Thursday, August 23, 2007

A the Pelvis?!?

My mom and I made it to California! For those of you who don't know yet, God has blessed my family in a huge way by allowing me the opportunity to go to a pelvic pain clinic. If you want to check it out, you can go here:

A friend of mine went to this clinic a few years ago and he is really improving. Some of you may not know this, but men can have this problem too. He was miserable and tried everything to help relieve his pain - even going to China! He also had surgery. He told me that he regrets everything he tried except for this clinic - that is was hard work, but it was the only thing that has truly helped him.

The clinic is run by Dr. David Wise who personally struggled with pelvic pain for over 20 years. With no help of relief from any doctors he visited, he began to develop his own technique and decided to study how and why pelvic pain occurs.

His belief is that everyone holds tension in different places in their body - whether it's their head, neck, back, or clenching their teeth. He explained that some people deal with tension by tightening the muscles in their pelvic floor.

In the clinic, my mom and I will meet with a urologist and a physical therapist among other specialists and learn where my trigger points are and how to treat them. I will also learn relaxation techniques and how to think about my pain as helpful message from my body that it needs relief, instead of the enemy that I want to get rid of.

Well, I have recovered from the long trip here. Riding in cars is painful on my body because of the vibrations. My dad requested a wheelchair at the airport in advance which was a really good thing because I could barely walk by the time we got to Denver! My mom and I are going to go exploring today because the clinic doesn't start until tomorrow. I will try to keep you all updated.

I would appreciate your prayers as this is not an easy quick-fix treatment. My friend who has had it done told me that by the time the week was over, he felt like he had been hit and run over by a truck. And I believe him! So I'm anxious and scared, but also willing to work hard at this if it means in a couple of years I could notice a significant difference.


For more information on this clinic, here is a quote from and another link. Really the best way to get info on the book is to read or scan some pages from the Pelvic Pain Help site.

"...a treatment called the Stanford Protocol, developed by Stanford University Professor of Urology Rodney Anderson and psychologist David Wise in 1996, has recently been published. This is a combination of medication (using tricyclic antidepressants and benzodiazepines), psychological therapy (paradoxical relaxation, an advancement and adaptation, specifically for pelvic pain, of a type of progressive relaxation technique developed by Edmund Jacobson during the early 20th century), and physical therapy (trigger point release therapy on pelvic floor and abdominal muscles, and also yoga-type exercises with the aim of relaxing pelvic floor and abdominal muscles). While these studies are encouraging, definitive proof of efficacy would require a randomized, sham controlled, blinded study, which is not as easy to do with physical therapy as with drug therapy."

(Dr. Wise told me there is about an 85% chance of success and that he thinks he can help me. He is very honest about his results. After asking me a set of detailed questions, however, he thinks that I have certain symptoms that would do well under his treatment. By God's grace he had one open spot left for the August clinic - otherwise I would have had to wait until November!)

A detailed description of what I will be doing at the clinic

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Brutally Honest

Sad about the way my life looks and how empty it seems.

Can I feel freedom truly in Christ - even through I'm burdened by my physical pain? God doesn't need me to serve Him, but in a selfish way, I need it. I need to feel a sense of purpose and share His love with others. How can I believe, but not do? But what can I do? What does this look like in my life if it doesn't look like visiting Georgia and Shirley and showing them how their Macs work, or picking up Shakindra and holding her and swinging her and singing with her? What does it look like if I can't let Becca sit on my lap and have her take down my hair and let her insist she knows just the perfect way to fix it and has so many important things on her heart to share? What does this look like even if I can't help my mom with meals and put away dishes and clean clothes and a least have the decency to pick up after myself? Oh, dear God, what does it look like? I struggled so much with wanting to have a purpose and I finally felt like I had one - and now it looks so different. I wanted it my way and in my control and to please you as it pleased me, but it's all turned upside now. Is reflecting your glory going to look twisted and upside down too? Is it going to look like me doing nothing, and just trusting you? Why does that have to be so hard for me Lord, why? I don't know what a 'meaningful life' looks like right now. I feel like I'm waiting. And everyone else is waiting for me to resume the old Lisa and do what I once did, be who I once was, as soon as I can just find the strength to overcome this. But I honestly don't feel like that is going to happen. Why wait like that? Why can't I feel some meaning and purpose in my life now? What does that look like for me? Oh, Lord please show me. Please.

