We all go through pain. Some physical, some emotional, some relational. This week I will be sharing about a recent experience I had with pain and what I learned through it. Please know that whatever pain may be experiencing, I’m sorry. I probably don’t understand, and I am in no way trying to level pain to the same playing field- it’s all different, requiring different responses and courses of action.I simply want to share my story so that you will be encouraged and so that you will find hope in our Healer, Jesus Christ.
Three weeks ago yesterday I woke up with upper back pain. This is not all too uncommon for me, so I didn’t really think much of it. Normally if I wake up with it, it’s usually gone by the time I get up and get going. This time it didn’t.
Later that day, I brought the kids home from church, we ate lunch together, and I put the kids down for naps and “quiet-time”. I was excited to get back to my book. As I started reading, I noticed the pain in my back again. It started to get annoying, not to mention distracting, as I was trying to focus on Bonhoeffer. That night I tossed and turned trying to fall asleep as the pain only intensified. I took some Ibuprofen (a big deal for me because I wait as long as possible before taking anything), and committed to making an appointment at the chiropractor the next day. This couldn’t go on.
The next day, I woke up to the same pain. I took some more Ibuprofen and went about my day as usual. Stacie was speaking at a local MOPS group that morning; I was going along for support. As I walked out the door that morning, I grabbed my James memorization sheet. I pulled up to Stacie’s apartment as she was still getting a few things together. I stayed in the car with the kids (Cailyn & Efraim) and waited. I pulled out my James sheet and started on the next section. James 1:12-15. Cailyn helped me as I worked through verse 12, “God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation.” I had no idea how much this verse would play out in my life over the coming days/weeks.
While I was out at the meeting, Filipe called the chiropractor school nearby (where we have many friends), and made an appointment for me. It was my first visit there, so Wednesday was the next available appointment.
The pain in my upper back (behind my right shoulder blade) continued to intensify throughout Monday and into Tuesday. My upper chest and arm were now tingling off and on. I had convinced myself that I had a pinched nerve or pulled muscle. If I can only make it until Wednesday, I thought. The hope of getting relief at the chiropractor got me through those two day- and that verse “God blesses those who patiently endure testing…”. I can do this, I kept telling myself, just patiently endure.
With the help of Ibuprofen, I made it to Wednesday. My appointment wasn’t until late afternoon, so not wanting to stay around the house that rainy morning, I took Cailyn & Efraim to the Children’s Museum. Having something else to think about distracted me from the pain.
Filipe came home early from work, and I couldn’t get to my appointment fast enough. I figured a snap here, pop there, and wa-la, good to go.
Once there, I was greeted by a lovely girl from my life group (we spoke the night before about my situation). I went through all the formalities a new patient has to go through, the supervising doctor came in to evaluate, and we got to the adjustment. She adjusted my back, my neck, all of it, it felt good.
The pain was still there though. It may take a couple of times, the chiropractor said. Then I remembered the phrase, “patiently endure”. Okay, just be patient a little longer, I told myself.
We made another appointment for Friday.
Check back tomorrow for part 2 of this story.
Q4U: What is your go-to drug when you experience physical pain? Do you take something ASAP or do you try and wait it out before taking pain medicine.