God Is A Good God
By David J. Stewart | written August 2011 | edited January 2013
Psalms 145:9, "The LORD is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works."
This is an archived article containing older medical data. My most recent health update is here. I have been in so much neck pain since March of 2004. Please pray that God will alleviate my throbbing, raw, dull, constant, toothache-like neck pain. On a scale of 1 to 10 the pain is an 8 right now. It's usually about a 5 to 7. At best it's a 3 or 4 on a good day with my prescription pain meds. I'm never pain-free. Without 120 mg. of Oxycontin daily my pain goes to 10 and I cry in tears of pain and mental anguish. It becomes overwhelming quickly.
It feels exactly like a horrible toothache, but in the bony area of the back of my neck (and the same type of pain radiates into my entire facial area). So it's like my neck and face (gums, eyes, nose, cheeks) are a giant toothache. That's the best way I can describe the pain. It's inexplicable to endure unless you've had it. Since it's so close to my head, it affects everything I do. It is debilitating much of the time. It is very hard for me to be around people, because I get irritable and cannot hide my misery from the neck pain. Doctors aren't sure if it's osteo-arthritis or a pinched spinal cord from bone spurs (or both), or something else entirely.
Nobody has ever been able to diagnosis me with certainty. Whatever is causing it, it began instantaneously in March of 2004. Literally, I was fine one day and messed up the next. An MRI showed herniated disks and they have since been removed surgically. I had the surgery redone because the pain was still present and the 2nd surgeon wanted to do a hip bone graft to ensure proper fusion. But the pain is still there and it doesn't appear that there are any more options available for me medically at this point. I've prayed and prayed, and have asked others to pray, and met with dozens of doctors and 9 surgeons. So I accept this as a thorn in the flesh from God. It certainly does keep me humble and praying. I love my Lord Jesus Christ and He is precious to me. I long for the new body that He has promised to me at the Rapture (Philippians 3:21).
Sometimes I feel pretty good, and at other times like I can't face tomorrow. I took 2 extra Percocet 10/325's last night in addition to the 120 mg of Oxycontin that I take daily and it didn't even phase me. I couldn't sleep very long because of the pain (even with the Ambien), so I went online to read about other people's pain, which I do often when I am overwhelmed in neck pain and this is what I read today...
“Currently there is no proven treatment to prevent or cure neuropathic pain (neuropathy or nerve pain). Instead, the primary goals of treatment are to reduce the pain as much as possible, balance the negative side effects of the treatment, and help patients manage any unresolved pain.”
SOURCE: Treatment Options for Neuropathic Pain
That wasn't what I was hoping to find, but at least I know that I'm not alone in my chronic pain and suffering. Someone(s) must be praying for me because I've made it this far alone. Faith in God is my only strength. It seems that the more I suffer the more God blesses my ministry, and for that I am so grateful to God. 2nd Corinthians 12:10, “Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.”
God Is A Good God, Blessed Be His Name!
God is a good God. A faith must be tested. 1st Peter 1:7, “That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.” Anyone can have faith in God during good health, prosperity and good times; but a faith is tested when there is tragedy, heartache and suffering... joy cometh in the morning. Psalms 30:5, “...weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” Even so, come, Lord Jesus!
I sincerely ask for your continued prayers, whoever you may be. I need them much, for my health and this ministry. Most people can't even imagine what it's like to live with excruciating neck pain that never goes away, although I have better movements and worse moments. Last night and this morning have been horrible. I cried due to the physical pain.
Most people think because they once had tennis elbow that they know what pain is. Many people would jump out a 10th story window if they had to endure constant gnawing pain. I have learned gradually over the years to deal with it, but it has never been easy. I think about the people in Revelation 16:10 who will gnaw their tongues for pain, because it helps me realize that it could always be worse. The gnawing pain is in the back of my neck (in the bony area) and radiates into my cheeks, gums, eyes (facial area). Pain is not something that you can show others, they cannot see what you feel inside your body (although when I close my eyes it's obvious that I am hurting).
After awhile you can see the dragged-out look on my face from the pain, like I am very tired (and I am). I don't want to suffer like this anymore, but until the Lord returns or takes me home I must keep going. The doctors have utterly failed to help me. All my teeth feel like they're ready to fall out from sore gums. It all comes from my neck in back. My eyes hurt horrible, sore all around. My entire face feels like a giant toothache (I know it's killing you to look at it... lol). I only wish people could know what I'm going through, they'd cry, they really would. There's no where I can turn. People don't understand, they see that I think fine, so therefore they think I am. Pain cannot be seen. Ripping neck tension cannot be seen. A neurologist said it's a damaged spinal cord causing the tension, not my neck muscles, as evidenced by an EMG needle test.
The Laser Spine Institute in Tampa, Florida said there are at least 4 separate identifiable problems in my neck, and they don't know what's causing my afflictions. Since I've had two neck fusion surgeries already, the insurance won't pay for another surgery. I have cervical degenerative disk disease, which means my neck is falling apart. There are 5 disks and 7 neck bones. In my case, the alignment of my neck is crooked and so disks are slipping, bone spurs, stenosis (narrowing of the spinal cord canal), et cetera. Doctors have given-up hope on me getting any better.
I had an EMG, NCV test, and MRI in August of 2011. I meet with the radiologist afterwards and he said I'd have to learn to live with the pain. I've already been told by an ortho-surgeon in May of 2011 that he doesn't think endoscopic surgery will help me. As I type I am overwhelmed in chronic pain and need to go lay down. I'm praying, but it appears that no one can really help me except the Great Physician (Philippians 3:21). One day at a time.
Philippians 2:13, “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” That is why this website is here, i.e., because God has done a work in my heart to will and to do of His good pleasure. Amen and amen!
I ask for your earnest prayers for this ministry and me daily. This ministry is much bigger than me, it's about the Lord Jesus Christ, Who is THE WAY, THE TRUTH, and THE LIFE (John 14:6)! HEAR YE HIM!
“Even so, come, Lord Jesus” (Revelation 22:20).
I love you all in the Lord, whoever you may be!
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1st Thessalonians 5:25, “Brethren, pray for us.”
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