It Isn’t Always What it Appears to Be – blog post update
After describing my last two neck procedures in terms that resembled a violent police take down that included Tasers™ and restraints I am happy to report that this time went very differently. There has been advancements in the medical equipment and a change to the way the procedure is done. I assume that waking during the Radiofrequency burning is still possible but with improvements speeding up the operation it is highly unlikely.
I never want it done the old way again but…
If you read my It Isn’t Always What it Appears to Be post you will see the great metaphor opportunity that describing the pain I experienced presented. Sadly, or maybe not so sadly, the likelihood of this happening again is slim. Do not worry, life is full of metaphors and while I recover from this procedure and prepare for it to be done again in I am sure a few more will come to mind.
That’s right it will have to be done again.
This may sound bad but it is an improvement. In the past they limited what they would do leaving me with improvement in only the top half of my neck. I don’t know if it is the new doctor or the new way of doing the procedure but now they will do one complete side (top to bottom) and then four to six weeks later the other complete side. I am looking forward to eight to twelve months of relatively pain free living and blog posting!
One metaphor dies and a new one is born.
From the moment I left the operating room over seventeen months ago, I lived in fear of the next time. I needed the procedure done last June but I put it off by increasing my pain meds and increasing my risk of opioid dependence. To avoid this I used the pills less and became miserable although my acting abilities and of course God’s intervention allowed me to, for the most part, act as if nothing was wrong.
There I was afraid of the one thing that would give me pain relief because to address my pain I would need to go through pain. As I recover from yesterday’s surgery two things come to mind.
First, even if the pain was as bad this time as it was the last time the results would still have considerably lowered the pain I experience day to day once I recovered.
Second, if I had faced the pain I thought I was going to experience I would have found out it wasn’t as bad as I had anticipated and that the end result would even better than I could have imagined.
Here I go metephoring again.
The pain of the past is often buried because to face that pain means to introduce more pain. This is true in corrective surgery and it is true in emotional healing. I have spent many sessions with a Christian councillor over the past ten plus years. I will not go into the details at this point other than to say there were things that happened to me when I was younger that have taken years to address.
Bringing up the pain of the past had to be done in small sections so that I could handle it. For years I did not bring it up at all. Eventually when I faced the pain I would shut it down very quickly because it hurt too much.
We are designed to learn from our pain so that we can avoid that situation again which is both a blessing and a curse. A vaccination needle hurts and, if you are normal, is not something you do for fun. Past painful memories hurt and, if you are normal they are not something you visit for fun. Still if we avoid them the outcome can be very destructive.
Old metaphors die and new ones are born.
The pain I feared and avoided was not as bad as the pain I endured to avoid it. I learned this dealing with my neck issues and I have learned it dealing with my life issues. I think if there is only one thing I could pass on to anyone who would listen is pain both physical and emotional, is often required to heal pain. To avoid this type of pain is to avoid living because it leads to a much more intense pain.
Unaddressed physical issues limit us. Maybe it is time to endure some pain to correct the original pain.
Unaddressed emotional issues limit us. Maybe it is time to endure some pain to correct the original pain.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests [pain] to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV)
Jesus understands pain can lead to healing – He endured pain to correct the worst type of pain, separation from our maker.
But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. Isaiah 53:5 (NIV)