Thursday, May 31, 2012

Someone please tell me what Stamina Means~

As most of you already know, I got a wild idea about a month ago to plant lots of new flowers so we could sit on our porch and enjoy their beauty.  That idea took us from my husband digging in the dirt-to a fast ride to the doctor because He broke his Thumb-then going further for Surgery on the Thumb with Pins being put in it.    One simple idea really got turned upside down-we had to hire some guys to put the plants in the ground, and having to just sit around as we wait for the thumb to heal.

One would think Martha might say "okay-enough of the plant stuff" but I begged dear Husband to stop by another Plant store so we could Look around-as we are walked in, a young clerk says "You have been here before!  The Cold Water Jug is right over in the corner-remember you almost passed out the last time you were in here!"  Nice to know I leave a lasting impression and she was right-I got carried away with all the plants around me and forgot how Hot it gets here in Texas and well-lets just say I was going down fast when my friend saw me and started throwing water on me!

Husband suddenly has a memory flash and tells me-"You go sit under the shade tree and I will bring some plants over for you to give a Yes or No to!"  He didn't have to speak twice as I was again feeling the heat and found a lovely shaded area.  We came home with some nice plants and my goal was to get them all planted-sounded like a easy task, but for me-well not so easy-and definitely not pretty!  Once I get down to ground level-the method I use to find my way back up to a standing position should never be seen in public!

It took about three hours to get ten plants in the ground-with at least seven breaks of me dragging my old body to the porch and gasping for air.  My dear husband-man with one good Thumb kept offering his help, but oh no-Martha was going to get this job done, one way or the other!  Stubborn Pride is not always the greatest quality to have-as I recall a distant memory of me and a tree.

So I am sitting there, dirty, tired, aching-wanting to throw the remaining plants away and suddenly I hear these words "Well Martha-you are doing great at planting-its just taking you time to get your Stamina back!" I froze at the words, anger growing fast inside-and the crazy part was I couldn't really put my finger on Why that Word made me so mad.  We sat there, time ticking away and me thinking about what his words meant-was it just a simple statement he made, or was he trying to find words to cheer me on as I struggled to finish this task that once was so easy for me to do?

Then it hit me-I thought that word was something I would never think of again-but a realization hit me-I had never given the word up-as I still get through each day with the small amount of Stamina left in me. Now I use it to help me fight my way through the Pain I live with-instead of planting and doing physical work that was so meaningful to me.  My rise to anger when hearing the word was a reaction to how hard I had to struggle to put these simple plants in the ground-and I knew it was time to let my husband know what was going on.

We are admiring the plants and I tell him "You know, I got so Mad at you about an hour ago-because you said one word, Stamina!"  Now I understand all you were doing was making a statement-no hidden meaning for you-but a ton of emotional meaning for me!"  He took a long slow look at me and said "Martha-I watched you struggle and was proud of you for at least trying to tackle this job, and yes Dear Wife-it was taking a lot of Stamina that you do not Have!"

Together we figured out the meaning of Stamina-and I have a feeling it takes a ton of it for my husband to deal with the ups and downs his wife goes through in fighting Pain.  We finished the last two plants together-him with the bad Thumb, me with the bad body, but the two of us United in Love.  He made one last comment to me "Sure hope these are the last Plants-we don't need anymore" and I shook my head in agreement!  First thing I have to do in the morning is call our Local Plant Store and tell the lady-"Please put those extra Five Plants I ordered today back in your stock-I won't be needing them!" Thats one phone call he doesn't need to hear me make!

One day at a time, we learn lessons-good and bad-but we keep learning.  My Joy came today when my husband helped pull me up from the ground and I leaned against him in total exhaustion!  We laughed and hugged.  Not a bad way to end the day.

God bless you all.  Martha

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Can Laughter and Pain blend?

During my early days of Pain, there was nothing to Laugh about-my body was being taken on a ride that I wanted to say Stop and Let Me Off-Now!  If anybody had suggested to me how a good chuckle could make me feel better-I am afraid my answer would be filled with Anger at their suggestion-and chances are it would have taken me a Long time to ever speak with them again.

