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Patience

As day nine post pain pump surgery begins, it strikes me that my pain specialist really did a great job in preparing me for this! I truly was ready to be homebound for the first two weeks. I was mentally ready to be patient with the process! What a thought!!

My thoughts are still muddled at times…very hard to keep on track. Yet…I can just smile and breath deeply…there is nothing that I have to do…except allow my body the time to heal….allow the scar tissue to build near the pain pump and the catheter.

I am able to step outside now…slowly and carefully with my walker. I do not venture very far…it is just a few steps to feel the touch of the sun on my skin…feel the slight breeze…see the brilliant colors! This is a treat that I enjoy once a day…in the mid morning. It is perfectly timed between rest breaks.

I am thankful that I am able to listen to my body…to sleep when I need to…to relax in my recliner (sitting in the chair…cannot put the foot rest up yet).  My chair is just high and firm enough that I can get to a standing position with my walker as support. I know that I am not yet ready to sit or lie down on the couch.

I am getting anxious for my follow up appointment…I am excited to hear the plan my pain specialist has in mind…it will be interesting to see just how easy it is to remain patient! : )

One Week Post Op

Hopefully I will not scare any of you!  LOL

I thought it appropriateIMG_7560 to post proof that sleep can happen!  Thus the wonderful “bed head” picture!

I have almost no memory of yesterday. It was one of those days that sleep overtook everything.

I did exactly what my body demanded and curled up in bed. I did not even think of combatting the heavy eyelids.

It was actually very freeing to just give in and allow my body to dictate its needs.

I am so thankful for a supportive husband and son that allow me to completely disconnect when my body demands it.

Per conversation with my doctor’s office, I am to continue taking it easy…moving about the house as I can…no bending, twisting, lifting, stretching. All is still looking good under the binder…swelling in lowest part of abdomen present…not nearly like before in other procedures.

At my follow up appointment, we will remove the tape and bandages…and at some point thereafter will be allowed to take a shower! I am thankful that our home is so well prepared for handicap…the bathroom counter is taller than normal….so it is easier to wet hair down.

It is important to make sure you have someone around! No matter how careful you are you will end up dropping something!  LOL  And…believe me…there is NO way to pick it up without asking for help.

At this point, I am better able to tell the difference from the surgical discomfort vs. the symptoms of my conditions.  The surgical discomfort is SO minimal!  Yet, it is just enough to be a constant reminder to be extra vigilant.

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…

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!

So Many Changes

The hidden illnesses and conditions that ravage our bodies…force major, and sometimes, drastic life changes.

We find ourselves homebound…no longer free to come and go as we please.

We used to have great jobs…now we are lucky to get out of bed and get dressed.

Exercise used to be easy…a jog, climbing stairs, lifting weights…no more.

Gentle stretching is now the most activity we can handle.

The throbbing, stabbing, and deep aching never leaves.

We cannot remember a good night’s sleep…thankful for 3-4 hours in one block.

We deal with symptoms we could never have imagined.

Our bodies are no longer our own.

We are now trapped within a stranger’s body.

We now speak in half truths…protecting those close to us.

We are forced to become our own advocates.

We learn to battle with insurance.

We never know how we will feel…how intense our symptoms will be.

We live with disappointment as we must cancel plans last minute.

We struggle with self image…no longer the person we were.

We struggle with our memory…with “Brain Fog” or “Fibro Fog”…casting a thick veil…making coherent thought impossible.

We cannot remember words…we stall…grasping…struggling…only to blurt out something incorrect.

This is just a few…of the many changes….those of us with chronic pain/conditions must learn to live with….to adjust to…as we adapt to our “new normal”.

Attitude

During our walk with chronic illness/conditions, we have so very little control. Yet one important aspect is always within that limitation…our attitude.  It may no seem like much, but this power is HUGE!

Our illnesses and conditions take so much from us…strip us of our hobbies…our sense of well being…attacking our very core!

Our physicians and specialists arm us with medications, therapies…  They do their best to help ease…or at least attempt to take the edge off the worst of our symptoms.

All along, we control our response…how we handle our “relationship” with the constant, never ending pain. A smile…a positive thought…seeing the glass half full…choosing to be positive…therein lies true POWER!

I am not speaking of absurd giddiness…silly actions…ignoring the reality of our situation.  I am speaking of that gentle strength in choosing to have a positive outlook on our life…no matter where we are in our journey.

In choosing a positive attitude, we encourage others…we set an example to our children, to our spouses, to our family, to our friends…we benefit ourselves as well!

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