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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

It's Been A While & Neck / Shoulder Pain

I've been away... for quite a long time. I apologize for my absence. There are many things that have been happening, some of which are still being worked out. There's a lot that I'd like to share with you guys. I definitely want to get back to blogging more soon, but it may still be a little bit before I can do that. We'll see how things go... so, please stay tuned. 

At the beginning of April, I started having increasingly severe neck pain; and by the end of the month, my right shoulder started to ache deeply (in addition to the severe neck pain).

The intense neck and shoulder pain really broke me down, making me feel like I was just falling apart. I couldn't find any relief or peace. Everything came to a head, so I went to the doctor to try to help with the severe neck pain (stiffness to the point that I couldn't turn my head to the left), right shoulder pain, tingling and numbness in several fingers... it was bad.

Here's what I wrote on May 3, 2013:
The pain type and intensity are eerily similar to right after the car accident in '08 (at least as much as I can recall). I feel overwhelmed with A LOT of thoughts and emotions that race through me. The pain has made it hard to write or type... even texting. It's re-closing my world, and I don't know what to do. I keep reminding myself that I've grown so much since right after the accident, but I don't know if I can do all this again. 
I went to the doctor today. (5/3). Long story short(er), the severe neck / shoulder pain (and subsequent tingling and numbness in my right hand) could be caused by a few different things - could be muscle spasms squeezing the nerve, bursitis, lasting effects from my car accident, a muscle tear, a bulging disc, etc. It's complicated by the fact that the medical test to best narrow it down is an MRI, which I can't have because of my neurostimulator. My doctor said that there's pain in the rotator cuff, so we might be able to get rid of most of the pain and then just have to deal with the cuff. Or, meds + rest + ice could take care of it. There's so many different possible causes, treatments, and outcomes.
So, I was on muscle relaxants for a couple weeks, and took NSAIDs for a month. I also rested and iced the area. Thankfully, all of this helped, and I've gotten back to my normal levels of neck and shoulder stiffness and pain... which is still pretty bad, but no where near as horrible as it was then (and no tingling / numbness).

During this very difficult and painful time, I reached out to a dear friend, who offered me hope and encouragement. She reminded me of God's promises:
"'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future'" (Jeremiah 29:11).
She also reminded me that even when we wonder what God's purpose is for us, when we're unable to write, talk, or even pray most days... that what matters most to God is His relationship with each of us... and, even though we may want more (to be able to do more)... He only longs for us to be in and with Him.

So, when I'm hurting so badly that I can't really do much of anything and I feel worthless / helpless / etc... as long as I focus on being in the moment with Him, I'm exactly where He wants me to be... and that's what I cling to.

[Please stay tuned for more updates.]