If you live with chronic pain and/or illness, I’m certain there are days when you have felt that emotion. Some days go from awful to hideous to worse and then, “Oh my God.” Anyone who lives with the constant strikes of the daily hammer of pain know the despair that can become part of your life.
I’ve had a particularly taxing past few days and have been inundated with negativity therefore I felt the need to share some positive aspects, humorous vignettes and wonderful moments that I have found as nuggets in the oft empty old gold mine that was once my life. I’m pretty sure when it comes to metaphors about old gold mines, I got the shaft.
Eventually, after years of suffering and having every aspect of one’s life affected, you either become bitter and angry or you find ways to find joy, meaning and some peace in the midst of it all. The road through that old shaft is steep and difficult to traverse, therefore it is the easy pathwhen you sit down and slide on your tush that is the simplest.Unfortunately, that road is the one of anger and bitterness. We all begin to ask why and are driven to find someone to blame. In the end of that personal thuggery, we can go in many directions but by gosh, someone has to be responsible. Well, guess what? That’s not the case.
When I can’t come up with an answer, other than blaming my parents, my genes, or myself, I usually face the simple fact it is my body. I do believe it is against me and if you lived inside this mess, well, you’d be forced to agree with me after this past week. I’m almost too exhausted to type these words but I am determined to have something uplifting to say today and it is what is spontaneously spilling out of my mind and heart. For purposes of clarity, I have divided my bit of what I hope is inspiration into three segments, therefore, let’s go.
Another source to prove I am not alone is a connection with others. I am interested in my fellow man/woman and always greet others with a friendly, open demeanor. Everyone has a life, a story, a burden and something which brings them joy. I like to talk to them in any and all situations and find everyone interesting in their own way. For instance, the four doctors I have seen over the last eight days have all been kind, intelligent and interesting. One, my oncologist has a 7-month-old that is crawling and getting into everything at home. I love to be reminded how wonderful little ones can be. There are so many memories that come alive for me.
Another doctor is contemplating retirement and the third was extremely considerate as he injected my shoulder with a steroid medication. Both doctors two and three saw me while also being teachers to medical students who were with them. I like the progressive side of that and teaching, being a former nurse myself.The fourth doctor was an emergency room physician and very courteous and kind for that particular specialty in which they are often adrenaline junkies. This fellow wasn’t. Everyone we meet in this life can teach you and I something and can return the favor if we get out of our own selves long enough to do that.
I met nurses and other medical folks with sick kids, heartaches at home and others highly educated and helpfully patient as they taught me something. There are so many fine and interesting individuals in this world. Do yourself a favor and get to know themand let them be enriched by your life. Always leave a good bit of yourself behind when you leave an appointment, or any other occasion, when possible.
One of those moments was a few days ago when I was in a vulnerable position, about to be zapped to cardiovert my heart rhythm in a room full of nurses, technicians and very young male medical students. Have you noticed how all of the new doctors look like they just walked out of Junior High school? Knowing I was going to be rendered unconscious in the room with all of this male youth, I said, “Okay you guys. Before you take off my gown and expose my chest, I implore you to be kind. My chest is one side of scars from radiation therapy and surgery and the other side looks like an old empty purse.” The smiles broadened, the feeling of tenseness dissipated and I feel asleep with a smile on my face. Awe, come on. You who have read my articles and blogs know I have a chronic case of sacroiliitis and much of my writing is about the rear side of my body. It’s difficult to be delicate about such matters therefore I just usually lead with my mouth and let the laughter fall where it may.
I saw a kind orthopedist a few days ago to have my right shoulder injected and had only seen him once before. He is a kindly man and has a reputation as a demanding doctor toward nurses and the care they give to his hospitalized patients. I told him last week I had heard about his stellar reputation and he asked me what I had heard. I told him, “I heard you’re a hard ass.”
He started to laugh, repeated what I said and I could tell, from his reaction he loved it. He replied, “Well, I guess I am a bit particular.” I smiled and replied, “That’s why I’m here. I love that in a doctor.”
