Being Saved by Grace Helps Me Live Courageously With Sarcoidosis

Being Saved by Grace Helps Me Live Courageously With Sarcoidosis
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“Grace means that all of your mistakes now serve a purpose, instead of serving shame.” – Mike Rusch

For the past few days, I’ve felt like I’m missing something — or maybe that I’m missing out on something. I keep telling myself that I have to finish this task, or start that task. I don’t do either. I’m paralyzed by the thought of restarting a task where I left off, or starting something completely new.

It would probably be in my best interest to move forward with a decision. But I can’t seem to put the pieces together. Sometimes that inability to make decisions makes the days harder. 

Like most people, I’ve had bouts of procrastination, but not like what I’ve dealt with over the past few years. It started in 2017, after I suffered the first of several spontaneous pneumothoraces, likely caused by pulmonary sarcoidosis. I stayed in the hospital for two months and promised myself I would be a changed man once I was released. I realized then that I was saved by grace.

For the most part, I was a changed man. But I also became gun-shy about more than I thought. Fears of normalcy took hold of me. Talk about mental paralysis! I held fast to the thought that my life was saved by grace. I had another chance to make good on things that had gotten away from me. Then I suffered another pneumothorax. 

This one was equally as concerning as the first, though I wasn’t hospitalized for as long. However, I spent my birthday in the lung center. Once I was released, I promised to be that changed man. And for the most part, I was. Once again, I was saved by grace

Since then, I’ve had three more hospital stays. The one that followed the stay over my birthday was the most concerning for my family and me. Because of my pulmonary issues, I was admitted into the intensive care unit and intubated for about two days.

I remember that time vividly: I was strapped to my bed with only a dry-erase marker and board for writing messages. My brother found an old-school music station on the television and asked that the station not be changed. That helped calm my nerves. After a few days, I was released. Once again, I was saved by grace.

Sometimes I think about how many times I’ve been saved by grace. I guess that in spite of living with sarcoidosis, I’ve managed to live a life worthy of grace. Some would say I always seem to push the envelope and take a lot of chances. Like everyone, I’ve made my share of mistakes. That doesn’t mean guilt should be attached to the grace that saved me. Grace and guilt don’t work together. Grace cancels guilt.

Sarcoidosis has forever changed my life, but it doesn’t have to change my living. I’m still here because of grace, and the life I live should tell that story.

Be courageous and show everyone how grace has helped you live. Grace and courage work together. It’s a way of life.

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Note: Sarcoidosis News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Sarcoidosis News or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to sarcoidosis.

Charlton is an independent multimedia/video producer and video editor located in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, area. He was diagnosed with pulmonary sarcoidosis in 2004 at the age of 40. He has worked over 30 years in advertising and educational media. When he’s not creating, he’s in the kitchen cooking. Charlton is known as a skilled pit-master, homebrewer and jazz aficionado. He hopes his column on sarcoidosis will help inspire readers to live life the best they can, and not shed any tears for this illness.
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Charlton is an independent multimedia/video producer and video editor located in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, area. He was diagnosed with pulmonary sarcoidosis in 2004 at the age of 40. He has worked over 30 years in advertising and educational media. When he’s not creating, he’s in the kitchen cooking. Charlton is known as a skilled pit-master, homebrewer and jazz aficionado. He hopes his column on sarcoidosis will help inspire readers to live life the best they can, and not shed any tears for this illness.
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6 comments

    • Charlton Harris says:

      Hey Martha,
      at the suggestion of my 3 pulmonologists, my primary care physician and 2 respiratory therapists to get the vaccine, I got my 2nd shot this past Friday, 3/12 and I feel fine. Better to be careful in the midst of careless people!💪🏾👍🏽

  1. Ronnie RN says:

    Amen brother. No sense dying of a disease that can be prevented with two shots. All of us with sarcoidosis are at extremely high risk. Many people are dying because their immune systems overreact, AKA cytokine storm. We already know our immune systems overreact. Don’t risk it- get the vaccine!

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