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Posts tagged ‘faith’

The Dark Side of Pain

The side of chronic pain that is difficult to talk about…to me it is also the hardest to admit! It is the darkness that is lurking at the corner of my mind…forever watching and waiting for the chance to pounce…to take over.

It wants to rob us of our relationships…our confidence…our strength…our fadark_street_195913ith…

This dark shadow that we sometimes view in the mirror looking back at us can have many names…depression, despair, failure, guilt.

It is that dark negativity that threatens to suck the very life out of us…to disrupt any hope of regaining a sense of normalcy…to destroy our relationships.

It happens to each of us…whether we want to admit it or not. It will attack over and over…always at a time that we are mentally weak.  Those times when we are in the midst of a flare…when we have not been sleeping…when brain fog is at its thickest…when are finances are stretched to the limit…when our closest relationships are tested, tried and hanging by a thread…

Inevitably it will overwhelm us…it will muddle our thinking…it will suck us down into the darkest depths…it will overtake who we are…

Do NOT allow these times to dictate who you are!  We are human…we are going to spend time in the dark…however, this is only temporary. It will NOT last! It does not mean that we have lost our faith…that we have given up the fight…that our closest relationships are forever broken…

It is at this time that we hit bottom…we cry out in the depths of our despair…begging God to help…to have mercy…to forgive us…to strengthen us…

We then rise to the surface from the depths of the darkness…to once again find our inner strength…to embrace those close relationships…to acknowledge and accept our new selves…

Two Steps Backward

2017 has proven to be a rough year so far!  The arctic front that came through almost two months ago wreaked havoc on me resulting in a nasty flare.  Then with the change of insurance, there were challenges with getting Cymbalta approved…leaving me with the experience of going cold turkey…two weeks of intense withdrawal symptoms on top of the Fibromyalgia symptoms.  This followed by a severe bladder infection.

I did have a bright spot! Insurance had said yes to the pain pump…so I was looking forward to a pain pump trial at the end of this week. That is, until this morning.

I received a call from my pain specialist’s office….expecting it to be the final instructions prior to the trial.  Unfortunately, I was to receive the news that insurance had approved the pain pump….but they denied the medication. What?!?!?!?  Yes…the medication was denied.

My specialist’s office is approaching different manufacturers to attempt to find assistance for me so that we could go forward with the trial….after all, you have to be able to get the medication in order for the pain pump to be useful! LOL

Needless to say, it was another sinking moment. That too familiar, wind out of the sails feeling…it really does seem that for each step forward I am taking two steps backward.

My faith is strong. I know that if I am meant to have this opportunity the pieces will eventually fall into place! For the time being, I will appreciate the medications that I am able to take.

Withdrawal!?!?!?!

I have been taking Cymbalta for about two years. It was the first medication that my body tolerated for my Fibromyalgia/Polyarthralgia. I credit it for helping me also deal with the intense emotions of coping with the sudden death of my sister.

I was nervous about the change in insurance, even though it was for the good. I am sure most of you can understand and relate. After all, we have our medical team in place as well as medication(s)…these come “under threat” any time our insurance changes. We never know for sure what prior authorizations will be required or if our specialists or primary doctor will be accepted.

My doctor and specialists were quickly approved…the only hiccups of course came with my medications. I was very impressed with how quickly my new insurance worked with my pain specialist to approve my opioid prescriptions. It seemed that all was under control…that is until it came to the refill of my prescription for Cymbalta. Needless to say, this “hiccup” has opened up a brand new chapter in my adventure with pain.

The timing? Couldn’t have been “better”…my last pill was taken on Friday…and I was not made aware of the preauthorization issue until Saturday. Thus began a journey I would have never dreamed of experiencing.

By Sunday evening, my body was feeling unlike anything I had ever experienced. Yes, I have dealt with almost every symptom of Fibromyalgia/Polyarthralgia/Chronic Pain Disorder/Neuralgia/IBS-D/etc…electric shocks, nausea, headache, numbness, tingling, burning, chills, sleeplessness…however, this was different!

This is now day four of full fledged Cymbalta withdrawal! The electric shocks are more like a strobe light…with a gremlin manning the switch; the nausea is extreme; the irritability — I am biting my tongue a lot and apologizing; the body sweats are worse than any menopausal moment; the dizziness is incredible — very scary at times; the nightmares — well…we just won’t go there.

These withdrawal symptoms in combination with my “usual” symptoms are making my days MUCH more difficult than usual. I am very thankful for my supportive husband and son…thankful for the extra hugs…thankful for the extra attention from our dogs…

I have spent time reading and researching withdrawal…it has been a huge eye opener. I never would have imagined dealing with this! Yet, I am…so I want to make sure that others who are taking Cymbalta speak with their doctor. It is important to have a plan…sooner or later you may need to change meds or get off of it.

I am having to deal with this cold turkey. I am not going to pay the price for Cymbalta out of pocket…we can’t afford it. And now that I am this far into it, I am curious as to how my body will react with just the opioids…after speaking with my doctor’s office today…it will be some time before the preauthorization is approved.

