I have suffered with spine pain since my 20's. I'd been through almost thirty years of trying chiropractors, muscle relaxers, pain relievers, and therapy. I finally came to a place where,, with age, the pain became more pronounced and it was every day.
The year was January 2005. I decided to reseach surgery. I say an orthopedist who had performed the surgery on my cervical spine (double fusion) that healed wonderfully. So, I saw this same surgeon about my lower spine problems. He sent me for CT scan and MRI and then delivered the result to me. He said that I have Degenerative Disc Disease, or "DDD" and that two levels had no disc whatsoever. They had desintergrated. It was bone rubbing bone and that was painful.
He approached the subject of surgery like a walk in the part. "We'll just do a little surgery, you'll stay in the hospital a couple of days, then go home and eventually begin therapy to help it heal. "Just a little surgery," huh? I had surgery on January 5, 2005. I expected the pain, and it was there alright. I stayed a couple of days with a drain in my back, and then was sent home with gauze and tape to change out my dressing every 24 hours. Only I was draining so much, my husband was changing my bandage 3 times a day! And the muscle spasms, I was not told these were so severe. Even though I took muscle relaxers, when the spasm hit, I cried out and my body would wrench itself without my doing it consciously.
I went back for my follow-up and my back was still draining. The doctor had his PA change the dressing, but the doctor seemed unconcerned. He said it was probably the "little arthritis" at the surgical sight and he gave me a stronger muscle relaxer.
To move forward more quickly, I will capsulized the next four months. I made several trips to the doctor and complained that my pain was growing worse, not better. He ran two more MRIs during those four months and told me all he saw was "a little arthritis". By this time, I could not got to therapy, I could barely walk. I spend my days alone in a lounge char in my bedroom with pillows stuffed all around me to try and get some comfort. At night (or day) when I was on the bed, I would stuff pillows at my back so I could lie on my side. I would stay awake almost every night, all night, watching crazy television. There's not much to watch in the middle of the night. During the days, I would drift off to sleep in the chair and woud awakien thinking nothing about the surgery, like I thought I was normal, but was suddenly reminded by the pain that I was not well. The pain grew over four months to a feeling as if someone was sticking a sharpe knife in my back and slowly killing me. I cried A LOT. And I prayed from Day 1 for healing and rest. But after four months of this, and no answer from God, I cried out to Him, "WHY WON'T YOU HELP ME?" My daughter gave me a disc of the Holy Rosary and all it did was depress me further. Later I learned that my daughter and my husband thought I was "putting on" for attention, so they were not real concerned. My husband was relying on the doctor's point of view and my family thought I was milking it for attention.
What a mess was I in! Finally, after trying to call the pain doctor that I had been sent to several times and receiving no call-back, my daughter left because she didn't know what to do. Whenever I put my right leg down, a thobbing, horrific pain went through it also. This was something new.
On Apri 28, I told my husband to take me to the ER. When we arrived, I was writhing in the wheelchair. I told them I was checking myself in and I would not leave until they found out what was wrong with me. They put me in the bed in the hallway right in front of the nurses station. I was writhing in pain and I needed something, anything, to help my pain. After being there turning every which way on the bed, a nurse came, put an IV in my arm and gave me a shot of morphine. It helped but didn't do enough; however, I was so thankful for the relief.
I had an MRI and a CT scan, plus tons of blood work during the night. The next morning, I had been in a comfortable state with the morphine and I told my husband to go on to work. That afternoon, my doctor comes in with another doctor whom I didn't know. He told me that I had a pocket of staph at the surgical site and that there was a bone marrow change. He said they would perform surgery on Monday morning to remove the hardware which was no longer needed and could have caused the problems I had and that I would immediately be put on heavy antibiotics for the staph and bone marrow infection which went from my right hip all the way down my leg. I could not put my leg down where the blood would flow to it. The pain was unbearable. I was given meropenem, piperacillin and tazobactam by "piggy-back IV" 24/7. When I came out of surgery, I screamed with such enormous pain calling "Dear God, Dear God, help me God, it hurts so much.".
Before I went home, a PICC line catheter was introduced into my left arm. I was so depressed when I got home. A nurse was waiting for us. She set up a machine, which had a shoulder strap. The bags of drugs had to be kept in the refrigerator and tubing and a new back was introduced every day. My husband finally went back to work and I had learned to change the bags myself. I wore the line for eight weeks before the Infectious Disease doctor would remove it. I had lost 40 pounds and I had to slowly learn to walk with a walker, then on my own. I was not myself completely until the month of August 2005. Eight months of an outright nightmare.
Now, the reason I am telling you all of this is all about God. Before 2005, I had been a half-hearted Catholic. I didn't pray regulary, I judged others, I cursed here and there, and probably a whole lot of other negative activity. Once I came out the other side of this 8 month nightmare, I began to reflect deeply on my life and I knew I had to face some hard truths. I owed God my humility, thanksgiving, praise and glory. I would not have survived this experience if God had not been there. Yes, he was there, but he had alwaays been there, along with Jesus, since by early life. But I drifted. I grew up in the 60's and formal religion or talk of Jesus was "NOT COOL!" I went on with my life, being put in many situations where I could have lost my life or at least something near that. But did I ever pray? No, I did not. The love of my life turned out to be an atheist and this conflicted me further because I knew better. But did I open my mouth to him and dispute his choice? Never once.
I've lived so much life that I look back and most of it seems like a dream. But looking forward now has a new meaning. I accepted Jesus as my Savior and claimed my Salvation. I now pray every day, several times a day. I love going to Mass, and when I arrive and kneel before Jesus on the cross, there are tears in my eyes. I wasted so many years on things that come and go; nothing normal stayed, except for my daughter. It was me and her, alone but together for each other.
I met a man on Twitter four years ago and through getting to know each other, we decided to Skype. He lives in England with his wife and is now 76 years young. He was sitting by a tree in a forest and he was told about me by God. I was never privvy to the whole experience, but he explained he was told about me and that we should become friends. This went on steadily until a couple of months ago when he suddenly said he needed to go on a new path. It devastated me because it was he who nurtured The Holy Spirit in me, talked about the Bible with me, prayed for me as I prayed for him. I miss him terribly but he made himself clear that he had to go.
So for the last four years, my spiritual side has grow and grown and its all so beautiful and wonderful, I am just amazed by it all. I love Jesus, The Holy Trinity, Mary and all the angels and Saints. I call on them and they never fail to intercede for me. I have met a great many friends on Twitter and we have a group in Direct Messaging calle "B and S in Christ" (Brothers and Sisters in Christ). We support one another and we pray for each other and share I hopes, dreams and our needs.
Finally, about the time I met my friend in England, in the Marian Apparition in Medjugorje to Mirjana Soldo, Our Lady asked me (she asked generally but I felt she was calling me!) to become an Apostle for her Son and to bring as many sould to Him as possible. She had been granted more time by Jesus in this effort and I knew what I had to do. I do pray that I have changed even one life through my words, which are directed by The Holy Spirit. Take your step toward your faith and renew your commitment. I have had enormous prayers answered and I receive roses every time in invoke the intercession of St. Theresa, my Patron Saint. I BELIEVE! I HAVE FAITH! I HAVE TRUTH! And so, so much more.
In closing, the whole point of this story is how God brought me Home, but not before he brought me to my knees at the foot of the cross through the horrible experience with my health. He showed me who was in control and who would not be called just because I was having a bad time. He wants a relationship that is a daily exchange in prayers. I dedicate my life to Jesus and God. I hope that my actions reflect all the glory of God and his Son. Nothing will ever change my faith, EVER! Praise God!