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God's Free Gift

Pain >> Up and Down

The worse part of pain is that you never know what you are going to be like from one minute to the next -- nor which "tests" from God will affect the day.


Isaiah 48:10 (NKJV)
10 Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.

Many years ago, for reasons you might guess at if you read my testimony, I adopted this as my "verse." The key to the verse is that God tests us because He has chosen us, and these tests come in the form of life.

For many of us, like me, a major component of life is pain. I underwent a second back surgery in December in an effort to better control my chronic pains. In my case, my pains are in my right groin, my right buttock and my right heel. The buttock pain is the worse in that it rates higher on the pain scale the longer I sit, does not go away when I stand, and comes in a variety of flavors. The groin pain is less frequent, but for short term pain, competes very well for first place. The heel pain is a distant third.

I have great optimism that, eventually, this operation will be a major step in my pain management, but I am not there yet. While I believe, in general terms, I am taking fewer pain medicines and have longer periods of "good times" there are still strong down-sides. Good times means a stretch of 6-8 hours where I can physically perform routine tasks, such as shoveling the snow or building bookcases, along with having the emotional desire to perform the task. The downsides are less pain in the process of performing the task or less pain after having shoveled the walk.

Also in the downside category is the inability to sit for more than about 45 minutes without having the pain scale take a dramatic leap upwards. This is the biggest issue.

So, in late January my pain management doctor provided samples of a new medicine to give a try. It is not precisely designed to treat my type of pains. What this means is that the nerve pain it is designed to attack is that caused by diabetes or shinkles. However, from a symptom perspective, my nerve pains are exactly the same.

While it is difficult to measure, I believe the new medicine is helping. I was taking fewer narcotics and I felt emotionally better. So, I went off to get the actual prescription filled. Here comes the God "test." Seems like my insurance company feels the cost of this new medicine is too high so they want to have the prescription pre-approved. This means the drug store calls the doctor who calls the insurance company who calls the drug store, and so on.

So, of course, no one moves very fast. I ran out of samples as the couple of days turned into the weekend, and then the snow storm hit on Saturday night and Sunday morning, so it is possible that the doctor will not get to the insurance company until tomorrow.

In the meanwhile, I have used up all of the samples; the medicine in my system has worn out; the pain has returned; and I have have had withdrawal symptoms such as sweats and chills and being worn out. As I write this, I am back where I was four weeks ago. A big step backwards.

The question I want to ask is why did God, under the circumstances, throw such a simple test into the middle of my pain management. I can accept that God has chosen not to toss a miracle in my life and fully heal me. Still, why doesn't He allow a little bit of relief. This medicine was providing such relief. God could easily allow the prescription to be approved. After all, before my pain patches went generic, they cost considerably more a month than this medicine does. Maybe there is a long term detriment to being on this new pill that no one knows about and God is saving me from other problems, but if so, it would be really nice to know this. For those who have been in similar situations, one of the side benefits of the physical pain is that dark demon called depression. It is really easy to "get down" emotionally at the speed of a roller-coaster.

On the other hand, God has kept the depression away. I am frustrated over the poor weekend I just encountered, but I am not depressed. I assume the prescription will be approved eventually and I will get back into the swing of things. I will feel better and, given time, I may even feel great. Maybe this new medicine will work so well that three or four months from now I will be off of the narcotics. Still, you pause to reflect on the process. Why this test, now?

God knows. I just have to trust Him. Sometimes this gets difficult. Keep praying and reading the Bible. In other words, I need to follow my own advice.

Jim A

Posted On: 2006-02-13 16:08:15 || Comments (0 ) || Add a Comment
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