Laughter and Pain-this subject has been on my mind quite a bit and I wanted to do a "comical" posting of sorts with the hope I could put some Laughter into the Pot with Pain, but fear rises in me about saying these words-lets be honest-I do Not walk in the shoes of another person who suffers each day with Chronic Pain and No strange faces have shown up here to spend time with me as I fight with Pain.  If I were to hurt someone by speaking words to sound light-hearted and the countless faces out there who are in agony- might read my words one day-only to see the word Laughter-I feel they would curse me for daring to offer an idea of Pain and Laughter blending.

Chronic Pain tightens our bodies-getting us to a place where everything just Hurts-you don't even know for sure which muscle hurts more-and all you want to do is Sob.  I have been there-and for a long time I chose the other path-Anger, actually a rage that made the  Pain worse!  My Pain doctor speaks to me often about Stress-explaining the importance of me keeping my Stress level to a low hum if at all possible.  She knows better than anyone that my Pain is not going away-and how vital it is for me to find pieces of courage to push myself forward. But this is real life and with the daily amount of Pain she sees each day in her patients-how she must struggle to keep her chin up and keep offering words of hope to each of her patients. 

When I let myself think about laughter- it sounds nice-not easy to do-but it does have a gentle ring to it and suddenly I have found myself actually laughing about something-and it stops me in my tracks!  My brain is trying to process the Sound I just heard-with me thinking there has to be somebody else in the room because I do not laugh much, but I finally admit it-the person laughing was Me!

So I am stepping out and speaking for myself-as I say Pain and Laughter can blend at times, its usually very short, not lasting long but at least it tells me I still have that delicious emotion sitting deep inside me and Pain has not drained all the laughter from me.  My journey with Pain is going to be a long one-I know that better than anyone, and the decisions I make as to how I choose to cope with the Pain-will either help me or give Pain the chance to make faster moves against my body, making me feel much older than I actually am.

I miss the days when laughter filled my heart-a very dear friend asked me a question, wanting to know how long Pain had been with me-He was wanting numbers and while I knew the exact number of years, my heart was racing backward, seeing all the pieces of a joyous life-slowly taken from me as Pain grew stronger by the day  and my life became a path of surgery, recovery, surgery, shots, surgery, infections, surgery.  You see the picture.  Sixteen years is the magic number and I have a lot more to go-I pray God gives me many more years so I can grow old with my husband, and something tells me, I will still have a bit of laughter left in me.

Do not let anybody judge you if laughter is beyond your grasp-this is your personal walk with Chronic Pain and I think each person who suffers is a Warrior and is filled with deep courage and faith.  If you do find a moment to laugh, God bless you.  HE will show that moment, and HE will lighten the Pain for the few seconds you get to laugh.

Keep fighting and know, I will always say a prayer for you-because we are not Strangers, there is a true Bond that unites us.  God Be with you.  Martha

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Taking a Test Drive today..

Its easy to start feeling "house bound" due to endless days of Chronic Pain as a desire to escape rises-we push to find courage to just Do it! Over a period of five days, my dear husband kept asking me "Are you sure about taking a ride in the car? Don't you think this will agitate the Butt Pain?  How about we take a short trip to the grocery store?"

He was giving me every chance to say No-but I wanted to get out and see the world around me, hoping to give a brief reprieve from dwelling on Pain, sending stabbing signals, letting me know its readhy to Wake Up!  I knew if we stood any chance for some relaxation, it needed to happen today-as my  Pain Window is opening wider each second.  We  talked about driving to a town about 75 miles away to see a  old Catholic Church, built in the late 1800's- its beauty  known all around the state-and this was the plan we stayed focused on, but when I got up this morning-a sadness hit me, serving as a reminder of how tough this day would be.  I  asked Matt to give me a hour or two before we left so I could get the Pain levels to a "manageable state" and off we went.

