What if the pain doesn’t go away! Part Three
January 13, 2015
WHAT IF THE PAIN DOESN’T GO AWAY!
Part 3 of 3
I’ve discovered that there are typically four stages that one goes through when dealing with chronic pain.
Helping Stage. In the beginning the doctors prescribed medications for me so that I could cope with the pain. In this stage I went through innumerable tests, assorted physical therapies and a variety of medications. They were truly trying to help. When none of these provided much help in relieving the pain, the doctors, because of their busy schedules and frustration that nothing was working grew weary of dealing with me. I admit that this may not have been the case but it was my perception of what was happening.
Shuffle Stage. After being shuffled about to numerous doctors, one finally said, “Even though there is a discernible injury, there is nothing we can do about it so you will have to live with it!” Not willing to accept this I pressed on until I found a doctor who would sit patiently and listen to my story before prescribing treatment.
Up until this time one of the most frustrating experiences with the doctors was that they would breeze into the room with my chart tucked under their arm, ask a couple of questions, prescribe some medication and fly out the door. None of them actually sat down and listened to me tell them how the injury occurred and what I was feeling.
Being the persistent fellow that I am I continued to push for more testing, therapy, medication or even surgery if that would help. Whatever it was going to take to get rid of this pain I was willing to try. I was insistent that we could not stop until all the options had been explored. After a great deal of testing and probing by specialists scattered about the state they finally decided to try surgery.
Frustration and Confusion Stage. One doctor, highly recommended and one of the best orthopedic surgeons in the world for neck injuries, (why would I pick any less than the best), diagnosed the problem and said, “I can fix it and there is an 85% chance of getting rid of the pain completely.” I responded, “Great lets go for it!” However, before I went for surgery my HMO required that I to go back to see another one of their specialists. He advised me not to have the surgery for two reasons. First, that it wouldn’t help and second that it was very risky. Oh by the way, I was told that he was highly respected among his peers and also one of the best Orthopedic Surgeons in the world.
So here I am at the frustration stage, having dealt with this pain for years, standing between two of the best doctors in the world in dealing with this type of surgery and they are giving me totally opposite counsel. By this time I am willing to do anything to stop the pain. I had even contemplated cutting the more painful of the two hands off, hoping that would help. At one point there was such desperation that the thought of suicide entered my mind. I quickly dismissed it since I remembered hearing, as a little boy, that if you commit suicide you will go straight to hell. That thought terrified me more than the pain so I knew I didn’t want that. What’s a poor guy who only wants relief from pain supposed to do? Whom do you believe?
Desperation Stage. I finally decided, hey, what have I got to lose? I have tried medicine, I have tried physical therapy, I have tried meditation, and I have tried prayer. Nothings worked yet so let’s try the surgery.
OH, BY THE WAY
In desperation I went with the advice of the “best doctor” and said, “Let’s do the surgery.” When the morning of the surgery arrived I was lying on the table outside the operating room, with a needle in my arm and the anesthesia flowing. Just as I am drifting off the surgeon comes walking over and says, “I have revised the outcome to be a 50% chance that I can do anything about the pain!” As I am going down into the black hole I am thinking to myself, what do you mean 50%! I only did this because you said there was an 85% chance that all the pain would be gone!
Picture this; I am on the table waiting to go under the knife when he tells me! That’s the last thing I remember before I wake up in recovery. After he does the surgery I’m recovering in the hospital thinking everything is great until the morphine begins to wear off. It’s then that I realize the surgery didn’t work. Not only do I still have the pain in my hands but I now know that because of the surgery scar tissue will form that will increase the pain. Which was why the other world famous surgeon told me not to have the operation. In addition, I am placed on medication that, if I take as much as is needed to completely dull the pain, makes me into a mental zombie
LET’S START OVER
Let me recap this for you. I have tried everything I know to get rid of the pain. I am in a ministry of healing prayer and over the years I prayed for my own healing and I have asked numerous times for prayer from others. After awhile you tire of asking, not only because you begin to feel you are a bother, but you get this unspoken feeling that people are tired of you asking for prayer for the same thing over and over. You feel they are thinking, “Can’t you come up with something else, we’re getting tired of this?” You also begin to feel like a failure yourself. That there must be some reason why God is not healing you and as soon as you figure out what that reason is He will heal you.
I started this article with the question; “What If the Pain Doesn’t Go Away?” Let me answer that question as best I can. In our training manual, “Learning To Do What Jesus Did” we state emphatically that we believe healing is for today and then give a solid biblical basis for our belief. We touch on questions such as: What about believers who do not get well; are suffering and sickness from God; does everyone who believes get well; if you have enough faith will God heal you?”
We have answers for all these questions, but I still have the pain and it has been there for over 20 years eating away at me physically and emotionally. How do I deal with it? Honestly, some days better than others.
In this journey I have come to realize two things. First, although God did not cause this, He has used this pain to help me become more sensitive toward people in relentless, debilitating pain. I pray for them with a better understanding of what they are dealing with.
Second, it serves to remind me that we are in spiritual warfare and there may be numerous reasons why I have not been healed. It always brings me back to the issue of trust. Do I trust God or not? I know it is God’s will for me to be healed. I have absolutely no doubt that my Father in heaven can heal me in a flash if He so chooses.
Until then, I will live with the pain, sometimes under it, but most of the time above it. I remind myself that I am precious to Him and that He is helping me to overcome this adversity.
WE NEED SENSITIVITY
If you are reading this, I trust this will have helped raise your level of sensitivity to those of us dealing with continual pain. We need your understanding and sensitivity to what we are dealing with daily. I did not say we want your pity. We do not want your pity. We need your encouragement and we need your persistent prayers. We do not need trite, religious dribble. We need you, operating in love and grace, to come along side and walk with us through the pain.
If you are one of those dealing with never-ending pain, know that there are others who truly understand and likewise are walking in obedience and trust that someday healing will come.
Do not give in to the pain. You can learn to deal with pain in one of two ways. You can allow it to beat you down or you can live above it. Most days I can live above it, but there are days when it beats me down. When this happens, I accept it, and hope for a better day tomorrow. Do not allow the pain to keep you from seeking the healing and restoring love of God. Do not allow it to shut him out. He is a God of infinite mercy and grace and you are His beloved. This you must hold onto at all costs.
What if the pain doesn’t go away! Part One
What if the pain doesn’t go away! Part Two