Today I am trying out a brand-new medication for migraines. It’s a once a month injection. For the next couple of months, I will go to my neurologist and they will give me a shot. If all goes well, after two months (the good Lord and my health insurance company willing) I will then start giving myself the injection. Like a heroin dealer, the drug company makes the first two injections free, and then after that, my insurance company and I start paying for it. Unlike a heroin dealer, the pharmaceutical company doesn’t make me pick up the drugs from a seedy corner in Flint, but will mail it directly to my house (coincidently I think the medication may cost as much as my house payment).
Maybe this drug will end my migraines. Maybe my daily headache reminders that I am human will be coming to an end. Or maybe not. If I sound skeptical, I probably am. In the last 11 years, I have been on probably 20 different migraine medications; received a summer full of IV treatments, have had close to 1500 Botox or Xeomin injections, a few nerve blocks, MRIs, CT scans, EEGs, been hospitalized and have seen more doctors than I can count. Welcome to the life of a chronic pain sufferer.
I write this not to make you feel sorry for me, not at all. I don’t feel sorry for me, so why should you? Here’s what I know: I will not suffer from migraines one second longer than the Lord’s desire for me. While my migraines have certainly increased since my brain hemorrhage in 2007, I have always had them (As a pre-kindergartener I can remember having migraines, going in a dark room and being sick to my stomach). Paul had a thorn in his flesh, I have had lots of needles in my neck, arms, legs, and melon. The Lord helped Paul and the Lord helps me and the Lord will help you. While I haven’t been completely healed like blind Bartimeaus in the Bible…
I believe in a God who answers prayer (even though my prayer hasn’t been answered);
I believe in a God who heals (even though I haven’t been healed);
I believe in God’s timing (even though my timing says, “olly olly oxen free! Time’s up.”); and
I believe that God has great things in store (even though there are “migrainey” days when I don’t want to be in a store or any place that has lights, noise or smells).
I know God loves me.
I know God is at work.
I know I can trust Him.
Whether you deal with chronic pain or any other trouble, my message is the same: We live in a fallen, sin sick world. Bad things happen to good people. Far worse things have happened to far better people than me. Still with Paul we all can say: Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. (Ephesians 3:20-21).
Here’s my point: Life is short. Sometimes life isn’t easy. But God is big and His Love is free, easy and everlasting! He can do “immeasurably more than all we ask,” so hang in there, your answer might be right around the corner or in my vernacular for today, “your big shot may be coming soon.”
P.S. Shameless Plug: If you’d like to read more on Chronic Pain get my book: Chronic Pain: Finding Hope in the Midst of Suffering, The Foundry Publishing. Get it on Amazon or ask your local bookseller.
I took my first shot 7/8/20. Like you I have suffered the darkness of migraine since childhood, when I would pull my hair, scream and watch my poor mother’s sad face as she tried in vain to help. Like you, I have been X-rayed to pieces, stabbed, poked, sneered at, and even disbelieved. Like you, I have with God’s mercy persevered.
Blessings come on the free days. They are appreciated. Days that are needed to play catch up on things left on the shelfs of pain’s plans. As Christian soldiers we march on.
Hoping you get better and better brother!