Friday, June 12, 2009

Back Pain


For I will restore health to you and heal you of your wounds," says the Lord.
~ Jeremiah 30:17

Twenty years ago, I mysteriously began to have low back pain that quickly became a sciatica problem and then soon after upper back and neck problems as well. I quickly learned that back pain is not really something that other people understand unless they have had it. I would suffer the most with this condition for about six years, and in the middle of those years of suffering I had a conversation with my mother that proves this point.

To set the scene, my mother lived 900 miles away and had not seen me for six or so years, but we had talked on the phone. She was aware of the limitations and pain that I had been enduring, at least I had told her about them, but she had not actually seen me needing help to get out of cars or walk up steps, or being unable to stand after sitting, or wearing a neck brace for weeks three or four times a year.

The day she called was a particularly bad day for me. My husband set food, drinks, napkins, phone, and other possible necessities on the coffee table within reach before he left for work. I was in a neck brace laying on the couch trying not to move and dreading the call of nature when I would have no choice but to roll off the couch and literally crawl to the bathroom.

My mother calls to excitedly tell me that both of my sisters, both younger than I, were pregnant. One was far along in her pregnancy and the other had just been announced. Then my mother, again, pressed me about having a baby as she had been doing for years. I tried to keep in mind that my mother had not seen my condition with her own eyes, and I began to explain how it was for me that day.

She did not seem to hear any of it. She was only thinking of grandbabies! To try to connect the dots for her, I said something like let's assume that I can even get pregnant (of which I had serious doubts), I would probably have to lie down most of my pregnancy. Her response was that would be all right.

I never told her how much what she said hurt me that day. Here I was, her own baby experiencing intense pain and she did not mind me going through more so that I could produce her next grandbaby.

I remember thinking that she just isn't getting how much pain I was in. She was only thinking I might be a bit uncomfortable being pregnant, so I tried again. "Let's assume that I make it through the pregnancy and the labor, which I cannot even image doing right now, who is going to hold the baby? I mean, some days I cannot even lift a pitcher to pour a drink for myself." She responded that she would come and take care of the baby.

Okay, then I knew she is not quite on the same plane I was because we never did well living together even in my childhood. Perhaps she was thinking a short visit would be all I needed and then I would be able to carry the baby with all the baby baggage like a baby carrier and diaper bag.

She was not of the mind to hear me. It hurt and not just emotionally, I had one of the worse flare-ups in my entire life that lasted nearly three weeks. At that time I lived with some measure of pain every day, just some days less than others. I did improve and actually became pain free after a time.

Then it all flipped. My mother was involved in four car accidents in just two years time. She consequently had back problems. She called once running down the list of things she was not able to do: vacuum, taking wet laundry out of the washer, washing dishes, putting dishes away, etc. Pretty much the very same list I had been telling her about years before. I waited until she had exhausted her list and calmly asked her if she would like to be pregnant right then....I had never heard my mother sputter quite so much before. She finally managed to ask what that was all about. I described the day that she had asked the same of me.

Then my mother said that she just thought people used back pain as an excuse to get out of work, because they did not look sick, not realizing that was like twisting the knife for me. Had she thought that I was just being lazy all those years or making stuff up just to get attention--her own daughter? (I had a vow in my heart at that time to never treat my own child with so little regard when he said he was in pain.) Well, at least, my mother understood what I had suffered, but I was sorry she had to learn about it by experiencing for herself.

Although I experienced some upper back flare ups over the years, I have had very little problems with my low back, even while I was pregnant and carrying our 45 pound collie up and down steps because she was too crippled to manage them. My Lord has been very good to me about either showing me how to heal myself, or identifying the cause. I say this latter part because I have noticed over the years that when I have flare-ups and they do not respond to chiropractic treatments, that there is usually an emotional involvement. That would include how my back problems all started, as we were under a great deal of stress.

Recently, for the last three weeks actually, I have been having increasing low back pain again and I had only minimal relief for a few hours after a chiropractic adjustment. I am sure there is an emotional involvement with this one, but I don't think it has been made known to me in entirety yet. The last time I had an upper back problem that increased in intensity was when my daughter was an infant; it lasted an entire year until I finally discovered the underlying cause and then it was gone in two weeks as if it never happened for all those months.

Yesterday I was having a more low back pain than usual, after calling to talk briefly with my pastor, I returned to our lessons and at some point I realized I was pain free, and today I am still doing well. This is the second time I received healing from her praying for me. I think I might know part of what caused this one and it has something to do with fear and fear was definitely a big factor in my life when this all started years ago.

I, obviously, have much to talk over with my Lord.

~ My Lord, You are my Healer of body, mind, and spirit. I surrender myself to You and thank You for healing me. Reveal what You would have me know and forgive me for my fear, my lack of faith and trust in You. ~

4 comments:

  1. I am very glad you are feeling better! So sorry that your mother didn't understand your pain. I never brush aside back pain having suffered with it most of my life so I get how you feel. Just glad you are feeling better. :)

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  2. Thank you, Birbitt!

    I am still doing well! All of yesterday, the day after she prayed for me, I had no back pain.

    Praise my Lord!!!! This may sound odd: I have prayed for others and they have been healed of all sorts of things over the years, but being on the receiving end is so...indescribably amazing!

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  3. Seeking, my Dearest broke his back over 10 years ago & has had chronic pain ever since so while I'm not the one in pain I do live with it & understand some days are just awful. I am so happy God blessed you with relief. Pain wears you down so fast. It is exhausting to deal with it. God bless, my friend.

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  4. Ganeida, I caught that your husband suffered a back injury in your blog and I am sorry that your family has to endure all that goes with it besides the pain he must be having. I cannot tell you how thankful I was for my husband and how he took care of me doing all the things I could not for so long.

    What is really odd about back pain is that one day I could dig deep holes for fence posts and be fine and another day I could do just twenty minutes of very light gardening, which I found so relaxing, and be on my back for two weeks. It never was predictable for me. Why I could hold my baby for hours and nurse her without any pain, but I could not stand the pain in washing the dishes during that one year after the Princess was born was a mystery to me, but that was just how it was.

    Birbitt, I did not mean to ignore your comments about your back pain. I meant to write something, but apparently I hit the post button without typing my thoughts out completely. I am very sorry you have had that problem. You have been in my thoughts and prayers.

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Thank you fellow travelers for walking and talking with me along this journey.