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  • Writer's pictureCarole J. Sluski

A New Difficult Challenge in My Life

A Time to Heal

A New Difficult Challenge in My Life

What is before me is not an event or happening I wish to participate in. It’s about my health and I had to make several critical decisions about my life for the moment and future. This is where I depend upon praying to the Holy Spirit for guidance to lead me to positive decisions of a plan I can live by presently and for the rest of my life.

I’ve been faced with many illnesses in the past, but this new challenge is one I became very afraid of instantly. For the first time, I experienced severe anxiety every time I remembered what I was dealing with and confronting. The anxiety was getting worse as days passed and I prayed to God for help. In my daily Rosary, I asked Blessed Mother Mary to ask her Son, Jesus to guide and allow me to think, reason, and accept His wisdom. I accept incoming thoughts as a conversation I’m having with the Lord, the Holy Spirit.

Several months ago, I had surgery on three Cervical disks, C3, C4, and C5. The cervical disks of my spine had experienced massive degenerate disease caused by arthritis. Incisions were made on the back and front of my neck for inserting hardware used to strengthen these vertebrae and spacer parts were surgically implanted between these disks. After approximately three months of healing, I noticed a new problem with the three disks fused. My headaches increased in severity, and every time I moved my head, I had pain in my neck. It was noted in an updated MRI that a problem existed. My surgeon told me within time, this pain may subside. A spacer had moved, and this was causing the pain.

Months went by and the pain continued. Now, I was determined to find out if there was any other problem causing this pain. I wanted to know what was wrong with the cervical area of my spine so I could address and understand as much as possible.

Again, I had another MRI and withstood an hour and a half of being in the machine. This was difficult and I said the Rosary a few times to help me get through the ninety minutes of anxiety I experienced. When my surgeon read the report, I was told a new problem presented itself. C1 and C2 were bone on bone and surgery was recommended to set in place the final fusion of the cervical area of my spine, the neck.

I remember I was more scared than with any other surgery I encountered in my life and the fear was beyond words. I cannot write the words in this Blog. My fear was not just death but the pain I was told I was going to encounter.

My husband, Denny and I did research online. All I had to do was type in the following words: C1 and C2 cervical surgery. I discovered this surgery is life-threatening. Everything I read made me realize I should try to help myself before I took the surgery route. Another alternative was to wear a neck brace (hard like a turtle brace for back surgery) for a period of six months so fusion would occur. Even if the surgery was successful or fusion was successful with the brace, there was no guarantee the migraines would disappear, and I would be free from pain.

My decision currently is to work with my pain management doctor and take the least pain medication, so I don’t build up resistance to these meds. I developed allergies to several highly recommended pain medications I took during my first operations I wrote in my book, THIRTY, a Mother’s Spiritual Journey After Losing Her Child. My pain doctor had a pharmacy blend a topical pain relief medication for the area on my neck where the surgery was on the back of my neck, the area where the moved disk was. After two weeks of testing this cream medication, I noted it helped some of the pain, but not all. I decided to continue to use it daily. A little help is better than none and maybe with time, the pain will subside even more than I anticipated.

Basically, I am coordinating my own pain management with the tools I received from my pain doctor and the internet information on C1 and C2. I am taking control once again of my life as I wrote in THIRTY.

Structure is important and if I want any type of quality life, I must take extremely excellent care of myself!

Every day when I say the Rosary Prayer, I ask the Blessed Virgin Mary to intercede with her Son, Jesus to please heal me from my afflictions; Most of all, please let me release the fear I have within me for the pain and suffering I was told by my doctor could happen.

My first act of taking over my health issues is to lighten up the workload I do promoting my book. In doing this, I still intend to write a Blog every week to keep my friends in the loop about my health, as well as write more inspirational messages from my heart. I will always try to add one of my paintings to express my love of art which gives me the motivation I need to survive my inflictions.

I pray to God that the Holy Spirit will guide me to make the right decisions. I pray to God that I have the strength of faith “to let go and let God and not to just say I believe, but to truly practice my faith.”

Special Note: Please subscribe to my website at so you may get a notice for every one of my posted Blogs, which is hopefully every week. All posted Blogs are on my website and listed under Blogs. I plan on continuing to do Podcasts as a guest at least twice per month. All the present Podcasts I have completed are live on my website listed under Podcasts.

God in All His Glory

~ Carole J. Sluski

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