Sunday, January 2, 2011

Pain Management (A Dan Post)

"The extreme greatness of Christianity lies in the fact that it does not seek a supernatural remedy for suffering, but a supernatural use for it." Simone Weil

The current pain from the herniated disc in my back is manageable. My back gave out last night, as it has numerous times before. I know that if I can make it to my bed and rest it will begin to heal. Monica took me to the ER today, and I got muscle relaxers, pain pills and steroids. The real pain hides in the sciatic nerve days after the back pain has subsided. Nerve pain in the leg is enough to drop any man on the floor in agony.

The pain of letting Danica go from my arms and into the operating room is manageable. After experiencing her first brain surgery and the numerous IV's in her arms over time and giving her over to strangers for scans and tests, one becomes familiar with this type of emotional pain.

The real pain hides in the recovery process, especially for a young family. We look at Danica and see how great she is doing, and how acclimated she has become to her confining brace. It's easy for us to forget what a big deal her surgery was and how vital it is for her to heal correctly. I often stare at Danica and imagine how things could have gone for us as they have for other families we know. (We know of one brave boy, Brayden, who has had quite a few struggles after two Chiari surgeries this past year, and he remains in our prayers every day.) There are no guarantees Danica's Chiari symptoms will not return. We feel the plagiocephaly that has formed on the top of her skull. We still see some droop in the right side of her face. We know our journey continues.

There is pain in watching Delaney who is so anxious for her and little sis to tussle again and dance to music. She is longing to go places together as a family and dreaming to squish her toes in the sand this year. She has been shuffled around for so many appointments and pushed into the background as we have focused so long on Danica's extreme physical needs. She worries about her mom who feels so visibly bad much of the time. She even heard Monica and I discussing the cost of going to the hospital today and brought her piggy bank in our room to offer her savings to us to help. This hurts.

Watching my wife's daily pain is perhaps the hardest for me. Monica is barely able to lift Danica not to mention carrying her up and down the stairs. (The stairs in our home have continually offered challenges for Monica, Danica and now me. One of our new year's prayers is God's leading to a single story home suitable for our family's needs.) My wife pushes through her pain every day and still focuses on what needs to be done for our family.

Pain is in the waiting and the not knowing what is going to happen. Danica, by all observations, is ready to free herself from the Minerva brace. We have no idea what the doctor will say during our next appointment mid-January, but we have committed ourselves to doing whatever it takes even if it means another six weeks in the brace. We don't know when Monica will be able to schedule another surgery for the endometriosis on her bowels. We don't know how God will provide as she remains unemployed to care for Danica and recover.

We do know there will be a "use" for this pain. We know God will provide because He promises He will, and He always has. We know we will ENDURE and cling to the hope better days are coming. Monica and I cast our wishing stones in late December hoping that 2011 would be a year of healing and rebuilding. We have to laugh a little that I ended up in the emergency room today and Monica heads back to The Cleveland Clinic tomorrow for her MRI. It seems there is no remedy for our suffering coming anytime soon, but we will manage, by God's grace.

1 comment:

  1. Thank u for praying for us daily!! We do the same for u guys too!! I'm very upset with our whole situation. I know exactly how you all feel, I too suffer from endo, my back has a pars defect, 2 kids with chiari, I hate to ask what's next!!!!! Someone reccomded wishes and rainbows to me tonight for financial support have you heard of them???