Yes, laughter, a good true to life joke, a jovial remark and sharing a humorous incident evens the playing field and cuts to the heart of what makes us human, charitable and caring.
Indeed, we suffer and are miserable at times, but all of the above help me make it through this world and I hope at least one of these ideas will bring you joy, wisdom or peace.
Laughter really is the best medicine, Sue. Always enjoy reading your posts and am encouraged by your determination to find the positive in life despite your difficulties.
Dear Alison/rosetint, I hope all is well with you. How is your son getting on? I hope he is enjoying safe independence. Has your last pain flair subsided somewhat? I pray it has. Thanks for your encouraging words about this blog. How is it going with yours? Time for me to check in over there. Love ya, Sue
Im still loving writing my blog and Simon is doing well although there are always constant little hic cups along the way. I am beyond being shocked at what pickles that lad can get himself into. My new doctor has put me on a tablet that is really helping with my ongoing pain and stiffness. It has taken two years to find something i can actually take without too many side effects. Sometimes it just takes a fresh outlook on the problem I think. My movement is much freer now so that should speed up total recovery. xx take care x
Thanks, Sweetie. Prayers are continuous that you are always able to find humour and that those of us who read your blogs are always thankful for it!
Danielle, well my dear, when one is laughing or smiling they usually aren’t crying, however, that is often cleansing and helps relieve all the stress those of us with pain live with. Good to hear from you. Sue
Very apt for me at the moment Sue
Made me laugh,which is good today
Wry, witty and pure you
Chris dear, joy and laughter feel so good, don’t they? Life can get so very heavy with all we must endure. Love you, Sue
Just read “Help my body is killing me”. I often feel we are sisters by a different set of parents because we seem to think the same. My PC of thirty years is retiring and I dread breaking in a new doctor. Really hope this new doctor has a good sense of humor! Thanks for sharing and God bless.
Marilyn, thank you for the blessing; one can never have enough of those. Changing docs is right up there on the stress list…at the top. I have found the name of a new rheumy since I haven’t had one in over a year and I keep putting off calling there just out of dread. Will I like her? Will she know what she’s doing? So many fears from so many awful experiences over the years. I think it’s a bit like those awful nosocomial infections one can get in the hospital..it’s a kind of nosocomial doctor dread one catches over the years. I will hope for you that your new one is kind, and also blessed with smarts and humor. Be sure to read their stats online. Fondly, Sue
Good morning all
Early here. Awake at 3:30 am can’t go back to sleep. Of course, I have to leave in a couple of hours to drive Judy to have her eye surgery. Always happens like this.
Anyway. Love the blog. These days I feel like I a, a prisoner in someone else’s body. But, to ensure we must laugh or create some pleasure in this world. I love to laugh.
Yesterday I found out I can’t run anymore. Not good anyway, saddened me. Judy was looking for something 8n her car, and I was feeding. She started blowing her horn. I thought she had fallen, took off running (well a fast trot). She was stuck in the floor and couldn’t get up. Had to pull her up and out. So today she gets her other eye done (cataracts) so maybe her vertigo will stop. Then tomorrow I have to drive her to her local eye Dr. So yes, Sue in answer to your post on Always, I have been running around like a chicken with its head cut off. Too much to do and not enough time.
Picking loads of strawberries now. Radishes, lettuce, kale and spinach. Must make me a good salad soon.
Tonie, oh my goodness, the crops are producing. What a joy to be able to eat something you have grown. May I ask what you do with Kale? I have never been able to warm up to it in salads and thought you might have a good recipe for it. I adore fresh strawberries right out of the patch and crispy fresh radishes. ENjoy it all, okay?
Big day for both you and Judy. Hope you have a good book on your Kindle reader. I know you will both be exhausted when it is all over and you get home. Special prayers for Judy today for safety and comfort. Love, Sue
Hope Judy went ok for the surgery
How awful that she fell……hope all ok and also you with running and being worried
Thankgoodness you live close now…what would happen if you hadn’t moved
Do try and get some slow time don’t let it build up again .
