Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Sticking My Neck Out (Again)

Herman For some time now I've been suffering from mysterious right shoulder and neck pain. I'm also suffering from unexplained temporary vision loss. Needless to say, I've been to doctor after doctor seeking treatment.

Some doctors have recommended therapy [Ehhhh, wrong answer! Just made it worse!]. Others recommended mind bending drugs [DEFINITELY a wrong answer!]. One even said, "Well, you have a trigger muscle. Learn to live with it."

Today, I gave yet one more doctor a try, a vascular surgeon. Well, let me back up, I gave one more Neurologist a try one month ago. After multiple tests, lots of hmmmm's and ah haw's, he suggested that I might have Subclavian Steal Syndrome.

"Oh Boy!" I thought, "Someone who takes me seriously and has a legitimate suggestion." He had even called his vascular surgeon friend and over the phone they came up with this diagnosis.

I was absolutely giddy with joy! FINALLY, someone had a diagnosis for my pain.

Today, after more on-hands, visual tests with the vascular surgeon, he shot my balloon right out of the air. Now it seems I may have Thoracic Outlet Syndrome.


Back to square one. [very heavy sigh] Now I need to have yet more tests to be performed at a local hospital. More precious time spent running back and to. Spending more money we should be saving during this economic Depression. And I still hurt. This seems to be dragging on and on and on and on. I have wept all afternoon. I felt so discouraged and abandoned.

Then, I happened upon this in our local paper:

Billy Graham - My Answer

Q: I have terrible pain all the time from a bad back, and the doctors can’t seem to do anything about it (except to prescribe strong drugs, which I don’t want to get hooked on). What good is God to me, if He won’t relieve my pain? Is it wrong for me to ask Him to take it away? — J. McS.

A: No, it isn’t wrong for you to ask God to bring healing to your body and take away your pain. Chronic pain is a terrible burden, and the Bible encourages us to bring all our burdens to God in prayer. But if your pain stays with you, I urge you not to get angry with God or turn away from Him in bitterness or disappointment.

Instead, I pray that your pain will cause you to turn toward God and draw closer to Him, so you can discover His strength and presence. In spite of your present feelings about Him, God has not abandoned you; He loves you and wants to encourage you. The Bible’s promise is true: “The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth” (Psalm 145:18).

Think of it this way. In your letter, you mentioned that you are married, and although your wife can’t take away your pain, her presence has been a source of great comfort and encouragement to you. In a similar way, knowing that God cares for you and is constantly with you will bring you great comfort and encouragement.

Bring your burdens — including your pain — to Jesus, and ask Him to encourage you and help you keep your eyes on eternity.

The Bible says, “Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall” (Psalm 55:22).
I sure needed to hear that today! Plus, I made mental notes of all my blessings instead of focusing in on the failures and the seemingly endless medical adventures I've been on these past years. I have a lot to be thankful for. Now I feel better. God sure works in mysterious ways, doesn't he?! :)

I hope this encourages others to not give up too. Remember, you are LOVED!

Besides, it reminds me of that old saying, "Behold the turtle. He makes progress only when he sticks his neck out."

I just hope I don't get it chopped off.

[tee hee]


  1. Hi Sparky, I have been praying for you and this appt. I understand your frustration: thinking that you had an answer/possible solution and then finding out you have to start over again with testing. It gets very old. I do know that everything we go through is for a reason and that our prayers have been answered. I continue to pray that your pain will be managed and that God will lead you to the right test/dr. for your needs. Love to you, M

  2. Hi Sparky, I am so sorry you don't have a diagnosis yet. Would you consider seeing a Naturopathic Doctor? Perhaps s/he could help you.


⭐ A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out. ~ Walter Winchell