Dizzy Salty Daughter

Passing by my youngest daughter, Brittany, lying on the couch, I said, “You look funny.  I mean not funny, funny, as in Ha, Ha, clown funny, but the yucky funny kind of funny.”

With her eyes closed she said, “Poppy!!”

“Ok,” I said, “So what’s wrong?”

Holding her stomach and with a grimace she said, “I’m dizzy and can’t stand up.”

I responded, “You mean you can’t stand up as in vertical, upright, perpendicular to the floor, 180-degrees straight up, stand up kind of standing up?”

“Poppyyyyyyyy STOP!!  I’m really sick!”

“Ok, ok,” I said, and that was the beginning of many months of my dizzy daughter’s dizzy spells.

At first, we thought it might be the flu or cold kind of thing because she also felt sick to her stomach, and it’s always so easy to think it’s just the latest thing that’s “going around,” but as the weeks followed, the periodic dizzy spells continued.   A trip to the doctor couldn’t find anything wrong, so he suggested we keep an eye on her to see if anything else developed.  Sometimes she would go for days without a problem, and then some days the dizzy spells were so bad it was impossible for her to attend school—it’s hard to go to school when you can’t even stand up!

After missing an excessive number of days of school, back to the doctor she went, but the doctor still had no explanation and, unfortunately, no remedy.  This went on for about a full year when finally, much to our relief, we found a doctor that figured out the problem—Brittany had the dizzy symptoms of Meniere’s (pronounced “men-yairs”) disease.  The doctor gave her a prescription, but our hopes that the medication would be the solution were dashed when it ended up making her even more sick!

During this whole ordeal, my wife and I had been praying and asking the Lord Jesus for wisdom about what to do or to outright heal Brittany.  Now that she was having a problem with the medication, our prayers intensified!  We were thankful Brittany made it through the school year, and we were so grateful for the patience and understanding of her teachers throughout the months of her unavoidable absences, but questions raced through our minds—questions like, “How long can this go on?” “What about the next school year?”

While these unspoken questions caused us concern, summer was just around the corner, and we had an opportunity to go to Nicaragua as a family on a missions trip to help build a church—but what about Brittany?  “Should we take her?” “Should we cancel altogether?”  After praying, we decided to move forward and trust the Lord for Brittany’s condition and go ahead with our original plans to go to Nicaragua.

On the flight down to Nicaragua, I ended up sitting next to a medical doctor.  He was a nice guy and a bit chatty and was headed to a medical conference in Managua, the capital city of Nicaragua, where he would be speaking.  During the flight, he pulled out his laptop and started looking at a PowerPoint presentation, which was about healthy and diseased tissue in the human body.  I explained that I was a biologist and asked if he would mind if I read his PowerPoint as he reviewed it.

He answered, “Sure . . . only this is an old computer and the battery may die at any time.”

I said, “No problem,” and thanked him for letting me read along.

The first presentation he was reviewing was fairly long, but one I found rather interesting.  Then he fired up his next PowerPoint, and my mouth dropped open in disbelief.  It was titled, “Meniere’s Disease”!!  EXACTLY what Brittany had! With rapt attention, I carefully read every slide.

The presentation went through the history of Meniere’s disease, the symptoms and causes.  Then his slideshow started covering treatments, including a list of medications that had proven helpful as well as a list of side effects that might occur.  If that approach was unsuccessful for the patient, then surgery was the next step.  A series of slides followed that described the various surgical approaches.

The next slide seemed to be added as an afterthought and was labeled “Nonconventional Approaches.”  Under the title the word SALT jumped out at me.  The slide stated that because Meniere’s was caused by swelling in the inner ear, some patients may find relief from a reduced salt diet.  However, there had been no clinical testing to prove this approach.  I thought to myself after reading that, “I wonder if daughter Brittany has been a bit on the salty side?”

The moment I finished reading the part about the salt, his screen went blank—as his computer battery died.  Shaking my head, I mumbled in my heart, “Thank you, Jesus; I’m certain this was from you!!”  I discussed it briefly with the doctor as the plane began to land.  During our time in Nicaragua, Brittany didn’t salt any of her food and didn’t have any dizzy spells during the whole trip!

That was over six years ago, and Brittany is no longer my Dizzy Salty Daughter!

We prayed…..God heard.

We trusted…..God answered.

In our weak human condition, we joyfully give thanks to Whom thanks is due . . . He is a God who can be trusted!


Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the Name of the LORD our God.        –Psalm 20:7

Copyright © 2012 by William D. (Nick) Nichols


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