So, there’s something I haven’t really told my blogging audience about myself. It’s not it’s anything I’ve been hiding it, it’s just not something I’ve wanted to revel in. The truth is, I just don’t like to admit pain and have people feel bad for me, because so many people have so many more difficulties than mine. Still, I think today is the day I should tell you about my story.
For the past four years or so, I’ve been dealing with chronic lower back pain. Or rather, was dealing with chronic lower back pain. I say “was” because this story involved a miracle. More on that later.
A disc in my lower back presses against my sciatic nerve, causing constant pain. This is called sciatica. It’s fairly common, so I’m not the only one who has this. Chances are at lease on person over 40 in your family has it. But as you know, I’m not over 40. I’m 24.
Dealing with this has gone through many phases. It started as a small but noticeable pain when I had just turned 20. It took me a while to go get it seen about, thinking that it would just go away eventually. It didn’t, and the first doctor I saw offered the following thing to say:
“Welcome to your twenties.”
Now I’m not one to complain, nor am I one to villainize doctors, because I know there are plenty of hypochondriacs in the world but… bull crap. “Get over it” is NOT a proper diagnosis for someone dealing with pain for two months. However, I sucked it up for about two more months. But there was a point where it was too much to take. It was actually my college’s nurse that first suggested it could be sciatica.
Kudos to you, AUM nurse practitioner, for actually caring to get it right.
She sent me to a “real” back doctor, where a whole new world of things occurred. First I had an MRI, and even I could see without assistance where the disc bulged into the nerve. And my only medical experience is watching House, M.D.
What followed is a series of pain pills, all of which were ineffective. What’s worse, one of these pain pills made me tired and lethargic all of the time. Without me knowing it, it slowly changed my personality to something I never wanted to be. It was nothing extreme, but I began to push against my girlfriend (now fiancee) and my family, and didn’t even recognize it. It’s not that I ever became a jerk, but I was not living up to my potential. My emotions were confined to accomplishing everyday tasks without genuine emotion, and I was miserable. When I recognized this, I stopped taking the pills and just dealt with the intense pain. I couldn’t even walk straight, but I would rather be myself than walk around in a tired haze.
We tried other things, like a couple of epidurals where they injected medicine right into the injured area. Those didn’t work at all. My back doctor began to say that surgery was my only option. My family agreed.
But I suggested one long shot before we did that. I had heard of the success of chiropractors. My back doctor said we could try it, and suggested one in Montgomery. It took five months of weekly sessions, but it finally started working. My pain level reduced, and I could start walking normally again. My chiropractor is amazing, and I can’t thank him enough for is help.
Now I’m at the point where the pain is still there, but very manageable. Most days it’s a one on a scale of ten… noticeable but functional. My thorn in the flesh. And I’m able to excursive again, something I took for granted before all of this.
But here’s the part I’m leaving out. As much as he did for me, my chiropractor didn’t heal me. God did.
Four months in, the chiropractor appointments were not working. Things were not getting better. Surgery seemed imminent, and that would likely cause long-term back damage. I even directly confronted my chiropractor, telling him to give me a reason, any reason, not to get the surgery. He told me to give it time.
One day, I broke down. I spent hours crying, praying, screaming out to God. I told God he had to heal me. I came to the point where my faith reached a level of pure belief in God, a genuine understanding that he was there and I was his. I KNEW that he had the power to heal me, and that he would if I just put aside my doubts and believed. Immediately I felt different. My life was not the same.
The next morning I woke up with very little pain. The difference was night and day, and I’ve never felt anything like it. In stead of walking around AUM limping and hunch-backed, I strolled around campus tall and proud once more. And now I know what this pain exist for. I no longer hate the fact that I’m 24 and deal with this problem.
I admit, before this happened to me, I had always found the concept of “faith healings” stupid and completely made up. But having experienced one myself, I suddenly have a new understanding of my faith. An understanding that there are some things that go beyond coincidence and logic. Sometimes things happen, and the only thing you can do is give credit to God.
In 2 Corinthians, Paul describes something in his life that torments him. He describes how he called out to God to remove it. God told him that it’s to keep him from becoming conceited. At that point, he began to rejoice in his weakness. Like Paul, I don’t struggle with worldly pleasures as much as others. You wont find me drinking the night away, giving myself away to the next tempting high. But I do sometimes struggle with the spiritual. I doubt my faith often, and it’s not something I’m proud of. But God being a guiding hand in my weakness, this pain, helps me. While I get frustrated, I’m no longer mad at God for making me deal with this. On the contrary, it is a constant reminder that he is there, helping me through this. Even when the pain comes, he is there.