Strength Deteriorates Into Pain ~ A Painful Saga, Part 2

My promise

My promise

A disclaimer:

My health issues are nothing compared to many of you.  Although I have had my share of pain, my condition is not life threatening, nor has it prevented me from returning to doing daily activities for myself, or working part-time as a nurse.  My issues are nothing compared to what many have endured. 

No matter the level of suffering, though, God cares.


When I was in my twenties, I was the picture of athleticism: energetic, agile and fit.  My physical capabilities included jogging, aerobics, snow skiing, high altitude backpacking, swimming, and tennis.  Although not as strong as some, I could nevertheless keep up with most. 

Confident in my strength, I concluded that it would always be so.  I was wrong.

It was also in my twenties that I first noticed signs of what was the beginning of an early onset of severe degenerative disc disease.  Since my symptoms did not fit the mold, by presenting with typical radiating nerve pain, my associated sciatica went wrongly diagnosed until I reached my forties.  All those years, my doctors just thought that the reason I had to suspend my left foot off of a pillow at night, to avoid anything touching my heel due to the pain, was that there was either an undetected disorder with my foot or I was suffering from a depression that kept me awake. 

It was not until I also began having back pain simultaneously with the foot pain that I pieced the puzzle together myself.  Someone finally believed me when, during a Discogram procedure, I nearly came off the table after “one drop of dye” was inserted into a lumbar disc.  I felt the classic shooting sensation as the fiery pain tracked right across the same spot that had hurt for years. 

My health deteriorated like this flower

My health deteriorated like this flower

The difference in the pain was that it no longer just interfered with my sleep; the unrelenting sciatic pain had begun altering my life.  Unable to do any of the enjoyable athletic pursuits anymore, I was also increasingly impaired in my ability to do ordinary tasks.  After 12 hour shifts at the hospital, I almost needed to crawl to my car, and I spent my time off recuperating.  

 The pain eventually backed me into a corner.  I had prayed, and God promised me healing.  That healing, though, came by way of three excruciating surgeries to free the pressure off a trapped sciatic nerve.  Each procedure caused an already irritated nerve to surge to about a quadruple pain level, and required about six months to return to a “recovery” level.  My painful surgical ordeal consumed three years of my life, but the journey from my former strength into the pain occupied many more, and in a different way, continues today.

Tomorrow, I will continue my physical pain story.  Of my journey through the pain.

For more of this story, see A Painful Saga


31 thoughts on “Strength Deteriorates Into Pain ~ A Painful Saga, Part 2

  1. nodimlight

    Dear Sister,

    Your journey, your trials, and your patience are part of what makes you who you are. Remember that God takes all of our experiences and uses them for your good and His glory. You are a child of God, a daughter of the King. He will restore you. Your story is hard. Pain is so hard.

    As to your disclaimer, yes, God always cares! But also, for your sake, I want you to know that no two types of suffering can be compared. Suffering is suffering. We don’t dwell on that, but also don’t belittle it. Count it all as joy!

    I am praying for your continued healing, strength, faith, and courage. I am so happy to hear that you have the heart to continue to work and live your life even through your difficulties. Your story here may have encouraged others to fight.

    Blessings and love,


    1. heavenlyraindrops Post author

      Michelle, thanks very much for the thoughtful encouragement. Just like He does, God has brought me through these tough times and will continue to carry me on. I will be sharing tomorrow just how far He brought me. Blessings back and thanks again for the encouraging words.

      1. nodimlight

        Sue, I don’t know how I missed this response. Praise God and all our tomorrow’s. Praise His faithfulness and love. I am praying for your peace and healing still, sister!

  2. Karina Susanto

    No matter the level of suffering, though, God cares. I focused in this statement. Not only that,God will heal our illnesses and raised all the pain through our prayer. James 5: 14-15 :” Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up…..” I will pray for your healing process, especially that God will continue to give you strength and the spirit. Be strong in God,sis. Amen!

  3. vonhonnauldt

    Even though your “health issues” may not be as severe as others, spinal disc difficulties are nothing to sneeze at. I know. Precious folks like you demonstrate that there are some who serve God simply for who He is and not for what they can get out of Him.

    Bless you, dear sister.

  4. Rene Yoshi

    Yes, no matter what the level of suffering, God does still care. I am so sorry to hear of such pain you’ve had to endure for so long, but I know from personal experience, those are the times we tend to grow the most. And even though I wouldn’t wish suffering on anyone else, I am grateful for the things I learned through it. I pray for continued healing and strength, as well as the Lord’s blessing upon you as you seek to encourage others through sharing your journey. ((hugs))

    1. heavenlyraindrops Post author

      I know, Jane. We are not alone in suffering. This has been hard for me to do…to bare my soul to others about painful situations, but have been believing that by doing so others will receive encouragement in a way they would not otherwise. Blessings

  5. Pingback: God Will Restore | Heavenly Raindrops Images

  6. forestmtnhike

    Hi Sue, thank you for sharing your story. Many of us have also experienced health issues in many different levels. And your opening up and sharing yours is such an encouragement to me. I’m so blessed to know you through your blog and especially encouraged by your faith and continual growth and love for the Lord. You’re an inspiration! Blessings always<3

    1. heavenlyraindrops Post author

      I am glad this series has been a blessing. Has been hard to open up, because I know how others suffer in ways worse than my own. However, knowing that by doing so it has brought encouragement to others blesses me back. thanks

  7. gwennonr

    Dear Sue,

    You are in my prayers. There is nothing like pain to get your attention, is there?

    I have some ideas I hope you might find helpful. If you want to email me (, I’d be glad to share them with you.

    May God bless you and help you through this time!




    Sweetie ~ I well understand since I’ve had muscular dystrophy 46 yrs so, I empathize fully… I’d like to share this comforting quotation for me:
    “No pain that we suffer, no trial that we experience is wasted. It ministers to our education, to the development of such qualities as patience, faith, fortitude and humility. All that we suffer and all that we endure, especially when we endure it patiently, builds up our characters, purifies our hearts, expands our souls, and makes us more tender and charitable, more worthy to be called the children of God . . . and it is through sorrow and suffering, toil and tribulation, that we gain the education that we come here to acquire and which will make us more like our Father and Mother in heaven.”
    ― Orson F. Whitney

    1. heavenlyraindrops Post author

      I appreciate your thoughtful feedback and sharing about your painful journey with MD. I will be in prayer for God’s healing and comfort. I do differ with you on there being a heavenly Mother, though. Blessings for sharing.

  9. Julie Garro

    Sue, this is your story. It’s a blessing to others, just like your gift for writing and photography. We don’t like to look at anything negative as a gift, but God has allowed it for some reason. I wonder what else He is doing through you? Blessings to you.


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