Pain has taught me many lessons about courage, and is also a teaching tool of the worst kind-as we sat at the drive-though window of our local bank, getting a bit of "play/lunch money" suddenly Pain showed up-demanding I watch the Pain lesson waiting for me.  A truck was parked across the street as a man was loading logs from a old tree having been cut down-but he wasn't loading them with the easy manner of giving them a strong toss toward the truck-Pain was crushing him-I saw a horrible limp in his leg, his hand going to his back, grabbing for a throbbing Pain he couldn't reach-but trying to reach the agony inside his body.  At one point he almost fell over while picking a log up from the ground-I wanted to bolt from the car and help him!  His obvious suffering was so Hard to watch-for I knew there had been a day when this man was strong, vital, able to do anything he wanted and no log could knock him to the ground.

My husband finished his business with the bank but he also sat frozen, our car not moving as his eyes caught Wicked Pain being played out in front of us!  Everything was silent-the world seemed to stop moving as we watched this man struggling to still be a Man-yet working against the worst odds anybody could dream of.  Finally Matt knew we had to move, and said "Martha-be thankful for what you have, all we can do is Pray."  My husband knew much more than I could understand-if either of us had stopped and pushed our way forward to help this man with the logs-he would have probably stood his ground, thanked us and said "I have this-don't worry, they are just logs!" We drove away knowing Pain would stay behind us, doing its damage as the man fought to retain his courage while suffering through unspeakable Pain.

We drove to our destination without a single word being spoken between us-somehow we both needed silence-giving time to reflect on what we had witnessed.  Seeing a person in such Pain was not a new event for us-this scene held a stronger message for us-it was a Sobering Reminder of our own lives.
My husband has watched me crouched on the ground, struggling to perform simple tasks-planting a new plant in the ground-having to stand silent as he watches Pain versus Martha-locked in a vicious struggle.
How does he feel-knowing this moment will be played out again each day? Does he worry a day will come when Pain has robbed all the fighting spirit within me?  One awful day in time so long ago has put the love of my life in a role I never wished for him- all I can is love him more each day and be grateful to God for having this fine man in  my life.

Once we reached the church, surrounded by breath-taking beauty, all we could do was find a pew, sit in silent prayer-asking God to help the man we saw suffering this morning, and also asking God to stay close to us-and help us take our life together, one step, one day at a time and be grateful for what we have.  My Pain managed to hold back until we had left the church-me hoping to see more of the town, but  Matt took one look at me and said, "Its time we headed back home, don't you agree!"  I gave him a weak Yes and the road suddenly looked good as I thought about how wonderful it would be to rest when we reached home.

Test-driving today took us on a very different path-so unexpected and yet filled with a message for us-helping us to truly appreciate all our blessings and knowing we are Not Alone as we walk this Pain Journey-God is right beside us.

I prayed hard for that man-just as I do for all those who suffer so much with Chronic Pain.  There are no easy answers to Chronic Pain-God how I wish there were, but if we lift each other up, even by a short prayer, a quick smile, helping to let the other person know "Yes, I do understand how hard it is."

Bless all of you.  Martha

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Remembering Memorial Day.....

This day always hits home-and brings memories of my sweet Dad flowing through my heart, and I start to miss him all over again.  I need him to give me advice, help me find that tough side to me so I can keep the battle going with this Pain-but I pause and almost feel as if he is telling me "Sister, I am in a better place now!  You just make sure to give all those who served their country a good word of praise!" He would add that he wasn't anybody important, it was his job to protect our country so we could hold tightly to  Freedom!

Well sweet Dad-I will do my best but there is no way I can leave you out-after all, I learned the true importance of standing tall for your country-teaching me to be proud of my right to vote-then watching you as a Flag was being raised, seeing your eyes fill with tears and learning so much from you.  As I watch various factual stories about WWII-one thought hits me like no other-They were all just young Men-some still teenagers, but they stood tall and proud in their uniforms-ready to take on whatever task lay in front of them.  My Dad had a Draft Number of Three-as he said "Well Sister, with a number like that-I knew it was my time to go."  I can see him telling me this story-as his eyes began to take a long walk back to a place I could never begin to understand.  His two brothers were also going-each one serving in a different area of the world-I wonder how many times they gave thought if any of them would come back home.  Praise God, all of them made it back.

