I’ve often been convinced the spiritual, emotional side of living with chronic illness is just as difficult as living with the pain and the multitude of physical problems. When we’re in good spirits, emotionally high, we can deal with almost anything but when these damaged bodies continue to throb and beat us up, it’s a difficult battle to win. Hundreds of times over the last 30 years I have sunk into the deep hole of depression, crying, wracked with self-pity and piling up the used Kleenex. I find I don’t like it in that hole. It’s dark and the whole world becomes dark, heavy and depraved to the point that one doesn’t want to go on living.
I can’t stand being that depressed and self-pity and I just don’t get along well together. I keep thinking of the proverbial clock I have mentioned to you so many times and can actually hear it’s tick, tock, as a reminder my life is passing by, with each swing of the pendulum. It pains me when I have to throw out outdated food that we haven’t used or see waste of any kind, least of all my own life. (No remarks please, about me being outdated…I know, I know.)
Surely, excuses abound for all of us who suffer chronic disease, injuries which have permanently changed our lives as well as chronic pain. We have dozens of reasons for giving up, being grouchy or just being miserable not only to ourselves but to everyone else. That behavior is such a waste of precious life, resources and relationships. President Franklin D. Roosevelt once said, “There are many ways of going forward, but there is only one way of standing still.”
As students of history know, he went on to become President in spite of having polio and living in constant pain and physical compromise. Many of us also have to learn there is a road forward although it might not be the road we have planned for or chosen.
Deep in our hearts we know when we are being disgusting because we feel it in our true hearts. Certainly, we all have the right to be grumpy, grouchy and any one of the other Seven Dwarfs but is that good enough? Shouldn’t our existence be more than that? Is it the highest calling to allow our pain and suffering to suck the very life out of the years we have?
There are many reasons humans suffer. We often get hung up on the physical suffering as we certainly may but there are many forms of pain in this world and today I’d like to tell you about three individuals who have overcome various forms of suffering to rise above.
Laura Hillenbrand, the author of those famous bestsellers SEABISCUIT in 2001 and more recently, UNBROKEN in 2010 is a beautiful young woman who was once offered a contract with Pond’s due to her beautiful skin. As a child she loved to ride horses and even contemplated becoming a jockey. Her education was in mid swing when she was struck by a difficult to diagnose disease now known to be Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. She went through years seeking diagnoses; years when she had difficulty turning over in bed and found showering impossible. She had fevers each day, pain and suffering to such an extent life was hell for her. In a quote from her in 2010, regarding her difficult life, she said, “I’m looking for a way out of here. I can’t have it physically, so I’m going to have it intellectually. It was a beautiful thing to ride Seabiscuit in my imagination. And it’s just fantastic to be there, alongside Louie as he’s breaking the NCAA mile record. People at these vigorous moments in their lives—it’s my way of living vicariously.”
Her books have gone on to bless millions of lives and sell millions of copies as well as being made into motion pictures. She found a way out that gave her fulfillment and joy as well as appealing to her true heart.
Another individual who overcame different types of handicaps is Dr. Ben Carson, the world famous neurosurgeon. He had to overcome abject poverty and racism to gain his positions of prominence. Brought up by a divorced, single mother who worked three jobs cleaning houses to provide for her two sons he was taught discipline. He and his brother were not allowed to watch more than a few hours of TV per week and were required to read two books each week and to write a book report for their Mom. They didn’t realize at the time that she, herself, could not read. She has since gone on obtain a college degree.
In his book THINK BIG, Dr. Carson says, “Some people complain about injustice in our society. They cannot be successful because everything is stacked up against them. Frequently I have heard individuals say that they have to be twice as good as anyone else to get equal breaks. Because of their ethnicity, language, or socio-economic background, they feel if they do not do things twice as well as the majority of the population, they will not receive equal opportunities.”
He continues, “Whether this is true or not is not the real issue. I believe that God expects us to do our best at everything we undertake. If we always do our best and trust in the Lord’s guidance, we automatically conduct our affairs better than most other individuals who do not have the same mindset. We do not have to compare our achievements with others. We need only to ask ourselves one question: Have I given my best?”
Dr. Carson is another individual with a true heart who went on to succeed, save lives and was awarded the Medal of Freedom from President George W. Bush in 2008. He is now running for President of the United States.
The third individual I would like to talk about today is J.K. Rowling, the well-known author of the HARRY POTTER series of seven books. She is famous throughout the world, has created characters and images known throughout the world and is incidentally rumored to be wealthier than the Queen of England.
