Sunday, August 28, 2011

Spending time in my garage with Pain.....

Spending time in a garage while my Pain rages does not sound like a place of comfort, quiet relaxation time and surroundings that encourage peace of mind. But, strange as this sounds, my garage has suddenly become the perfect oasis as I unwind and draw my second breath of air in this constant battle against Chronic Pain. Most people consider a garage to be filled with tools, long forgotten oil spills from the old car, dust in every corner, and items stuffed here and there.

We began bringing our garage alive when our son was in high school. We had the idea to bring it to life and create a teenage game room. After months of tireless remodeling...adding extra electrical lines, bringing in heating and air conditioning, painting, and putting down new flooring so those oil spills would not show...finally, we had a first-class game room, filled with everything from a stereo with audio sub-woofer speakers that literally made the walls dance from sound vibrations of teen age music to a bumper pool table, foosball, video arcade machine and, of course, a soda machine that never stayed filled! Now the once dusty and lonely garage shined from head to toe and was filled with the laughter of young teenagers simply having fun. But this was not to last long as time marched on, and our son graduated from high school and headed to college.

Now the game room became my new craft room, a place where I could create floral wreaths, sew beautiful Christmas table coverings, and try my hand at a game of Bumper Pool. I found myself quickly relaxing and being able to get my mind away from the Pain. But a parent has a deep child antenna built in. Before we knew it, our son was back from college, saying it was not for him. I said goodbye to my craft room because it turned into a bedroom for our son. Now instead of everything being clean, orderly and neat, chaos was all around with clothes piled on the floor, half-eaten pizza laying on a plate for days, and video games spread everywhere!  

Life can change so fast, and we realized the time had arrived to dig deep within ourselves and find our "Commando Parenting Tools." Soon we pushed our son out of his comfort zone and insisted that he get a job and learn how to take care of himself. We all got through it. The battle scars are buried deep within us. Months later, I found myself back, facing my lonely garage/game room/bedroom, wondering if I could ever enjoy the peace and quiet it once offered me.

Through my husband, a new path was opened for my garage. He began to turn it into an office for me, equipped with a lovely desk, laptop computer, printer, scanner, stereo speakers...everything I needed so my blogging could move along and hopefully the PAIN would subside a bit.  

At first, I fought against the idea of an office, not realizing how peaceful it can be. But now it's my oasis. As I look around, I see familiar photos hanging on the wall, curtains framing the windows, and a huge wood rocking chair by the window, inviting me to sit for a while, look outside and simply relax and take time to break away from the constant raging Pain inside my Body. Here is my place to draw deep from within myself, knowing I can still fight back at this Pain while nurturing myself as I write or simply look outside at nature.  

My lonely garage has finally found its true destination–my place of solace and joy. Now I look up to the Lord, thanking Him for each day, no matter how tough things might seem at times. Who knows, maybe your garage is looking for a new path, too!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The constant reminder of Pain

It's been a while since my fingers hit the keys to do any blogging. That's because I have been going through a new type of Pain, called "Frequent Dentist Visits." Let me be the first to say, It is no fun! But I have been blessed to find a wonderful, caring dentist who has been patient and understanding of my Chronic Pain and very careful not to add anymore "extra" Pain to the table.

Chronic Pain is such a constant presence in my life that I have to find ways to deal with it. Sometimes I simply have to put it out of my mind for awhile. This usually works, and it's nice to take a mental break of sorts from the battle I must wage daily against Pain. My mind had definitely been off my regular Pain because I've had to deal with the New Pain from dental work. I'd actually forgotten about the Big Pain until I came face to face with a tough reminder of just how vicious Pain can be.

My husband took me out for an easy dinner of soft food at a local eatery. As I sat munching away on soft mashed potatoes and carrots, my attention was drawn to a table filled to the brim with three young girls and their grandparents. I sat and watched at how they visited with each other. One bigger sister jumped up to take the youngest sister to the bathroom while the oldest sister laughed and joked with her grandparents. This was probably one of their last big outings before school starts. Packages sat all around them, probably filled with some special new outfit Grandma had purchased for them. It was a beautiful moment to watch and see this loving family treasuring time together. Pain was the last thing on my mind that day, and I had no intention of giving it any attention. 

But Pain is determined to a fault, demanding to have its moment in the light. Suddenly, I was jerked back to reality because–as the family began preparing to leave the eatery and the girls gathered up their to-go boxes of food–my eyes frozen on the Grandmother. I saw her struggling against this vicious enemy inside her bones–Pain! Each movement made by her took tremendous effort with her being cautious to make no sudden moves that would cause Pain to roar and take the joyous smile away that framed her face. Each girl stood in silence, as if already knowing how hard it was for their Grandmother to move around. And yet something tells me they had a huge sense of pride swelling in their hearts for this loving woman. It was a moment of silent suffering that hit me so hard and served to let me know...Chronic Pain is constantly there, and it will always grab your attention.

Sadness began to fill me, and then suddenly I stopped to remind myself of the words I try to live by: "Find just one moment in each day for Joy." Instantly, I knew my Joy was given to me on this day as I witnessed this family moment. I said a silent prayer for the Grandmother and saw her finally stand up straight and tall, reaching for the youngest girl's hand as they all strolled out together. 

Pain did not ruin the day for this family. They gave me a beautiful reminder of why we must keep fighting back against the Pain. Life is precious, and we need not lose anymore of ourselves to Pain than we have to. I pray you keep finding your moment of Joy as you wage through your own battle. Please know I say a prayer for you each day and hope you will say one for me. 

Monday, August 1, 2011

The "Gift" of blogging through the Pain

When I began this blog months ago, there were no real expectations of what might come my way from doing a blog about Chronic Pain. My writing started, and it was filled with my daily battle against this enemy that I can't see but feel 24 hours a day. Slowly, I found my blogging beginning to reach past myself as I encountered other people in my life. I could see they, too, were suffering with Chronic Pain, and my heart ached for them. I would get sad if somebody didn't "comment" on my blog, kind of like giving me that pat on the back, saying "good job, keep it up." I found myself wanting to quit, but something spurred me on, and I have kept this blog going. I might not blog as often, but a thought or feeling will hit me, and I can't get to my computer quick enough to put words down as I open my heart and pour out what I am feeling.  

Little did I know there was a very special "gift" coming my way via my blog. A special person left her comment one day, and it touched me deeply. As the months went by, she would leave a comment, and I was brave enough to respond back and thank her for the caring words she left me. A unique bond was forming, unknown to both of us, a friendship was growing between us, and it felt like we had already known each other for years. She has her own blog, and I have recently begun to read it and am becoming one of her followers, as the phrase go. We have been forming a "WI-FI"friendship and discussed the hope of meeting each other one day.  

Today the "Gift" arrived, and we finally met via  a simple phone call. It was wonderful! Without doubt, we have formed a bond that will last through the years. Out of the deepest physical suffering Chronic Pain brings to us daily, something caring and beautiful has grown past the suffering! A blessing no doubt this is, and we lift each other up daily in prayer. We might not be able to fix each other's pain, but sharing and talking about our struggles is wonderful.  

I am always looking for just one moment of joy each day, and it was a phone conversation with my good friend. Pain did not win any victory today. I urge each of you to keep fighting, keep looking past the Pain, and I pray you find your own special moment of joy. My prayers are with you.