I do believe it was as much for her as me that I moved back here. Didn’t know it at the time. She is doing well. She is just not very strong. I ordered her a cane that will help her stand up straighter, if it ever gets here ! Supposed to ship Monday, they keep selling out. It is a tall can where you don’t have to lean over. I really hope it will help her stand better. She looses her balance so easy.. But I am slowly leaving things for her to do herself. She needs to.
She is my Sister-Mama. So I will do all I can.
Oh Sue! You have no idea what this post means to me. All of a sudden I don’t feel alone in my pain. It gets so frustrating as you say but I too like humor but sometimes let the pain get the best of me. I went to my neurologist the other week to have a nerve conductor test on my legs. I had neck surgery 2 years ago and my legs and back have become numb, tingling and it feels as though I am being squeezed tightly in these areas. He is an older man white haired and somewhat gruff. He said that he was going to give me the nerve test but that he knew that my symptoms were from my neck surgery and went on to explain that when the do spinal fusion in the neck area , they repair what they can and hope that the nerves find a new route to make everything work correctly. He asked me to pull my pants up to my knees and lay back. He began. I said “ You know. I jumped in the shower this morning. Shaved my legs alll the way up to my thighs and you’re only checking the lower part of my legs??????? “All that shaving for nothing???” He got a kick out of that☺️ Then before I left I asked him what I could possible do to get rid of my pot belly. He patted his belly and said “ Does this look like I can tell you what to do about your tummy???? We both laughed. It is so true that we have to find humor in everything or any little thing in life. Thank you for reminding me and I am praying for you my sweet friend🙏
Gail, thanks for sharing your last Dr. visit and the humor with all of us today. How very vital a day with humor is for survival. Thanks for sharing with me the blessing you received from my humble words.
I am sorry your surgery didn’t bring you all the relief you deserve. Surgery often brings its own set of problems I fear. Hang in there and take it one day, one visit and often, one moment at a time and remember to laugh. If you find out about that tummy, let me know. Fondly, Sue
Wow, Sue, thank you for hearing God. This met me exactly where I am right now. It’s one of those things where you’re certain He’s talking solely to you thru this person and their portion. I could go on and on how deeply and personally this touched me and that I love you and your sharing, transparency and compassion.
Let me share my favorite medical chuckle with you. It gets even the most stoic doc to at least crack a smile and hopefully to crack a book to learn more about one of My conditions which is the rare disease, Marfan Syndrome. I tell them they can introduce me, “This is Jane, she’s My Favorite Marfan!” Gotta say, it works every time.
Continuing prayers for you, Sue. God bless.
Jane Dear, what a sweet complement and affirmation of my own faith for both reaching both of us…I loved your funny story and indeed, humor at its best. When I hear Marfan’s I always think of President Lincoln, and you know why. Relapsing polychondritis, my least favorite problem, occurs in four in a million. Gee but aren’t we special…NOT; at least not in that regard. I sit down at the computer each time I write a blog or an article and chat with God and ask him to guide my thoughts. Are you one of my FB friends? Please return and let me know how life is going for you. Sue
Dear Friends, readers and those who read this blog to guide a bit in a life of chronic pain, I have a small problem in that I don’t always know who you are if I have more friends on FB with your first name. I like to make my replies more personal but if all I have is, i.e. Mary and I have ten Mary’s on my FB I have no way of making it as personal as I would like to. When you sign in here, could you put your first name and is not your entire last name, an initial, it would help me get to know you better if you are a FB friend. I hope that makes sense to all of you. Hope the coming weekend is one of rest, pursuits you enjoy and pain free days and nights. Love to each of you and thanks again for your input as it inspires me to keep going. Sue
Gail Martin Heslep Lakeland Florida – formerly from Roanoke Virginia
Love you. And you are a blessing to me though I have not hugged yoy☺️
Gail H. Thanks so much, now I know which FB friend you are. We all need each other when life’s boat rocks, don’t you think. Sue
I live in Wythe County. Little town of Ivanhoe. Roanoke is where most of my Dr’s are. And my husband’s daughter lives in Lakeland. Small world. Do you like it there ? I miss Az so badly in the winter, I would love to go somewhere warmer.
