The Frustration of #ChronicPain and Healing

It’s not yet been 3 months since I went under the knife for Spinal Fusion surgery. It’s a major surgery. Sometimes I think people forget that. I have returned to a fairly “normal” schedule in my ministry at Calvary Baptist Church. I look “normal” – well, don’t think on that one too long.

Some days the pain just claws at me, clinging to my back and leg with tingly talons of searing venomous pain. I have a back brace that I am to wear until my next appointment in late February. When I wear it, the nerve pain is worse.

The conversation with my doctor basically concluded with me on a new medication for nerve pain and some good/bad news. The good/bad news is that the pain is an indicator of either: 1) the nerve healing and the muscles getting used to being used again, or, 2) the nerve is so damaged that it its beyond total recovery and the muscles are just sore to being used.

It’s a frustrating place to be. Either I’m healing…or I’m not. Or, both. So, the only thing for me to do is to keep moving. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other and pray that it’s getting better.

Here’s the deal (sorry for the rambling): If I knew either way, it would make it easier for me to accept. Either I have a goal of recovery, or I “Irish-up” and just slog through the pain for the rest of my life. I’m good with both, really. I just am frustrated not knowing.

Now, how do you communicate that on a Sunday morning when someone asks you “How’re doing?”, “Getting better?”

It’s not been 3 months yet – this is a 12 month recovery from this major surgery. Accept that I won’t be able to do it all like I used to – maybe ever. Please don’t look at me like I should be “over it” by now. I’m not – and won’t be, evidently, for a while.

That paragraph sounds so harsh. It’s not meant to be – it’s where I’m at in reality.

Just a pastor in a failing body that desires to do what he can and keeps getting yanked back – somewhere between Chronic Pain and Healing.


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