About a week ago, I was talking about going to church and asked Jacob if he would go with me. He told me no. I then mentioned to him that he should go and give praise for the disease heading toward remission. Without looking up to me he casually mentioned that God is not helping his disease, the medicine is. I was caught totally dumbfounded. I then followed with asking him who he thought the idea of medicine came from and with this he answered, "doctors". I was left speechless. I had no response.
Maybe a day or so later, I asked him why he thought God is not helping him. He point blank told me that he did something wrong. He has no clue what he did wrong, but that he must have done something wrong for God to punish him with this disease. My heart sunk. I tried to explain to him that he has done nothing wrong, but he cannot be convinced. I told him that I am going to find a way to prove to him that he is not being punished.
I have googled some (not as much as I need to though) and have even emailed one of the pastors at the church (I have not received a response, but she has been really busy as of late). I then was laying down in my own bed and in one of those twilight kind of sleeps (you know, the one where you are somewhat aware of your surroundings, but still partially sleeping) and it came to me that I, too, at times feel like I am being punished for something when my arthritis acts up. I totally get what the kid means. I know deep in my heart that I am not being punished. There is a reason for me having rheumatoid arthritis and there is a reason for Jacob getting Berger's disease. We just do not know it and we may never know the reason. I personally feel that having arthritis has made me a better person. I can understand and relate to my patients better. I am more sensitive to others. For Jacob it seems to have done the opposite. This disease has made him hard. Maybe it is just our personalities. I am forever the optimist, while he is pessimistic, like his dad.
I explained to him yesterday that I understand how he feels. I get that he feels like he is being punished. I have faith that we are not. He does not have that faith. So now that is a task for me. To help him develop that faith. Positive attitude goes a long way in treating illness. If anyone reads this, and you have some suggestions for me, leave a comment. I could use the help.