Thursday, August 30, 2012


Man oh man, have I been hurting.

All this week I've been dealing with the worst back pain I've ever had.  I've had little strains here and there my whole life. But never anything like this.

It started last Tuesday after I went swimming at the YMCA. I try to put in a few laps 2-3 times a week. Nothing fancy, and not very fast--just a low-impact workout using the simplest strokes possible.

I got out of the pool and noticed a little pull in my lower back on the right side. No big deal, I thought. I've felt that many times before. It'll work itself out after a few days.

Then we had the Sweet Potato Drop. Now, I really thought I was picking up those boxes the right way ...

 ... but apparently I wasn't.  I must have used my back a lot more than I thought. Because when I woke up the next morning: LOOK OUT! Sharp, intense pain shot through my lower back. It was all I could do to walk across the room.

The next day was Sunday, and I managed to hobble to church and preach. I don't think most folks noticed that I was preaching through pain, which is how I wanted it, because I didn't want to draw attention away from the worship. Folks who did notice (or who knew because I told them) were very gracious to lay hands on me and pray. I appreciated that a lot.

Monday I went to the doctor and got some meds and some advice. And since then, I've been sitting at home in the one place that my back found comfortable: an antique chair with wooden armrests, a firm bottom and a back that sits up straighter than most contemporary chairs.

Yesterday I finally started moving around a bit. And today I'm doing well enough to not take any of the meds, which has meant my mind is clear enough for me to do some work (including this post).

There's a lesson in here somewhere. Maybe it's about being thankful for health when you have it. It's easy to take it for granted until something like this happens.

Maybe the lesson is about knowing what your limits are. There are some things that some of us should leave to others who are better equipped. None of us can do everything.

Maybe the lesson is about understanding the chronic pain that many people live with all the time. Like I said, my back is better today than it was earlier, and I expect it to improve as the days go by. For too many people in today's world, that's not the case. The pain is always there. My dad has been in that situation. So have many others. This has been an opportunity for me to get a glimpse of what that's like.

Thanks to those of you who prayed. Your prayers are being answered. I've missed a lot of events this week, but I expect to be in church on Sunday. And eventually, I expect to make a full recovery.

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