I've got to change how I feel about this and I want to, but it's hard. I don't want it, and I don't know what to do with it. There's got to be a reason or a purpose for it, I want there to be. If it just happened, then I don' know if I can take it. If it happened and it will work for your good and show your love and mercy to others, then it's worth it, I know it is. But how? Why does that have to be hidden from me? How can I accept and move on when I'm so in the dark?

It's so easy for me to say I need to trust and that things are how they are and no tears are going to change that. But if I could just...if I could just have a glimpse of where this road was going. An idea of how I could be a part of your kingdom and your work now.

People say to serve you whatever way you want and call for at the time, but I am a selfish, selfish person, Lord. I want it to look my own way. I want to hug children and share in their joys and worlds of faith and imagination. I want to talk with the old and hear their amazing stories and let them share their wisdom with me. I know I have given to these people with a cheerful heart but was it all in vain? For the wrong motives? My own benefits? How would this look different? And especially, how does this look different when I can't give piggyback rides or crawl under and old woman's desk to hook up printer cable cords? How do I press on when my medicine makes me feel numby and slow and not at all really there, and the pain keeps me from thinking about anyone but myself - or maybe worse, how guilty I feel that my ailments cause other people worry or grief? There is so much to this burden Lord and I can hash and rehash it out but I never understand it. I want black and white answers but I know there are none.

But what is my life supposed to look like - specifically? How can I glorify you most by laying in bed all day? Is there any glory in that at all? And how, specifically, do I "accept" that I have this pain and move on? Can there just be a checklist and I could be done with it? And how, specifically, do I keep active when every time I get off the steroids, an inevitable virus seems to follow? How do I make any progress if all the progress I make is thrown away by the time my body recoils in pain I didn't know existed?

How can people seriously live with this kind of pain and move on? I know I'm not the only one. Nothing can be done - nothing. No trip to the emergency room, as "emergency" feeling as the pain might be can take it away and make it stay away.

It's so tempting to think that I couldn't possibly have a purpose, and that it would be so much easier on everyone if You could just take me Home now and I could live with you without a physical body that keeps me from feeling anything like myself. But for some reason it's not supposed to be like that and I guess I'm just really bummed that I don't get to know why. Or maybe even have a false illusion as to why. I might even take that at this point over feeling in so much darkness as to where this all is going!

And maybe it isn't going anywhere. Maybe it just really is how it is and this wasn't a part of your plan and it just happened. But what do I do with that? How can I accept that it just happened and know what I'm supposed to do next? How do I find meaning and purpose in a life that doesn't even feel like mine anymore?

I want a glimpse of understanding over anything, but I'm not sure that's what you would have me ask for. I want to ask for patience but I can't - I have this belief that you like to teach patience to me by having me practice it and I don't feel brave enough to ask for any trials. What else can I ask of You, Lord? You give, and you take away, and I want so many things from you that I never need or begin to deserve. But can I ask for trust? Can you please give me some? I try but I can't on my own. And can I please have some joy - some true joy and contentment at where this life of mine is going? As tiny and as fleeting as my life here is, I so feel like I could use that. I feel like I need it but maybe I don't. I know you provide me with the things I need and I'm sorry that I can't see most of these blessings. Please Lord, please open my eyes to the things you are graciously giving me so that I can be thankful and not kicking and screaming and demanding to know why like an impatient spoiled child.

Please take all that away from me and help me to realize how truly free I am in you, no matter how much my body imprisons me. It's a freedom I wouldn't trade for anything and you gave it to me. Help me to claim it Lord, to gain strength from it and to know that you are perfect and good. Please help me to know that, please.

Oh, Lord. Thank you for letting me come to you. Thank you for wanting to know everything on my heart even though you already know it. Thank you for dying so that I can be in your presence, and that you love allows for me to be upset and angry and for me to foolishly shake my fist in your face - and surprisingly your love doesn't change. Thank you for being who I need. Please help me to see that you are so much more than "enough" and more awesome and amazing than I will ever comprehend. Oh help me in the best way you know how. I don't know what it will look like but please help me and please remind me that You are here in my life and haven't abandoned me and please reassure me with your love and understanding of everything I've gone through and everything I will continue to go through.

It's such an amazingly strong pain, Lord - stretching beyond the boundaries of the physical realm. And you're the only one who truly knows that pain like I do and thank you for not leaving me. Thank you that you won't ever leave me. Please just let me be a child tonight and curl in your lap and please just embrace me and pat my head and tell me that you're here and you hear me.