When I see photos of young men with eyes that look hollow-as if the deepest part of them had been ripped out by the trauma of war, some called it Shell Shock, and all knew the men would never be the same again.
I also have seen photos of the women who stood tall and served, many as nurses, having to witness young soldiers ripped apart-yet they offered comfort, a soft voice, telling them to "hang in there soldier, all will be okay."

Now we have young men and women-all stepping forward to continue the task of protecting our Freedom-this time there are no "Greeting Letters from Uncle Sam"-but they are volunteering without any hesitation and stand just as tall.  I am sure many of them have Grandfathers who served, perhaps Dads who served in Vietnam-a conflict that brought soldiers a "double type of wound" as many were not shown the respect they so deserved when they returned home.

I watch  young veterans learning how to adjust to  legs being gone, fighting through Pain so they can walk again-working with the same courage those long ago Soldiers had. I am moved to tears as I watch these amazing men and women.  We should take a moment on Memorial Day-to say a silent word of Thanks! I never want to forget all the conflicts of War this country has faced, countless lives lost in the battles, parents opening their door, seeing a Uniformed Officer standing there and  knowing-their worst nightmare has arrived- there is no way to brace for the impact of the words "we regret to inform you that your son/daughter was killed in the line of duty!"Their Pain has arrived and it will always hurt.

War brings a very different kind of Pain that never goes away and lives are forever changed.  I ask God to please watch over the ones who have paid the ultimate price, console their loved ones and please bring those still serving back home, safe to their families.  God bless you all on this Memorial Day.  Martha

Hope I said the "right words" Daddy- I miss you so much-please give Mom a hug.  Love, Sister.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Why do I fight so hard against Pain?

I was sitting in church this evening with my husband and these words suddenly were ringing in my head, trying to get my attention-feeling as if a "demand" of sorts was being put in front of me and I knew-this question needs an answer, especially from me!  Some of the reasons I fight so hard to keep Chronic Pain from taking all of me is pretty simple, a "fighting spirit" was instilled inside a little girl (me) which I learned to use as a way of letting two older brothers know, their little sister could rise up and defend herself-no matter what was being thrown her way.

That Fighting Spirit was always inside me-yet I rarely used it-because I always heard words taught by my Mom a long time ago when she would tell me "Sister- don't get down in the dirt and fight with them-rise above them and walk away!"  Perhaps she did not want to see her little girl slugging it out with her sons, knowing I would always lose that battle.

I had no clue when Pain arrived in my life that I would be faced with some of the toughest battles ever-and it took me a long time to decide I was ready to dig Deep inside and start fighting back against this monster called Chronic Pain.  After a major Staph Infection that almost took my life, I sat in a chair, doing next to nothing for almost two years and one day it hit me-either I would stay in the chair, or I would make the decision to rise up and begin the journey back-hoping I could still find some of Me left!

One thing I want to share is that not everybody can fight Chronic Pain-its robbed them of so much- making it almost impossible to Fight Pain. People like thise are true Pain Warriors, because they still find moments of life to enjoy and treasure.  Angry words probably don't come flying out-another sign of true courage-as they carry Pain in silence, not wanting to burden others with their frustrations-Real courage abounds in people who handle the journey in this manner.

You might ask- "Martha-don't you get Tired of fighting all the time with Pain"?  Yes-there are moments in this long journey-where I have truly questioned my ability to take this battle all the way-meaning Pain being with me as I hopefully head toward my "golden years of life" with my dear husband!  These moments are very scary for me-but I take a moment to recall the Darkest Days and know God was right beside me, gently helping me find the strength to rise again and take the Pain on.

