Monday, July 13, 2009

The Sweetest Gifts

"If I had to sum up Friendship in one word, it would be Comfort." -- Adabella Radici

This summer has been a sometimes frustrating roller coaster of ups and downs, vacillating between the highs of family fun and the lows of chronic back pain. In the most deeply personal post I have ever written, I shared my struggles with lower back pain. You can read about "My Love Squad" here.

I am constantly amazed at God's goodness in blessing us during difficult times. One such blessing came to me last week. Knowing that my back has been giving me trouble lately, my friend Stacey made the pillow pictured above and filled it with uncooked rice. Warmed in the microwave, the reusable rice pillow provides soothing moist heat. It can be positioned easily for optimum comfort. And I assume the pink floral fabric must have healing properties for a tea party girl like myself!

I have an epidural scheduled for today and ask for the sweetest gifts you can offer: your prayers. I am hopeful that today's procedure will be successful so I can be the active wife, mother and friend I want to be.


Anonymous said...

Dear Melissa, while going through this spend some "me" time with yourself, place yourself in the middle of the focus, really really do so, ask for strongness of the bellymuscles and relaxation after the treatment for your back. I pray for your body to open up all canals to let energies flow freely to release stress and pain away from blokkades and give you air to heal the painful lowerback.
Good luck, my friend.
Godeliva van Ariadone

Workin' MAMA! said...

Although we've just met - we are sisters in christ -
I will certainly send prayers up to the throne for you speedy healing - and favorable result after your dr's visit -
Remember, God CAN!

working mama in the northwest

E and T said...

Melissa, praying for you and thinking of you.

I went back and read your very touching Love Squad post. I think chronic pain is one of the greatest brudens one can have. I pray that your pain is eased and am thankful that you are surrounded by such wonderful, caring and compassionate friends.


Mrs. G said...

Prayers coming your way Melissa for a successful treatment today.

Brenda said...

Hope all goes well with your pain treatment today! What a lovely friend you have!

Graham Shenanigans said...

that is an adorable pillow and what a great idea. I am having some back issues too. I think i might try it. You will most definetely be in my prayers today during this procedure!!

Carly Winborne said...

My dear friend. I read through this post and then your post from last year. My heart is aching for you. I, too, understand your chronic pain. I have rheumatoid arthritis, diagnosed when I was 26. There is nothing like pain that tricks you into believing you can't manage to do or be anything you desire.

So, my prayers are with you. And after the procedure, my prayers will still be with you. There is a verse that I have been thinking a lot about lately and believe it's just right for you today. Think on this:
1 John 4:4 - "Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world."

If you can, update us on how it goes. Until then, know that I'm praying.

Stacey @ The Blessed Nest said...

Praying for you right now!

Tina Foster said...

"But to you who fear My name
The Sun of Righteousness shall arise
With healing in His wings"
Malachi 4:2a

Christa said...

I just read your story and am in SHOCK of the pain that you suffer! I am always amazed at the beauty and creativity that you show on your blog that I visit it often. Never knowing that among the beauty that you battled this horrible pain.

I am so happy that you are surrounded by such wonderful friends and family. You really seem like such a nice person and I am sure that if the situation was reversed, you would be the one helping these many friends that help you. I will certainly pray for you today, sister in the Lord.

May the Lord grant you the peace and HEALTH that you seek. Blessings to you!

Rebecca said...

That is such a sweet and thoughtful gift. I wish you a speedy recovery!

Ginny said...

You certainly have not let your pain show in your sweet journaling and creativity...I, on the other hand, would be a cry baby!!! lol It would be my honor to pray for you. I do so love Facebook and the many blogs I read. It allows my prayer life to expand to my sweet friends I have yet to meet. Hugs to you too...

Anonymous said...

I hsve been following your blog for quite a while now... I don't remember how I found you but I remember how I felt as I read the story of the Love Squad and your back pain. I have been so inspired over the last year at the Lovliness that you provide for your precious family, and I am so sad to hear that you are still struggling with pain. My prayers are with you as you face this treatment today. I hope it gives you the relief you deserve so much!!!!

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Melissa, I just saw this and prayed for you! I pray that you will be healed from this pain. You are such a sweetheart, and I hate the thought of you being in any pain. So, please know we are believing with you that this pain will cease and desist. :-)

If you see this and get a chance, please email me at my blog. I have something for you. I can't click on here and get your email address because the computer guys didn't install something on this computer. So if you get the chance while you're recuperating, please email me. Thanks!

Feel better, sweet girl...


Sheila :-)

Cheri said...

Melissa, your blog has been a blessing to me and little did I know I would spend this morning in tears while reading of your pain. I, too, suffer intense chronic pain. It started in 2005 and has progressively gotten worse. We aren't sure what I did to trigger it, but it has been a journey like no other.

I delayed 5 short months in seeking medical treatment and ended up with permanent nerve damage, and I pray you do not have this in your future. Do you know what disc(s) are bothering you? I did have 3 back surgeries, which stabilized my back, but the nerve damage had already happened.

The pain you describe, the inability to move, the muscle spasms........that is all nerve triggered. When the nerves get unhappy, any move by your muscles and it's over, as you've noticed. One little shift in a chair, as you say, and that's all. Walking through your home terrified to be breathing.......Oh my do I know the feeling.

