My husband and I have been home for a little while now from our two week adventure for medical treatments, and I would like to share an update here to wrap this subject up for now. I did post some updates on my ministries’ Facebook page during our trip, but it seemed good to have a follow-up blog post as well. At the end of this post, I have shared information about the office we visited for those who might benefit by the treatment.

Our trip may be over, but really this is just beginning of getting better. More on that in a minute.

I’m happy to report that the Calmar treatment for chronic nerve pain did positive things for me. The sessions were a lot of work physically and mentally. Really hard work. I was exhausted by the end of each one. Thankfully, the work was completely worth it. I experienced varying degrees of pain relief during each session. There were even periods of time when I had zero pain in my feet and while sitting. I have had pain while sitting since 1996 and my feet have hurt since 2002, so the relief that I experienced was amazing. Really, I almost didn’t believe it at first. But repeated success helped it sink in. It was real. I also experienced some relief between sessions.

This trip was a huge blessing. I learned a lot about my health situation. But what makes me happiest is that we learned that there is something in this world that can address the pain! During the sessions, I had times when I felt normal again. I loved it.  This treatment helped me realize that I had forgotten what normal was. Now that I remember what normal is, I want it again and more!

I also learned other things. There were spiritual lessons and relationship challenges that came up in the month leading up to and during the trip. Big events can do that. They can drive you right into the face of what you confess to believe in or practice. I thank God for the challenges and for what I learned.

Just the beginning

Now that we are home, some relief remains; but there is still a long way to go. The ten sessions that I had were not enough for complete or lasting relief. Calmar therapy works with the concept of neuroplasticity which is the ability of the brain to reorganize. Neuroplasticity is pretty cool and something God in His great wisdom designed. During the treatment, the brain gets reintroduced to a “no pain” message and then learns and changes for the better. The thing is, that takes time.

Though we had some success, follow up treatments are recommended. While that may happen in the future, right now I am working at home to help hold onto the relief and expand it. During my appointments I was taught exercises to help my brain continue to change. They take a lot of time during the day and a ton of mental energy and focus. It’s extra hard when I’m feeling worse than I did before I left home for our trip. Yeah, that happens; but I’m still in the fight. Without these efforts, I might not improve and might even loose the relief I gained. My brain has yet to grab a hold of the “no pain” message for good, and there are many obstacles to overcome to get back to normal. I am also working against painful flare ups that can occur even at rest. Additionally, my condition has always been aggravated by hormonal changes, and I am in the midst of pemimenopause. The tidal waves of hormones can wreak havoc.

We are praying that the work I’m doing bears fruit and that the window of relief gets bigger and lasts. We do not know how long it will take, but we hope to see real improvement in the near future. We would truly appreciate your continued prayers for this, that we will hopefully see good and lasting results. I am giving it all I can to get better. And If I don’t get better, I will not be bitter. I am His. May God’s will be done.

Thanksgiving

I cannot thank and praise God enough for all He did for us during our adventure and for bringing this treatment into our lives. To be honest, this help came at a time when I wasn’t looking for it or praying hard for it. God was still working and setting this in motion when I was just trying to get through the day and keeping my hope in Him in a general way. How awesome is He! May all the glory be His!

I also cannot thank my husband Butch enough for all he did. This whole trip and trying the treatment was his idea. He learned about it from a dear friend and wanted to pursue it. In the beginning, I was not in favor of the idea. Travel to another state in my condition for a treatment that might not even work? Umm, no. There were a hundred reasons why and lots of fear.  I was mostly housebound and even limited within my house. The trip felt like moving from a cardboard box to a coliseum. Yes, I wanted to get better; but it seemed unwise to risk the small amount of comfort and mobility that I had left on a maybe. NOTHING had worked in the past, and many things that were supposed to help had actually made things worse.

Well, my husband and I researched the treatment more and talked and talked about going. Some conversations were tense and things were stressful. We prayed and tried to be patient with each other. I knew and he knew that as my head he could make the decision to go even if I was not 100% onboard. I knew it would be right to submit to him. But honestly, neither of us wanted things to go that way. Thankfully, they didn’t. Because of our conversations, some courage and hope in God, a desire to get better, and compassionate efforts Butch made to calm my fears while exercising godly leadership, I was able to go in agreement with him.

I also wish to thank my dear family, friends, church family, and visitors to Chapter 3 Ministries for all your prayers and support. My spirit was uplifted knowing you were there. It has been humbling and edifying to see so much compassion and love extended to my husband and me through this. We will not forget.

A short story from our adventure

There are so many details from our trip that I wish I could share, to God’s glory. If you can bear with me for a little longer on this subject, I would like to share one short story from our adventure.

It was late in the day when we first arrived at the hotel we were to stay in for two weeks. I was apprehensive and tired after our time on the road. Things got more challenging right off the bat when we discovered that we had to switch hotel rooms! Just after my husband finished bringing all of our things into the suite, he discovered that the AC was not user controlled. He determined that this would not work out well for his hot-flashing wife. I agreed! Lately, I had preferred the climate of the Arctic tundra. Thankfully, there was another suite with an adjustable thermostat, albeit on the fourth floor. This was distressing because we had specifically booked the original room because it was on the first floor and close to an exit. This was to help with my mobility issues, but now we had to leave it. My poor husband had to transfer everything over including extra things we had brought to accommodate my limitations like comfort bedding and our own chairs.