I would never have brought this question up if it hadn't been for what I call my God Moment-yesterday we both had to visit the ear doctor as we have been missing words, not hearing things right and figured all we needed was something for our seasonal allergies.  Wrong!  We both got hearing test results showing a loss of hearing for both of us and mine being severe!  I now get the joy of having a needle injected into my ear to put a medication in so we can save my hearing!  But suddenly  this amazing Physician's Assistant sat there and said words I have Never heard from anybody in the medical profession "Are you Believers?"

We looked at each other in shock-Matt was sitting closer to her and asked for a repeat of the question because he simply could not believe what he heard, again she gently repeated "Are you Believers-do you believe in Jesus and all HE did for us?"  Wow-almost in unison we both answered,  Yes!
Now she had my attention and I asked "Why are you asking this question of us?"  She answered with such faith and said "Well, Jesus never promised us life would be easy here on Earth-but as I have watched you both today, I feel your Spirit is strong and HE will be with you Both-all the way!

Matt asked for her business card-and told her how touched he was to have met her and witness her faith in action!  I sat quietly watching them talk and it hit me "As I battle with this Pain each day, I am never alone!" Suddenly my husband told her that I have a blog site about Chronic Pain and whipped out one of my cards-she held it for the longest time, walked over to me and said "God is really using your Pain and helping you to reach out to others, sharing what you go through and showing your Faith in action!"

Who knew I would find the answer to my question-in such a way as this?  I could have chosen to not answer her question-and just look away, but I knew God was there, watching this moment unfold and to see what I learned from this amazing woman.  I could not think of a better moment of Joy than this one!

Thank you for allowing me to post this lengthy blog, but sometimes its not easy to put all this down in just a few words.  God bless you and I pray for all who must live with Chronic Pain.  Martha

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Painful Reminders......

As I battle with Chronic Pain, it feels like I am holding my breath all the time-hoping against hope the Burning Sciatica Pain will continue to quietly hum until I find myself at the hospital on June 04th-where my Doctor will do her job in attacking this Monster again-using  all of her medical knowledge and a lot of prayer to follow us both into the Procedure Room.

Last night, The Burn decided to show up and got my attention as my leg felt like someone had put it into a game of "Squeeze the Leg" as a  growing feeling of pressure and tightness woke me from much needed sleep.  I lay still, trying to just think the Pain away-"Okay-its not the Burn, just a Charlie Horse Cramp in my Leg-yep thats it-just a bad Cramp!"  

I jumped out of bed, standing still, feeling lost as to what my next Battle Move should be-and decided "Okay Pain-Enough of This-I need my sleep, so Go Away!" Here I stood, trying to be brave, thinking how to fight Pain off by just slipping back into bed-but within seconds, Pain had pushed me back out of bed. All I could do was walk around, hoping to summon up my fighting courage-here in the dark, as my husband slept peacefully.

Walking around in the dark-with your body wrapped in throbbing Pain is a lonely place to be-because I know there are is no Sudden Cure showing up to take this battle away from me! Only the ache of Pain telling me "Remember Martha- you climbed up the tree and fell out" Sadness hit me Hard-as I knew there is no running from living with Chronic Pain-. It was a sobering moment for me-standing in the dark of night-my body writhing with my  enemy called Pain.

As I drag my tired body around-I push myself forward, knowing I must  keep moving, Pain can follow along, but I will never give up the battle-and take a long hard look at a poster hanging above my computer with my  Battle Motto "Pain Won't Beat Me"-it gives me a reason to keep digging deep for courage and I praise God for being with me each day as I walk my Journey with Chronic Pain.

God be with all who suffer with Chronic Pain-please know I say a Prayer today for you, and I kindly ask you, say one prayer for me-its a way we can help each other.    God bless. Martha

Monday, May 21, 2012

Having to say Goodbye....

My good Friend called today- something told me this phone call would be filled with sadness.  Her precious Dad took his final breath today and passed away- surrounded by his loving family.  God knew this would be the day to bring this wonderful man home as a Chaplain who works with Hospice had dropped by, and was playing soft music on a guitar as "Frank" gently left his loving daughter and son-in-law.

