Felix Sciatica

Augustine claimed that only if we all were infected with an “original sin” could Christ the redeemer have come into the world. No sin, no redemption. No fallen Adam, no risen Christ.

The logic was impeccable. He called that sin a “Felix Culpa,” a “blessed fault.” (From “felix” we have “felicitous.” From “culpa” we have “culpable.”) While I don’t believe in Felix Culpa, I have found another focus for this logic.

For over three months I have been wrestling with sciatica. For those of you who have had it, I need say no more. For those who haven’t I recommend hammering a 16 penny nail into your butt.  My search for alleviation led to a doctor who gives injections.

Four injections later I was no better, so he recommended an MRI to see what might be causing it. Without the failure of four injections he couldn’t justify the cost to the insurers – the logic of American medicine.

Upon seeing the MRI results my primary physician saw a “mass” on my kidney and immediately ordered a CT scan that demonstrated that I have a small growth on my kidney. After further consultation I agreed to have it removed along with some of my kidney – perhaps all of it if it proves more malign than they think now.

The mortality rate for advanced kidney cancer is not good. Without the sciatica, without the failure of the earlier treatments, and without the alert eye of my physician, I would never have known it was growing there until it might have been too late.

I have found my “felix sciatica,” and happily so. Our life must be filled with its siblings, for which we all can give our grateful praise. Augustine may have had a point, but maybe Felix has a lot more lives than he imagined.

My surgery is on November 19, so there may be a hiccup in my blogging. A heck of a way to catch up on my reading. While my compatriots are giving thanks with turkey and sweet potato, I’ll be giving thanks – a lot of it – with bread and soup.

9 thoughts on “Felix Sciatica”

  1. So swell to see you on Monday, Bill. Anne and I have the prayer wheels spinning. Courage and grace! And much love to you both.

  2. Bill, I pray that your surgery will be successful and the outcome will be one of joy.
    You will be in my thoughts and prayers.

  3. Dear Bill and Sylvia, Steve Overall sent me to your blog to read for myself the medical problems and distress this is causing. I am truly sorry and will now include you in my daily prayers. In the last months of Doris’s life we found that praying for others had a calming effect on us both and I have continued the discipline. I have fond memories of our work together in ADME. With my concerns and best wishes,

    Bill Close

  4. Dear Friends,
    Many thanks for your expressions of solidarity with us. To answer a couple of questions: Some people think there is a “referred pain” axis from kidney to piriformis muscle, which is usually involved in sciatica. My urologist thinks not. So the 16d nail will probably remain, tho who knows? One thing at a time.
    The cancer is almost certainly malignant, but there are about four types involving the kidney and they won’t know until it’s removed.
    Meanwhile, further research has revealed that in old Latin “felix” means fertile or fruitful. Only later did it come to mean “fortunate,” and with Augustine, “blessed.” Out of ashes comes the new plants. So let’s all count our felicitatis and give thanks.

  5. Dear Bill & Sylvia … I cannot greet one without greeting both. This discovery is surely affecting your spirits as well as Bill’s body, right?!

    Lynne and I will be praying for the most amazing grace to pour over and heal you from all that threatens to harm or interfer with God’s mission at work in and through your life.

    November 19th, will be a day of fasting and holding you in our hearts. Be Well, my Friends.

    Love and Grace,
    Steve and Lynne

  6. Bill, thanks for sharing. You have a strong attitude toward medical conditions that could drive you to despair. Do they know that the growth on the kidney is cancer? I pray for your healing.

  7. It is in that faith revealed we hear your hope. Thank you for sharing your journey. Your oikos will be praying with you.

  8. Now that we’ve made friends with Felix Sciatica, I want to know more about it. Is it caused by the mass? If not, you still have to deal with the 16-penny nail, right? Let’s hope the surgery will take care of both and leave you in radiant good health. At least you’re not infected with Felix Culpa!

  9. Dearest Bill,
    what a terrible news to read. I have wanted to call you and tell you how pleased and overjoyed I was at having your birthday gift with the great photos from your parents and sister in 1962 and our trip through Germany, France and Italy in 1963. It was a great gift from the past and showed us a young promising thinkers and shakers.
    I sincerely hope and pray that this will be a benign or early enough to be removed growth.
    Looking forward to talking to you probably after November 6.
    From tomorrow there will be guests, and much still needs to be prepared.
    From a 70-year-old to a 69-year-old the only three weeks that I am older than you are, very important to my five-year old daughter,
    Love and Peace,
    your friend of almost 50 years,

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