Today I received news about the results of my MRI from last Wednesday. The good news there has been no change in the damage in my back that had originally caused my osteoarthritis. The bad news I have bone spurs. I began with a feeling of relief, that is until I did research on bone spurs and the treatment for them. As I’ve said in another post, I’m a hyper personality, who has in recent years been slowed down physically by health issues. The latest of which is severe pain in my lower back, along with extreme pain in my right hip and leg when I stand or walk for longer than 10 minutes at a time. I’ve recently had to use a cane to aid me when I walk or stand, which may be great for protection should you be mugged, but I’ve found brings much consternation my way by rude people, who think it is quite okay to run over a older lady with a cane, or knock it out from under me so I lose my balance. I’ve found that the cane can be a great help when I need to reach things from a top shelf at home or the store, but is useless in helping me keep up with my daughter when she walks. But despite my personal vanity over being perceived as weak, I’ve finally accepted my future with a cane. Especially since I know if someone is rude enough to run into me, or treat me in a disrespectful way because of my slower walk and need for the cane, that the cane makes a great weapon to reach out and trip them with. Okay…not really, but a girl can dream can’t she?
Anyway, the finding of these bone spurs, although normal as we age, has also become a trigger for more extreme pain for my already fibro pain racked body. Not quite knowing what bone spurs were, nor the treatments available for them, I immediately went to my computer to do some research. It didn’t do much to alleviate my fears, and in fact left me in tears of fear of possibilities to come. Right now I am being put on 2 new meds to deal with inflammation and pain. This should be fun, since a baby aspirin can knock me out cold, I plan on being asleep or loopy for the next few weeks, which I hate because I can’t get anything done, and as a homeschooling mom that is not good. If these do not help, the next step is a Pain Management Clinic and Specialist. Well, I did my research and that is where the fear really came in. They go through the normal use of chiropractors and physical therapist, but after that the thing I fear most as far as medical treatments came into view…SHOTS! Yep, shots into your spine to lessen the pain was one of their normal treatments. You see, I hate shots of any kind! I can’t stand to see the needle enter the skin, and if I see it I pass out. I can’t stand the pain from getting a shot. To me it seems that Hell is a big, humungous hypodermic needle with my name on it. I’ve had shots since I was a young child, whether for asthma, immunizations, strep throat, dental work, pneumonia. No matter what I’ve had to go to the doctor for it seems they have a needle waiting for me with my name on it. But these shots are the worse. At 19 after having a shoulder injured by an abusive ex-husband I was sent to a specialist, who immediately decided the best thing would be to ease my pain by giving me a new shot therapy. Laying on my stomach, he proceeded to stick a needle filled with cortisone into my spine between my shoulder blades. I’d never felt anything so painful up to that point and it didn’t make things better. Women who have had epidurals can tell you how painful these shots can be, even if they leave you numb afterwards. But this shot didn’t leave me numb like the 2 epidurals that they gave me for the C-section that I had with my youngest daughter. It felt more like a clamp being squeezed down on my nerves in my spine. I didn’t think anything could be worse. That is until they gave me cortisone shots in my neck to ease pain from disk damage. It left me nauseated, in excruciating pain from my head to my toes, besides triggering a massive cluster migraine that didn’t ease for weeks. The pain from this shot was so excruciating I nearly passed out from it as they were doing the shot. I don’t think there is anything I could equate this pain to, except maybe that split second when your head is being cut off and the nerves are being severed and reacting to it. No I’ve never had my head severed from my body, but that is what I imagine it feeling like…except this pain lasted for over a week after the shot.
Well, now you know why the word SHOT sends waves of fear through me. I am not afraid of dieing because I know where my soul is going when I do. What I am afraid of is living in severe pain? Which I do daily live with, but not in the amount that the one shot gave me. It’s not something I want to be feeling, nor living with, and so the thought of having to go through a shot therapy for bone spurs isn’t pleasing at all. It is quite fearsome to me! Of course my brave retired military husband will tell me to “Buck Up, because it isn’t that bad!” And of course I will tell him, “Then you take them for me!” Which he will refuse to do, because the truth is he doesn’t want the pain either. This is when you find out how uncompassionate the people around you are, and how uncompassionate people in general are. You will get comments about not being a baby about it, about how it really isn’t that bad, and so much more. It isn’t bad when it is coming from someone who has had them, but when it comes from someone who hasn’t had a shot in their spine for pain it is utterly disrespectful sounding and very discouraging, instead of helpful and caring.
Having said all this to explain the situation and the fear, there is one thing I know and I have faith in. There is a Lord and Savior who cares and is truly compassionate when we face things like this. He has experienced the suffering and pain to a level that I can’t even imagine, even more than what I will face with these shots. I know that God will not tell me that this is going to be a breeze, or that I’m being a baby about it. Instead when I give it to God in prayer, he will hold my hand through it, just as he held my hands through the MRI, as I’m as claustrophobic as you can imagine. But that is another story for another time. The Lord will calm my heart even in that last moment of facing that needle. He will comfort me in the tears I cry in fear, and give me peace to replace those tears. He won’t think of me as a sissy, a whimp or a crybaby. He won’t minimalize what I’m going through, like many others will. He will pick me up and carry me during the worst part of the pain, and ease my mind about the future beyond it. When I give it to the Lord, I receive the greatest love and compassion a person can be given in this world. This is the compassion of one who has suffered the greatest pain ever, the weight of the entire sins of the world taken to a cross and crucified for them. He suffered the scourging, the shame, the guilt, the pain, the hurt we all feel, all at one time, and took it to that cross for us. That is why the Lord can understand what we are going through, and why he shows us great compassion to help us through it ourselves. Yes, I will still fear those shots! Yes, I will still fear living in extreme pain! But I know that when it gets to be too much, I can give it to God, and he will see me through. So from this moment on I’m giving it to God!