Scratching the Itch

In Memphis, as a young arborist I had to rescue a co-worker from a bucket truck. He was making a cut on a limb that came back and pinned him in the bucket about 40 feet high. He was not injured but could not move due to the weight of the limb against him. He needed help. So I ascended the tree (using rope and saddle) and realized half way up that I was climbing through poison ivy; thick, woody vines and lush, juicy leaves. But I had to keep going because my co-worker was in danger.

Later, I learned new meaning for the word “itch”. Covered on my neck, belly and arms, I was not deterred from scratching. Blood couldn’t stop me. Neither did threats of scars or spreading, nor anything else, because it relieved the itch to simply scratch. So I did. All those things I heard as a child about scratching being bad, I learned they not true. First Santa, then the Easter Bunny, now this? I was devastated.

Now as a dad, I occasionally see blood from a scratched mosquito bite on Lewis’ arm and I tell him, “Quit scratching. That might scar.” He answers with a smile saying, “But I like scars.” That’s my boy. I let him scratch.

Tara itches like crazy right now. The rashes are healing and it is an insatiable itch. But she is not miserable, because the pain from the shingles is FINALLY gone. Thank God. I am telling her, “Scratch away, bristlefingers. Add these scars to the others if you want.” They are scars in a battle she is winning. That seems to make a scar more bearable.

Tara has yet a new spring to her step; each day more and more strength. God has sustained her again today.


7 thoughts on “Scratching the Itch

  1. I know we are supposed to be supporting you, Jay, but in reality you are allowing us to peak at our Lord in action! What a privilege. I continue to thank God for you and Tara (and the children). I’m so glad to hear that Shingles is on the way out! Even that, in my mind, is a miracle…..because Tara’s immune system must be weakened. That fact that she has kicked this is fantastic. What an amazing lady…..then again, she has an amazing man who, “has her back”! Every day, every day…..praying…..

  2. You can add a pin to Panama City Beach, FL, because we are all praying for you down here. I feel your pain with the shingles. No one can really relate unless they’ve had it, and Bri and I both have. The good thing about them is that they do go away. Love you!

  3. Isaiah feels the same way about scars as Lewis does. Must be a boy thing. 🙂 Although he loves that scars make him look “tough”(strong), scars also give my storyteller boy the opportunity to share his scar stories. Thank you for sharing your story and for allowing Christ to shine so brightly through you!

    I recently saw a quote that stating something along the lines of scars be a reminder not of the the suffering but of surviving. Singing praises to the King for Tara’s healed rash and gaining strength!

    • YIKES! I really should drink my first cup of coffee before attempting to write! Let’s change that to “I recently saw a quote which stated that scars are a reminder of not the suffering but of surviving.”
      Happy Friday!

  4. Is there such a thing as immunization evangelism? My sister once called me a “vaccine pusher” (ouch!), so maybe there is. Most people have probably heard that there is an immunization for shingles. But it isn’t recommended (and therefore probably not covered by many insurances) until age 60! It’s an expensive immunization, too–at least $300! For Rochester folks, if you don’t have Mayo insurance, you’re better off getting your shot at a local pharmacy. Mayo pharmacists have observed that non-Mayo insurance companies don’t cover the shot very well at Mayo, so the out-of-pocket costs are higher to the patient if they’re immunized at Mayo, and have recommended that patients be advised accordingly.

    Isn’t it like Satan to “pile-on”; to kick us when we’re down?! Tara, I’m so thankful the pain—Satan’s piling-on—is finally gone! I can only imagine what a relief that must be! Rejoicing with you that you have conquered this phase, and that God has delayed the onset of Spring to coincide with the spring in your step!

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