I just turned 43 and I have a cane and a walker, just in case. However, just this January, I have had the blessing of a spinal cord stimulator (SCS) implanted in my back. Have you ever heard of it? Leads are put in your mid back and block the pain signals from getting to your brain. It is sent from God, let me tell you. I have a remote control, and can turn myself up or down, but what I feel is buzzing, like a massage chair on the inside.

I have my life back. I have lost 25 lbs, gained from the epidural steroid shots that put 15lbs each on my body plus the inactivity forced on my life. The last year, I spent reclined 23 hours a day, full reclined, because any movement caused the pain you so eloquently describe. Thankfully, my children are almost grown - 20 and almost 17, but they have always been understanding and a great help to me.

If I could go back, I would try to not have any back surgeries - my 2nd one really messed me up, causing severe instability requiring the 3rd, 360 fusion with hardware and the works. So depressing to still have the horrid pain when I recovered, as nothing can heal permanent nerve damage.

Have you had an EMG?? This will test the status of your nerves and let them know if you have any acute or chronic nerve damage. I would ask about this test, because there are just so many injections we are supposed to have a year - a maximum of THREE (3). Some doctors ignore that and give more, but it puts our bodies at great risk of the side effects. My EMG is what finally shocked the doctors into realizing HOW BAD my pain was. I was immediately recommended for the SCS and while I delayed a bit out of fear and denial, it has honestly changed my life. Many people get these to avoid surgery.....please do check it out.

This girl started a blog entirely about spinal cord stimulation and it is very helpful:

If I can ever help you, if you need a listening ear from someone who knows, truly knows, and has their mothering affected by the crippling affects of severe pain, I am here for you. I know the fear you live in every day......just waiting for the next "wrong" move to take you out. I'm so sorry. (I have written a little about it on my blog, including a post about something a friend wrote to me titled Have you ever had a friend make you cry?

( (HUGS ) )


blushing rose said...

May today bring a solution to your back issues. Good luck & prayers, TTFN ~Marydon

Elise said...

Best wishes Melissa.

I have one suggestion - have you thought of trying a Chiropractor ?

Mine has put a slipped disc back where it should be, negating the need for surgery of any kind. It took a while but it worked.

I wouldn't hesitate to recommend the wonders of Chiropractic to anyone.

I do hope you'll give it a go; the epidural sounds so drastic.....

speedy recovery,

Anonymous said...

I am praying for relief and healing for you today. I had not read your "Love Squad" post until today. I had no idea you have had this trouble. You are such an instrument of God, encouraging all of us despite your own pain. You encourage me to live joyfully. I'll keep praying.

Michelle in San Antonio

Homeschool Dawn said...

I am reading about your epidural a little late but am praying for your healing. My heart aches for you. What you wrote describes exactly how I felt, physically and emotionally, for about 10 years until the root of my chronic pain was found and corrected. I will be praying as one who empathizes. May God give you extra measures of grace and draw you close.

mgster said...

May God bless you and heal you.

Laura said...

I don't know exactly what kind of problem you have with your back, Melissa, but my chiropractor has me alternate cold and heat to bring blood and soothing to the muscles with the heat and keep inflammation down with the cold. I have a similar pillow that I heat in the microwave then after it cools, I put it in the freezer for 15 min. or so, when it warms, I switch again. Just wondered if that might help you...hope you feel better soon.

Anonymous said...

Thinking of you with my heart today...Remembering you in my prayers.

Many Blessings,

"How natural it is that I should feel as I do about you, for you have a very special place in my heart..." Philippians 1:7

* I wanted to leave this message. I never read your "Love Squad" post either until today. I had no idea. It left me teary eyed. You inspired me from the minute I discovered your blog. My daughter
(20 yrs old) and I have enjoyed many recipes, ideas...stories. You are such an inspiration! You have such a sweet spirit and a contagious passion for Christ My husband has the disease myasthenia gravis. Some days have been very challenging. Your blog has made my day ...many of times. I want to thank you. Thank you for letting God use your gifts for such an encouraging and beautiful blog...despite your back pain.
....God's goodness in blessing us during difficult times!

Nancy said...

Oh my dear friend, I had no idea you suffered with such :( my heart cried reading The Love Squad post, but then you would do the same for them :) and if I had to guess, you've already repaid this a thousand times over ~
I am praying prayers of healing for you and look forward to coming here tomorrow morning to see how you are feeling. You are loved, Melissa Lester, and there are many holding you up. Rest well tonight, dear one ~

Becky said...

Melissa, I totally understand the pain part. I have arthritis in almost every place it can be, I guess, and have since I was 15 and they first found it in my knees. I hear ya loud and clear. Hope that the procedure today helps clear up some of it for you so you can keep being the creative, loving mom we all have known you to be!
Lord, please be Melissa's Healer today. She hurts. You know all about pain and everywhere that hurts each one of us. Please remove her pain and keep her hopping around after her family and sharing life with all of us. We thank You ahead of time for Your healing touch. Amen.

pennythequeen/queeniep said...

I am send a prayer your way. I understand the pain of not being able to function because of lower back pain. I have fibromyalgia and often hurt so deeply.
May the Lord lay His hand upon you and give you peace and freedom of pain.
Ps- water aerobics work a bit.

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