She overcame abject poverty as a young single mother and states she was so poor she was just a step away from homelessness. She felt like a complete failure in her life. She also states, “So why do I talk about the benefits of failure? Simply because failure meant a stripping away of the inessential. I stopped pretending to myself that I was anything other than what I was and began to direct all my energy into finishing the only work that really mattered to me. Had I really succeeded at anything else, I might never have found the determination to succeed in the one arena I believed I truly belonged.”
Her history speaks for itself. Her life has radically changed after she was able to unleash her true heart.
Each roadblock in life comes with its own set of excuses. They are there for us if we wish to use them but remember, tick, tock…
I would love to be at shed then when hot but I don’t think I can leave my dad
He has a lot of those appts and DH hearing not there with no aid…oh dear!
But hope you get to the coast then
Hi everybody, hope everyone had a good weekend. I hope no one was hurting too much. I went out with my DH Saturday for a little while. My pharmacy was having a customer appreciation day and had hot dogs with all the trimmings and chips and drinks and brownies. It was very nice. It was hot and outside. They had tables and chairs set up under tents so that helped keep the sun off. Then we went to the store for a few minutes to pick up a few things. I was wiped out but glad to do this with my DH. I didn’t get up until 3:00PM today. My daughter in NY did call me at 5:00AM this morning crying. I talked to her for a while and got her calmed down. I went back to sleep. She called me again this afternoon tore up. Her SOB of a husband had tried to choke her and one of her daughter’s husband and her nephew pulled him off of her. She called a friend of hers here in NC and he is on his way now to NY to get her and her dog. She said she was going to come on the train but couldn’t leave her dog. I told her she was doing the right thing by getting the he’ll out of there. She is not anyone’s punching bag. I would have called the police but she didn’t want to because of her 14 year old son. She knew she was leaving and Luke couldn’t stay at home by himself. He worships his dad and wouldn’t have left with her. This is the first time in 20 years my son in law has ever done anything like this. She had me thinking all was okay instead of telling me how unhappy she has been. I begged her not to go back up there. I knew in my heart she would be unhappy. Well she tried for 6 months and if he thinks she is gonna stay around and let him hit her, he has lost his mind. Please pray for her that the leaving will be peaceful. Also that all of this will not make her want to drink or take any pills. She has been clean for 2 years now and I don’t want her to go back to her old ways. I moved the wrong way a couple of times yesterday and the pain just about took my breath away. Not too bad today.
Jennie hope your feet are feeling better. I hope you and your mom get to the coast and will be praying about the house.
Chris, I pray that God will give you strength to get done all the things you are facing this up coming week. I hope you can find some comfortable shoes soon.
Sue, I pray some of your experiences with the new P T therapy is starting to calm down. I hate changing therapists because they always do something a different way. No fun being miserable. LOVE YOU Miss Sue.
I love all of you. Will write more later. Donna
Hi Tonie, I am praying for strength for you as you take on this move and all it entails.I hope by the time you get back on the internet, the move will be done and you will be in your home unpacking and with your boys again. It won’t be log before the grandkids will be here to help you. I hope you are resting when you can. How is your back doing? I feel for you sweetie. I know you are suppose to get an epidural pain block soon. I might end up having to do that again. I hope not. I don’t mind getting it , the problem is having to go off my blood thinner for 5 days and get a shot in my belly everyday until I get the epidural then continue the stomach shots until I get enough blood thinner back in me so my clotting levels are back up. Too much of a hassle. Sometimes they work and sometimes they don’t, the epidural.
LOVE YOU Tonie, Donna
Donna, I am so sorry your family is going through this right now.I’m glad your daughter shows the wisdom to get far away from him. He’s obviously very troubled. Prayers for each of you and for the boy to understand what he can and peace for your daughter. Love, Sue
DONNA……FEET NOT TOO BAD TODAY, GOING TO GET HOT HERE IN THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS, SO WILL BE GOING TO THE COAST AS SOON AS………
WOW YOU SOUND LIKE YOU HAD A GRAND OLD TIME AT THE APPRECIATION DAY, WHAT A NICE THING TO DO. OH MY I FEEL SO SORRY FOR YOUR DAUGHTER….WHAT A REGULAR PIECE OF CRAP SHE HAS TO PUT UP WITH…..I AM FEELING BAD FOR THE BOY TOO, HE IS CAUGHT UP IN THE MIDDLE, BT CAN’T HELP FEELING HE WOULD BE BETTER OFF WITH HIS MOM, WHO WILL SET A MUCH BETTER EXAMPLE AND CODE OF ETHICS WHICH TO LIVE BY…..PRAYER FOR THIS SAD SITUATION ON THEIR WAY TO YOU DONNA, TRY NOT TO WORRY MY FRIEND, THINGS HAVE A WAY OF WORKING OUT HOW THEY ARE MEANT TO…LOVE YOU…JENNIE XX
Had a look at the footsmart.com ,but I see they only ship within USA .altho the stretchies looked nice.however it also seems USA sizes are different
This has been going on for 5 yrs now and it’s the same every year.and I give up dH says I’ll have to get a pair made for me!
