Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Why a Torn Meniscus in my Knew Made Me Happy!

by Steve Ray on November 22, 2011

UPDATE: After good news – replacing bad news – about my knees earlier this week I ran four miles today with no pain. What a great Thanksgiving Day!

A00358F01The meniscus is cartilage in the knee that acts as a shock absorber. Without it we have bone on bone. A torn meniscus is damage to the cartilage that causes pain and swelling.

I am a runner trying to cover 1,000-1,200 miles a year. (I have over 150 of my runs tracked by GPS with maps and pictures on EveryTrail.com here.)

Today the doctor told me a torn meniscus and I jumped up and praised the Lord. Why?

Well, on September 21st I was running in Krakow Poland when we were guiding our group there. I must have twisted my knee because that afternoon I was in severe pain and could hardly walk.

When I got home a few days later I went to a sports doctor who took x-rays and told me it was arthritis and my running days were over. No repairable damage, limiting and painful arthritis, and no more running.

IMG_6579After six weeks of pain I realized it could NOT be just arthritis since it came on so suddenly — my knees had felt great before. And why was it so painful I could hardly walk all of a sudden? So I called and requested an MRI suspecting it was a torn meniscus after reading a lot about it on the internet and talking to a friend Gail Buckley who was having the same problem.

Today the MRI was done. It was awful. I would not wish that experience on anyone. Thirty minutes of jackhammer noise in a claustrophobic “tunnel” without being able to move a muscle. Hope I never have to do that again.

The doctor looked at the MRI (see MRI picture below) and said, “No tear in the meniscus cartilage. Just arthritis.” I challenged him and insisted it must be something more. After I continued protesting he said, “I will send in my partner who is the knee surgeon.”

Ten minutes later the surgeon came in, looked at the x-rays and MRI and contradicted everything Doctor Number 1 had said — I did NOT have arthritis, there WAS a repairable tear in the meniscus and he could give me immediate temporary relief.

He inserted one needle to remove the fluid causing the swelling, and another to inject cortisone. Then he said “Keep cycling and running. If the pain continues after today’s shots come back in four weeks for a simple surgery to repair the tear.”

So, the torn meniscus is a blessing!! At least I know what it is and it can be corrected. I don’t have disabling arthritis — and I can continue running which I love so much (and which keeps me healthy as I get older). Blessed be God forever!

Second opinions are not a bad idea when it comes to medical situations! Thank you Lord!

(Pictures below: Leading a group of runners around Jerusalem, and actual MRI picture of my knee; Picture above: running with my son at home in Michigan)

IMG_2168 IMG_0444

For a detailed video about knees and torn meniscus’ see below.

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Questions I Answered on Catholic Answers Live

by Steve Ray on November 22, 2011

Monday night’s show was a Q&A for Non-Catholics. You can listen on line here. More info and other listening options here.

1. To join the Catholic Church in good faith, do I have to believe everything in the Catechism?

2. Why are the bodies of dead popes on display at the Vatican?

IMG_18553. My Catholic friend has an abusive wife but says he cannot divorce her because he is Catholic. How can I help him?

4. Eastern Orthodox Christianity seems to focus more on Christ as the Creator of the Universe but Catholics don’t seen to emphasize this. Why?

5. I am a Methodist interested in the Catholic faith. How can I learn more?

6. A Pentecostal told me that being a Catholic is a sure death sentence when it comes to heaven. What is his basis for such a statement?

7. Can only Catholics go to heaven?

8. Do any other religions have open dialogs with Catholics about the possibility of joining the Catholic Church?

9. How do I become a Catholic as an adult? What will RCIA do for me in my journey to the Catholic Church?

10. What is the Catholic foundation for belief that Peter was the first Pope?

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Church’s Name: Sad or Humorous?

by Steve Ray on November 22, 2011

I was driving down the road the other day and had to turn around and get a picture of this sign (click on the picture for a larger image). I had to chuckle when i thought how silly such denominationalism is — and the series of infighting and splits that must have brought this name about.

Think about it! Christians were first called Christians in Antioch in Acts 11:26. Jesus used the word Church in Matthew 16 and 18. From the 1st century, Christian communities were referred to as Catholic — the Catholic Church, as can be seen as early as the writings of St. Ignatius of Antioch. And Catholic it from then on. ProgressiveBaptist sm.jpg

Then in the 16th century, Luther came along and broke with the Catholic Church and decided to ditch the name. His group became known as Lutheran. Then a large group broke away from Luther and his new denomination because they rejected the infant baptism of Catholics and Lutherans. They were called Anabaptists — “ana” meaning again — baptizing again.

This group was obviously spawned from the break with Luther in the 16th century (see my article on Baptist Successionism). They eventually shortened the name from Anabaptists to simply Baptists.

Then someone decided to start their own little church within the Baptist tradition when they began to send missionaries around the world — usually to convert Catholics. Their parent group of Baptists must not have been sending missionaries. It was worthy of a split. They must have set themselves apart and taken the name MISSIONARY Baptist Church.

But what happened then? Maybe the Missionary Baptist Church got old fashioned and stoggy and so there was another split and the Progressives started their own denomination. They happily called themselves the PROGRESSIVE Missionary Baptist Church.

But the Progressives started infighting about something or other and finally a group of elders or deacons rose up and split off again and started a new group down the street named the NEW Progressive Missionary Baptist Church.

Now what? Who knows! Tomorrow they may split again and make the FIRST New Progressive Missionary Baptist Church and the Second. And then it will probably split again into the NEWEST First New Progressive Missionary Baptist Church or the Holy First New Progressive Missionary Baptist Church. And then we will add multiple sects to the already 33,000 Protestant denominations.

Or maybe they will just chuck it all and call themselves the First Baptist Church and start all over again.

And probably, as actually happenings hundreds of times a day, many will leave these sects and return to the REAL First Missionary Church which understands true baptism and is always progressive. I happen to be speaking of the Catholic Church!

Man, am I ever glad that I left that nonsense and became a Catholic. I think the first name of the Church was the best — and the first teaching as well.

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