I have known many of you for years, and we have some catching up to do.
I was your doctor beginning in 1991 when I had a busy practice in partnership with Dr. David Billue. We had offices in Albertville and at Marshall Medical Center North. During those years I had three wonderful children. The oldest, a girl, is in college now studying engineering at Auburn. The second, a boy is in high school, and the third, another girl, is in junior high school.
Then in 2000, I suffered the loss of my youngest brother. He was 24 when he died as a result of a methamphetamine addiction. That changed my life.
In 2001 I started a non-profit group called Mothers Against Methamphetamine and went on a mission. I was teaching high schools kids, church groups, addicts and inmates about the effects of methamphetamine on the brain and personality.
Mothers Against Methamphetamine grew into a multinational organization. I wrote a book, Crystal Meth: They Call it Ice. I made three videotaped presentations that were distributed to school and jails all over the nation. Here locally I taught at our high schools, churches, drug courts and jails.
In 2004, tragedy of a different sort struck. I had surgery for a pinched nerve in my right hand, and it was not successful. My right hand was seriously disabled and I was no longer able to work as a physician. This was a crushing blow, but I saw in it the hand of God. I decided to accept my new position and do what I was able to do.
So I turned my attention to the non-profit I had formed and the work grew to full time. At the time, this nation and especially Marshall County, were in a crisis because of methamphetamine addiction. I turned my attention to our schools, jails and rehabilitation centers.
My message has always included a powerful statement about the mercy of Jesus and the hope of a Spirit filled recovery for every addict. Countless lives have been changed as a result of Mothers Against Methamphetamine.
Over the next many years I traveled the world fighting methamphetamine addiction, teaching courses to addicts and giving presentations to professionals of all descriptions. I was at much at home in the Arkansas State Penitentiary as I was in the Idaho Governor’s office.
All this time, the nerves in my hand slowly improved. At first I needed both hands to open the refrigerator door. Then I became able to start the car with my right hand. After a few more years I could sweep the floor, then mop the floor, and finally I could carry the vacuum cleaner with my right hand.
In 2011 I reentered formal physical therapy. Progress was slow. It took the better part of a year, but I regained most of the use of my right hand. Enough to take some hope of a re-entry into medical practice.
In 2012 I began a new chapter, starting this office Gynecology practice in August of 2012. Over the years it has grown and developed into a vibrant ministry to the women of this area. I take the time to listen to my patients and get to know them personally. When life crisis intervenes – a cancer diagnosis, the end of an important relationship, a wayward child – I am ready and willing to listen to you, care about you, see to it that you get what you need medically, emotionally and spiritually.
I will never be able to do surgery or deliver babies again, I gave those capabilities to the Lord years ago. He has given me something better, a heart that hears what you say and what you are afraid to say, that listens to the whole story.
When Jesus healed the woman with 12 years of hemorrhage, who had spent all she had on doctors, the Bible says she “told her whole story.” That means Jesus listened to her whole story. I aim to do the same for you. I may not be able to solve all your problems; I may not be able to solve any of them, but I will work with you and listen to you, and together we will bring about improvement in your life, to the glory of God.