Seems I’ve been at the edge of this very tall cliff forever. Actually it’s been 934 days of major nerve pain to be exact. For most of those days I’ve felt just one step away from collapsing. Today has been no exception as my strength is fading and my faith is so weak. Yet, all I keep hearing the Holy Spirit whisper in my ear is “just hold on my child.”
Don’t give in to your feelings. Don’t let go of my hand. Don’t quit believing that I will rescue you. Don’t think I’m any less God during the storm than I was before the storm. Don’t think I’ve brought you this far only to let you down.
Sometimes all you can do is hold on. Especially when your life feels like a constant rodeo. You’re out of breath, patience, and your faith for things to change keeps slipping. That’s when all eyes must be on Jesus the author and perfecter of your faith. Yes, you could just quit everything, but what would that resolve. You would only be doing what the enemy preys you will do. If you know you’re doing everything you should and can do. Then, trust God to do all that you can’t. If God brought you this far He will take you further.
“So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.”
Some good news to end this day of craziness. I will get my CT Myelogram done this coming Tuesday, April 24th @ 9:30am. I have to be there at 8am and then have to stay there lying flat for 6 hours after the procedure. It will be difficult for me to lay flat on my back period, but 6 hours could be insane. However, I’m thrilled to finally be getting some clear images of my back and nerves. This day has been long awaited for a procedure I know I can do despite any metal inside of me!
What is a Myelogram?
A myelogram is an invasive diagnostic test that uses x-rays to examine the spinal canal. A special dye is injected into the spinal canal through a hollow needle. An x-ray fluoroscope then records the images formed by the dye. Myelograms can show conditions affecting the spinal cord and nerves within the spinal canal.
How does a myelogram work?
Regular x-rays of the spine only give a clear picture of bones. The dye (contrast agent) used in a myelogram shows up white on the x-ray allowing the doctor to view the spinal cord, exiting nerves, and canal in detail. The doctor inserts a hollow needle through your skin into the spinal canal. The dye is injected into the space surrounding the spinal cord and nerve roots. This dye is radiopaque, meaning it’s impenetrable by x-ray. Then x-rays and/or a CT scan are done. The scan can see fine details and can tell your doctor how your bones are affecting your nerves.
Today, I met for the second time with my Workman’s Compensation psychiatrist. My visit didn’t disappoint with plenty more drama and unbelievable moments. I arrived 25 minutes early before my scheduled visit. I was the only one in the waiting room and my psychiatrist was the only employee in the building. She was at the main desk processing paper work from the time I got there until she finally called me back.
Now, it was 20-30 minutes past my scheduled visit time that I was actually called back. She said, “So Mr. Crosby, what am I seeing you for today?” I said, “Well my doctor long ago requested I get to see a counselor so I assume they are finally honoring that request. I’ve definitely been through a lot since seeing you a year ago to process my expectations of the spinal cord stimulator.” She said, “Well I can’t wait to hear all about.”
So, I began to share as it was clear she absolutely knew nothing about me except that I might have gotten to stimulator implanted. I was not even five minutes into sharing pieces of my journey before she interrupted. She said, “Mr. Crosby we’ve got to speed this thing along. I’ve got other clients.” Realize that I spent the first 15 minutes of our time patiently listening to her talk about some of her health issues. Yet, she can’t listen to me for even 5 minutes. How can you help someone you never seek to understand what’s going on.
She said, “Mr. Crosby what is your desired outcome for this visit. You know some people just come to these things because they’re on a big ego trip” I said, “No mam, I’m here because I’ve gotten over my ego a long time ago. I’m just hoping to have someone care, seek to understand and help me process my painful reality the best possible.”
I kid you not that only 5-10 minutes later she was running me out the door. She said, “I hate we really couldn’t discuss much at this visit. But, I’ve got others to see and things are just different with Workman’s Comp visits. We will discuss things further at our next visit.” She said quite a mouthful that time. Every doctor visit is different with Workman’s Compensation. They don’t care and they don’t have to explain themselves. I left out that office just praying for continued self control. I know without a doubt that my psychiatrist needs a psychiatrist. Just another roller coaster visit for my God story.
“And we know that God causes everything to work together[a] for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.”
