Friday, November 14, 2008

Pains and Aches

Hurt hurts.
I've just recently come to that realization. No, really I already knew that, but I liked how it sounded. This past couple of weeks has been filled with different things around us that come with an extra dose of pain, or injury, or hurt. I wanna holler "This is not fun!" *stomps foot*

God has a plan for everything, and everything we endure has a purpose. Right now, one of my best friends is struggling through the loss of their dog. She is holding her kids extra close, and letting her heart feel the pain. Through this, she knows, they will be able to cope a little easier with the upcoming pains of Cancer and other illnesses in her family and with her friends. This is not an easy lesson to be taught, but I hope that when I face the inevitable in my family or with my friends, that she will be a rock for me in the times I feel like withering away. She will have already been there, done that. God has plans here.

My husband has had a lot of emotional hurt recently. This is a pain like no other because you can't put words to it all the time. Sometimes, it just hurts REALLY bad, and there is no medication, or ointment, or bandage that can make it heal any faster. God can help though, and knowing HE is our strength made the last week bearable. Keeping our eyes on the cross, our minds in the Word and our ears in the music of Jesus has brought some semblance of healing. I can't imagine what it would be like without those things. We'd be completely lost.

I mentioned in my last post that I'd been experiencing shoulder pain. I didn't mean to make people feel bad for me, but you know what? I'm glad I mentioned it, because several of you have blessed me with prayers and encouragement. It felt so good!

This blog includes the name "the Back Acher" for a reason. I have struggled with chronic pain so long that I don't remember a time when it wasn't happening. Wait... I do, but it was back when I still got spankings so it was a different kinda pain then. ha! Some of my back pain came about after an accident in California. We were on vacation in San Francisco and while driving downtown, amidst all the neon lights and storefronts, my Dad accidentally ran a red light. I never even saw a light, but apparently it was posted on the opposite side of the road, on a post on the street corner. I think it was kind of hard to see - there was a bar right behind it. My memory is dulled about details like that, but there are things I remember very specifically. I remember the huge yellow taxi coming straight at us from my side of the car. I remember my head hitting the metal post between the windows to my left. I remember the really weird moment of silence. Then Mom... asking if everyone was ok. Then us, lying and telling her yes.

The paramedics gave me attention before the lady in the taxi. She kept going on and on, but she appeared to be fine to me. I don't know what injuries she sustained, if any, but I know she talked a lot. I tried to be "fine". I didn't want the attention, I just wanted to go on with life. But I knew my neck hurt - a lot.

Fast forward to after the (miserable) trip home to Oregon. I saw a couple different people about my whiplash, and a chiropractor helped with some of my upper back pain, and then eventually the pain subsided somewhat. I still get a stiff neck, but I'm one of those really creepy people that gives their head a twist to make an obnoxious cracking noise, and then there is relief. My back pain carried on for quite some time. It was very evident during pregnancies especially, and after rigorous exercise (don't worry, I've cut back! haha!)

After my youngest son was born, I made quite an effort to get back in shape physically. I did a lot of walking. Lots. Around the neighborhood, to the park, to the ice cream place riverside, and I loved it! I was nearly free of pain in my back and finally, I thought, I might be able to enjoy things I had been holding back from for years.

Then... another car accident. It wasn't major, but it was major enough to cause damage physically. We were waiting at a stoplight, and got rear-ended by a little bitty car. The jolt tore who knows what in my lower back, as I was leaning over to WATCH this person hit us through my side view mirror. My husband, who had both hands on the steering wheel, ended up tearing something in his shoulder that required surgery a few months later.

His shoulder surgery was PAINFUL. I've heard people talk about shoulder surgery, and if they've had one - they shudder. I'm not sure what they compare it to, but I always hear, "that is the WORST!" Well... isn't that sweet? Here I am, a few years down the road, still struggling with that same exact spot in my back - it bothers me every single day. Not only that, but it changed the way I placed my feet when I stepped, so it caused a barrage of other physical complaints that sometimes have bothered me more than the back pain itself. First, was the plantar fasciitis (which if you don't feel like googling it, is a severe pain in the heel). Then, came the bursitis in my hip. After I got that hip a bit under control, the other hip took off and flared up. I was a mess. The foot pain (which did eventually make it's rounds to both feet) is completely gone, but my hips - oh boy, it's anybody's guess which day I'll be feeling that, but I'm almost used to it now. Nevermind the fact that I feel like a 60 70 80 year old, most of the time.

