No, it wasn’t cocaine or a street drug. It was pain medicine prescribed by my doctor. And getting off of it was awful. You see, I’d been suffering from awful back pain since last Autumn. It simply wouldn’t go away and the only thing that worked was Ibuprofin. Although I had no kidney problems, no history of kidney disease, and my other medical conditions are fully controlled, she kept pounding into my head that I had to take something else.
After trying all her alternatives, I finally accepted trying something called a Butrans patch. She said it was a mild narcotic and it would help. It made me so sleepy at first, but yes, it helped. But a “mild” narcotic is still a narcotic. And the pain was not fully alleviated—only dulled to be liveable. I still couldn’t sleep through the night, and began to suffer from sleep deprivation.
Finally, my back specialist suggested that I try a steroid injection to the spinal column. Getting that approved was a bit of a procedure, but God had mercy on me, and two months ago I had my second injection.
The first injection did nothing. I felt nothing. The doctors had to bring a stretcher to help me get off the table. The pain was as bad as ever when laying down. But I’d like to point something out. Almost no one knew I was having the injection. I had not asked for prayer. I was totally stressed.
After that, I met with the Elders of my congregation and asked for prayer. Nothing was working. Why did I wait so long. But then I battled with feeling even more depressed. They prayed—nothing happened. I began to think I’d have to live with this pain forever. I received permission to work part time at work for a brief period, to see if that would help.
Then the doctor said he wanted to try again. He still believed it would help. He had been thinking about my response to the first one and felt he needed to try a different approach. I agreed and told my praying friends to do just that—pray.
I still remember feeling the needle enter my back. It didn’t hurt—they had anesthetized my skin. Then I felt the push as healing steroids began to flow into my back. I felt the coolness of the fluid flowing into and up my back. It was amazing.
When they were done they were amazed at how well I sat up. That quickly. After around 20 minutes a friend took me home, and I’ve been pain free for two months.
But until the past couple of weeks, I was still on “mild” narcotics. You see, once I realized the pain was gone I wanted off and stopped taking the patches. However, after terrible nights and muscle spasms, I hurried back to my patch—muscle spasms helped make my bad so inflamed to begin with.
I went to my doctor and she expressed surprise that I had such a reaction. I shared with her what I had learned from just a little bit of research, and so began the more painful process of withdrawal. Reducing doses gradually until finally I could stop… and have minimal symptoms (bad nights, nausea all day, headaches, irritability, but thankfully—no spasms). But I also asked for prayer, and through it all, I cried out to Jesus, “I’d rather have pain than this addiction. Please, help me get off.”
Why am I telling you all this? Because somewhere along the way, I fell for the lie of looking to doctors for answers, and that pain free is good.
The truth is, this is the message of modern society. Medical research is on a quest to undo all the results of the fall. A panacea for every ill. We demand our doctors to have answers for our pain. We want to feel good.
But if I’d always felt good, I’d have never written my book. If I had always been pain free in my heart and soul, I’d have never written my book. If pain were not a part of this fallen world, I’d have never written my book.
And I’d never have received the emails, phone calls, and book reviews from people sharing that they had found new hope in reading it. I would never have been able to let God use my life to be a blessing to others.
I don’t know what you are struggling with today, but I can only tell you what I continue to learn over and over on a deepening level—the only way to live this life is to see things through the eyes of our loving God with our focus on Jesus—who gave His all for us.
I’m not saying don’t take medications. I am saying, make sure you are taking them for the right reasons before God. My blood pressure and diabetes medications help to keep me healthy so that I can serve the Lord better. The pain medication numbed me and was actually making me less effective for service—I just didn’t know it until I’d gotten it out of my blood stream and woke up this morning awake, with energy and joy in my Savior.
To celebrate HIS goodness to me, I’d like to give you a gift. On June 17 and 18, please visit the following link on Amazon to get the Kindle version of my book for free! http://amzn.to/2sD3uPp
Please share this link with others so that they can get it for free as well. Do I lose a worldly profit? Oh yes, but I want the benefit from above… (Matthew 16:26).
I also have a personal and important request from you. If you have read my book, please write a review on Amazon.com. You only need to have an Amazon account to write a review. I only need 4 more reviews to pass the 50 mark. When that happens, Amazon starts doing more to help promote it. I believe that the Lord wants to use my book to touch others, and I need your help to do it. Thanks!