She kept repeating "I'm okay-really, I'm okay" and my heart knows the deep inner strength  she carries is there to help her-but the next few days will hold many tears as she walks the path of losing her Dad.  I wanted to tell her "Its so hard to Say Goodbye" but my heart said she already knew this-all I need do on this day was listen with a loving heart.

I reflected back today-to the first time I came to know "Frank" as my friend had just brought him into her home and his health outlook was very poor at the time-but the Nurse "part" in her went to work and he rallied more than anyone ever dreamed possible.  During this time, by the Grace of God-an amazing Friendship began to form between myself and this family-with me finding a prayer partner in "Charles"-the husband of my friend and we started praying for each other-joking about how we could both "predict the weather" due to our Chronic Pain radars!

So today I said a silent Goodbye to Frank-and my life will be all the richer for having known this fine man.

Rest peacefully my friend.  God bless.


Sunday, May 20, 2012

Could the Church Pew Hold all the Pain?

We live directly behind our church- all we need do is take a short stroll to reach the doors.  I find myself looking around the church as people enter, wondering if I might see another  "New Face" who is fighting the battle of Body against Pain and without question, I always see someone and it stops me cold!  All I want to do is look away but my heart refuses to do that and I sit there, taking in all the visible signs of Pain, wondering what their Story holds. Today we had a visiting Nigerian Priest who serves as a Chaplain for a very large hospital, located about 45 minutes from us-but my mind was instantly taken away from noticing him because Pain had decided to give me another Lesson today!

 I realized our particular Pew was being filled up fast with familiar faces of Pain!  First person was Me-I need extra "squirming room"- to keep the Burning Butt quiet.  Second person was my husband-here he sat with this Huge Bandage around his Hand, as he gently held it with the other hand-being so protective of that injured Thumb-lets face it, the last thing we want is for that Thumb to take any further abuse.  Third person to join our Pew was the most touching-a friend we have known for many years, filled with deep Faith and in great physical shape as she is in the golden years of life.  A few months ago she took a sudden fall that caused a severe break to the Main Thigh Bone-requiring  major surgery, months of hard physical rehab exercises-as Pain had decided to join her life and turn it upside down!

All I could think to do was make a silent request  "Lord, this is Martha-Good Morning!  There is too much Pain sitting in our Church Pew this morning-please don't bring anyone else!" The answer from God was right in front of me- there was just too much Physical Pain around me and there was no place for me to hide!   I looked at our friend and saw the damage Pain has brought -those familiar tired eyes, a walking cane beside her- serving as a constant reminder of her injury- watching as she struggled with the idea of trying to kneel in prayer and  Truth hitting as if to say "You can't do that anymore" but she bowed her head in prayer and as she finished-a look of sadness was there, and I recognized it-almost as if I were looking in a mirror.

God allowed  me to see these faces of Pain up today-and I knew the choice was mine to either Learn or simply look away!  I chose to sit and take it all in as I knew, there were a lot of New Lessons about Coping with Pain for me to see today.

Who would think a Church Pew could teach us such lessons?  Before I left the service, I offered up a silent
prayer, asking God to help all who are suffering with Pain.   My Joy for today-an easy one-sitting in the Church Pew with my Husband and an old friend.  I will take that piece of Joy anytime.

Friday, May 18, 2012

The Long Road of Pain....

I have a dear friend who is my version of SuperWoman-not because of her supreme Physical abilities, but instead for her tremendous Courage as she lives daily surrounded by Pain.  Thank God her body is not the one in agony, but her beloved husband (my prayer buddy) suffers daily with severe Chronic Pain, and she ministers to him without giving it a second thought-after all she is a Nurse by profession, a wife by choice and her nursing skills have been honed to a razor sharp level!  One would have thought this woman's plate was more than full as she keeps a keen eye watching over her husband, knowing his Pain level is rising even before he dares to finally speak the words out loud, "I am having a bad day" and she is there by his side, doing everything possible to help bring seconds, minutes, hours of relief for him.  Some of you might recall that I asked for prayers for "Charles" recently-as he was in the dark valley of suffering and your prayers have brought him many days of lighter Pain-God bless you for those prayers!

