Our little village is not listed on any maps, praised on any tourist pamphlets lining the walls of a travel agency nor is it on MapQuest. No, it is a city long lost in the fog of denial as most individuals occasionally arrive, spend a night in one of our fine motels, or hospitals and then move on in the morning. Its beauty is hidden for most visitors in the effect of their pain medication as they recover from the short term pain they are experiencing, and then return to their lives. They forget about the pain they have experienced as they move back to “regular” life. Many of us permanent residents have come to appreciate the intrinsic beauty of our home, over time and years of attitude adjustment. You see, those of us with chronic pain have long ago accepted this as home. We have nestled in, planted new hopes in the gardens of our lives and seek to appreciate the beauty that surrounds us. We have learned the pain we feel each day does not have to ruin our lives; therefore we seek other ways to value our time and our days.
None of us chose to live here, but like so much of life, it just happened. We had other destinations in mind, other aspirations and goals we sought to achieve. Somehow, we were chosen, drafted and uprooted to live in this place. The selection process remains a mystery to me. For many of us our arrival was a painful, embarrassing display, which involved much kicking, screaming and rage. I’m ashamed to look back at all the talking, questioning and pain-whacked seeking I did, just because I wanted some answers to why I was selected. I was heading in another direction when I came here. I never found the answers to the questions that I once sought; but I did find new answers as the old questions became inconsequential. The “Why’s” and “Why me?” were soon forgotten as I grew tired of the thrashing about and decided to, instead, look around me and see what I could make of this new place and the condition that brought me here.
Painville is unlike any other town on earth. In many ways it is a mystical place much like a magic kingdom. It may take awhile for your eyes to adjust to the change and for you to develop the sight to appreciate all that surrounds you. It is a village defined by relativity. There are many roads leading into this town and few lead out. Others just travel in circles through the byways of our lives or simply come to stall in cul de sac’s. You see, some of us can never leave therefore we have made the most of our destination and decided to turn it into a place where life can be full, free and filled with light. The fog has lifted for us and we can see beyond the pain to achieve more in our hearts and minds than simple suffering allows. It’s not that we have given up the fight; we’ve just learned to battle in a wiser way which does less harm to ourselves and our families.
I’m not certain if the magic is within us and affects our eyesight or if the mystical qualities are in our hamlet. I simply know that life is transformed once you have lived here awhile. Stark, uprooted lives become fed, fertilized and bloom once again. Families, some torn apart, may be reunited and find solace in the beauty of life that can be seen through the fog of pain. The smallest gifts of nature, the robin on the fencepost, the squirrel scampering up a tree and the ferns bursting out of the ground are seen in a gentler yet more vibrant light.
There’s much humor to be found in Painville. Our town hall meetings can become riotous at times as new arrivals must filibuster for awhile. We don’t allow violence but occasionally someone slips through who kicks over a chair, punches out a window or tries to choke one of our town doctors. We understand as we patiently listen and remember. Then we eventually pull them off the poor doctor and explain to them that it isn’t his fault they are here. Sometimes at the town meetings the new arrivals rant and rave and want to blame their parents, their spouses or even God for bringing them here. Again, we understand because many of us have done the same in days past. There are other times when new arrivals drive endlessly, spending all of their valuable emotional fuel looking for a way out because they haven’t found the quiet and peace of heart that comes with acceptance. We often watch them drive by as we resume our lives, plant our flower beds, cook our simple dinners and bask in the sunshine of new dreams and aspirations. We know they will settle down, eventually. We know new, undiscovered talents will be revealed.
Tragically, some of our residents never do settle down. They escape rather than accept. They use various escape routes. Since most of the roads lead back here, they flee into alcohol or an excessive amount of pain pills. We always try to help them but many become angry and hold onto their animosity like a snarling dog holds onto its bone. You see, there is free will here in Painville. We are aware change comes from within and cannot be thrust upon us from an outside force. Some particularly angry individuals end up driving in circuitous circles for the rest of their lives. It’s a tragedy that comes with freedom of choice as we watch them head out on Highway Self-pity because we know it will lead to Nowhereville. They’ll be back but will they be different? I wonder.
