We are on Day 29. As I shared with you in the early days of March, a dear friend, who is a retired RN and who served in the medical field for more than four decades, urged me not to leave our home. She stressed how that exposure to this quickly spreading virus could be life-threatening for LeRoy, and how easily I might bring germs back home to him.
And we have sheltered in place now since March 12th.
I’ve washed the groceries that friends or family drop on the porch before bringing them inside. We stay in place. We have no physical contact with anyone, other than an occasional visit from my son who stays at one end of the carport while we have a “long distance” conversation. Or another friend who brings by supplies occasionally and stays well out of range—twenty feet at least. We’ve patiently sheltered.
I really wasn’t ready for us to venture out, but it is necessary.
If you’re new to the blog, you may not know that almost five years ago, my husband started having weird physical symptoms and for two years we searched for answers. He had multiple tests, went through a slew of medical specialists, and several MRIs before ending up in a three-week hospital stay. The neurologists determined that he has a rare neurological disease (neruosacrdoisis) that caused significant damage to his spinal cord and left him partially paralyzed. (For more of his story, you can click here).
The first year after that diagnosis, the doctors gave him an aggressive form of treatment, and we believe that the disease may be in remission. But the nerve damage that it left causes continual burning pain and excruciating muscle spasms. He is never out of pain. He has lived in pain for almost three years.
He recently told me that he never could’ve imagined being able to endure this much pain for this amount of time.
But, not only has he endured the pain, he’s never wavered in his faithful trust of His Savior. He’s never shown one hint of anger or resentment. He gets discouraged, he grieves over losses, but he is steadfast in his devotion to Christ.
Last year, he had a series of spinal injections that lowered his base level of pain temporarily. And although it was a short respite, he was grateful even for the small lessening of the intense suffering. In December, his father passed away, and almost each week since then, his pain level has increased by small increments–until it is now almost completely unbearable as horrific muscle spasms hit in multiples with increasing intensity.
More than one doctor has told us they believe his nerve pain has developed into CRPS (chronic regional pain syndrome), also known as the “suicide disease” because of the unbearable pain that patients endure and the hopelessness it produces. The doctor who has walked much of this journey with us is recommending a “spinal sympathetic nerve block” series of injections. Today is the first of three. LeRoy has never had this type of injection. There will be three, one each week, for three weeks.
We are going to a surgery center, not a regular hospital, for the procedure, and they are taking extra precautions with screening everyone who enters the building (no family members allowed, only the patient). A friend shipped protective gear for him, all the way from Washington, D. C. and the nurse assured me that they are being very careful with every patient, but it is still concerning. I will wait in the car, and pray, while LeRoy goes in alone. I really don’t like not being able to be with him right up until they take him into surgery—this will be a first, I’ve always been at his bedside through every test or procedure.
I’m not a fan of doing this during the height of a pandemic.
But, my precious husband is in so much pain that he does not want to delay, he wants to do this as soon as possible. He says that the risk of getting the virus is worth it to him if this procedure might lower his pain level even a little bit.
So, I’m coming to you again, as I have for almost three years, and I ask you to please pray for my man. Pray for his protection from being exposed to the virus. And will you ask God to be merciful, that these injections will be effective and bring real relief?
It is a precious comfort and encouragement to us to know how very many of you are praying. Thank you.