I’ve been pretty quiet on the internet these past 2 weeks, and there’s a reason for that: My back went out on me.
This is the first time I’ve had a back problem in 15 years. The rest of me is falling apart piece by piece, but my back has not complained very much.
And the craziest part is that I just woke up with it. Went to bed the night before without it, got up the next morning with it.
It takes a special talent to hurt yourself while you sleep.
At first, the pain was horrible. I couldn’t stand up straight or walk very well. I looked like I was in the middle of a pathetic impression of Groucho Marx. I tried to get around with the help of my dad’s cane, but I finally had to go to the doctor. I was worn out.
I had an x-ray taken at the doctor’s office, but nothing abnormal showed up. So the next step was an MRI the following afternoon.
I’ve had MRI’s before, but it’s been awhile. This was not an open MRI. It was the old style where they shove you into a tube and throw very loud noises at you. So I knew what to expect.
I climbed up onto the skinny table, which was hard because my right leg refused to move more than 2 inches upwards. It would move all the way sideways all on its own because I couldn’t control it.
Picture this (if you dare): Big old me trying to get in position to lay on my back with a rogue leg and hardly any table to work with. After a brief and slightly embarrassing struggle (who wants to admit they can’t control a leg that they’ve had for 62 years), the MRI lady helped situate my body correctly and then told me to lay with both legs stretched out and to use the ear plugs she had given me.
My right leg was already killing me so I wasn’t sure how long I could lay with it all stretched out. As she shoved me into the tube, I asked how long this was going to take. About 15 minutes and she needed me to lay as still as I could.
Oh, Lord! 15 minutes with this burning pain shooting down my thigh! That thought temporarily got my mind off my growing claustrophobia.
So as she puts me into the tube, I’m thinking that it’s not too bad in there. The skinny table stopped about that time. Piece of cake, I told myself.
Then the skinny table moved, further and further into the tube. And I started to panic. As I get older, I notice that closed spaces bother me. And that tube was the mother of all closed spaces.
I immediately started a running conversation in my mind in an attempt to control my anxiety.
“You could holler and move, and that lady would roll you right out of here, so technically you aren’t stuck inside this thing.”
“You’ll be out of here very soon.”
“You don’t want to have to do it again because you moved, do you?”
That last one was my real motivator. I HAD to be still.
But the pain in my leg was growing worse. My energy was sapped from trying not to panic. I felt defeated by this hurting that had taken over my life for the past week.
It was then that my soul called out to Jesus. I sang the song that says, “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, there’s just something about that name.” I sang it over and over.
As it turns out, the “something about that name” is peace and grace and mercy. My pain lessened to a degree I could handle, and my panic slowly subsided.
People talk about how big God is, how He covers anything and everything. But I found Him to be small enough to be right there with me in that tube. Just me and Jesus.