Shortly after we moved into the second room, the new surroundings of the hotel had this perimenopausally hormonal, usually housebound, “princess and the pea” undone. Not to mention the anticipation of my first visit the next day. What would happen? Would it help? Could I even make the walk into the office from the parking lot?

At last, I got settled in bed. To calm my heart and shore up my faith, I turned to the Psalms. This is my habit in trying times. Many of the Psalms speak of God’s character and awesome power and provision and are therefore comforting and convicting. Since that is true, I don’t typical feel the need to go to any psalm in particular. I just open to one and start reading and read until my heart and mind are at peace because of the truths therein. I don’t do this with the aim to “hear from God” in a way that takes whatever I happen to open to as a specific message to me. I think it is incorrect to use the Bible like that. (My husband calls that “Bible Bingo”.) I do it to because I know the Bible is God’s word and that all of it is good for me to spend time in. (2 Timothy 3:16-17) There are timeless truths in it that can address many of life’s situations when applied correctly.

That night, I didn’t make it past the first psalm that I turned to: Psalm 34. It was so spot on to what my heart needed to hear. I read it over and over. I encourage you to take a moment and read it. It is a psalm of praise that speaks of answered prayers, deliverance, and God’s provision. It speaks of God as good and as a refuge. It also speaks of the fear of the Lord and instructs to do good. The words brought peace and strengthened my hope in God. My heart rested in the reality of how good He is and wondered what He might do over the next two weeks. I prayed to Him, asking for help about my health as I had so many times over the past twenty-one and a half years, and eventually fell asleep.

The next morning when I woke, two thoughts were running through my mind: Do what is right and Be pleasing to God. I was not surprised that these thoughts came up after spending time in Psalm 34 the previous night and because this had happened before. There had been other times in the past when I had been in wild seas, not knowing what to do or was fearful, and all I could do was cling to one idea: DO what is right. Obey God. That I knew for sure, even if I knew nothing else.

With those thoughts in my head, I returned to my Bible remembering that there were verses that had those ideas in them. I wanted to see them again to be impacted by the inspired and living word of God and to confirm the fragmented exhortations that I had woken up with. Some of the verses I read were 2 Corinthians 5:9, Hebrews 13:20-21, and 1 Peter 3:6.

The verse in 1 Peter 3 was very familiar. For one thing, it is part of group of verses that were read at our wedding. (1 Peter 3:1-7)  Additionally, verses 1-6 and a verse later in the same chapter, 1 Peter 3:15, were the verses Chapter 3 Ministries was founded on. The very name Chapter 3 Ministries came from this chapter. It seemed a fitting name since this chapter addresses both marriage and apologetics, the two main topics that I focus on here and which have long been an important part of my ministry and life as a Christian.

As I reread 1 Peter 3:6 and its context that first morning of our adventure, it ministered to me deeply. My conviction that it is God’s will for me to obey my husband was strengthened. Though this was encouraging, I also felt remorse. I knew I had struggled with this in the stressful weeks leading up to our trip. I spent some time confessing to my God (and confessed later to Butch).

Then I decided to read the rest of the chapter because, well, it’s chapter three! As I went on, I came to verses 10 – 12. They seemed familiar and not just because I’d been in this chapter so often. I reread them a few times and then it dawned on me. They were from Psalm 34! At least I thought so. I quickly turned to Psalm 34 to check. Yup! They were! Here, smack dab in the middle of 1 Peter 3, the chapter that had been dear to me for so long, was a section of the psalm that had brought such conviction and comfort the night before.

My heart welled up. Coincidence? I don’t think so. God is sovereign and for some reason He allowed me to make this connection. It filled me with joy and thanksgiving for the mercy and grace that He was providing for me though His word. A part of Psalm 34 didn’t have to be inside of chapter three for that to happen. His word was convicting and comforting me anyway. But the fact that it was there; well, that was pretty cool. God’s word and this happy connection strengthened me as I got up to face the first day of treatments.

What’s next for Chapter 3 Ministries?

Most of my energy will be put into getting better for a while; but Lord willing, I will continue to write and post as I am able. There is still much work to be done. Currently, I am writing a series on the deity of Christ. That topic is special to me. I have a long history with it in the ministry of apologetics. Please look for it and join me again if you can. And always, know that my heart and prayers are with you. I thank you again for all your love, prayers, and support.

Treatment Information

Below is information about the office we went to. I recommend Calmar therapy if you or someone you know has the kind of pain that it treats. I was skeptical going down, but I am a believer now. I saw real results. In my situation, because the pain is widespread, I am a more complicated case. More treatments are recommended. But someone else could possibly fair better with just the initial ten.

The office is Calmar Pain Relief, LLC and is head by Dr. Stephen J. D’Amato. He is a premier specialist in the United States for this therapy. How blessed we were to be able to see him. He is fantastic. He is knowledgeable, patient, and kind. His staff is wonderful, from Ginette in the office to the health care professionals that took care of me. My main attendants were Kristen and James. Wow, are they great! So patient and compassionate. I really cannot do them justice. I was also helped by Melissa. She was great too. I have never met health care professionals before who so understood chronic nerve pain and the people who have it. They were gentle, kind, and positive. I learned things from them that I will hold onto for a very long time.

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