Glad to have you posting
Hope you are doing well. My friends in laws live on Delby Terrace. Where do you live. Small Small World!
Hows you doin Sue there
Is all just ticking along as it should or is it all a bit of a pain
As for me
Been busy in the garden..fell ..bit sore..had a scone out to make me feel better!!
It worked so another was required….
Life’s just up an down ..
Chris dear, no worries, just same old muscle pain over the last couple of months. They still think it is from an IV drug I’ve been getting for bone density for several years and built up and made me toxic but will take another month or more to clear out of my system because it was a long term drug; as I got it every three months. A week from last Sat. I spent all day in the Emergency Room due to severe chest pain. I got a CT scan, an X-rays of the chest and several ECG’s of the heart and much lab work. They were worried because of that blood clot I have, waiting to dissolve behind the heart. I frankly didn’t think it was a heart attack but maybe it had gone to the lungs but no heart because I wasn’t diaphoretic, perspiring. So one long uncomfortable day on a gurney and still don’t know the cause. I think it was muscle spasms in the muscles of chest and back. The day before I had had a long day at oncology and got the two big injections and had to lean over a bed to get off of my bad knees for those and pulled my muscles in the chest. Had a similar, painful episode two days ago and rubbed in hemp oil, took a muscle relaxer and a pain pill and laid on the heat til it passed. It also helped the oil to melt into the muscles. This whole muscle thing is getting me down.
So sorry you fell but can surely understand it. Hurray, you took the cure of a scone. Know you’ll be sore so do take care dear girl. So, you’ve all been through the D Day celebrations over there as we have here but so much more intimate over there after all England went through during the war. Some lovely, touching celebrations. Love ya, Sue
My goodness sue you have been busy with it all..I do now hope all will improve pretty d.m quick
Yea my dad would have loved to see all the things on tv right now
On the internet I found a photo of my grandfather with his battalion in ww1 taken in India for an Xmas postcard in1915 when he was 20
I wished I could have showed it to my mum …I thought of it …then remembered
Been busy, as usual. Spent a couple of days with my son and his kids. Very relaxing. It was like having my boy back again.
Here it has been raining for two days, and supposed to all thru to next Fri. So my outside work will be piled up once again. But…
So, Sue. Praying that clot disappears and you can get stronger.i can imagine how frustrating it must be. I am trying to coax my few remaining geraniums back to life, hopefully all this rain will help.
Chris, glad your scone was the bandaid you needed. Lol. I hate falling now. I just don’t bounce like I used to.
So, I have to go to Wytheville for feeds today and want to get there before the crowds. Sat is still “go to town” day for people here, farmers or not.
Tonie and Chris, down with the flu here, stomach variety…yuck. Very warm in the next few days, more yuck. Tonie, so pleased you had a blessed and fun visit with son and grands. Love your descriptions of the pastoral life where you are. We are also a bit more that way than folks who live in large cities, thank the Lord. Well, all that rain should nourish the garden, and unfortunately the grass the the weeds…oh well.
Chris, thanks for your thoughts dear friend. No new blog this weekend due to current condition. How wonderful that you found your grandfather online. What a fun find. What a wonderful time for all with the celebrations but so sad in so many ways. I thought some of the ceremonies and speeches were outstanding. Very touching. It’s too bad so many of the current generation doesn’t understand the depth of that whole experience. Love to both of you…Sue
Sue What a thing to happen on top of all else..take it easy with everything
It’s raining here too Tonie warnings out some local schools lost power …gives it all week too….where does it all come from
dh has another ear infection taken swabs and on amoxicillin
Awaiting summer ….!
