own or I would be without hope!)

After taking the test and thinking about the results more this morning, I began making some connections that I wasn't too keen on...not because they were bad connections but because they require repentance and change on my part. The last several weeks, I continue to go back to and think on Jesus' Sermon on the Mount. The portion that stood out to me recently is Matthew5:7, “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy." The merciful, huh? Well, that excludes me, at least most times.

Though my spiritual giftedness is not characterized by mercy, I still must extend mercy for God calls His followers to exhibit the character of Christ. Christ's life was characterized by mercy. Mine should be as well. Though it is not something I am naturally inclined to do, I must extend mercy to those people I feel do not deserve it...especially if I wish to be the recipient of mercy myself. And boy, do I!

This all connects back to my struggle to love the unlovable, as I wrote about in a previous post. I must extend mercy to that person who has wronged me and those around me. I struggle tremendously with this...and I'm afraid that I must admit that thus far, I have been disobedient. Hopefully by posting these things publicly on my blog and Facebook (though few will read it), I will be held more accountable to follow through with this requirement of obedience.

Lord, my heart longs to be pleasing to You but my flesh desires to satisfy itself through prideful actions and an unmerciful attitude. Please break my stubborn spirit so that my thoughts and actions bring You glory.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Graduation Pictures

I’m just checking this Windows Live Writer thing out to see if it actually works and if it is more user-friendly than the BlogSpot interface. In the meantime, enjoy these graduation photos from our family’s visit in December when Kyle and I earned our Masters degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

And I attempted to make a quick video using Windows Live Movie Maker.  Same photos, just put to music and a bit snazzier transitions.

Graduation Video, 2010 Tags: