For Some…Pain Follows Joy
Pain is a topic that many understand. Differentiating between pain and chronic pain is another topic. Chronic pain is different than just having pain now and then. Chronic pain is pain that never ends and invades every thing we do. Some days it is worse than others. It requires us to choose what we do carefully for the results can be excruciatng It is not the same thing as having a headache this afternoon and by bed time it is gone.
I have to laugh when I am having a really bad day and someone that has decent health or just a few health issues will say “I know just what you mean. I have had this pain in my calf all afternoon. Or they will tell me they have the exact pain I have when they don’t….. You would tell them you have this and they would try to tell you they had it too. Tell them a different symptom and they will say they have the exact thing again. I want to say…..you have no idea what I am talking about. Pain has an ending…..chronic pain does not. I told someone once if they wanted to know what kind of pain I dealt with daily…not the extreme …but daily pain to pinch the skin as hard as they could on their forearm…and then imagine that all over your body forever….FOREVER. And then imagine that it gets twice and three times as bad at times….and the pain never ever goes away. That my friends is chronic pain. And when your health is not that bad…saying you have the same pain or same symptom is only diminishing the pain of someone that truly deals with chronic pain.
I have learned to choose carefully what I do for it will flare up my chronic pain to the point I feel like someone set me on fire. That is how I am feeling right now. I made a choice and it was a GOOD choice…but once we got home, my pain was screaming so badly son had to help me in the house and into bed. My choice was to ride to the Doctor’s office to get the doctor papers approving my handicap license plate which has to be done yearly….four miles tops. And in that choice, to drive across the street and RIDE through the state park looking to see what it will be like since I am getting a handicap park permit. Not miles and miles of riding but riding the figure eight loop of the park around the lakes.
Ride…that is all I did. I did not walk around my house, go up and down stairs, walk in a mall or store, stand and cook supper, clean house, do laundry, walk through a flea market……I sat……on cushions. Never left the van. And oh what a beautiful ride it was. The excitement kicked in my adrenalin and I enjoyed seeing the lakes and beautiful surroundings and taking pictures. And I made the choice knowing full well what would follow. I did it consciously and fully informed. Those of us with chronic pain will do that because if we don’t…we would never experience anything. And we do it without complaint. Son said he could see my pain level was rising drastically by my eyes but he could also see the smiles on my face as I looked, so he knew the memory of this ride will last me a while and so will the pictures in memory book I carry inside for those bad pain times like now.
So, the point of this blog is not for you to feel sorry for me. I don’t…so please don’t. I am a fighter as you all well know and I enjoyed seeing the park so much that the pain is just the price and worth it. The point is…that for those of us with real chronic pain…we experience horrible pain after doing something. It is our price for being “part of the world” and not staying totally tied to our homes or hospital beds as I am. And yes it is a hell of a price to pay. And for me being of faith…when it is too bad…I remind myself of the price Jesus paid. It puts my pain into perspective for me. I realize not all have this faith which is why I said “for me”.
The point of this blog was to show others a part of the world of a person with chronic pain and to maybe educate those that always say instantly “Oh I know what you are feeling” when they have NO idea because their pain…their achy legs …their cramps or headache…whatever….. ends at some point. They can get up and go cook supper, drive their car, go places, clean house and go do things we can’t. While someone can empathize with a person that has chronic pain, unless you are also a person with chronic pain…you have no idea what it is like. Chronic pain will make you feel like you are losing it at times, will invade everything from your ability to talk, to do, to sleep, to eat, to get up, to enjoy life…everything on a daily..hourly…minute by minute time frame. It wakes you when you want to sleep, it won’t let you sleep when you are so exhausted you think you are dying, it makes living sometimes impossible without a helper…like me. I am so blessed by my son. That is what debilitating chronic pain is. And it robs us of the ability to take care of ourselves like everyone else…makes us have to be dependent on others to do simple things that they can do…unless we just choose to not ask and do without. The ones with real chronic pain will tell you they are so sorry..they are with you. They don’t try to copy you.
