.This post is a departure from my planned writing, slow as that writing may be, to share a deep need for prayers. It is a request for prayers about my heath situation. Some of you who have been visiting Chapter 3 Ministries for a while or who know me personally know that I have been living with a chronic nerve pain condition for many years. I don’t write about it too often, but when I do; it is under the category From the Couch. That title is a reflection of my daily reality of needing to retreat to the couch because of pain. Since 2009, much of my online ministry work has been done while lying on the couch with voice recognition software and extra cushion and pillows.
My experience with chronic nerve pain started in 1996 in my thighs and arms. For years I experienced everyday pain and bad flare ups that could last for weeks or months. Things got worse in 2002. Since then, my feet have not stopped hurting. The longer I stand or walk the more the pain increases. Sometimes things are so bad that I have to crawl up or down the stairs. Back then, I began using a cane chair, wheelchair, or electric chair when out at certain locations; but I still did as much as I could. In 2008 things got worse again.
At the onset of that painful worsening, I kept trying to live life as normally as I could for many weeks hoping the pain would calm down, but it didn’t. Sitting up just got harder and harder. In time, even sitting for a little while became unbearable. I have a high tolerance for pain, but this nerve pain is not like typical joint or muscle pain. It is relentless and escalates the more the painful area has pressure on it. It just doesn’t stop. Eventually, this major flare left me couch bound. Life outside my home ended except for doctor visits for years. Thankfully I was still able to homeschool from the couch. Later, over a period of years, thanks to a schedule my husband came up with, I did get to a point where I could sit for an hour (though still with varying degrees of pain) and then return to the couch for some rest before getting up again for another hour. This is the schedule of how my day goes today.
One aspect of the pain is called allodynia. It is sensitivity to normal sensations of touch, pressure, and temperature. This has made wearing normally fitting clothes and footwear unbearable. Sitting, standing, walking and lying down hurts. Flare ups can happen at anytime too without any outside stimulus. What makes this situation so hard is that the more I try to do, unless it is at a very slow rate of increase, the worse the pain gets. We have seen many doctors and tried various treatments to no avail.
Recently my husband and I learned about a treatment for chronic pain that we have decided to pursue. It has been years since we have had any new leads about potential help, so this is significant. The treatment is called Calmar or scrambler technology. It works by sending a “no pain” signal to the brain. Many have found great relief from it. We hope and pray that it can work for me too.
In order to pursue this treatment, we need to travel. It’s only an hour and thirty minutes from home, but we will need to make several stops to break up the trip. Though I will be lying down in the van for the trip, I will still need to get up so that I don’t hurt from lying down. The treatment takes place over two weeks, so I will be staying in a hotel near the office. Lord willing, we leave tomorrow.
Would you please pray for our travel, stay, and the treatment? There are many big and small concerns. One of the requirements for treatment is that certain pain medications that could interfere be stopped. An anti-seizure medication, the one thing that has given me some relief, is on the list. This means that tomorrow, I will be traveling without it. It is an extra challenge for which I request prayer. Please pray for my dear husband as he leads us. He has provided so much care and love for me and continues to as he works to get us to the treatment. And please pray for my submission, strength, courage, and healing.
It’s hard to explain what this means to me after being in pain for so long. The hope that a treatment could work after so many doctors and other treatments is hard to grab a hold of, but I am trying. I know God is sovereign and good and my hope is in Him. I pray for His mercy to cover us and provide an end to the pain if that is His will. I pray He is glorified in all this.
“The LORD’S lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, For His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. “The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, “Therefore I have hope in Him.” The LORD is good to those who wait for Him, To the person who seeks Him.”
A few thoughts From the Couch