Still A Thorn In My Side

E9A511D1-9545-433B-A107-1E509162CC9COf all the things that could bother me I’ve tossed and turned all night due to the one thing that should not be bothering me. Yes, once again it’s that big, bulky metal battery implanted over 4 months ago in the ride side of my lower back. It still really hurts bad if ever pressed against or irritated by movement. Picture an old fashioned big silver metal lighter that smokers used to use. Or picture a big cell phone battery with triple the thickness just pressing against your bones and constantly bulging out your skin. All of this from a stimulator battery that serves absolutely no purpose.

For those who have followed my story you recall that early July 2017 I had my spinal cord stimulator implanted. My spine really hurt for a few months but the small battery implanted at that time did not. However, that battery was only 1/4 the size of my present battery. If you recall, the former battery had to be replaced because it proved to not be MRI friendly after being clearly told it would be. So, in February 2018 they cut the same fresh incision back open and replaced that very small battery I never felt before with it’s big brother Godzilla. This new battery was guaranteed to be MRI friendly.

Of course, that would prove to be total hogwash as well. Even the best of MRI machines couldn’t handle it or all the other metal in my back in order to perform a quality MRI. So, I’ve now got this huge thorn in my flesh literally for no good earthly reason. I could care less about not being able to get regular MRI’s. I mainly hate the fact that I’m constantly dealing with this totally unnecessary discomfort from a battery that serves zero purpose.

The center of my lower back should hurt because that is the root spot of my major injury and surgery. My legs should hurt as they are both fried inside due to permanent nerve damage . But, this thorn in my side must be removed as it continuously creates useless physical pain. The larger battery does absolutely nothing that the smaller couldn’t already do except it is easily irritated all the time. My attempts to walk or ever sit back or limited due to it constantly grinding against outer skin and inner bone.

Throughout this 33 month journey absolutely nothing has gone smoothly. After my L5 S1 disc was severely torn they waited 8 months too long to do an obviously needed fusion surgery. Their delay allowed this very progressed annular tear to leak out constantly a gel-like fluid. The constant spewing of the fluid into my lower body created the permanent nerve damage. Finally, after clear evidence from a couple MRI’s I got the spinal fusion surgery I needed.

When I got that surgery they were supposed to just have to cut through the front of my stomach so that I could heal the quickest possible from my major back surgery. However, once my surgeon got in there he determined that the fusion hardware had to be much more invasively stabilized. So, he also cut two more big incisions in my back and inserted bolts on the right and left side of the new titanium disc. One doctor said this doubled my recovery time for a surgery that already takes at least 6-12 months to possibly get over.

With God’s help I defeated all odds with my rapid recovery from a brutal surgery. At one point I was pushing a walker around up to two miles a day. At three months post surgery I’m walking a could miles daily with no walker. My surgeon tells me I’m going to be his poster child for success. Then, I get put into physical therapy way too early. I felt a lot of extra pain during therapy, but my therapist at that time said you gotta press through the pain. By the way, she was dead wrong. As I’ve learned from future therapist who tell you not to do anything that is causes much greater pain.

After two weeks of pre-mature and careless therapy I loss every ounce of the recovery momentum I had before. For the next 8 months I never walked daily like I was able to do prior to that therapy. I know with all my heart had I just kept walking and praying I would have never seen my present stimulator implant. Due to all the shenanigans above I was surgically cut on three different times in just a 21 month period. And if things continue with this battery I will have to be cut open again soon to remove this totally unnecessary thorn in my flesh!

At this point, all I can do is smile and shake my head. Everything that has been attempted by man has ended at a dead end road. In fact, each procedure has not only not brought a cure, but increased my pain. I’m presently on four times the amount of nerve pain meds now than before any of my surgeries. You reach a point where you must say God I put this all in your hands. There is no way all this just happened. It’s all been divinely orchestrated or divinely allowed. Therefore, only God knows the purpose of this journey. I’m certain in my heart that it all serves a greater purpose in the here, now and later. If I didn’t believe it I would be one bitter and totally pessimistic fool.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)

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