Chronic illness and pain often leaves us feeling like we are driving a hazardous road in the blackest of nights in blinding snow.
I hear the tumultuous waves crashing nearby. My knuckles are white as I clinch the steering wheel ever tighter.
My body is overwhelmed, yet again, with increased stabbing pain and extremely overly sensitive skin…I am counting hours to my appointment tomorrow. A much needed refill to my pain pump and discussion of my latest MRI.
In the early morning hours, as I laid in bed feeling the pain ramping up, I prayed for a touch of relief…tears could not help but fall. I was granted a little more than an hour’s fitful sleep during which I was given an awesome dream.
I dreamt that I was clinging as tightly as I could to a rock as a storm raged around me…pounding pain, large hail stones striking exposed skin, winds whipping and tearing around me…every pore seemed to be screaming as the pain within was rising to the symphony around me. Then I opened my eyes to see that I was clinging to Jesus, his back taking the brunt of the forces.
I awoke with a renewed sense of hope…looking forward to tomorrow’s appointment…knowing that I am truly not alone…that my prayers are being heard.
Coursing through every cell
The slightest touch exacerbates
Pressure from the softest cloth
Becomes a knife with serrated blade…
Interrupted by nausea
Hunched over by the cramping
Right arm and shoulder on fire
My body a living pin cushion…
The light is overwhelming
Yet the darkest room offers no relief
No comfort to be found
A headache begins to form
Sensations are racing to and fro…
The intensity of symptoms
Raging and fighting…vying for attention
My brain is on overload
Waves of pain bombard me
My body sinks into the depths…
I take pause
To breathe deeply
Soft spoken words
Pleading for the slightest of relief
Peace comes to my mind…
My symptoms still enraged
As I am enveloped
By a sense of calm
Like a thick blanket
Renewing strength and focus…
Living with chronic illness/chronic pain has been a gift …
God has so blessed me during this time…
It has NOT been easy…
So thankful for supportive family and friends…
I was reminded today
As we were joined by friends
I supervised from the seat of my RAZR…
Our lives bear fruit
As we were taught in Sunday School
The parable of the vineyard…
How the vines are pruned
To produce fruit…
I view my health struggles
As God’s pruning…
He has a plan for me…
Just as He does for each of us…
I look at the beautiful cherries
And am hopeful that
I will be blessed with fruit
That I will be able to
Offer hope to others…
Upon returning to “normal”, I am faced with a new dilemma. What is “normal”?
My prior sick self had its definition…..its idea of what normal should be.
My body before illness overwhelmed had its own idea.
Now…..having endured the years of pain…struggle….
Although laced with awesome achievement….like the wonderful gift of our son……
I am now struck….who ever thought of the idea of “normal”….let alone the idea of what to expect for one’s life?
Life is truly how we embrace our daily challenges…our decisions….how we interact with those around us.
Most importantly….it is taking back our “right” to experience our life with our loves ones…..our family….our friends…..and in reaching out to those around us.
As if working my first 6 hour per day week was not enough……I noticed that my right leg was not wanting to move properly. I was just contributing this to the swelling moving around….the healing that is still occurring. Then my husband said….isn’t that where your shingles act up?
Of course he had a point! I have also had many episodes of shingles (this would make 6)….and the right groin area is always the lead! I started my drug treatments for shingles to find that I am having relief! My leg is moving better….albeit by end of day today my leg was “lazy”…..but then so was my tummy! LOL
My entire body is tired. And as my husband put it….”Your body has been so overtaxed….so overwhelmed by all it has gone through……no wonder your shingles are acting up!”
Now I am forcing myself to sit and relax. I am in my easy chair…..catching up on email and, of course, blogging! It is so hard for me to sit idle when I feel that I should be on the up side of healing. Yet….I am being shown AGAIN that my body is unique….that I have to be cautious of all aspects of my health….that I must allow my body to fully recover….recoup from these ordeals!
Thankfully….my meds are helping. It is making a big difference in my right leg…..further acknowledging that my shingles were “visiting” again! Crazy! It also further reinforces that my sense of pain is so out of whack! I do not even register the discomfort. I just know something is wrong. Just so glad that I have a wonderful husband who can be so intuitive! So helpful!
I now as stated above…just have to smile! I am blessed! God continues to show me that! I am blessed with a wonderful, caring husband…..an awesome, caring son…..terrific friends and co-workers…..and fantastic family!
My body just makes me slow down……forces me to take time to enjoy the blessings that God has provided.