Some of you have asked when I will begin blogging again and why I stopped. This is a fair question from those who faithfully read the weekly blog and joined the conversation; sharing your wisdom with us. The answer to your question is I could not write because I was inundated with layers of pain in my body, mind, and soul. Let me explain.
I have experienced difficult times in my life; but 2019 felt like an unending season of painfulness. Let me address the body pain first. A couple of years ago I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. I took the prescribed medication and followed an exercise plan. The pain diminished for a while, then came back worse. Then I was diagnosed with osteoarthritis, along with rheumatoid arthritis. Once again, I took the prescribed medication and followed an exercise plan. The pain diminished for a while, then came back worse the second time. Spinal stenosis had joined the ranks. The treatment for spinal stenosis was a lumbar block (burning nerve endings). The treatment was worse than the three pains together. The pain was intense because I had rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and spinal stenosis.
Chronic pain can affect sleep, mood, memory, and concentration. I experienced daytime fatigue, urges to take naps, and lack of concentration. I could not think clearly to write the blog. I made daily living mistakes that I would not normally make, and I forgot things more often. I would walk into a room, forget why, and have to return to where I started to regain that thought. I lost my creative edge. I could read mysteries for fun, but not write on serious topics.
Chronic pain affects moods and many pain-sufferers experience guilt, depression, anxiety, or fear. I experienced frustration, impatience, and energy drain.
Also, I often felt misunderstood. People looked at my face and assumed I was upset or angry. I was just trying to be still and ride out the waves of pain, and not disturb the meeting, service, or family gathering. Then I would be angry because people assumed the worst, instead of asking if there was anything they could do to help me.
Stronger, Better, Wiser
I thank God for a personal relationship with Him, which sustained me through 2019. There were many nights I cried out, “Help me, Jesus!” trying to walk from my bed to the bathroom. There was a plethora of times I verbally confessed “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,” when I had no energy for daily living activities or patience to interact with people.
I thank God for always providing for me. For example:
- A free, six-week class was offered at the O’Fallon YMCA on how to handle chronic conditions. The pain management remedies were non-pharmaceutical practices I can easily do – and they work.
- A chair-yoga class is offered at the same YMCA. The stretching helps ease my pain.
- The church prayer line keeps my faith steady by praying for healing three days a week.
- A support group of positive people who are managing their chronic pain conditions through laughter, fellowship, and sharing best practices keep my emotions positive.
My quality of life is improving day-by-day, and I am grateful. The year 2020 is looking so much better than 2019. The weekly blogs resume with this one.
You may be in pain or know someone suffering from chronic pain. There is help and hope. Pray and ask God to show you what to do and where to do it. Ask Him for divine connections so that you may live a good quality life again.
If you have walked this pain journey and would like to share best practices, feel free to join the conversation. If you are suffering from chronic pain and found this blog inspiring or informative, join the conversation. I would love to hear from you.