Embracing life with chronic pain and illnesses.

Posts tagged ‘stress’

Further Insight

I gained further insight this morning! A breakthrough for me. I am finally realizing that I am struggling with being unproductive!

Before my chronic conditions forced my departure from the workforce, I was the primary income for our family.  My husband’s attempts to find employment were met with odd jobs here and there while trying to grow his fish taxidermist business.

I was working full-time, teaching 4/5 grade at our Parish, and assisting with the Altar Servers.  All of which I gradually had to let go…until I just had to disappear from them all!  I could not even attend Mass!  Sitting quietly would increase my pain level so much that I would have to lie on the couch the rest of the day!

We have moved which has helped the stress. Our son is thriving in his new school.  My husband has job opportunities.  My health has not yet improved. I know that my conditions are extreme at this point in time. I realize it will take years for my body to settle enough that I can form what will be my new life pattern.

I now understand that I had mentally come to terms with this, yet I had not done so emotionally!  Just as I am still grasping the reality of life without my Baby Sis!

This emotional toll is what I am feeling now….it is as if I am now comfortable enough in our new place to allow my guard down. Enough that my emotions are attempting to show their head.

This places me into an internal struggle! My “inner self” is now trying to protect me. This is the reason that my sleep has been so negatively impacted these past 4 days!

Once I realized what was happening, I paused to thank my “inner self” for the protection. And reminded myself of the wonderful, safe place we are in now. The positive impact it is having on us all!

Now I must attend to those feelings of negativity! That of feeling unproductive, of feeling useless. Writing this is all ready helping! It is lifting the heavy weight that I had felt.

I know that this is temporary….even if it lasts a period of time….say 2 – 3 years. I am doing all I can in the mean time….as I Blog, share my feelings, sit with my son as he does his homework, text/email those close to us, place calls when I feel well enough, say prayers (many times) daily….remind our son of his Faith of the Church and the wonderful meaning of Mass.

I will be able to attend Mass in the future….I will be able to offer some form of service….for now though….I understand that I must allow myself to recover as best I can.

For now I must embrace the emotional side of my chronic conditions!  Just as I am embracing the emotional side of life with my Sister’s physical absence.


One of the most important things for those of us with chronic pain/illness, is to remember “Patience”!  Yes….I know….often easier said than done!

We must have patience with ourselves….with the health battle we are fighting….we must have patience for those around us….since our mental and emotional energy is usually maxed out due to our own internal struggle of dealing with just managing (or rather…negotiating) our day!

A great example for me was this morning!  I had a powerful idea to write about….something I knew would help me as well as others to get out….to express……yet…..as soon as I got home….I could not remember!  To have such a strong pull to write on a specific topic….have no way to make a note so that I could refer to it…..to intentionally repeat it to myself….a number of times…..then promptly forget as soon as I got home!

Well….at this point….I just had to smile…..and shrug!  After all……it would do no good to get frustrated or angry…..I know that if I cannot make notes for myself or have my hubby or son help act as my “memory”…….there is a very good chance I will not remember.

I know this is part of my chronic condition……the wonderful “Fibro fog” as it is called…..magnified by the grief that I am still working through.

So as a good friend of mine who has Fibromyalgia suggested…..use notes….whether they be sticky pads….or on the phone…..whatever works!  Write down the simplest thoughts!  These have been a great tool and reference…

It has also gone a long way toward teaching me patience!  Maybe this is one of the lessons that I was intended to learn! : )

More Trials

As if the health struggles and the death of my Baby Sis have not been enough……..I received a call today from the advocacy group I was working with to obtain SSDI!  They are closing shop!  They were kind enough to offer the option of having another advocate who they would recommend to contact me to continue with my application!


All I can do is smile……take a deep breath……and await another phone call. Await the opportunity to speak with someone else regarding my predicament.

There is some solace in knowing that I have completed additional information for Social Security…..so my application is moving forward…..just one more hiccup along the road!

By now I should be used to “hiccups”…..to “road blocks”…..

I can only breath deeply….relax and hope for the best!!


This was the first year that our son was not excited about school. My only hope was that he would start his advanced math soon.

We had experienced our first full summer. This was the first summer in so years that I was healthy! I felt good. I had the opportunity to test myself and to test boundaries. I learned that I do not have limitations! (I have modifications!) I have been empowered.

Our son was able to begin his advanced math….he goes to the Middle School to start his day….then goes to the Elementary School for the balance of the day.

Yeah!!! His attitude and demeanor have improved……even though he is still hoping for more of a challenge….at least he has some positive distraction at school.

I now see that I get to help our son gain patience!

I was the frustrated perfectionist as a youngster….who is now blessed to be the mother of a perfectionist!

Stress and IBS

I am sure that I will be preaching to the choir here!

I have learned something more from my body….from the many health challenges that I have experienced…..from experiencing issues that I had to educate my physicians…..

Stress is beyond our control! It is the one element that we cannot dictate….we cannot completely control our exposure to it. We have limited input….we do our best to reduce the stress in our lives….to protect ourselves as much as possible.

The reality….what we experience at work….in life….some stress is easier to control….to deal with than others. Our bodies react more so to some situations than others.

We also have to focus on what is important! Our families….our kids….our spouses…..

We must also try to balance physical activity to promote our own individual personal health. Such a frustrating balancing act at times! Especially when we are trying to regain control! Trying to improve our physical strength/health….improve our time with our family……to just regain a sense of ourselves after dealing with so many years of struggling with serious health issues.

Personally, I have found that the stress from work is the part that I cannot control. The knots in my stomach…the pressure in my gut…is caused by the stress induced by things completely outside of my control. I can do nothing! I can only focus on the time with my hubby and son…..game nights, walking our property in search for tracks and hearing our son’s theories…these are the tools that I use to chase away the stress!

I also use physical activity….walking on the elliptical…lifting weights…..hiking the property…..although I cannot use these options as much as I’d like….I am working towards setting more time aside for me…these physical outlets will help to burn energy…to help to combat stress.

One other key stress release for my is being able to shoot bows with our son. It is such a wonderful stress relief……to breathe….focus on the target…..draw…breathe…then release. We have fun with different challenges.

We have to learn the best way to react….to respond to our body’s response to stress. I wish there was a magic cure….

Ultimately…I wish that none of us would have to deal with issues of stress for our bodies…..

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