My Very Present Help

“God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.”
– Psalm 46:1 KJV

 

Lord, I do not know in starting this post what it will be called. And I know I just posted the Share Your Passion Tag 9.27.19 and still have the notifications to do for the nominees while trying to stay awake, but I do know that I need to write this post to and for You! To praise You for what You have done for me in abundance recently, but especially for seeing me through the Transforaminal LESI (Lumbar Epidural Steroid Injection) I had to have yesterday (Tuesday). LESI.1I was nervous because I had never had one done. I have had many friends and family who had them when having babies, and guys too for back issues. Yet they were always either they did not take despite how many they gave them, how they created pain and damage somewhere it never had before the epidural, and even paralyzed.

Just days before this epidural, I had a dear young friend who gave birth to her 3rd baby. Her husband was reporting she had an epidural because the baby turned breech at the last moment when time to push. Afterwards my friend struggled with severe headaches, neck pain so stiff she could not move her head, and blood pressures running 222/98. The whole in her spine from the epidural was not healing. They went back in and did a blood patch, and within 30 minutes it healed. Praise God she finally starting getting rest and truly healing.

But with all of this on my mind, I was also so stiff and in pain, moving as though I were 90 yr old with a walker again. My neck too gets stuck several times a day, needing a pop 8 out of 10 times because of my cervical issues). I’m on 2 blood pressure pills. Friends and family were noticing and asking things like what happened, are you going backwards, and I thought your new neurologist was good. I was hurting all day from my mid back, to my sacrum, to my hips, to my thighs, to my knees, to my calves, to my feet, and even to my toes. Every one of those parts had moments of weakness and completely giving out with no warning, sometimes multiple parts at a time.

In therapy they are always trying to get my body straight for certain exercises, good posture, and to properly support my spine. When they are working to help me they see I am truly trying, but my legs do not look like they are designed to go straight, as well as my back against the wall and stay there while I do the needed work. When they literally straighten it for me by physically forcing it straight and maintaining the hold, it causes severe pain, especially afterwards. I struggle to walk and within an hour or so cannot walk anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour, sometimes taking a full night and day resting as much as possible, while using my walker to get up and down, to walk to use bathroom, and even to get up and down to use bathroom. And oh how it hurts to bend to try and clean myself, yet I still fail to be able to sometimes.

I say all of this, Lord, because today was the first Dr. B was realizing how “taxing” (his words) it was for me to use my legs to walk, to stand, to do just about anything while having to live in a world where I HAVE to. Yet when he told me to tell my doctor I had to sadly tell him again how they either just keep saying they don’t see why I really complain, or to tell him. He heard it. Just like last time. He does listen. I had to let him know the neurologist he sent me to (neurologist #7) told me not to be doing shots, but I was able to let him know I told her if it wasn’t for the shots I wouldn’t be walking, sleeping, standing, tolerating anything against my back (even a pillow), or anything. I let her know how grateful I was to You, God, for Dr. B. I had told her I was trusting You, and that You led me to someone who was listening and willing to DO what he could, therefore I was to trust whatever he said he needed to do.

Yes I heard the horror stories on those spinal nerve blocks we have done the last 3 years as well, and been told since I was 12 yrs old (the first time I woke up unable to walk and my back hurting, having to be carried to the car and into the hospital) to avoid surgeries, shots, chiropractors, or any back docs as much as possible because I would end up paralyzed. If I was able to walk, then just find something to use as a pain gauge to determine between I’m okay, I really need to sit down, or lay down and do NOTHING until my body allows me. No medicines. And my body could not tolerate cold because it stiffened it worse, increasing the pain and worsening the mobility. The heat seem to just magnify the feel of the pain. I learned to just quietly breathe it out… and not that funny breathing or any of that cry out in pain that just turned out to be more physical exertion. Natural patient breaths. Most of the time having to close my eyes and go inside with You, God, just patiently waiting.

That’s most certainly what I had to do yesterday with You! I don’t usually try to let people know I am in pain because I figure there is no point to burden others when they have their own burdens, and happen to be busy working or serving. I have to work hard at therapy and the doctor’s office because they always ask you questions that you are trying your best to answer to help the doctor, but to tell them WHAT is wrong, WHERE, WHY, HOW do you stop it, are reasons I am there to ask them to tell me. And I understand it is a 2 way communication street, but the strict insurance rules taking on playing the role of the doctor or even God, do not help. You, Lord, have allowed me to manage through the challenges of my spine for 47 years, but have made clear it is time to get answers, healing, help to know what won’t be healing, how to manage and maintain, and to learn how to better communicate to help my doctors.

This was my pain level coming in,
really for the last several months.
Even on the premed and my regular meds.
Especially when using the bathroom. 😦LESI.4It is most painful when I have to stand for more than a few minutes, like when making a lunch for Anthoni (my son) sometimes for work, or for Bobby (my 85 yr old stepdad) for lunch, or long enough to stand in the kitchen to even fix myself something. I have to lean against the cabinets, fridge, drawers, or shift from foot to foot. It is excruciating when standing for praise and worship at church (and I hate that because of how it steals Your praise, and never fails to get looks of me having attitude, a wrong heart, or even sinful).