But my friend stands out to me because of the loving choice she made several years ago when her father became seriously ill, and the love of a daughter said  "Dad needs to be here with us at home" and  her Super Nursing skills shined again, with each day bringing more improvement in his health.  I have watched  them share a moment of laughter together-then having the honor to share a few words of Prayer with them, and listening as he smiled over at his daughter, telling me "She is a special Gal-so special!"  The love was evident and it was a blessing to witness it.

A few days ago my mind was drawn to my friend-I knew she was on a much needed get-away and yet
I could not stop thinking about her-something didn't "Feel Right" and suddenly my phone rang-it was my friend telling me she was back in town and at the hospital with her Father who had fallen and broken his hip.
My heart broke at this news-fearing what lay ahead for her and what tough decisions were probably in her
path.  This woman is amazing-she knew the full extent of her Dad's injury and that any surgical intervention
would probably take her Dad from her while he was on the Operating Table-and so she made the loving decision to keep him comfortable and allow  him to pass from this world with Dignity.

She was faced with the thought of putting her Dad in a Nursing Facility-realizing how demanding his care would now be and so all arrangements were made-but God has His hand in our lives and She felt the need to stop by the Nursing Facility to check it out-wanting the best possible for Her Dad.  She called and said "I couldn't do it-as I left, the tears hit me and would not stop coming!  I can't put my Dad there-so he is coming home with me!"

My Friend chose Love-she put aside all the "Issues" and has risen like the true shining Star I know her to be! Thank goodness for extra nursing care help stopping in to assist with making sure "Frank" is kept at ease, and I know he is surrounded by true love on this night!  I called to see how things were going and she told me  Dad is no longer able to speak-but she knows He can still hear the words of Love she whispers to him and I urged her "Store every second of this time with him in your heart!"

I have watched my friend walk down this Long Road of Pain- and she has not allowed Pain to Win. Without doubt Pain has  taken all of them on some rough rides but in these final days of life for this special man, I believe God is there and has cast Pain aside-letting this family love and grieve as they slowly say Goodbye to this amazing Man.

Thank you God for allowing these amazing people to be in my heart.

God Bless.  Martha

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Finding our Inner Reserve---

We never really understand just how much strength is hidden deep within us-because when everyday life is moving along with no real major problems, there is no need to check and see how "full the Strength Tank" is-because who would think of needing to dig so deep to find it.

Before I fell out of the tree, you could compare me to a smooth running machine, doing so many different things in one day, taking on hard labor-intensive projects, determined to see them to the end.  We have a very old Barn here on our Farm and a few months before the fall, our hay crop came in "big" and we rushed to get it stored safely, in case Rain might come. My mind goes back to standing in an old attic part of the barn, being able to stack three bales of hay-each weighing about forty pounds-and I recall the thrill inside me that day of being able to do the work of any man!

Each day as I started another project, my "Gas Tank of Strength" seemed to surge and I made sure to Empty that tank each day-pushing myself to tackle even harder physical jobs.  Then came the day- and within a brief flash of time, my Tank was empty and I didn't have a clue as to the nightmare of Pain that lay ahead for me.

Pain has changed me in many ways-the physical ones are easy to see-the emotional wounds stay hidden-because it takes a great deal out of me to break down and allow myself  time for to feel sadness about my Pain Battle.  Yet Pain has also taught me so much about that "Inner Reserve"  we all have-each of us finding it in our own way.

Believe me when I say there are many days when I feel like my Gas Tank is Gone-meaning its a chore just to move around the house and at these times, I know Pain is pushing hard and for me to stay in the fight, I must stop, rest and allow my Tank to fill up again with inner courage.  I guess you could say its a Push/Pull type of Battle with Chronic Pain.