I hope things are easier for you with your pain.
Will your daughter stay with you for a while ,or has she got somewhere to go to.what a worry for you..it must have been awful to hear her crying on the phone and so far away. Prayers certainly for her safe return to you and her safe future. And for her young son too that he understands all,..so young
That was nice to go to the pharmacy party..what a lovely idea.but I’m sorry that it made you hurt as bad as it did, I do hope you are rested now. it will be good when you see your daughter and GS.
I’m up early again ,just waiting to ring my dads specialists secretary
How much longer you got on these tablets?
You’ve got about just under two weeks left now with your mum.,I hope you get to the coast in this heatwave we are going to have
Be back later Chris
Chris, We have both European and American sizes here and most shoe stores are comfortable with telling you what is what. Sorry about that catalog not shipping outside the states. Another good brand I wear often is called BORN and they are an Israeli brand. You should have them there. I’ll be thinking about you today and this next couple of days as you have so much to do and hope your own health holds up for you. Is it warm yet? Take care, Sue
HI CHRIS….15 DAYS TO GO…THINGS A LOT BETTER TODAY, I TOOK SUE’S ADVICE AND PUT MY CARDS ON THE TABLE TO MY MUM, EXPLAINED HOW AWFUL I FELT, AND SHE EVEN OFFERED TO DO THE IRONING, SO A BIG IMPROVEMENT THERE….AS FOR ME, I HAVE TILL FRIDAY ON THE MEDS, THEN I WAIT THREE DAYS AND IF I STILL FEEL BAD, TAKE ANOTHER URINE SAMPLE TO THE LAB.
BY THE WAY, HAVE YOU TRIED “CAP MOUNTAIN” SHOES, ALL OVER EUROPE, SO IF NOT IN UK, THEY CAN BE SHIPPED TO YOU FROM FRANCE, THAT I DO KNOW.
GLAD YOU ARE FEELING BETTER ABOUT YOUR DAD, I WORRY ABOUT HIM BEING OPT ON THOUGH AT HIS AGE, BUT IF THE DOC’S ARE HAPPY WITH IT THEN I AM SURE IT WILL BE FINE.
YES PRAYER IS ALWAYS THE WAY FORWARD, I PRAYED LAST NIGHT FOR THE STRENGTH TO COPE WITH MY MUM’S TANTRUMS ETC, AND IT WORKED, FELT PROTECTED IF THAT MAKES SENSE…….I HOPE YOU GET THROUGH ALL THE APPTS AND GET SOME MUCH NEEDED REST AT THE WEEKEND, IT WILL BE GLORIOUS FOR YOU AT THE SHED……LOVE YOU…JEN X
Jennie, life does sound a bit better. Way to go to speak up with your Mom and good that she is actually doing something to help you. That will make her feel useful, hopefully, and help you out. You’re the only person I know who still irons clothing, etc.
Hope the meds are getting rid of the infection but don’t be discouraged if you have to take another round. Sometimes that particular problem can be stubborn. I hope you’re resting at night and throughout the day. Enjoy the sun when it arrives. We awoke to rain this AM. Quiet Monday here. Love, Sue
Well today went easier than thought..thank you for all your prayers..it just all went good
Spoke to plastic surgeons secretary,who spoke to him and said they would say doing another op to get it out and then check him every 3 months..she added that’s what they would have said anyway to him,if he was on his own. I know the outlook is grim,but I’d like him to have some quality days without knowing too much
So much different from the Drs story and the Parkinson nurse who looked at the comp. about it. So…appt tomorrow see how it goes, she said the parameters are different for people..whatever that means!
But feeling better about it all
All other stuff went ok..managed to get the people to send hearing aid away today to Siemens
Ordered dads incontinence stuff…
And the Parkinson’s nurse is looking into the nursing side of it to get it free
Had my hair done
Only thing that went skew-whiff was…yep…my shoes..tried more on ,insoles, heelgrips all won’t fit
What with my turned up toe, bunyon and heels no go
But am happy all else went ok
Just the appt to go thru with dad now tomorrow and hoping it stands as I think it does
If all ok we will go to coast two days after my dads appt .the weather looks set for being ok
Then return for his Parkinson’s appt for Monday
I’m sure your prayers lifted it all up for me ..I was so surprised it went right from the beginning..clever stuff innit?