And OH!! How I struggle to bend forward to clean myself. That’s embarrassing to say out loud, but I am trying to make this record before my memory fails me as it does every moment of the day. And the depression makes me feel like what’s the point of writing… that’s just trying, and what’s the point of trying if nothing’s going to change, except maybe for the worst. I am trying to openly praise You in a way to thank You for everything You did for me yesterday… in just by BEING THERE WITH ME! And because You often convict me and encourage me to be as open and honest as possible for my dear friends who are suffering their own chronic illnesses and the chronic humiliation that comes with it.

Like our Caz who just went through another excruciating time of her own in (A Very Mini) Mini Me Update), and her only way to escape was to share with us via WordPress, Facebook, email, and photos. The pain, agony, misery, and tears in one being bold enough to be vulnerable while feeling like nothing… to no one… just completely invisible no matter how strong the pain, how loud the shouting, or how honest the tears and anger. Hence the name of her blog and FB… Invisibly Me.

I think of her when I am on that table… praying for the face of the friend I seen in such agony… yet posting for those that she knew were going through their own things, and she wanted them to know they weren’t alone, telling them what rights they have at a time like that, and in those deep desperate eyes crying with the only ones she knows to care about her… to please still be there, please still see me… without you I have no one to see I exist… I am visible. I am here. Without SOMEONE on my side, Invisible is all I can feel. I don’t even see me anymore.

I think of and pray for
Wendi of Simply Chronically Ill,
Jill of Food, Feelings, Freedom,
Kourtney of Defining Yellow,
Caralyn of Beauty Beyond Bones,
Tasha of Pain Warrior Code,
Carol Anne of Therapy Bits,
Maxine of Heaven’s Reef,
Margaret of The Word who has been displaced from her home due to a hurricane months back, and found kindness in strangers who are lovingly sacrificing to provide shelter for her and her husband,
Jen of Jen’s Life,
Efua of Grace Over Pain,
Stu of Something to Stu Over and his beautiful children Brandon and Erin.

Dr. B was very patient, kind, compassionate, considerate, informative, insightful, and very careful with what he was doing. The numbing medicine alone when it kicked in with the premed and my regular meds, immediately decreased my pain down to moderate, but only because he was still working with needles and pressure.LESI.3Getting off of the table was much slower and challenging than it had been, but Dr. B has helped me many times come off that table in a careful manner, helping me to feel that my feet are on the ground, and that my feet can keep me upright with my head feeling like a floating bowling ball that I cannot control. I kept this face till I got out of the office and into the car. I believe it was really more about feeling ungrounded while trying to walk on it. But praise the Lord for all of that medicine. It was allowing my pain to actually accomplish this last picture representing…

NO PAIN!!LESI.2So many answered prayers, even if just for the moment.
But God, praise Your Holy name, I’ll take that moment!
And for as long as You will allow it! 🙂
So many have been praying for me, and still are.

I know the ladies of the bible study I am attending with Keitha leading (Redeemed by Angela Thomas-Pharr), the ladies of her church Gracepoint, and several who were attending the ladies banquet at Brown Barn the night before the Epidural are praying fervently for me. (Don’t let me forget, Father, to take my badge back with me for next Tuesday evening, hopefully undamaged)GB-Redeemed Badge

This picture below shows while I thought I was doing a good job of keeping some excruciating pain under control so that I wouldn’t burden anyone or disturb this awesome night out together in sweet Godly fellowship, actually made my face look like I didn’t care for my picture being taken, as if I were unsociable. I admit I didn’t FEEL like I was BEING sociable, but I still made every effort for Sarah and Keitha particularly!
(Sarah is to my right, and Keitha is behind the camera.)71555398_744552119318478_7337167265403502592_nBut I am trusting that You will restore to me the ability to genuinely show a smile that represents how truly grateful I am for these sisters in Christ who give so much of themselves… to strangers… to enemies… to persecutors… despite their own health issues (Keitha was wearing her knee brace for her poor knees, and was limping, but very much serving)…. they are doing it all for YOU! ❤

I had to miss this week because it began as I was leaving the doctor’s office.
I look forward to being with the ladies whenever You allow.
And I look forward to getting another Keitha hug! 🙂RLLBS.2019.5

As long as this post is, it still doesn’t give proper credit for everything You have been doing for me, especially yesterday afternoon! Thank You, God, more than anything for simply being there with me! When all I could do was keep my eyes closed, go inside with you, and with normal patient breaths keep telling You that I love You! Even when I could not focus to form words, You were still there. Holding my hand, reminding me of past trials and the faith You got me through with.

