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Work Your Dream

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… 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.

March 29, 2012 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , ,


  1. […] For Some…Pain Follows Joy ( […]

    Pingback by What Inspires? « Work the Dream | April 30, 2012 | Reply

  2. My husband has chronic pain in his ankles/legs from an injury he got while he was in the Army and I never really understood it. Because the injury has since healed and he was doing fine for about 3 years after the injury and in the last 3 years since, he started to develop (over time) a lot of problems. It started with him complaining of pain, then complaints turned to limping. Limping caused him to have to have a cane to walk with which nearly atrophied the muscles in his back since he was putting all his weight on the cane and not using one of his legs or his back muscles the way his body is used to. Once he stopped using the cane, his back got better, but he continued to limp and complain of pain all the time and the doctors could find no cause for it. He’s been through so much with this to no avail. So, he was diagnosed with chronic pain, given several options for pain management (none of which he said helped so we’re down to the last 2 now) and there I was wondering what that meant for me as well as for him. I wanted to do something about it, make it better at least, but I couldn’t. And I never had a full understanding of his pain either. Surely, it isn’t as severe as yours, but your post did let me see a little better what he goes through. He’s learning to manage it now and I’m doing all I can to support him…it’s not easy knowing there’s nothing I can do to actually make the pain better though. It’s leaps and bounds harder for him to be experiencing it, but at least now that I understand it a bit better, I can be more sympathetic. Thank you for sharing!

    Comment by Bethylicious | April 2, 2012 | Reply

    • Oh your husband. My heart feels for him. The best thing is if you can just begin to understand a little..that will help him more than anything. 🙂

      Comment by danLrene ©2011 | April 2, 2012 | Reply

  3. I don’t want to be presumptuous or sound like I understand your life. And I don’t want to be patronizing. I have lived with the pain of aging and arthritis and inflamation and the need for knee replacements for many years. It is something you learn to live with, but it is only like a nagging headache sometimes…nothing like what you have to deal with. I can only remember one time when the pain was so bad and never ending that there was no relief and I wanted to cry because all I could think of or concentrate on was the pain. I remember telling God that this is what it was like for the very ill who live with terrible pain every moment. I asked Him how did they do it? It was incapacitating. Reading your blog every day is very uplifting for the rest of us. You are an example of how to live and how to live your faith. I am constantly in awe of you. I loved the story of the burdens and wanting to carry someone elses’ burdens for awhile only to realize that my own was the smallest. Thank you so much for what you share with us. It gives us the chance to beome a better person. I am so glad I found your blog. When I read of a particularly bad day in your life, I will pray for you. Thank you again.

    Comment by estherlou | April 1, 2012 | Reply

    • Oh my Esther Lou…you brought tears to my eyes. Thank you so much for them. You touched my heart in a way I can’t explain. I pray many blessings on you. And we don’t do it Esther Lou….when I can’t…God does.

      Comment by danLrene ©2011 | April 1, 2012 | Reply

  4. Glad you had a nice time out and captured some great shots! I can relate to so much of what you have written. It is easier to list the areas that are not in chronic pain because that is a very, very short list. My pain level gradually increased over the years and peaked at a level 10 in early 2010 and stayed there for several months. Yes, I was screaming loudly because of the pain. Over the last year, with continuing treatments, my average pain level has decreased to 7 and 8. That is definite progress. But I have also heard insensitive comments, even at the peak of my pain, from people who don’t spend any time talking with me.
    (If I keep typing, you will have a very lengthy comment from me, so I will stop here.)

    Comment by Fergiemoto | March 30, 2012 | Reply

    • Yes and I think it is because they have no idea what chronic pain is or what intermittant chronic pain …meaning there every day but comes and goes. Pain high like that is like living in hell…and no one knows unless they have been burned by it.

      Comment by danLrene ©2011 | March 31, 2012 | Reply

  5. Thanks for the information. I feel like I have chronic pain, but there are times when I do not have it. I guess it’s hard to know the difference sometimes. I have had times when I was in extreme pain for days, and I would certainly not want a life-time of it for any amount of attention or checks. I think some people feel they are sympathizing with you when they are really minimizing your pain. Then there are the sick one’s with chronic stupidity. I guess we all say dumb things sometimes. I love reading about your life, and you are courageous – you do what you can through the pain and in spite of it. Angie

    Comment by ansuyo | March 29, 2012 | Reply

    • Angie, if you have severe pain every day….even if not all day..that is chronic pain. Most people would not want it…and those that pretend just want the check..they don’t want to be disabled and have the pain. I love that lol chronic stupidity… thanks angie.

