When I started this blog several years ago, it was because I hoped that my life, and my struggles that I go through would help someone else who is facing the same situation. My heart has always longed to do ministry, to share the Lord with those around me who need hope and who were looking for truth. I would be completely transparent on my blogs, I would share my hurts, my fears, my joy, but the older I got the more I realized that transparency only causes more heartache, more judgement, more unwanted opinions. No matter how honest, and raw I am, no matter how much I pour my heart out to people, they only see me the way they want to see me, and not for the person I actually am inside. Even those close to me only see what they want to see in me. The worlds ability to see and recognize truth has become increasingly clouded.
I have spent the last several years keeping things quiet about my life because of this. I feel like I have walked through fire, and conquered some really extreme situations in the last few years, alone, but with God’s help. The world has quieted, and broken my spirit with their harsh words. So I became quiet and have hid my life from everyone, even family because the small pieces I’ve shared were not accepted gracefully, so I figured neither would the large pieces. Life is hard right now and I’m not sure I can do a very good job anymore keeping quiet about it. My burdens are heavy, and my heart hurts all the time!
I sat at the dinner table tonight holding back tears as I watched my husband stand up and walk to the trash can. He couldn’t even straighten out his back. He grabbed onto the counter as he winced in pain, threw away his plate and barely made it back to the chair in the living room. I can’t cry in front of him because I have to stay strong for him and he will feel like more of a burden than he already does. I’ve been begging God for a miracle! For TWELVE years I’ve been asking him to heal my husband and I’ve only seen him get worse. He can’t work right now, and he feels guilty. Guilty because he knows it hurts his family’s business because he can’t be there, guilty because he knows it hurts us that he can’t provide, and guilty because everyone outside of me and our children, do not understand the severity of his condition and most do not believe he is as bad as he is!
A few years before we met he was in a car accident and was hit from behind, at a complete stop. That accident knocked his spine lose and shifted it forward to what is now 4mm slippage. He had three opinions back then, all of them different, so he decided to find the top doctor in our area who specializes in his condition and go to him. So for the last 12 years we have drove two hours every year to see his surgeon who is both a neuro and orthopedic surgeon. Every year for 12 years we’ve been told the same thing, “do not do surgery until you lose strength in your legs!” “Do not do surgery until you can not walk anymore!” “Do not do surgery until you lose your bladder function.” We have been pushed, and pushed by people close to us to “just get the surgery,” but how can you when you have a extremely experienced doctor telling you to wait! So instead… We have done every steroid shot, every essential oil mix, every pain medication, every natural remedy, lazer therapy, and physical therapy and nothing ever helped…..until we found the ablation!
A year in a half ago, a doctor told him that he thought he could burn the nerves in his back and it would give him relief from the pain! We talked about it, and then we took our annual trip up to see the surgeon and asked what he thought. Well this trip was a little different than all the rest. This trip we were told, “surgery will not take away your back pain, it will only take away your leg pain, which is pointless because you do not have any leg pain!” We were told that our only hope for pain relief was the ablation. We scheduled it asap, and within a month he had the diagnostic testing and it showed that by doing the actual procedure it would relieve his back pain by 80%. It took about four weeks for him to heal from the diagnostic test and then he had the actual procedure which took about 4-6 more weeks for him to heal from. For an entire year, I had my husband back! He walked through amusement parks, he was at work almost every day, and life was finally feeling normal again….
In May of 2016, we began the process of getting him another ablation because we knew it would wear off soon and we wanted to be on top of it. The doctors office took over three months just to get his records straight to even talk to him about it. This past August, we went again for our surgeon visit. He told us it has gotten worse! He said the ablation usually only works well the first time, the second time it will not work as well, and no one ever does it a third time. He told us to come back in 6 months because by then he is sure the first ablation would have been worn off completely and it will give him a good idea pain wise, what to do. Meanwhile, we are welcome to try it again if we like. We decided we should get another opinion at this point, if it has gotten worse! So, we did and he said his back was so bad, that it was almost vertical, and that he agreed with our current surgeon!
During this time he was still feeling pretty well. He decided he wanted to start applying for pastoral positions because he felt like this is his calling! He applied a few places and had a few interviews and then…. not even a week later, my husband went from being at work daily, and helping with groceries and dishes, and trash, to not being able to get out of the chair at all, all day long! It was devastating! He can’t work, he can’t stand longer than 2-3 minutes, and my world felt like it is slowly crashing.
Today, it has been about eight months since we started the process to get him the second ablation. It didn’t take this long last time at all! He has been chair bound since August last year and we have been, what feels like fighting, to get this ablation so that he can at least get up and walk without pain again. So, we decided to make the best of it. We’ve changed roles a bit. I started a LuLaRoe Business. I work from home and am able to still be here to keep the kids in line when he can’t get up and deal with them, and keep everyone on schedule and TRY to keep the house together (which has proven to be a challenge). My husband has taken over homeschooling the kids, because that is something he is able to do from the chair, and he also helps fold laundry and on the good days (which aren’t many) he will sit on a stool in front of the stove and cook dinner for us.
Life has completely turned upside down. For months we’ve been waiting on his ablation date this past Thursday! We were all so excited to get him back, and then the morning of the procedure we get a call that insurance hasn’t approved it yet. We were on the phone all day long trying to get them to get it done in time but then around 1:30 the doctors office called and said they would have to cancel the appointment. This was a huge slap in the face!
I haven’t been able to keep myself quite as together since that call. He is worse today even than he was yesterday and tomorrow is unknown. I miss homeschooling my kids and spending so much time with them during the day, I miss going shopping with my husband and walking through walmart with him grocery shopping. I miss him being happy and playful and spontaneous. I work long hours, 8 am till sometimes 3am, trying to build this business so it can support our family so that he will not feel so guilty for having a back condition. I can’t keep up with the housework, it has overwhelmed me and with this many kids, seems like a task of insanity. Our rental home is coming up for rent again in May, and I will have FOUR days to do repairs, and paint and get it move-in-ready for someone, and hopefully, we can find someone. And I have to take a class this summer starting in May in order for my degree completion plan not to change. My kids are missing me too, they are acting out, they are just like me and do not like when things change! But…this is what life is right now and we are dealing with it the best we can.
I know God hasn’t promised me that he would heal my husband, but I am hanging onto the hope that one day I will wake up and he will be pain free! I lay awake at night watching him toss and turn trying to get comfortable, and some nights I sit up for hours praying over him to not feel pain and sleep well. It makes me angry that I know he is called to be a Pastor, and I know he would change so many lives for Christ, but this thorn in his side is so debilitating that it has, for the moment, taken that dream from him. I have struggled with being bitter towards him, and angry at him at times, but have finally come to a good place where I don’t even allow my mind to go there anymore. I know it isn’t his fault. He is just as angry and frustrated as everyone else around him, probably even more. I am trying hard to find the good in this because I KNOW from experience that GOD never wastes the pain. I know that once we overcome this, just as we have things equally as hard in the past, that the meaning will become more clear, but right now, it is really hard to see! If you are reading this, please pray for us during this time! Please don’t say stupid hurtful things like: they shouldn’t have had so many kids if he had a back condition, or I can’t believe…bla..bla…bla you get the point…. just pray for us, pray for healing, pray we will be refined through this and that God will shine through this. Pray that our rental home will rent quickly, and repairs will not be so tough for me, our business will continue to grow and that our children will adjust! I am so grateful for praying friends, and have learned along the way that life without them is just not possible! Hopefully my next entry will be me reporting answered prayers! Lots of love!