Through the years I have had people try to mimic me…my health issues…my diseases and I used to think …what in the world is wrong with these people? No one in their right mind would want this I deal with. And one day I realized what it was. They didn’t want the restriction of really being sick. They wanted the check and the attention they think someone as sick as me gets. But, they also wanted to be free to do whatever they want without the restriction of being really disabled. And sadly, because the disability system is so flawed….people who are capable of working will get approved for disability and take it and it will make it harder for someone really disabled to get theirs. When I first had to start using a cane..a woman back east instantly got one too. The difference…she could choose when to use it. I could not.
And today..she draws disability and goes about WITHOUT that cane. And the attention??? I don’t ask for attention. I just try to be authentic..a fighter …one that does not whine and complain and one that sees new ways to do things. If that makes people inspired by me or like me…that is their choice. Not me playing games to get it. Those that want to fake illness to get attention should try doing that instead of trying to be what I or other disabled people are…that will get you attention if you are authentic…real…honest…you don’t have to act like you are disabled or sick to get it. I am proud to see on the news more and more cases of people being arrested for disability fraud and being sent to prison and made to repay. I hope the ones out there who faked or exaggerated symptoms to get disability realize they will have to live the rest of their lives looking over their shoulders wondering is someone taking their picture to expose them.
“For Some, Pain Follows Joy”….is the title of this blog but it is also a given for a person with chronic pain and chronic health issues and disabilities on a daily basis. It is just a fact and we learn to live with….find ways to cope with the pain so we can feel the joy.It is not a life style we choose but we do choose how we deal with it. And I am inspired by so many like my son, who was diagnosed with MS but opted to keep working. Or another woman I know, Laura, who has so many health issues from MS and she works daily plus she spends hours helping raising money for MS. We are fighters. Respect is earned. It does not come just because you are sick. It comes from how you handle being sick.
And now, I want to share with you what brought me joy…just a few of the pictures. Tomorrow I will post more. I will carry these in my mind and take them out and look at them over and over. I take my pictures and put them on slide show on my monitor here by my bed and lay here sometimes when I am doing the distraction thing to help me get through the pain.
Am I stronger than most? No, I am just very determined and try to get the most out of my life I can. And I take responsibility for my pain and my health and for finding ways to deal with it. Distraction for me is a great tool. So is visualization and other methods. So, I hope you enjoy the pictures for I did on the ride through and I will enjoy them over and over an over as I ride through the pain that has put me flat on my back in bed now.
This is my favorite picture for son walked down to the water to see if there were a concrete walk way coming from another direction that I could ride my scooter on for the future when my handicap pass comes in. I teased him telling him that I was holding the camera in case he ran into a bear and came screaming back up the hill. He laughed. We do have bears here and I am hoping eventually we see one or two or three.
As you look, you will see spring is not fully here yet. The trees that are not evergreen do not have their leaves yet but to me is still beautiful. We are so blessed that this is only four miles from us and will make a nice place to come when I am feeling strong enough and will give me a beautiful safe haven place. Son wants to fish. He even has figured out that he could carry one of the cots he has and our patio chairs with cushions so I can sit there an not hurt so badly. And if my pain rises, I can lay on the cot on the bank and watch the water and the birds. Always thinking on that he is.
There are several HUGE lakes here and people were fishing all over.
And no geese were hurt in the photo shoot. LOL This is on the golf course. That is why it is so green.
And Last, but not least…MY mountains. You can see them no matter where you are here. I love it!
I hope you enjoyed for I love sharing with you all. You all inspire me so much to keep moving forward and to keep the fight on. what a blessing you all are.
And an added note: Jack is slowly but surely getting some better. He is still weak and still only taking broth but he has more strength and son took him outside and let him walk around in the yard. So, we feel like he is getting over this. And no more seizures since yesterday morning. thank you all for the prayers.
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