Can I Get Your Prayers Today?

My children and I (pre-surgery): 2/2009
Today I'm hoping to get some answers... to something that has been a problem for me for the past two years now.  Yes.  TWO YEARS.     I have never blogged about this because I didn't want to seem like a whiner.  I also didn't want to give this problem enough "air time" (so to speak) because it really makes me mad to give it too much thought!   

Some of you who have read my blog from the beginning know that I struggled with a difficult abdominal surgery a little over two years ago.   Once I was recovered (which took longer than expected) I took a celebratory trip to Six Flags with my kids.  I was feeling just like my old self again.  I even rode a few roller coasters (tame ones).  Lo and behold, the next day I woke up and  my lower back would ache, and sometimes the pain would travel all down my leg and into my foot.  In the beginning we thought it might just be a pulled muscle or a simple herniated disc.  No such luck.     

My crazy family and I the week before surgery:  4/2009
I didn't start homeschooling my daughter right when I wanted to because I thought I didn't feel well enough to tackle everything.   Once I saw that my back pain was going to be "chronic", I decided to take her out of public school.  I could either be in pain and worried about her education, or be in pain and take control of her education.

Like I said, that was two years ago.    Since that time I have been to physical therapy, had an MRI, gotten four epidural shots for my back (none helped), seen a chiropractor, tried yoga, gotten massages, and NOTHING has helped.  I have had the diagnosis of "herniated disc" (but not bad enough for surgery), sciatica, and last time the doctor even talked about arthritis.  REALLY?  I went from being a perfectly healthy 37 year old with no surgeries ever, to approaching my 38th birthday with a tough surgery under my belt and chronic back pain.  

Did I also mention that during this time my mother was hospitalized for heart problems, my father had a horrible time after a hip replacement, there was a major divorce in our family (which I will never blog about for privacy reasons), and my parents made the decision to move into a continuing care community?   I felt like I had aged at least 10 years in the span of 1.   

May 2009... I had lost 20 lbs after surgery and was still shaky

I am basically in pain all day every day, but with the help of my pain doctor I have learned to manage it.   No, I'm not addicted to pain killers or anything like that, but I do take medication and wish I didn't.   I'm not as active as I once was, and I know it has really affected my mood.  Other than homeschool and teaching piano (which are two big enough commitments as it is) I have reduced other commitments to a minimum so that I can feel well for what is most important.    

Pain is a funny thing - you learn to deal with it over time and you can't remember what it was like to feel 100% good.   From the moment I had excruciating pain from my ovarian cysts (February 2009) up until now I've never woken up and felt GOOD.   (I'm just so thankful my "suspicious" cysts were benign... the surgery was because they were so big and could have been cancerous.  I have never been so scared.)  It's exhausting, but I try to look for my blessings and this life that I lead is wonderful in all other regards.  

I guess, looking back at the past two years, I've been somewhat depressed.   I was always such a joyful and upbeat person, and (to the outside world) I still appear to be that way.  My sweet sweet husband and children, however, know a different story.  I have only opened up about this to just a couple of good friends.   After all, who wants to hear my problems when people have so many of their own these days? 

April, 2011.. my crazy and fun kids keep me going! 
Today I am getting another MRI.   It has been 18 months since the last one... I'm hoping something has changed (my doctor suspects it has) and that there is something more "clear cut" that is wrong.   In talking to a good friend of mine on the phone the other day she also told me about a doctor who has had great results with back pain ~ she knows him personally and it turns out his wife is my dentist!   So, once these MRI results are in I'm making an appointment with a new doctor to see if we can figure this out. I'm also wondering is seeing a more holistic doctor might now be the way to go?  

My reason for blogging about this today is to ask you to please pray for me.  Please pray for wisdom for the doctor reading the MRI films and for wisdom and guidance for me as I navigate the tricky world of neurologists, pain doctors, and any other specialists I don't know about yet!    Please also pray that a new medication I am on (because the "best" medication for me was going to $200/month through my insurance - yikes!) to work as well as another one I have been taking.   I am praying that maybe someone will read this and have had a similar experience that can offer me some advice and wisdom I haven't heard yet.   God works in miraculous ways, and I'm counting on the fact that I WILL feel better!  

Thanks for always reading my blog, and I promise I'll be back to blogging about good homeschool stuff next week!