, , , ,

I should have known though. The symptoms were severe. Over the next couple weeks I searched the internet for “How to tell if your back is broken” and “Can a person walk around with a broken back.” There were no conclusive answers. Well duh! My husband said most people do NOT walk around with a broken back. Most people seek help immediately, due to immobility or pain. I’m not that smart though. I’ve told my doctors to make a note in my charts “HAS DIFFICULTY INTERPRETING PAIN.”

For the next several weeks I tightly strapped a gallon size bag of ice to my back for 16 hours a day. I wore a back brace day and night as tight as it could be pulled to keep my vertebrae from shifting. I moved slow, walked slower, couldn’t drive, could barely sit. My feet and legs would go numb and I had other worse not-normal symptoms. But I’m not that smart. I thought it was old age. Or just maybe, a popped disk. I do NOT recommend ignoring symptoms.

For the next two and a half months, I helped my husband and sons clean our house, fill and move boxes, reorganize everything as we readied our house for inspection for refinancing. The work was endless and huge. I did it with a bag of ice strapped to my back and silent prayers that God would hold me together, literally.

I finally got surgery two and half months after I broke my back. I had 17 vertebrae fused. It was after surgery that I found out how bad it was. My surgeon told me the upper part of my back wasn’t even connected to the lower part of my back. It is a real, live, unexplainable miracle that I didn’t get paralyzed.  Praise be to God!

Today, one year after breaking my back, I am repairing very well. I can walk, sit and drive again. I can bake delicious treats, cook, do laundry, sew on my sewing machine, make crafts, pick figs, and do container gardening. Best of all, I can kneel down and hug my grandchildren.

When I look over the past year, the thing that stands out above all wasn’t the pain, the learning to walk again, learning new ways to do things. The thing that stands out the most, the memory that glows the most intensely all the way from July 16th 2012 to today, was God was with me. He was so close that he fluffed my pillows when I needed, He supported my back when I could feel the vertebrae shifting and grinding, He helped me lay down at night and get up again and fall asleep even when it felt like I was lying on spears of glass. God was there. The entire year glowed with His presence. I sought Him and he was there. There are no words to describe the profound peace and love I felt, even when enduring pain.

As I look ahead, I don’t have to fear because I know God will be there.

“For I know the plans that I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:11-13