After a brief reprieve from the debilitating nerve pain caused by my ruptured disk, it returned
with a vengeance last weekend. Family and friends ate Easter lunch in my home while I lay on my
bed trying to find a position that would allow me just a little relief. Earlier that morning, as
I knew I would not be able to attend church, I had located Charles Stanley on the television.
With the pain, I wasn’t able to keep my focus on what he was saying, but I do remember it had to
do with recognizing God’s presence in our life.
My understanding of God’s Word allows me to grasp the truth that once I turn my life over to Him through
faith in Jesus Christ, I am His child for eternity. He never, ever lets go of me. But I can let go of
Him. And I have to admit that I do that often. I want to do things my way so I drop my hold of Him.
Thankfully, He’s still holding on to me. Because I focus on me instead of Him, I often lose sight of
His presence in my life. But then, He reveals Himself to me in undeniable ways!
This disk issue has been going on since January 9th and has really been disruptive to my life. Even
during the reprieve, I had the sense that it wasn’t over and that at any moment things would get bad
again. It was discouraging that the doctor in Greenville had been so dismissive of me because I wasn’t
writhing in pain. The MRI showed I definitely had a problem.
This past week was quite the week. A whirlwind, really. I saw God’s hand work out my circumstances
to give me relief and for me to give Him glory. It is quite the story. On Monday morning, Stacey’s
father-in-law called the neurosurgeon in Raleigh whom I had originally requested to see and arranged
for me to be seen that very same day at 4:45PM. WOW! I had waited a month to see the other doctor.
Through the prayers of those who knew, and sheer determination, I took a shower, washed my hair, got
dressed, and even packed an overnight bag just in case. Willing my way to the car, I settled in the
best I could and my sister drove me to Raleigh. It took everything I had to get into the doctor’s
office and to the exam room. Lying on the exam table, I met Dr. Robert Lacin for the very first time.
He was everything I had been told by many, many people. He was warm and compassionate. Not bad on the
eye’s either! He asked me to tell him my story which won me over immediately since the last doctor
cut me off at every word. We discussed options, which were few. He graciously offered to work me into
his surgery schedule the very next day if surgery was my choice, and if I was willing to stay in Raleigh.
Well, YEAH!!!! I could do that!
Debbie’s sister-in-law lives right outside Raleigh and she allowed us to spend the night in her home.
Having been through the same operation, she was so kind and understanding. It meant so much that she
would open her home to us at the last minute and even provide us with dinner. I hurt so bad. A hotel
would have been miserable. God used her in His plan for me.
Because I was being worked into the surgery schedule, we were at Rex Hospital by 10AM on Tuesday morning.
Dr. Lacin had told me to let them know that sitting was next to impossible for me and they would get me
to the back on a bed quickly. They did that within minutes after my registration was complete. The
anesthesiologist approved pain meds for me so I could make it through the day. Everyone was so kind
and caring. I laid on that bed from 10AM to at least 4:30PM. There was no way I was going to complain
about the length of time I waited because, truth be told, I shouldn’t have even been there. Nothing but
gratitude flowed through my being. And I was quick to share my thankfulness for their care and God’s
provision. There was a light at the end of that long tunnel and every minute I was closer. Sometimes I
almost had to pinch myself to even believe it was all happening. I was almost giddy over the prospect
of surgery. That from someone who hates to even take an aspirin!!
The moment I awoke after surgery and realized where I was, I recognized the nerve pain was gone.
Hallelujah!! A little while later they rolled me to the extended recovery room where Debbie and I
would be spending the night. It was another cubby hole with a curtain over the end. A tad disappointing,
as I had expected a real room. But again, gratitude!! Just out of surgery, they said I was to get up
off that bed and walk into my new room to my new bed. Isn’t that amazing? I stood and there was no pain.
It was so totally awesome! Tears brim my eyes as I share this. It was behind me. Now some healing time
and life can go on.
Believe it or not, we both slept pretty good that night. They provided us with some great ear plugs
and Debbie was so still in that recliner until I wondered if she was okay!
Wednesday morning, the PA stopped in to see me before I was released. Debbie had shared what the doctor
had told her after the surgery, but hearing it from the PA reinforced that I had definitely made the right
choice by having the surgery. They found a conjoined nerve they had to work with and around, and there
was also a very small broken piece of disk. This was one ruptured disk that wasn’t going to heal on its
Now it’s Sunday. Although I can’t drive for a while yet, I am able to ride and walk. Stacey picked me
up for church this morning and my friend, Jo, and I shared lunch at Wendy’s before she brought me home.
As I look back on this week, I am awed at how God has worked in my life. Yes, He used people to meet my
needs, but that doesn’t lessen His hand in it. God is sovereign over all things. He loves me and wants
my best. My three months of pain wasn’t a surprise to Him. My surgery on Tuesday wasn’t either.
Sometimes it takes some less than desirable circumstances for us to open our eyes and see God’s presence
in our lives. He is always there, but we aren’t always looking. I am so glad to be a born-again child
of the true living God who loves me so much that He sent His Son to die for me. Life can be hard, but
knowing I never have to do it alone brings me joy and peace beyond description.
Lots of love, Sharon