My doctor prescribed Hydrocodone and muscle relaxers, and said, “Give it a week and you should feel better.” Eight days later, I wasn’t better. Still in bed, half-dazed from pain meds, I relied on a walker to get from my bed to the bathroom and back, cringing and sometimes screaming with each painful step. Child-birth pains were not as bad as the never-ending spasmatic slashes of pain that shot from my hip down to my toe
It began on Easter morning. I was hiding Easter Eggs for the parish Easter egg hunt. I bent over to hide a plastic egg in the bushes. When I rose, a flash of excruciating pain surged from my lower back to my feet. Or maybe the problem really began four months earlier, when a deer bolted from the field and landed on our Prius, causing about seven thousand dollars in damage and a nagging lower back pain that showed up the next day.
Whatever the cause of my pain, I needed relief. I needed to get off drugs. Even with an absolutely devoted, caring, husband tending to all of my needs, and even doing laundry, I wanted to get out of bed and return to my normal active life. Yes, even laundry. So, I went to have an MRI…
MRI – Yesterday, Nine Days after Easter
“It’ll take about thirty minutes,” the nurse said, as she tightened the Velcro strip around my waist. I bit my lip to hold back the scream as the MRI machine sucked me into its dark hole.
I hadn’t taken pain meds that day and I knew very well I could NOT lay still with the stabbing-knife-jab pains in my hip and right leg. “Be still,” the nurse said. “If you move, I have to start all over again.”
How could I not move? I was scared, desperate. Tears formed in my eyes. The pain was way more than I could bear. I was about to scream, “Help! I can’t do this. STOP! It hurts too much. Get me out of here.”
Instead, I offered a silent cry for help. “Jesus, there’s no way I can take this pain for thirty minutes. Help me. I need you. You said you’d never give me anything that I couldn’t bear. I cannot lie still and bear this pain.” I swallowed the lump in my throat.
Then, an image flashed in my mind. It was Jesus. He was on the cross. His right hand stretched out, as if beckoning me. I saw my hand moving into His.
In that moment, the pain lessened, not completely, but to a degree that I could certainly tolerate. I remained still, calming my breathing and with a full, grateful, heart, I offered prayers of thanks and love to My God who never lets me down when I call His Name.
Suddenly, a light flashed. “You did it,” said the nurse. As I emerged from the MRI eggshell, I asked, “that was thirty minutes?”
“I know it must have seemed longer,” the nurse said, “but it was only thirty minutes.”
It hadn’t seemed that long at all.
Sliding from the MRI bench into my wheelchair, I was shaking. Not from the pain, but in awe of the amazing Grace I’d just received in the MRI machine. Jesus had shared my pain, as he always does. Matthew 11:28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Jesus, Our Savior, suffered so much for us and has promised that He will not give us more than we can endure. I lived that promise during my MRI experience.
“Are you okay?” my husband asked as I was wheeled to the waiting area. “Yes,” I said. “Jesus was with me.”
Today, ten days after Easter, I’m still in pain, but not quite as bad as it was. The MRI report contained a lot of medical jargon and something about tears, bulging, protrusions, and nerve roots. It all spells “INCREDIBLE PAIN.” Got a steroid shot this morning that helped and I’m sure I’ll be fine. Jesus is with me always. Together, nothing is impossible or too horrible with Him. He will never give us anything more than we can bear.
In times of fear, pain, and worry that we can not bear the pains of this life, call His Name. He will be there; in the MRI Machine or where ever we are. What a wonderful God we have!