Saturday, April 30, 2011

A PAIN IN THE NECK


This is not a theological screed.  Neither is it a complaint about someone.  It is . . . well you will see.

I'm used to fixing various things around the manse; things within my ability.  Fixing the drain plug in the sink certainly seemed to be within my ability.  I knew what to do. I had the tools.  I had the time.  The job took longer than I thought it would but that is the nature of plumbing.  Actually I gave up and told myself I would finish it tomorrow.

The next day I discovered that the cost was higher than I thought it would be.  My neck hurt.  I dealt with it the way I deal with most medical issues: I ignored it for about a week.  This was more of a feat than one would think as the pain was pretty strong.  It got to the point that I couldn't do my job.  Finally I gave in and went to see the doctor.

Contrary to my expectations the doctor said my problem was not muscular and she sent me off to see the orthopedist.  The orthopedist told me it couldn't be muscular because I was too old for that (thanks a lot doc), took an x ray and told me I had arthritis in my neck and possibly a problem with the discs in my neck.  To make a long story short he sent me off to have an MRI.

I've heard lots of horror stories about MRIs, about the tiny tube and claustrophobia and the noises that sound like someone hammering.  Maybe it's just me but when I closed my eyes I was able to forget that the top of the tube was about six inches above my nose.  And yes the noises were loud but I've heard worse.  The biggest problem I had was the bump on the MRI machine right under the spot where my neck hurt.  I got through it.

Back to the orthopedist the next day where I am told that I have two bulging discs in my neck.  This is not good news.  If I do nothing about it my neck will continue to hurt all the time and believe me the pain was bad.  I could just go on taking the pain killers the doctor had given me but I decided that long term use of oxycodone was a bad idea.  I was left with door number three: steroid shots.

Don't get me wrong; as much as it costs modern medicine can be a wonderful thing.  A decade or three ago I would have had to take pain killers for the rest of my life.  Still, someone sticking a needle into my spinal cord is just a bit disconcerting.  That's scheduled for Wednesday.  In the meantime I have severe pain except for when I give in and take a pain pill.

I suppose this is where I'm supposed to make Biblical and theological statements.  I don't believe that God punishes people in this world for their sins except for the obvious like liver problems from drinking too much.  What kind of spiritual message is there?  Use the down time to pray and get closer to God.  That's all for now.

P.S.  I never did get the drain fixed and now I'm not going to try!

4 comments:

Alan said...

Ugh.

I hope the shots help.

As you likely know, any sort of injury to the back or neck can often take a very long time to heal, much longer than people think. But I hope your recovery is speedy!

Pastor Bob said...

Thanks Alan. I'm OK, for the most part lying down. Just about passed out in worship on Sunday. It did have the nice side effect of congregational members accepting people besides me doing anything but the sermon.

Robert said...

1st steroid shot: tomorrow morning

Robert said...

Shot in the neck done yesterday. It's supposed to take a couple of days to take affect. Still hurts right now.