We are blessed with many houses of worship, a rather ornate movie theater and several beautiful garden nurseries. We have the internet, cable TV and a fully equipped health food store. Many of us have enjoyed inspirational films and have learned many lessons from them. I remember the simple lessons of THE KARATE KID each time I am reminded of the importance of exercise and function in our daily lives. It’s a simplistic approach but an excellent reminder to keep moving to stay strong. “Wax on, wax off;” both arms, please. This is not a simple concept when one is in constant or even intermittent pain. We have many pet stores and dog parks as our pets are a particularly restorative part of our daily lives. Our four-footed friends give and receive love as well as giving comical accent to each day. They represent for us, the purest form of life as they reflect the way they were treated, trudge on when injured or aging and always show affection for those they love. They offer the purest and most innocent love imaginable. Pets are some of our wisest teachers and often embarrass our counselors by getting better results; they’re also less expensive than counseling. Our pets also enrich our lives by constantly reminding us of the brevity of life and therefore its value.
I believe my favorite aspect of life in Painville is the people you meet in daily life. They live here because they are struggling, suffering and constantly challenged by disease or chronic pain. Some have both. We have much in common, although we represent every ethnic, religious and social group you can imagine. Apparently, chronic pain does not differentiate between a king or a commoner, a rich man or poor one nor does it care about your background. Chronic pain usually chooses us at random although there are times genetic influences enter the picture. The beauty of having these friends in our village comes in the form of empathy, understanding and sharing of ideas. These ideas come to us in a difficult fashion as does most learning and we are eager to share what we know with each other, for knowledge and for mutual support. There is a certain comradery among all who suffer. We are, however, often divided into two camps of philosophy and thought. One group believes in trudging on ahead in search of joy and life while the other group is stalled in complaint, drug abuse and self-pity. Life is beautiful here in Painville but as you can see, complex. Freedom of choice runs rampant here and as long as one hurts no one other than themselves, it is allowed. One thing we each understand is the value of forgiveness if we are to move on with our growth toward peace.
We’re each on a different time table and each find our own way with all the dignity we can muster, all the pride we have left and all the determination it takes anyone who must face challenges in all areas of life. Many are rebuilding. Many are recovering. Many have learned the value of the 15 Minute Theory. This is when one learns just how much can be accomplished in 15 minutes if one rewards oneself with a rest or other diversion. Life is ever changing among the residents of Painville. We evolve, we often revolve, we are involved in each other’s lives and we will all surely survive.
I hope this explains and describes just a bit about our fair little village. I hope you don’t have to move here but if you do, it’s really not all that bad. You will come to accept it’s perimeters but also it’s beauty. I guarantee its possibilities but the results will be up to you as you enter a new dimension of thought.
All are welcome here. We’re always open and the WELCOME mat is always out, so wipe away your grudges and try not to track them in. We’ll help you in any way we can.
Howdy ho all :
Struggling with back pain tonight. Over did it, but the floor is done for my building. Had to make it from pressure treated lumber which is so hard to get it a screw in. So doing “downward facing dog” for a few hours,plus moving a bunch of block I didn’t need. Yesterday when bringing the lumber home, it was slipping off the truck and I pushed it with my hip…wrong move. That was the start to my back.
Family reunion tomorrow, been cooking, and need to get up and fry chicken in the morning. No Southern reunion without it. I can’t wait to see some of my kin.
Closed on my new digs yesterday, and they checked out where to bring it in,etc. SO now the real work begins.
Hope you are all doing good today. Take care and love to you all !
Oh Tonie, So much bad amongst the good. Hope the hip recovers and all of that work for the back? Oh my. Pleased to hear the new home will be moved in soon and know how excited you must be. Know you’ll pig out at the family reunion and hope you have a great time. Here’s hoping you feel up to it all and enjoy.
Raining off and on here, gut still troublesome. Same old tales and I’m sick of it all. Some days you just don’t want to face it but must, right? Love, Sue
Long, wonderful, exhausting day yesterday with all the family that showed. We had showers off and on during the day, but it was beautiful on the river and we had the shelter this year.
Judy was falling asleep going home. SHe was worn out. We both had to rest a bit before unloading the truck. I am very sore from all the work on Sat, but must :work it out” today. I have to dig up and transplant my flowers. They will get run over if not moved. Several other “must do” things on my list. I thank the Lord for my little stool that a dear friend gave to me. I used it so much on Sat and will do so again today as I go about my work.
We have been praying for you and all you are going through. Take care dear friend, give me prayers for strength to do all that must be done.
Jennie, hope it’s going well for and with your Mom. Hope, also, the trip into the airport has become just a memory and not more pain. Bet you’re all eating well and hope the weather is accommodating and warm enough to be out enjoying your beautiful garden with your DH and Mom…or at least watching him work it. Our poor friends in Canada having more snow as all of us are just enjoying the blooming of spring. Poor things. Are you resting? Hope so. Love, Sue
Hi all, I have been resting as much as I can. Stayed home both Saturday and today. Not hurting as bad today. I did two small loads of laundry. My DH brings them down and then takes them back upstairs after I finish folding them. Legs and hips feeling better. My low back pain is hurting enough to let me know It is still there. I will take a pain pill once I get upstairs.