 

Lessons of Chronic Pain

I have learned so much in dealing with chronic pain…whether it be Pelvic Floor Syndrome, Rectal Prolapse, Spastic Sphincter, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Pain Disorder, IBS-D, Polyarthralgia, Colostomy, Hysterectomy, Benign Tumors, fluid build-up, Peristomal Hernia…there have been many lessons.

I know that our Heavenly Father has used these illnesses/conditions to teach me many things…the lessons have not been easy…it has been a rough road that has had its many challenges…however, I have had the support of family, friends and, of course, our Heavenly Father.

I have learned:

  • To be humble
  • To allow others to do things for me
  • To say “No”
  • To be patient with myself
  • To take naps
  • To appreciate small talk
  • To not take anyone or anything for granted
  • To appreciate the view through my window
  • To enjoy a ride in the car
  • To accept my limitations
  • To understand that I cannot always follow through with our plans
  • To know that there is no way to predict how my body will feel
  • To know that I can choose my attitude
  • To better appreciate time in prayer
  • To take more time to listen
  • To prepare simple meals
  • To ask for help
  • To smile no matter how I feel
  • To always appreciate a hug or gentle touch (no matter how much it hurts)
  • To become my own medical advocate
  • To speak up for others with similar conditions
  • To never give up
  • To see the best in those around me
  • To encourage others
  • To be sincere
  • To use my wheelchair
  • To use my walker
  • To use electric carts
  • To see medication as a tool to help improve my quality of life

I know that there are many more…my mind now draws a blank…

Each step we take…to allow others to do for us…to utilize all the tools that we have been given…is a step in improving our mental health, our relationships, and our confidence.  Our bodies may fail us; however, our faith can keep us strong.

Renewal

A new year approaches

Hopes and opportunities abound…

As the current year comes to an end

We look back at the many twists and turns…

The struggles that have made us stronger

The events that have brought us closer…

What will the new year bring?

No one knows for sure…

Yet our hearts are filled with hope

With light hearts and open eyes…

We embrace the start

Of a year not yet written…

It is a renewal of sorts

To take place on another stage…

The paths that will open before us

The mountains we will climb…

The challenges that await us

Along with the joys and laughter…

Our illnesses and conditions

Will continue to be with us…

As we continue our battle

Our eyes more alert, our resolve strengthened…

Let us take advantage of this new year

To choose to be positive…

To resolve to appreciate those dear to us

To take every opportunity to say “Thank You…

To embrace our loved ones and friends

To say “I love you” with sincerity…

To refrain from anger

Instead breath deeply and count to ten…

To really listen to what is being said

Rather than thinking of what we will say…

To pray with our entire being

Instead of uttering memorized words…

To share smiles and laughter

To not allow pain to be our master…

To be thankful for our life

To embrace each door opened by Heavenly Father…

Knowing that He is with us

Every step of our journey…

Remembering the scripture, Isaiah 40:31 KJV:

“But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”

We may not be able to walk far

We may be confined to our bed…

We may find ourselves fatigued

Unable to keep our eyes open…

Know that our spirit is renewed

Granted strength from Heavenly Father…

We can pray for those around us

We can lose ourself in reading the scriptures…

We can remember the trials of Job

And know that we are never alone…

So as this new year approaches

Let us each take pause…

 

To awake each day

With a thankful heart…

A Cross

A cross is more than a piece of jewelry. It is a sacred object to many Christians as it stands for the ultimate sacrifice…that of the only begotten Son of God, Jesus Christ. Upon that cross, he suffered and died…taking on all of our sins (past, present and future) as well as experiencing all pain and anguish.

Many choose to wear a cross…there are many reasons why.  A cross is worn to show our Faith in God…it is worn to remind us of Christ’s suffering…it is worn to remind us that we have been forgiven and now have a direct relationship with our Heavenly Father…it can be a treasured possession given to us at our baptism by a dear friend or close family member…whatever the reason…it holds a special meaning to the wearer.

I know that I wear a cross with an emerald in the center. I wear it because it reminds me that there is nothing that I will bear, be it pain, disappointment, setbacks, that Jesus Christ has not dealt with on a greater scale.  It reminds me that Heavenly Father will not test me beyond what I am able to bear through His strength. The emerald is for my Sister…a wonderful reminder that she is with Heavenly Father…looking down on us…praying for her loved ones and friends.

 

The Unexpected Joy

While in town last week after my doctor appointment, my husband and son went into a family owned feed store. They happened to have this beautiful, white female boxer pup…with the most brilliant blue eyes…they kept talking about her.

When I woke up Monday morning, I felt some strength and had a bit of focus. The last two weeks of not feeling well, Fibro flares, IBS-C flares, and head cold….then finally starting my new medication dosage (which completely knocked my out)….had finally loosened their grip for a brief time.

I took advantage….and once hubby was a work and our son at school….I snuck into town…and with the help of the wonderful, courteous staff…this beautiful pup was loaded up and ready to head to her new home!

Needless to say, our son was ecstatic!  Our lab was pleased to have a little one around…and Sadie has blended right into the family.

It has been such a blessing! She has brought wonderful distraction…endless snuggles…and many laughs as she and Chrly wrestle and play.

It has truly helped increase the joy of this wondrous Christmas Season!

Merry Christmas Everyone!

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