Words are swirling in my head. I find myself writing opening lines or supporting sentences in my head. I swap words in and out of phrases almost as readily as Youngest Mystery changes clothes when he’s getting ready for school. (“Looks like a clothing factory blew up in here,” I tell him, and he grins.)
The problem isn’t with words my brain can’t parse.
The problem is I can’t sit on my …. At least, not for very long.
I had spine x-rays that showed something was amiss, but the Big Boss Insurance Co. felt it was important to prolong the agony a few more weeks before approving an MRI. (Who needs to be seen by a doctor, really? Just call the insurance company and go through their computer checklist. Forget clinical considerations. Yep, I'm a little bitter about this. I will try to get over it.)
So, I had ten days of steroids followed by some muscle relaxers, with a side of anti-inflammatory meds…followed by a couple weeks of physical therapy. I’ve learned to manage pain…because it’s still there. Except for where it isn’t. Tingling numbness haunts every step. (But I can still walk!!) And hooray for good pain meds.
Picture a tube shaped coffin with one open end. They let me keep my feet sticking out into the room to prevent insanity, since the top of the tube was about 3 inches from my nose. Not that I could move to look at them…but it was comforting to know part of me was still free. I closed my eyes but unfortunately I could not close my ears. For thirty minutes, it sounded like cranky elves were pounding intermittently on the resonant exterior with ballpeen hammers. I lay there thinking, “This is modern medicine?” How about a few phones that aren’t quite as smart, and some medical equipment that is a little smarter?! With the average MRI costing $2600 before insurance kicks in, (http://time.com/money/2995166/why-does-mri-cost-so-much/) I think at least a smidge of the money from each scan should be reserved for sound barrier improvements or at least decent headphones. Those generic ear plugs they gave me didn’t even slow down the sounds that bounced through my head.
And that’s why I cannot sit without pain, why my leg is numb, why I have lost the ability to lift my big toe. He knows what's wrong, and he knows what to do to fix it for which I am extremely grateful. So, if all goes as planned- (which would be a pleasant surprise)-next month at this time, I’ll be starting down the road to recovery.
In the meantime, I’m learning a lot about which I hope to write later.
I’m more aware of the pervasive influence of chronic pain, and I’ve been experiencing the “fellowship of suffering.”
I'm thankful for the availability of cheap!) pain meds that help me live my life in the interim between diagnosis and surgery.
I am coming to terms again with the value of being where my feet are, particularly when there are some other places I’d planned for them to be these days. (My much anticipated trip to S. Africa has been put on hold, but I can't say that I've completely given up on the idea...)
I’m still working on my gratitude list - sleeping well at night, night after night, is a huge reason for thankfulness.
I try not to take for granted that I generally get complete relief after a few minutes lying down.
I am realizing again the importance of focusing on what I can do – read, sleep, sit for a bit, walk, - when it is tempting to be chronically frustrated by what I can’t do.
in the timing and outcome of this experience,
believing that He is always at work
even when I cannot understand precisely what He is doing in my life at any given moment.
His faithfulness through the years
is the foundation on which I stand…
even when I cannot sit.
And in the meantime, I'm choosing to see the beauty around me, right here on Hickory Lane...
(which has been gloriously easy a few mornings recently!)