“I don’t like doctors. I never have,” Clarence blurted. The former high school football star turned charismatic pastor has always been vocal about his feelings for healthcare workers.
Clarence Alexander had been in generally good health despite being a very large guy at 5’10” and 325 pounds. He did have asthma that was managed with an inhaler, so he never saw the point in annual checkups or changes in his lab work as he got older. Shortly after his 40th birthday, Clarence’s mother passed away from cancer and it prompted him to finally get a checkup.
“I didn’t want to leave my wife and girls because of something that could’ve been prevented,” Clarence said. “That meant more to me than my issues with doctors. I had to suck it up.”
Clarence’s checkup revealed that he suffered from borderline hypertension, was pre-diabetic, and that raspy preaching voice was a result of polyps – small tissue growths – on his throat. He was immediately put on a regimen of meds and scheduled to have a procedure for removing the polyps.
“I had a lot going on!” Clarence exclaimed. “But thankfully I was in the early stages of those conditions.” With the support of his family and congregation, Clarence had his polyps removed which greatly increased the quality of his speaking and preaching voice. But he didn’t stop there.
“It was like having a new voice to share God’s word, but I also wanted to do everything I could to do God’s work,” he commented. Clarence started going for walks with his wife, reduced his caloric intake, and stopped drinking sodas. His doctor, whom he once despised, advised him on small steps towards improving his health and possibly reversing his conditions without drastic measures such as weight loss surgery.
“Having that new voice was energizing, but when I prayed about having surgery, God said ‘Do the work,’ so that’s what I’m doing,” Clarence said.
Clarence is on a long journey towards better health, but he’s not alone. He’s bringing his family, congregation, and his new voice along for the journey.