Chris, so pleased all went better than you feared. I would, if I could like to clarify a couple of things. Have they ever given your Dad’s problem a name? The way you described the original growth sounded so much like malignant melanoma. Is that what it is? Parameters can mean so many things. It could mean the edges of the growth that they are going back in to excise and will know when they get in there. It could just mean what he will do as all of us react to disease differently. Glad they’ll be checking every 3 mos. and wonder when they’ll do further excision. You sound better regarding him and that’s so good. Boy, you did get a lot accomplished.
Sorry you have such a shoe problem. That is frustrating I’m sure. I must scoot and go down and order the tile we picked out for the front entry then go over and order the paint for the retaining wall. Hope the old body agrees with me. Later, Sue
Hope you ok today
Donna that your daughters ok
And tonie…wonder what you are up to there!
Just checking apparently I ticked one of the boxes and got an email
So hope this gets thru ok
Yep it did
I’m such a mess at the moment losing stuff .leaving stuff in shops it endless
Yep sue it was a malignant melanoma.it was about an inch in height like a dome and all black
He kept it covered up..but he used to have a lot out all the time and see the dermatologist every six mths.
He also had the plastic surgeon take something out just on that side ear a year ago..it can’t have been there then I asked his Dr that and he said it grew quick..but why didn’t the derm. see it before
Glad when tomorrow is over tho.i know he needs something of his nose too..but the surgeon says he would do that again..so we will see if that comes up tomorrow
Your front is going to look lovely very Spanish .hope you aren’t all tired after the shop
Chris, I am more confused than ever. I am sorry to hear that your Dad has malignant melanoma but share your confusion about why they didn’t see but they do grow quickly sometimes. My confusion lies in why they would tell him he has less than a year when he doesn’t have the malignancy in an organ or other than the face, ear, nose.
Indeed, I’m hoping our house will look more like the Victorian Italianate it was originally intended to be. Painting the wall in a cinnamon toned brown. Tile is a mix of roses and tans with cream. Do take care and enjoy the warmth coming your way…both from the weather and from all of us. Love, Sue
It sounds lovely sue what you are going to do all the colours will mellow together
Indeed I am confused with this Dr I saw at his surgery practise..he was so adamant and he was also on the plastic surgeons team. I said had he got two years and he said less I said a year and he said well at the best.
He said they would not scan him to see if it was anywhere as they won’t treat it,so no point .they won’t give him anything to treat it but only something for the pain . He will need another op. just to stop it growing and bleeding again . First he wouldn’t talk to me on phone it was too serious he said and I had to go in to see him
Today it seemed much kinder via this secretary . This Dr I saw who is my dads General Dr. Is on this hospital team…..and he was seeing him,the plastic surgeon today to tell him as well that I don’t want my dad to know and he was of the idea that he would tell him if he asked…so I don’t know I’m confused. As I was told today they wouldn’t as this other op. was needed
I hope it all stands in good tomorrow
Oh and this Dr said it wasn’t in the lymph glands but in the lymph in the vessels and could eventually occur anywhere. It seems a cruel thing to put me thru if ..well I just don’t know . I’m hopeful about my dad not knowing anything tomorrow and that’s all I know
Perhaps he was taking it with his Parkinson’s as well. I don’t know,but he seemed a nice man..now Imnot sure
My DD birthday tomorrow in Kos …Seems to far away …
Chris, thanks for trying to make it more clear as to what is going on with your Dad. I felt from the beginning that this lymphatic business was very confusing as well. Lymph nodes are part of the lymphatic system and I can see how they would consider it to be very possible it will soon end up in the lymph nodes. Guess you just have to ask questions and if you don’t want him to know, I fear one of them will tell him anyway. Prayers for calm during all of this.
Sorry the shoes didn’t work out. Maybe you should draw a picture outline of your foot and let me send you a soft pair from here. Wouldn’t that be lovely? Wish it worked. Love, Sue
I missed your post up there don’t know why
So good you sorted with your mum
im not trying anymore with shoes.bl..dy things..today I found some I thought these are good just a smaller size needed.got the size 5 box and there was one 4 and one 41/2 in the box..no 5 anywhere!
So Im just not meant to and end of story…same every blimmin year
Well the op for my dad will still be just an injection and day surgery..but he is getting weaker.he forgets so much and sleeps so much
Anyway you gave a some good times over this heat wave and hope all is well when you stop the tabs
Well your mum and tantrums! You build a picture Jen !