It was during my treatment for my painful hip (usually only one at a time at least!) that I asked for some help for my shoulder. (Or maybe it was an appointment for my broken finger?) I wasn't sure why it was starting to hurt, but let me tell ya, it was enough to make me say something. I still don't know that it had anything to do with my back, hips or what... (more likely my incessant blogging, perhaps?) but something had to be done.

I was sent home with some cute little drawings of how to help heal myself. I did them. I was good to go. It took a while though, but persistance paid off and I was grateful... SO grateful to have some of my pain GO AWAY.

Until this summer.
I probably shouldn't have done all that work weeding in the garden, I probably shouldn't be hauling around all those 50 pound bags of grain, I probably shouldn't have slept on my right side so much, matter of fact, I probably shouldn't have fallen down the steps at church onto my right arm (in the middle of service, of course!)... whatever the reason, my shoulder is SCREAMING at me. It's mad, it's angry, it's hurt. And no matter what cute little exercises I do, it's going nowhere. On a typical day, it is frozen in place.

The other day I had a sit-down with my husband, and explained my feelings of worthlessness. What kind of a stay at home Mom can't even run a broom? What was I supposed to be learning from this? I can't afford help. Had I not already put in my "time" being incompetent at so many things? I was having a hard time finding the joy in being a burden to others and my own whining was getting to me.

He expressed to me his inability to ever be able to see me as a burden, because I fill OTHER roles and housekeeping just evidently isn't one of them right now. (You think?) He suggested that I see his shoulder surgeon... Then, he went one step further and said... "Well, if they do need to do surgery, go ahead and have them fix that finger while you're at it." Ha! I laughed. This was not funny. I had been neglecting getting my broken finger repaired because I didn't want to be laid up for a few weeks, unable to do anything. But where was I getting? Nowhere!

This story doesn't have an end today, but for right now, just know that decisions are on the table. Pain is still here. Life goes on. And I found joy in knowing that my OTHER abilities and gifts are still worth sharing, and I don't have to be the perfect housekeeper to still be a great Mom, Wife and Friend. I have a purpose.

I'm happy and you know it! (Mostly I'm happy that I can still type without difficulties)
*insert cheesy grin here*


Livy said...

Oy Vay! Lexie... *sighing*... I know you guys are going through and have been through a lot over there... I've been saying my prayers for your whole family at this time.

You are a wonderful, wonderful friend. Yesterday morning, when I was afraid to face my day... my best friend, (you), were right there, ready to pick up my broken pieces...

And I want you to know that if you go down in a ball of flames, even at a distance, I'm not helpless... I'll come up with some means to make you feel better, even if it is in a cheery bandaid box. =)

I love you my sweet friend. So grateful God put you back in my path.

startastical said...

My dear, dear, Lexie. In your life there has been pain and triumph and more pain, and success. Through it all you remain hopeful, optimistic, and grounded in the belief that God is there with you. I will pray that you will find peace in whatever decision you have to make regarding your future well-being. I think I would be in the same boat as you. I would tend to believe that there is no way I could afford to be “out of commission” for a long period of time. Love You! P.S Take whatever freedom to do whatever you want with whatever you said it was you wanted to do. I am at your mercy.

Miriam said...

Ouch. I feel your pain.

Yesterday KL and I were leaving Walmart and I. couldn't. climb. into. 'burban.

At all.

Hip pain. Been there, doing that.

Hope you're healing speedily.

Katie said...

OH honey I feel your pain! And it sucks...

What a time you are having! Let me know if ya need any help by taking a few kids off your hands :)

Shabby Olde Potting Shed said...

Hey girl,
That really stinks that ya been hurtin like that. I just cringed at your car wrecks... I've never been in a wreck before and pray I never am! No wonder you ache.
I love your scripture tag with the pic of you and your hubby on it!

Farm Chick Paula said...

I'm so sorry for all your troubles sweetie. We have a God that can do all things, and I pray he will send you and your Hubby some relief!