      Comment by danLrene ©2011 | March 29, 2012 | Reply

  6. My beloved aunt had polio and suffered greatly, but with a smile. She said there are two kinds of people… those who had dealt with chronic pain and those who have not, as if it is two different species. And one of the species does not have the capability of understanding the other. As for me, starting down that road with spinal stenosis. But when I can’t stand the pain anymore, all I have to do is sit down for a few minutes. Get relief and start over. Therefore, it is not chronic pain. Greatly limits what I can do, but learning how to be in charge of it, instead of it being in charge of me. Appreciate learning from your example. Especially appreciate your attitude, wisdom, and smiles. Thank you.

    Glad Jack is better. What a relief.

    Comment by Ann | March 29, 2012 | Reply

    • That is a good description Ann…two different species…not understanding. And as far as spinal stenosis..that is chronic pain hon that you deal with daily…you have learned how to cope with it. I have spinal stenosis and know that pain well. You are an inspiration Ann. Hugs and oh yes..I am so glad Jack is doing better. I look for him to keep improving.

      Comment by danLrene ©2011 | March 29, 2012 | Reply

  7. Thank you for sharing openly and honestly on this sensitive topic. I could have written parts of your post myself, and applaud you for being brave enough to articulate the realities of living with severe chronic pain. I often ask myself if I did not myself live this existance, could I ever understand it, even in a close friend or loved one…and to be honest – I am not sure I would. I’m a sensitive and extremely empathatic person by nature, but living in a pain body day after day feels seems to me almost like an altered universe. Nonetheless, your work here will serve to educate and enlighten, and hopefully more and more others will get closer to relating to the challenges we face. Your outlook and approach to living life is inspirational. Thanks for sharing today! ps: Fabulous photos — and yes – they will lift you up on the hard days!! So glad you were able to indulge yourself and hopefully the flare will be short-lived!! RL

    Comment by Robyn Lee | March 29, 2012 | Reply

    • Thank you Robyn. I like that analogy..”living in a pain body” makes me think of those suits of armor..only of pain armour. I am not sure i would have understood either and living with chronic pain has taught me so much and ways to help others and taught me to recognize pain in others. I once told someone that I was sorry they were in so much pain and she looked at me and asked me how I knew…that no one that had seen her all day could see it. I said cause I live it too. I thought of you and others I know living with the constant pain when I was writing. I think we each inspire each other.

      Comment by danLrene ©2011 | March 29, 2012 | Reply

      • Yes, I am like you…I can spot someone anywhere who is struggling. My heart always goes right out to them and I wish I could help (and often try). But as the young woman said, most can’t see it at all…and even though my gait is now very compromised, and I am always trying to manipulate my joints into place, most say- but you look fine. When I do resort to the crutches, or walker, there is more acknowledgment…though I’m not sure I really want that either. I want others to understand, but I don’t want them to pity. I’m sure you know where I’m coming from. Thank you again for sharing this. Helped me come to terms with some of the struggles I face daily. May Jack be on the road to recovery too!! RL

        Comment by Robyn Lee | March 29, 2012

      • Robyn I think that is why I sparkle up my gear and make it lively and fun…so people don’t see me as pitiful. 😉 and no..those who have never experienced chronic pain.

        Comment by danLrene ©2011 | March 29, 2012

  8. Great pictures I know Chronic pain but not all over. My neck and back and don’t have a car but do get to the lake can’t take the camera very often as it is too heavy and not all that heavy but for the pain in my neck and back it is. So am really happy when I can take pictures. I am so glad you got out and do know there are times when I do things I will pay. I don’t know your pain but know constant pain. There are better days too and then over do. Do look forward to hearing more about Jack he is in my prayers as you are worried about him. Darlene

    Comment by Darlene | March 29, 2012 | Reply

    • Dar hon..I know the pain you live with daily. I remember when you were in the car wreck and I searched all over for you. You do understand what most don’t know because you live it and you keep on pushing. Love you