Chris, I was actually relieved when I figured out why the nausea. I was afraid it was something more serious. This will pass, eventually. Mini heat wave here, just for three or four days then more of our usual; rain. Sorry your DH has another ear infection. Poor guy. Don’t forget the probiotics with the amoxicillin.
Lying low here, looking at all that needs doing..just looking. Love ya, Sue
Oh yes thanks for reminding me on that
Still raining hard here and…our boiler has gone kaput ..gone cold and no heat and no hot water…fella coming out tomorrow
Rugged up in bed with wheat bag
Chris, oh dear. I am sorry for that darn inconvenience of your boiler again, although it’s been awhile. Do you warm your wheat bag in the microwave oven? Hope it does give a bit of comfort to you. We are having opposite weather from yours. Very hot here, for us. Cooling tonight thankfully. Hop DH’s ear is improving. Love, Sue
Sue, what a wonderful blog! As always, you are in my thoughts and prayers.
I am still recovering from my surgery, and I wonder what they did to my back those many hours in the OR! Recovery has been slow, but hopefully, I am on the road to recovery.
We have been attempting to open up the cottage, but my FIL is in the hospital and has just been moved to chronic care. He was the caregiver for my MIL, so tomorrow she moves into a nursing home. Since she is palliative, I am happy that she will get the care she needs, but of course, this is stressful for both of them and the family. They both also have dementia, especially my MIL, so it is hard for them to understand, and then everything must be repeated a short time later. It is difficult when your parents become your children! All of this brings back sad memories of my own parents.
I hope to be able to keep in touch more often. I logged in first this time and I see my beloved Teddi Bear’s picture, so I must have the right account. When I woke up a bit confused following over 30 hours of general anesthesia, I was telling everyone Teddi was coming to sleep with me! I believe he was there, but as my guardian angel and was watching over me 🐕
Love ~ Pommum Brenda
So happy you are recovering. We miss seeing you on here. All that time asleep on that hard table is what is wrong with your back ! I pray you get all done soon, and prayers for your family. It’s so hard to see them this way, and to let them go.
Pommum, oh it is good to see you on here, even though we have been in touch on FB privately. You have been in my prayers my very brave friend. I know there isn’t room here to tell the whole horror story of the last 2+ months of your life but thank God, you are on the mend. Oh my friend, what patience you have been forced to “grow.” I pray you continue to heal, although I know it has been slow. Here I have been picturing all of you at the lake but alas…life has plans of its own. I love that your tiny, gorgeous pom Teddy “came to you.” There is a sweetness that makes it believable. My dear Dad lost a little white poodle shortly before his health failed and he would often pet her in his sleep. He was sure she had been there although she had passed. Our love for animals flows so deeply.
I am so sorry to hear of the sadness of transition you are going through with you in-laws. Life, death and all in between can break our hearts but each time, we wonder how we can feel such heartache. Mental destruction in the elderly can wipe out so many precious memories but I know that time brings the good memories back…love to your dear man who is a jewel. As you have often taught all of us…one step at a time.
I hope all works out on each of those steps and you feel guidance. All my love, Sue
Brenda good to hear from you and that you are getting over things but sorry life is hard for your family right now
Sue The boiler was fixed it was a small fix so that was easy
Dh,s ear …on more antibiotics different drops too..bit of improving ..fingers crossed
Hope you are getting over that bug now
Rheumy sent a form for me to have a repeat blood test,she is away till Thursday so don’t know why ..I was surprised
Dh has his suspicious moles looked at on Tuesday
Hope you had a good day there
Chris, hope both of you get good news from your docs. Glad you’re in hot water again. In a good way, of course. Yes, flu is better but had to hold my methotrexate for 6 days so back on it last night and today feeling lousy. Hope in a day or two to be back a bit. Lost more weight and can’t afford that so Jim is making me a milkshake every night..bless him. Trying to stay above 120 lbs. Lovely spring weather here and able to plant a few new plants into old pots this week and that’s about it. Hate to be this lazy. You take care, Love you, Sue