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An interesting summer so far. I finally went in for a Dr appointment in mid-May for what seemed like an acid reflux issue. Acid reflux has bothered me for awhile. It might have started a couple of decades ago but the severity really started not long after I was smoked by the hit and run car in 2009. Late summer and early fall of 2010 it was really a bother and after a few trips to the ER I was scheduled for having my gallbladder removed. It basically fell apart in the surgeon’s hands as he was removing it, it was in such bad shape. A couple of years later I was having more problems and the same Dr that removed the gallbladder advised me to take a Prilosec every day, something I did for a few years, rarely going more than a day without taking one.

The last year or so I took a Prilosec, I was hampered with hot feet, something I attributed to a medication side-affect. Numerous tests were done over a period of a few months with nothing confirmed as to the cause. Then one day last October while I was driving semi truck hauling corn to the POET facility in Groton, my feet were so on fire that I was literally driving down the highway with bare feet. I feel God spoke to me that day saying it was the Prilosec causing this discomfort so I quit taking it the next day, all the while knowing that the acid reflux was going to kick me hard. That was exactly what happened but the hot feet went away!

So I went in to talk to our local pharmacist and asked her what she might recommend. Since she knew I had been taking Prilosec she said Zantac or Nexium might be OTC meds that could work for me. So I started taking a Zantac every day and this lasted until this spring.

In March the acid reflux started bothering me more again, so much so that I started sleeping in my recliner so as not to be lying flat, a position that gave me more problems. After about 2 1/2 months of sleeping in my chair every night, I’d had enough so I scheduled a checkup. After the Dr scoped my esophagus, he told us that I had a hiatal hernia and the acid reflux had caused ulcers in my esophagus. He had recommended a surgery, which is one of the pictures here. He said that before he would do the surgery I would have to pass a manometry test. This is a test where your nose and throat are numbed and a tube is inserted into the nostril and it will go down into your esophagus. A person is then instructed to swallow water to test the muscle strength of the stomach sphincter muscle to see if a surgery can be done successfully. Since we were planning to do a driving trip to Ohio the end of May I said we would call when we returned home to schedule a manometry test day.

While on the trip, and I am not sure where this happened, I had a vision that I should not do the test and surgery. It was a vision, not a dream. So when we returned home I started doing more research and that is when I found the picture of the procedure and I looked at the after-affects. Gretchen and I talked about it for awhile and then decided it didn’t look like something we should do.

Not long before that decision was made we went to a wedding reception and I had one soda pop and the next day I was passing blood. So after that cleared up the next week I decided to embark on a radical lifestyle change.

That change includes; no carbonated beverages of any sort, no alcohol, no candy or chocolate, reduced green tea intake, smaller meals, pineapple after my larger meals, mostly a couple slices of toast and water for my evening meal and nothing at all after 6:00 p.m. each night. I also started using our elliptical each morning with a walk around town as a substitute once in awhile.

When I started this embarkation in the lifestyle change, I weighed in at 217#’s. This morning’s weigh-in I was 201.4#’s and I have a target of 193# which is the weight I was in March of 1999 when I was off-loaded from the chopper after my heart attack flight to Fargo.

An interesting side-affect to this change is that my white count has changed drastically! I was diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) in July of 2012. I get a blood panel every 3 months with an annual checkup every October. The white count of 9.8 this month is significantly lower than my April draw of 15.0. That 9.8 is the lowest number I have had since diagnosis. This is just one test so it doesn’t necessarily suggest I might be in remission but it is something to be noted and watched.

To top all these changes off, I am honestly feeling better these days. Not as many aches and pains and it is possible that I am sleeping better too as I now need an alarm to wake me for my early Wednesday morning Bible study.

God has led me on this earthly journey these past years and I pray each day that everything I say and everything I do will bring glory to His Name.

“For I am the Lord who heals you.” – Exodus 15:26 NLT

“My wayward children,” says the Lord, “come back to me, and I will heal your wayward hearts.” – Jeremiah 3:22 NLT

O Lord, if you heal me, I will be truly healed; if you save me, I will be truly saved. My praises are for you alone! – Jeremiah 17:14 NLT

Such a prayer offered in faith will heal the sick, and the Lord will make you well. And if you have committed any sins, you will be forgiven. – James 5:15 NLT +T+

“Rabbi,” his disciples asked him, “why was this man born blind? Was it because of his own sins or his parents’ sins?” “It was not because of his sins or his parents’ sins,” Jesus answered. “This happened so the power of God could be seen in him. ~ John 9:2-3 +T+

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About David Christenson: He is a lifelong resident of South Dakota, grew up on a farm north of Claremont and attended school in Amherst and Britton, graduating from Britton in 1977. David married Gretchen Tisher in 1984. Gretchen is also a graduate of Britton and teaches math and drama at Britton-Hecla high school. David and Gretchen have two children. Zach is an engineer for Continental Ag in Norfolk, Nebraska and his wife Amanda is a nurse. Margo lives in Denver and works as a Marketing & Outreach coordinator for MyLifeLine.org, a cancer support not-for-profit entity. David started a cow/calf operation in the 1980s and farmed on the family farm after his high school graduation until December of 1994 when he accepted a sales position at the John Deere store in Britton. David left the John Deere sales position in March of 2006 and became a licensed crop insurance agent in May of 2006. David also started a rental business in 2010 and remained in the cattle business until January of 2012. David, age 55, has had some extraordinary circumstances in his life. He was run over by a farm tractor before age 6 and had three heart attacks a few months before turning 40. Then he suffered life threatening injuries a few months after turning 50 in a hit and run incident. David was diagnosed with leukemia in 2012 and skin cancer in 2014. David started writing his recovery experiences on Facebook in December of 2009. Over the next four years those Facebook notes became what would become chapters in his book, “Why Are You Here?” which was published in December of 2013.

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