Samuel A. Kojoglanian, MD, FACC, FSCAI
One of my patients, David, had a massive heart attack at age 46. While on the cardiac cathetherization table, he died several times and by God’s grace, we brought him back to life and successfully opened up his heart artery that was 100% blocked.
David was a smoker and a heavy drinker. Anger was fueled by his past, when he recalled his parents, who divorced when he was 7. He had heard his parents arguing about their “problem child, ” and being the only child, he always blamed himself for the divorce. That led him to a life of drugs in his teenage years. The drugs turned into alcohol and cigarettes and daily chained him as a prisoner in his adulthood.
No matter what medications I gave him, what counsel I offered him to stop drinking and stop smoking, and no matter how many arteries I opened, my work would have been wasted if I did not focus on the core issue. Yes he had heart disease. Yes he was angry. Yes he felt shame. But why? The more we spoke, the more I found his issue was one a deep injury: rejection, which led to pain, anger, bitterness, and self-condemnation. The addictions effortlessly followed and ultimately manifested in a sick heart.
The person you see in the mirror is much more that a body. The symptoms doctors treat is much more than a diagnosis. The prognosis given to you is so much more than a lab, ultrasound or biopsy result. The Body (Greek, soma) is the physical structure of a human being. The Soul (Greek, psyche) consists of the mind, will and emotions. The Spirit (Greek, “Pneuma”) is the noblest part of a man, occupies the innermost area of his being, separates us from animals, and is the eternal component of a person, seeking purpose, goodness, and a relationship with God. The body communicates with the material world. The Spirit communicates with the spiritual world. And the soul mediates between the two. One cannot be whole by just taking care of his body.
According to Psalm 139:14, you are knit by God in your mothers’ womb, and are amazingly and wonderfully made. Placing a stent for coronary artery disease, or treating one’s blood pressure, high cholesterol, arrhythmia, cancer or depression is addressing such a minor part of a whole person.
I am convinced that we need a sound body, but that’s not possible until one has a sound soul, mind and spirit. And that’s how David is slowly mending today. Wishing you and your family complete healing!