Tonie, I hope you are feeling better with your back. I hope your family reunion went well today. I know there had to be a lot of good food there. It’s been a long time since I have eaten fried chicken. That is one thing you have to bring to a southern family reunion! Yum, yum! My DH fixed chicken breast with cream of mushroom soup and cream of chicken soup. He baked it in the oven and it was so good. We ate it on rice and he made slaw and Italian bread to go with it. I hope you enjoyed seeing family. Do you know what day they are going to deliver your new home? I hope not too much longer. Take it easy girlfriend. I know the next few weeks are going to be hard. Just think when you get everything done, you can enjoy it. How are Baby and Red doing? I hope they and your dog’s don’t get to confused when the mobile homes get moved in. Can hardly wait to see pictures.
Sue, hope your gut is feeling better today. You just don’t have any idea how much I hate you are going through all this. Still praying for you dear. I pray everyone has a good evening. LOVE, Donna
Donna, I do hope the rest helps your back. It truly is always something, isn’t it? I’ve come to believe it isn’t what we go through but HOW we do it. It must be. You are so fortunate to a DH who cooks so well. Jim went to the market for me today after having spent several hours at the jail…remember he works there.. I always feel like I have to qualify that jail statement. Do take care and get help when you need it…medically, okay? Thanks for the prayers for my poor gut. It’s a bit better but still stirred up. Soup for dinner here. Love you, Sue
Hi, all. In Painville today. I had the grand idea of painting our front door a beautiful marine blue. We love it! However, I painted it all myself – inside and out. Once upon a time, no big deal at all. Now? Well, not so much. Should I mention doing so again, someone please smack me, then tell me to call a painter! Rather depressing considering how much I have painted in the past. DH walked by at one point and said “You know, your hand and wrist are going to hurt tomorrow.” I told him I knew. That’s why I was pushing to finish last night. I wasn’t sure I’d be able to finish it the next day. After 2 nights with the hardware off I really wanted it done and to be able to put that all back on today also. For FB friends, I’ll try to get a pic on there once I have all back together again. Moving slowly today. In addition to all the painting pains, I also was awake until about 4:30 last night. Couldn’t sleep. Got about an hour in, then awake. Hate those nights, don’t you? Beautiful sunshine out there right now. I really should have breakfast and try to get the dog out for a walk. She didn’t get one yesterday. Take care, all.
Lyn, Marine Blue sounds so pretty. I bet it looks great so congratulate yourself. I know you’re paying for it today but you did it. I can understand wanting to get it behind you…the chore, not the door itself. Ha. No hardware during the night, too. I know it signifies just another area where you feel you’ve lost a bit of independence and I so understand. I used to wallpaper, paint, etc and am still tempted. We have so much woodwork inside that needs to be done but I hate to have a stranger in here for weeks on end so it doesn’t get done.
Sorry you didn’t sleep well. I was awake for two hours in the middle of the night last night due to belly ache. Better today. What do you do when you can’t sleep? Do you read, watch TV? I ended up watching the film CHOCOLAT..love that movie so it wasn’t all lost. Hope you feel up to taking Sadie for a walk but bet she would like a playtime almost as much if you can’t. Love you as you recover today, be good to yourself. Sue
Oh Lynn I know exactly how it goes…..and the ending too!
I’m just the same..painted the fence recently and suffered after
Well..it’s a good thing we all got some grit!
Gotta go busy with all and sundry
Tonie, Sounds like the reunion was a hit. So much good food. Saw a pic on FB with the table loaded. Yum. Also sounds like you and Judy both gave it your all. My head swims at all you have facing you right now. For sure, gotta move those posies so they don’t get crushed. Are you just moving them to new locations or just temporarily? Lots of back bending work to do for you. Prayers indeed for strength as you do it all.
We’re trying to have the yard guy paint our retaining wall but it’s been raining so the wall is damp and we can’t do it yet. Need a new sidewalk but can’t get a concrete guy. All of them are too busy I guess. Concrete is one thing we can’t tackle, that’s for sure.
You’ll be in my thoughts as you take on so much but keep thinking about the results and it will spur you on. Do be good to yourself and try to get in a rest or two with some heat on your back, okay? Love, Sue
Chocolat. Loved that film
Yea you take care tonie
Shorty tonight gotta see my dad
Chris, Hope you got the rent business straightened out with your Dad. Also hope the stress level is low. Thinking of you, Sue
Weve negotiated with him! that he has to pay but I’ve got to go over again tomorrow to pay it for him.
