Pain Management

Posted by Scott Foster on


     So, I might have seemed a little blurry on Sunday morning during church because Becky fell and broke her ankle at the youth retreat Saturday night. If you were in church on Sunday, you are well aware of the circumstances. I was getting text updates all during church about whether Becky would or would not get surgery Sunday morning.
     She did not get the surgery until Monday night.

     Becky fell over a rock near the campfire twisting her left ankle a little and as she shifted all of her weight to compensate on the right foot, down she went! And spectacular was the fall! (Her words—“it was spec-TAC-u-lar!”)
     I had already come home to be ready for church on Sunday, so she called to give me the news around 9:30. Crying hysterically she says, “We’re going to the ER!” And I was terrified that she called to tell me one of the students was injured.

     “Honey, slow down. What happened?”
     “I fell and I think I broke my ankle. Oh MY GOD! IT HURTS!”

     Michael Callahan, God bless him, drove her to the Morristown ER and I met them there. X-rays and the whole nine later, they told us she needed surgery and would get it the next day. So I got home at midnight and stopped back into the hospital to see Becky before church on Sunday morning.
     The pain was excruciating. She was out of her mind! I stayed to comfort her as long as I could, but there is only one preacher. Off I went.
     Back after church and things were a little more under control, but there was to be no surgery. Now, we were an “add-on” case for Monday. Okay, she did the best she could with the pain meds and they finally got her stabilized.

     Monday morning, same thing. Serious pain and no relief in sight for hours. Plus, we were in a holding pattern to make sure all of our docs were in a row and we could  get an OR. So we had no idea when the surgery would be.

     Finally! They came to get her at the end of the day and she went back to surgery at 5pm. The surgery was a complete success! The ankle was dislocated with bad breaks in both tibia and fibula. We came back upstairs to her room at 10:30 with new plates in both bones and nice realignment of the ankle.  The drugs were good and she was happy as a pig in slop. Until…

     Tuesday morning, same thing. Serious pain and no relief in sight for hours.
     I comforted her, but I had to leave her to take a meeting at the church for about an hour and tie up a loose end or two. By the time I got back to the hospital, I had a word with the nurse about pain management.

     “Why didn’t she get any pain meds overnight?”
     He says, “You have to be awake and ask for them. So, since she was sleeping we assume she’s not in pain, so we won’t wake her up.”
     “Well excuse me, but I understand that the key to good pain management is staying in front of it. So if you wait until you are in pain to take the meds you waited too late. Right?”
     He shrugged it off as policy.

     You have to ask.

     This morning (Wednesday), same thing. Becky is over the top! It takes them until after lunch to get it under control again.

     What’s wrong with this picture?

     The good news is that they’ve got her under control enough to get her down to the physical and occupational therapy centers and we’re probably clear to go home just about the time I finish writing this.
     You can bet your last dollar that I’ve made sure that she has good pain meds on tap for the home stay. I feel so powerless to help when she’s just writhing. It’s horrible! And surely the pain will begin to subside as the swelling goes down, etc. etc.

     But it occurs to me.
     Spiritual pain is much the same.
     We gotta stay out in front of it.

     And you have to ask!

     Ask God for help.
     Especially in the good times.
     It’s not that prayer in the dark times doesn’t comfort. It does.
     But I think if we’re prayed up, the Spirit keeps our stressors down and most everything tends to be right in our worlds. And it doesn’t mean things don’t go wrong.
     They do.

     But we have to ask.
     And stay out in front of it.

Grace & Peace,




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