Back In 2010, I had a severe neck injury (yoga-backbend, not my finest hour) that caused quite a disc bulge between the fifth and sixth vertebrate of my cervical spine.
At that time, I went to a neurologist and he told me that he would like to remove the disc, fuse the vertebrae in my neck and, possibly, do a metal rod or two (!)
I basically ran out of his office.
I started seeing a chiropractor (and have continued with chiropractic care ever since), which got me to a MUCH better place from where I had been previously, which was having to physically remove my head from the pillow each morning with my hands. Unfortunately, the bulging disc has remained ever since my injury upon MRI, with a visible indentation of the disc on my spinal cord ( pushing hard!) causing pain and numbness that would shoot down my right arm, waking me at night, and giving me many painful tinges, numbness, stabbing pain and various other reminders throughout my days.
Last year, I had elective shoulder surgery to repair some damage from multiple car accidents (I have since stopped driving cars that are seemingly invisible to other drivers!) and I had a terrible fall in the autumn where I broke my wrist, (that story is over here) and we were afraid that it had potentially re-injured the shoulder that was operated on, because it has not been feeling too hot, and over a year later, I still cannot sleep on my right side. So, the doc ordered another MRI to take a look at the shoulder and the neck and see what’s going on, and I had it done a couple of weeks ago. A few weeks prior to that, after I saw my doctor and we talked about doing the MRI, I decided that I needed to start praying bigger.
Sometimes, a day will go by, and I will forget to pray. I don’t mean for that to be the case, it just happens, usually out of exhaustion. (A good reminder for me to pray first thing in the morning.) Other days, it seems as though I’m praying all day long. But sometimes, in my human-ness, and in the fog of getting caught up in that which is less important, I forget about what exactly God is capable of. I was reminded a few weeks ago that the bigger and more earnest and confident the prayer, the more likely God is to hear it and to answer it. I have found this to be true time and time again. Ask God, believe in what you are asking Him for, and He will answer your prayers.
So, I decided to pray specifically for God to remove the bulging disc from my spinal cord. I told Him that I knew if anybody could do it, it was Him, and I was ready for the pain and numbness to stop waking me up at night, and I didn’t want to have to end up having the neck surgery that the doctors kept talking to me about. I’ve had enough surgeries, and I need to be DONE.
I went to see my doctor to follow up after the MRI. We went over the report. Not only is there an improvement in the disc between C5 and C6, but it is no longer indenting or pushing on the spinal cord. A seven-year-old injury, that on last year’s MRI was seen severely pushing on and indenting my spinal cord, causing pain and numbness, is now RESOLVING. Seven years. Several doctors saying it was just a matter of time before I would need spinal surgery. Having that hanging over my head was almost too much to think about.
This has been a huge reminder for me to remember to PRAY BIG.
And then PRAY BIGGER.
I did not expect to hear that type of positive news and read it on the report. I thought, and hoped, that the report would at least show no change and no worsening of the disc bulge. I’m utterly over the moon, and feeling younger than I have in a couple of years!
Now, lets imagine if I had listened to that neurosurgeon all those years ago, (and all of the doctors since who said it was just a matter of time) and let him perform that incredibly invasive surgery on my neck. A surgery that puts tremendous burden on the surrounding discs over time, breaking then down painfully due to daily wear and tear, and foreign objects having been placed. It would have been an unnecessary surgery, with tremendous potential negative consequences. I am so grateful! Also a big lesson that if you go and see a surgeon for his opinion, more often than not, he’s going to want to do surgery. Ive said it before and I will say it now…it is VITAL for your health that you take control, learn as much as you can about your condition and all the ways you can heal it on your own.
It is great to have a good doctor, but you have to be the one to advocate for yourself…you are not one size fits all, not the same as everyone else, not a robot, and most doctors will care for patients in this way due to how broken the medical system is in this country. From my thyroid, to my pregnancies, to my car accidents, and severe childhood traumas….it was only when I began to delve into the hows and the whys and the underlying factors to my health conditions that would impact my wellness, did I begin to get well. Every. Single. Time. When you trust your doctor so much that you just check out of the game, you are doing yourself a tremendous disservice. You have to start somewhere. remember, you are much stronger than you realize, and it is so important to be at the helm of your healthcare…you can do it!
I cannot tell you how many times I have caught a doctor or nurse in a mistake that, had I not caught it, would have been VERY detrimental to my health or outcome. That is scary. They are human. Not perfect. If your doctor acts like a god and demeans you, or railroads over you and your opinions, get the heck out of that office. Find a new doctor. You deserve far better than that, and NO- they are not all bad. As I have written before, I love functional medicine and naturopathy and homeopathy and acupuncture and chiropractic because those are modalities that have actually worked for me, and helped me to undo some of the ways in which standard “health” care caused me injury. Am I grateful for some western medicine docs? YOU BETCHA!!! I had two emergency surgeries last year and some fantastic people making me feel a whole lot better when I was at my worst. Here is the story of one of them. But for the most part, I am not interested in treating a condition via pills for my whole life, nor am I interested in removing my thyroid “so we don’t have to worry about it anymore” (words of the last endocrinologist I saw 4 years ago) even though I have no physical reason to have it removed, and it is not diseased. Who chooses that?
Not long after that run-in, I was checking out at the cash register at a local store, and I noticed the checkout girl, who couldn’t have been more than 18, had a fresh thyroid scar on her neck. I kindly brought it up and gently asked her if she had just had surgery, as I had just been to see the endocrinologist. She told me her full story, the crux of which was that she did NOT have thyroid cancer, but rather an enlarged thyroid and a nodule. The doctor told her “let’s just remove it all so you don’t have to watch it and worry about it.” And he took out an 18 year old’s mostly healthy thyroid, dooming her to a life of trying to get along without one. Because he scared her. He scared her parents. He mentioned that it could turn into cancer one day. ANYTHING on our body could turn into cancer one day. If you’ve ever known anyone who does not have a thyroid, it can be excruciatingly difficult not only to get the replacement medicine right, but to constantly keep tweaking it as we grow and change, and try to balance all of your other hormones around it. It is far from ideal, and the cause of much depression and pain for countless Americans, mostly women. He could have given her natural suggestions to heal her thyroid and her nodule by referring her out, but he did not. Diet and lifestyle do wonders towards healing your thyroid. And their is a current epidemic of doctors removing them for no good reason. Beware.
Oh, and guess who her doctor was? The one I had just met with.
You can get to the root cause of your health issues if you decide that you are worth it and you want to stop floating and worrying and having meaningless, sometimes harmful tests…and finally start living a healthy and vibrant life. The life that God intended for you to live!!!!
Remember, food is a huge part of the puzzle to health…Here is my post of how you are bigger than food!!!! Don’t let junk food dictate your trajectory any longer. You are FAR too important for that!
Now, please excuse me while I go make a list of all of the things that I need to pray about, as apparently, I’ve fallen behind!
The Mint Pixie
all photos copyright and property of the Mint Pixie, 2017