It’s so odd I always buy him a little something when I go after being away.and I got him some homemade chocolate fudge. I forgot to give it to him and it was sort of sticking out a bit of my handbag. Well my dad said ,prob knowing it was for him..what’s that? His eyes were both on just that and he really wanted it and opened it straight away.it was just like a child and it did frighten me.
We hope to go to shed for the w.end its a holiday one again.and DD and partner are coming up and staying one night,as it’s the next w.end she goes to Greece.so that’ll be good
My back is. bad so I hope it improves .as my muscles are so tired and my eyelids too and one is droopy,they tested me for this muscle gravis thing..but it was negative…but everything is so tired
So the Dr said..more rest,less stress.more sleep….huh?! Where do I go for that then..wish I could sleep,I just dont go there….
Hope your tum is beginning to show signs of improvement Sue
Well it’s nearly 11.30pm I will try and get some sleep
Chris dear, I know that feeling you explain about your Dad. My father had cerebral arteritis and before treatment, he said and did strange things and it was so disquieting to see one’s precious Dad like that. Being a nurse I swung with it a bit better than some but my kids were frightened. After treatment with massive doses of steroids he got better mentally but went downhill physically because of the steroids; broke every vertebra in his back eventually and even a couple of ribs just from leaning against a counter somewhere. It’s such a precious investment we have with our parents after all they have done for us and all those memories we share, isn’t it.
As far as your sleep, has any doctor suggested anything that could help you? I know we all have over the years but to no avail. I know all of those sleepless nights have taken a toll on you. I wish you could find a way out of that and into a peaceful sleep…somehow. I’m concerned for you. It’s like someone who works nights and can’t get enough sleep during the day…it takes a toll after so much time. Do you sleep better at the coast house? Thinking of you with love, Sue
Hello, again. Sue, I’ll answer you on this new page. I really should get up and read when I can’t sleep, but mostly I lie there thinking I’ll drift off soon. I just don’t. 😦 I have on occasion gotten up and read. I also am afraid Sadie will whine if I leave the room. Her crate is in our bedroom and she likes to be with me.
Lyn, I understand. I just prefer watching a movie, then Jim isn’t bothered because our big TV is in the bedroom and he could sleep through anything and George stays in his kennel beside the bed and all is right with the world. I think it’s a more common problem than many of us know, don’t you? Love, Sue
Indeed, I do. Sadly.
My dad to had that arteritis and on steroids,just after my mum had her accident and died.he was on steroids.maybe that’s why he breaks his bones when he falls now do you think?
I have been prescribed sleeping pills,maybe I should take them..I stopped for some side effects I forget what they were now..but when I stopped them I was back to where I started and a bit worse….it doesn’t bother me in my head as I read or watch TV……but I never imagined it would effect my body like this
My sleep is just the same at the coast house
Well I slept from 11.30 to 4.30.not bad for me..gonna try again
Chris, yes, that history of steroids could have a permanent effect on your Dad and his bones. Glad to hear his arteritis cleared up, or did it. Tells me there is definitely rheumatoid disease in your family as in mine.
If I were you I would take the pills and sleep my dear because when the doctor noticed it’s effect on your health, then it is a bad thing. The human body needs recovery time that is obtained through sleep. Well you got a bit last night and that’s good. Love, Sue
Hi everyone. I’m so far behind with everyone but I do think of you guys and pray for you when I do. ❤️
I’m being lazy so I’m copying/pasting a message I sent to friends last night…
I ended up not going to OK this (past) weekend due to al the flooding. Talked to mom Friday night she was in good spirits- great grand babies were there. Talked to my sister last night-Mom fell Saturday (she insisted on getting up to the bedside commode and her knees buckled even with my sister and niece holding her up). They called the fire dept to get her back in bed. Then late Sat /early Sun. she was throwing up blood. But yesterday she was able to eat a few crackers and able to drink a little.
I don’t know which is worse- being there watching it happen or hearing about it after the fact and wondering how bad it really is. 😢t’s pretty awful just waiting and not knowing. I will hear update from the hospice nurse later today. I’m so tired. Not sleeping well. Fibromyalgia flared up really bad and I’m hurting so bad I could barely do PT this morning before work. Trying to live in the moment, feel Gods presence, and find the joy in each day. Just keep praying for us ok? I especially need physical strength as Iim back to my full time hours now and the kids are super restless after 2-3 weeks of rainy weather.
I’ll try to catch up with everyone soon. Love to all (from Painville), Princess Crabby Pants 👑