Pain has been a 24/7 constant companion of mine the last 18 years. It is an icy, burning “rod” of pain that bolts from my sacroiliac down my thigh and calf with a pain # as low as 5 and as high as 8. I also have lower back pain that finds its pain # anywhere from a 0-5 with the “0” clearly not happening as often as it use to. My family can attest to the fact that when I add to this a headache (even slight), an insect bite itch, or the like …. it sends me over the edge.
Over the edge for me is somewhere I fall deep within myself. I don’t yell or scream or “usually” say things I regret … the problem is … I go so deep and numb within myself … I don’t feel emotion at all. When I go into this place I protect myself from anger, but loose my ability to care … to care if I eat to many potato chips, spend to much money, or if the puppy is peeing on the carpet. It is a temporary thing … when the “over the edge” incident corrects itself …. I have the “pull” to enter back into emotional reality. I can attest this “pull” only to faith in Christ. A faith that allows me to repeat the words of Christ found in Luke 22:42 …. “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.”. Words that I repeat as I go “in” and words I repeat as I come “out” of the abyss.
Recently, I was approved for a “trial” of a Nevro Spinal Stimulator Implant (https://www.nevro.com/English/About-Us/Who-We-Are/default.aspx).
About 15 years ago … I had different brand/type spinal stimulator placed and had great results, however, a faulty battery led to a new unit which never really worked for me. Eventually, it was removed. Fast forward to late 2018 … a new Dr. and new technology brought the implant back into consideration. When the “trial” was approved I moved forward with the external “trial” unit (on Jan. 18, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. to be exact). I had immediate relief. Over the next couple days my leg pain diminished by about 80% and my back pain diminished by about 60%. As a woman of great faith, it was contrary for me to have great hesitation to rejoice over what I can define for myself as nothing less than … a “miracle”. I was so hesitant, I confided only to my sister-in-law and eventually my husband that I did in fact have great pain relief. It was that same “caution” as waiting to share with the public you are pregnant until you are solidly in your 3rd month of pregnancy.
During my post-op appointment, I learned that the internal leads taped on my back and connected to the external unit I was wearing on a belt around my waist were going to be removed in 3 days (they wanted to make it 2 days, but being the great negotiator that I am I convinced them it needed to be 3!) … thus, allowing my pain to return while we waited for my Workers Comp Insurance Company to approve the permanent implant. I knew this was necessary and had been bracing myself for what I “thought” was about a 2 week wait back in pain land. It turns out that just because an insurance company approves a trial, it clearly does not mean they will approve the permanent unit …. WHAT!!!!!!?????? ….. it is most likely it will need to go through the normal Workers Comp denial and arbitration process. A process that IF successful, will take at least 6 weeks. I was despondent. I remember putting my hand on Barry’s shoulder as he sat next to me … hoping he would get the non-verbal que to pay attention … because I could not. I saw my Dr. and Nevro Rep’s mouth moving … but could not make any intelligible words from them … I could only think of returning to my life of pain.
On the ride home, I was thankful that I had memorized Romans 5:3-5, “ …we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” Honestly, I am tired of the suffering/endurance/character/hope deal-i-bob, but I declare it to be true in my head … even when my heart is tired and not on board.
So where am I going with this? I have no idea … it is just me being honest and processing what transpired this morning. Me knowing that prayer is what gets the ball rolling … me asking that whoever may read this to stop and take a moment to pray that the permanent implant be approved … quickly, without arbitration … and “Father,… Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.” I sincerely thank you for your prayers …..