I’m sitting here waiting patiently for a scheduled 2pm visit with my psychiatrist. The only other time I met with this lady I was far from impressed. In fact, I left this office so did discouraged. I thought I was meeting with someone who was just caring about me, but I was wrong.
I remember our visit like it was yesterday from over a year ago. She said, I see you’re considering getting a spinal cord stimulator implanted. Tell me a little bit about your condition.” So, I began sharing with her all that I had been through and was feeling. About 5 minutes into me sharing she stopped me. She said, “Sir I’m not here to hear how you’re doing, but just to make sure you have s clear understanding of what this stimulator can and cannot do.”
After those careless words I just remember feeling sick to my stomach. Finally I’m thinking someone cares about me. Then, I realize it’s just another hour of interrogation by Workman’s Compensation. They sent me here again so I have no idea what today’s agenda will be. I just pray I’m met with even an ounce of compassion.
It’s 2am and my body is literally throbbing all over. Despite taking my knock you out for the night medication hours ago. Despite my stimulator running as well as ever recently. I just keep learning over and over again. I can’t drive or sit in any position more than 30 minutes without paying for it miserably. I guess the doctor is right when he says I should make sure I change positions every thirty minutes during the day.
It’s just human nature that if you feel some better than usual, then one would think they are some better. Except if any relief you’re feeling is only due to being partially masked by your medications and stimulator implant. The reality of my permanent nerve damage keeps rearing it’s ugly head. Keeps letting me know that apart from divine intervention the old me is dead.
This just kills me as I long to be a great husband, father, son, brother, friend, and minister. It’s very hard to operate with great patience when you’re always on edge from feeling such great pain. I’m so blessed by all the opportunity and love that surrounds. Yet, my body keeps failing me over and over again. The great disappointment rains daily on my parade. I guess we all want to think that time will heal all wounds. The truth is some things you don’t get over, but God does take you through. Lord, I continue to beg and believe You for my miracle. While my body may fail me I know You never will.
“Have mercy on me, LORD, for I am faint; heal me, LORD, for my bones are in agony.”
Starting tomorrow I will be increasing my Amitriptyline daily dosage. I feel more confident with it than the Neurontin increase. Hopefully doesn’t give me any more fogginess than I have already. Starting back on my turmeric as well that I’ve never any issues with in the past.
While my life may feel at a stand still God is growing my faith, peace, and perseverance. I can feel the extra strength in my mind and heart. Yes, the body is very weary, but God is continually good to me. I don’t know what tomorrow holds, but I know who holds tomorrow.
“ Count it all joy, my brothers,[a] when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”
Praise God, the past 48 hours has not been terrible considering how I normally feel. I’ve actually felt somewhat normal for over a day. My spinal cord stimulator has been working well in tandem with my medications. However, we all know that things can change quickly. They abruptly did this afternoon.
At first, I just started hurting and feeling nauseous as I’m accustomed to feeling. Fortunately, I did realize quickly I was 2 1/2 hours late taking my nerve pain meds. That’s despite having 4 daily alarms set. Then, I had to drive 20 miles to pick up a Fed Ex delivered check covering 4 week’s of money our family desperately needed. After I picked up the check I headed to my bank drive through as it would soon be closed.
The moment I put the check in the drop box a strong wind picked it up and blew it all the way out to the road. Already hurting badly all I could do was shake my head. It took all I could do to get out the van and reach down to get a check that kept trying to fly away.
Then, on the way back home I realized something was going on with our best family vehicle. It kept jumping and jumping. I’ve set up a noon appointment to get it checked out by the dealership we bought it from brand new. It’s only 5,000 miles away from no longer being covered under its 100,000 mile warranty. So, now we’ve got the main family van sidelined and we are still waiting for my other vehicle to have its engine replaced.
Next, we jumped into another vehicle my brother was gracious enough to lend me. This made it where Aimee could take me to the YMCA as planned. My body desperately needed the exercise as it’s been spazzing all over lately. As we were headed for my water therapy I became car sick as the air conditioning doesn’t work. However, I was determined to get there.
Now, I’m finally back from the YMCA and in the tub for the evening. Swimming those laps really did a lot to help with my muscle spasms. But, man oh man what it took just to get there. The devil has been looking for every crack he can find. He’s been all up in my personal space. I’ve learned that I’ve got to stay alert because he is always looking for a window to take me down.
“Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.”
1 Peter 5:8