THANK YOU, LORD GOD!! THANK YOU!
PRAISE YOUR HOLY AND RIGHTEOUS, PROTECTIVE, COMFORTING SELF!
THANK YOU, HOLY SPIRIT, FOR CONTINUOUSLY TALKING WITH ME,
COMFORTING ME!
AND THANK YOU, JESUS, FOR MAKING AN INCREDIBLE SACRIFICE
TO SAVE ME FROM MYSELF,
FROM MY SINS THAT BREATHE DOWN MY NECK SOMETIMES,
FROM FEAR THAN TAKES ADVANTAGE OF WEAKNESS
LIKE ALL COWARDS DO.

❤ I LOVE YOU, FATHER GOD! 
❤ I LOVE YOU, JESUS CHRIST!
❤ I LOVE YOU, HOLY SPIRIT!

 

 

 

Extra! Extra!

gaillovesgodspoetry

Extra! Extra! Read all about it!
My God loves me and I’m gonna shout it!
He loves me! He loves me! He tells me so!
He sent me a love letter to let me know!
He wrote in a book and wrote it in red.
He’s not ashamed. He wants it said.
In large print, He writes I am His.
He says, “I want you to understand this!
I love you and want you to know you’re mine.
And I’m willing to sign that on the bottom line.
Now get up and go, and share what I’ve given.
So many I love need to know they’re forgiven.
Share the love and share the letter.
Let them know things will get better.”
Extra! Extra! Read all about it!
God loves you! Don’t you ever doubt it!

8-29-2019 Thursday
Written by Gail Brookshire

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Extra Hours With You

gaillovesgodspoetry

Extra hours and the pen keeps pouring,
This is too important to be ignoring.
A message from You is just what I need.
I want to be careful to heed.
My listening ears opens my mind.
This message is one of a kind.
Though told me often and very familiar,
I cherish all that is similar.
A love note from my True Love
Sent from our heavenly home above.
Treasured I am by my Savior.
In Him, I have found favor.
Held in the arms of His heart,
Soon we will never again be apart.
Thank You for taking the time
To reassure my troubled mind.
Extra hours spent just being with You.
There’s nothing I’d rather do.

8-29-2019 Thursday
Written by Gail Brookshire

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A Safe Embrace

gaillovesgodspoetry

Here I lean, Lord, in Your safe embrace
Wondering why I must leave Your loving presence
When all I want to do is stay… and stay safe.
Life calls us away, but at Your bidding.
You draw us out to this waiting challenge
That will bring us ever closer to You,
As it teaches us strength only hardship can bring.
I never desire to leave Your side,
But You show a deeper part of Your heart
Each time that You welcome me home.
Just when I think Your love is the strongest,
I find that You are stronger than I can imagine.
Thank You for being a love that is good.
I am so grateful for it.
I long for the day when I’ll never leave again.

8-29-2019 Thursday
Written by Gail Brookshire

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Reconciled By Love

gaillovesgodspoetry

From the moment You found me
And introduce me to Your love,
I have been a child of the King
And bound for my home above.
In mercy You reached down to me,
In the depth of my ugly sin.
You opened Your precious vein
And let Your cleansing blood pour in.
Rescued by my Savior,
I find in Your eyes.
You teach me to do good,
And evil to despise.
For by Your death,
We were reconciled.
We were made Holy.
There is no more guile.
For it was life, Your resurrected life
That gave me a choice.
I gladly accept
And lift up my voice.
“Yours! I’m Yours!
And You are mine!
Thank You for being
So loving and kind!”

8-20-2019 Tuesday
Written by Gail Brookshire
Inspiration: My Savior Jesus Christ! ❤

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Drop By Drop

gaillovesgodspoetry

Drop by drop
The ink becomes a word.
A listening ear longs to hear.
The voice makes it heard.
Turn a page.
Lift the pen.
The lonesome heart
Longs to hear again.
There is a book
That never ends,
Because when you finish,
You rebegin.
The soul is filled
With peace within.
This is what happens
When Christ comes in.
Memorize a proverb.
Reread a psalm.
Find such love
In the book of John.
Drop by drop,
His blood was shed.
His message of love
Was written in red.
Pick up the book.
Turn a page or two.
His dying message
Was written for you.

8-19-2019 Monday
Written by Gail Brookshire

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I Was Here

gaillovesgodspoetry

I use to be here.
It was so unsafe.
The voice, the face, the unsafe ways.
These streets were pathways
For souls walking by.
We were a part of those souls.
A part of this place.
But I was a visitor
Who did not know
I was just passing by.
This was my life.
And this life was me.
Yet God emphasizes
WAS!!
God came along and took my hand.
He said, “Someday you’ll understand.”
This was FOR you,
But not ABOUT you.
You are all about me and my will.
You’re journey came through here,
But now you must journey on.
There’s so much more for you to do.

8-19-2019 Monday
Written by Gail Brookshire
Inspiration: Somewhere I once was.

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