Psalm 5:3 - In the morning, LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly.
You look at your watch. Only three minutes have passed since you last looked. Isn’t it true that when you’re doing something you love time seems to fly by? But when something bad is happening every minute turns into an eternity.
That’s how it is with a chronic pain condition. Waiting for relief can take hours, or weeks sometimes and at other times, it never comes.
There are many methods of pain relief I’ve talked about in past posts, however, this post is going to center on how to endure waiting for a treatment or medication to kick in and bring relief.
For instance, I’ve recently undergone a procedure called Radiofrequency Ablation. The mechanism of this particular pain reliever is radiofrequency waves are used to burn nerve ends coming from the facet joints. This procedure can be performed on both cervical and lumbar joints. The idea is that burning the nerve endings kills them and will provide over fifty percent of pain relief coming from the area.
The problem is though that the pain relief doesn’t kick in right away. In fact, in many cases the pain gets worse as in the cervical facet joint nerves. Burning pain, like a deep sunburn, can last from one to two weeks and in some instances up to a month.
Another form of waiting comes as you wait for a scheduled procedure to be done such as a knee or hip replacement surgery. You know that many people have had this surgery and found benefits from it. And sometimes this helps you push through until the procedure is done.
A third way that causes us to wait is relief from prescription medications. If you are taking prescription medication where the goal is to provide you with chronic pain relief then you have to wait until the medication kicks in. This can sometimes take an hour or two before you start to feel relief. And then, the medication may start to wear off giving you a few hours relief and you’re back to square one with pain and you have to wait the full hours allotted between doses when you can take more pain reliever.
So here we are playing the waiting game and needing something that can help our focus turn away from looking at the clock or counting days on our calendar. What can help us as we wait?
Countingmyspoons.com has a great article titled, “Distraction as a Pain Reliever: 10 Ways to Distract Yourself From Pain,” such as making new friends online. There are many websites, such as mine, that provide encouragement, information and a way to communicate with other people who are also waiting for chronic pain relief.
Though having to wait can be difficult, just as the Bible verse above states, God hears your voice and the pain within it as you wait. And notice that the verse says that the writer waited expectantly. Expect that your waiting will not be in vain and that pain relief is marching towards you.
Karen Dalske is a freelance writer, public speaker, is active in her church and writes her blogs out of her own experiences of pain, illness and loss.