Pain

November 2016

I’ve had chronic neck pain the past five years. In 2014, I canceled a summer internship to Mexico because of my neck pain, got an MRI, and found out I have a herniated disc and my neck is straight rather than having a healthy curve. I was supposed to get a cortisone injection to alleviate pain, but the doctor didn’t go through with it, because he said my blood vessels blocked the way. I started physical therapy, met Waldir, got married, moved to Boston for grad school. In the past two years, though, my neck has been in intense pain. Even though I’ve done PT, it hasn’t gotten better. A few weeks ago, before midterms, my neck muscles seized up and I immediately lost movement—I couldn’t look to the right or to the left. Muscle spasms continued for days, I had to stop PT, and I met with a spine specialist and got another MRI. The results are the same: herniated disc w/ straight neck.

This time, however, I went in for a cortisone shot at Massachusetts General Hospital and the doctor did a great job, and my pain immediately went away and my muscles relaxed. That was 9 days ago. The left side of my neck felt so good afterward that I requested another injection on the right side, which I had 2 days ago. I’m grateful to have some relief! It’s a miracle! I can only have 3 injections per year, though, and I definitely don’t want to come dependent upon those. Unfortunately the left side of my neck is already having tension again, so I’m diligently applying ice and then heat and doing gentle stretches every day. I also began seeing a chiropractor here who works on Harvard athletes.

Constant, intense pain wears on a person so much, and it’s required me to depend on the Lord. He has carried me. Even with all this pain, before I had any relief, He helped me focus and study for midterm exams. I got As, and that was because of Him. I studied hard and fasted and prayed for help and attended the temple. I have seen and felt Him work through me and carry me. Waldir has also been a constant rock of support, giving me blessings in the night when I can’t sleep and when I cry in pain, asking about my pain, listening to me, praying for me, taking me to doctor’s appointments for not only the neck issue but also other things (if I didn’t know myself, I’d think I were a hypochondriac).

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