      Comment by danLrene ©2011 | March 29, 2012 | Reply

  9. oh yes and u have to have joy following pain… ie i say i thank god im breathing at least and look for some positive happening in my life otherwise i would be in the pit of self pity continually.. 🙂 i had this lady say oh wat pain med u using i told her and she is like i should ask my dr for that… im like how long u had chronic pain for she says a year.. i said um its been 20 yrs for me and they finally put me on patches… she says dr told her to stop comin n whining to him tryin to encourage her to try many other things too. which she dont seem to want to do she just wants relief but wont try heat, therapy etc along with it .. I shared with her my dr only got me on this cause im doin therapy and a course on self management of chronic pain, i go physio etc… tried lots of things b4 the patches its been a last resort

    Comment by mshadai | March 29, 2012 | Reply

    • Yes indeedy…joy does come after the pain subsides some. I live for the joy and tolerate the pain marg. I have found many that just want to know my symptoms and what I take so they can use it. I think..can I GIVE you my symptoms too…the actual pain? But, in reality..I would not wish it on even my enemy. ove you hon.

      Comment by danLrene ©2011 | March 29, 2012 | Reply

  10. Deb, love seeing ur pics…. oh how i hear wat ur saying. i see/hear ppl complaining about a headache or sore throat or this /that … and they go on and on. And im screaming inside wanting to say “oh if i could only walk in ur shoes and just have a headache for a day instead of days weeks months years. they peeve me of. Last week i felt like writing on my fb wall …wish ppl could walk in my shoes for a day they may not whine so much. I just got back from the drs and the nurses down there said ” u look so much better than u did 2 days ago… i was in there wednesday and my morphine patch had fallen off thus no pain relief and the pain was high. They could just look at me without me saying a word and could see i was in major chronic pain. I wouldnt wish any of this on my enemy. But ppl who whinge/ whine or pretend to b sick i just dont want nothin to do with them cept have a pain free day. even though the patches help as u know nothing takes it all away completely. love u deb ty for inspiring me to keep on going 🙂 marg xxxx

    Comment by mshadai | March 29, 2012 | Reply

    • MARG!!!! So glad to see you on here. Yes I feel the same way. They would never make it if they had to deal with it day in and day out for months, years. How is all going? HUGS my friend

      Comment by danLrene ©2011 | March 29, 2012 | Reply

  11. Thanks for sharing so much with us. You give us a personal insight into your life that teaches us strength, love, faith and compassion. Also how we can be of assistance to someone else and show these same qualities. THANK YOU!


    Comment by fgassette | March 29, 2012 | Reply

    • Oh Francine…you made my heart sing. That is why I try to share so much of myself..that someone some where will benefit from seeing what it is like and ways to cope. Thank you. 🙂

      Comment by danLrene ©2011 | March 29, 2012 | Reply

  12. Thanks for sharing your story and helping me see the world through your eyes. I’m glad Jack’s doing better too – that is good news. What a great son you have to be so considerate and helpful. He’s a good kid.

    We go through this pain issue with my husband. He lost bones in his wrist due to an unknown injury. Between that, his back and his knee (ACL replacement years ago), he ends most nights hurting pretty badly. Each my time my Dad calls he asks how my husband’s hand is. I’ve explained over and over that it will not get better and my Dad doesn’t get it. He seems to think that given enough time it will improve. In fact, if my husband hurts it too badly he will lose the hand altogether (which my Dad also doesn’t believe).

    I have learned to just ignore the ones who know better than we do what’s happening with my husband and his health. LIke my sister-in-law who told me flat out I had to be wrong and she would research it to prove it to me. Ha! She never got back to me with the error of my ways.

    My husband has some good coping mechanisms and everyone else’s opinions are just a pile of moose muffins.


    Comment by dogear6 | March 29, 2012 | Reply

    • You know Nancy, I really think people just do not think or they don’t want to think about what someone in chronic pain goes through. I have been pushed and pushed to be “normal” and get up and do until there for a while when I was first put on disability..I did try to push myself and only ended up hurting myself. I have no patience with those that do that. And I have had family think that what was wrong with me was not real..even when doctor after doctor verified it they would try to find ways to prove it was not so. I learned to ignore them too. 🙂 Hang in there and I mm glad you liked the post. Yes son is a blessing and very handicap conscious. He just does it automatically. Please say a prayer for him as his back is really bad and he is waiting til the health fair in two weeks and hopes to get it scanned.

      Comment by danLrene ©2011 | March 29, 2012 | Reply

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