I have my motto "Pain Won't Beat Me" on a poster that hangs above my computer-its there to keep me focused-especially when the battle is roaring away and trying to throw me out of the Ring-as I read those words, I am praying to God-asking Him to help fill my Inner Gas Tank-so that I can keep moving, and finding a bit of Joy in each Day.  Today I was able to walk outside and simply enjoy the beauty of Spring
all around me-thats not a bad way to feel some Joy.

Please stay strong, and know we all have our own inner reserve of extra courage and strength-sometimes we are forced to really dig deep for it-but its there.  God bless.  Martha

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Feeling like I am sitting on a Time Bomb...

Its the most normal thing we do-SIT-so why does it have to be something I must worry about and dread?  Gee that answer is simple-Chronic Pain-the Butt Burning I have struggled with has eased but its ultra sensitive-meaning I can't just sit Flat on my butt-if I do that for more than ten minutes, here it starts to creep into my life-I can literally feel the stinging Burn doing everything possible to fight its way through the medication injected to give me relief that I have been so desperate for and so I think-is there a Ticking Time Bomb just waiting to push past the blessed relief I have felt and again blow its way into my life again?

That answer is easy to find but hard to admit-Yes-the Burning Pain is like a simmering Pot on the stove-there is a saying "A Watched Pot never Boils" but in my case, I must keep a constant watchful eye on each move I make, how I sit, which side of my Body that I fall asleep on-so many simple things I once took for granted and now its like I must run through a Mental Butt Protection Checklist constantly-and then Pray that I have the upper hand on this Burning Pain-that I can do everything possible to keep it at bay-until I go for the next round of injections, hoping if its "silent" then we truly have a chance at knocking it out-making it think my Butt just ran away to some strange land and the Burn is lost!

This must all sound a bit unusual, but for me, its one of the many Faces of the Chronic Pain I deal with each day-and the Burning-well its become the number one Issue I am fighting back at. There are so many different faces to Pain-none are simple, and all those who are in this journey, are truly fighting to have an hour, a day-sometimes a few minutes of life without Pain.  Unless you have walked this road, there is no way of really understanding how hard the Battle is-and how courageous people are who live with this monster called Chronic Pain.

I pray my Time Bomb does not go off on my Butt again-and the roaring Burn returns, but if it does, I am willing to battle again, trusting my Doctor, knowing she is fighting just as hard for me.  All I can do is thank God for each day I have and keep breathing my motto- "Pain Won't Beat Me" and hope for the best.

God bless all the True Warriors who must battle with Chronic Pain.  Martha

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Watching My Husband deal with Pain--

When you suffer with Chronic Pain for years, its easy to start feeling like a bit of an "expert" in the field of Chronic Pain and due to my Husband's recent injury and surgery-I found myself blurting out suggestions on how he should deal with his Pain.  Yet when he left my side and was rolled off to surgery yesterday, I felt helpless-I am usually the person in this area-not my husband-although I knew he was in good hands and trusted his doctor, I found myself saying with my voice filled with emotion "Doctor, you bring this Man back safe and sound to me, Okay!"  He understood-I could see the look in his eyes and yet I really didn't relax fully until I was standing by my husband, watching him laughing and cutting up as he was finding his way out of the "Medical Haze"  not making a lot of sense-and I silently was thanking God-knowing everything would be okay.

Things were okay-until in the night, I heard my husband get up and knew he was headed to his office-and as I rounded the corner, his first words were "Oh My God-My Hand is throbbing-Get me some Medicine!" Yes-the moment of truth, when the numbing injection in his thumb had worn off and now he was feeling the full effects of having been through surgery with the added Pain of two Pins inserted to hold his broken bones together.  I rushed to get his medications, checking to make sure he was following the dosage times and then trying to explain the importance of putting some Ice on his Hand!  The look on his face was a New one for me-as it felt like he wanted to scream "Have you lost your mind?  I want this Pain Gone!"  Here we stood-in such unfamiliar spots for each of us-as I tried to explain the help Ice will bring to him, and him  urgently wanting just one thing-Get the Pain to Go Away!

One thing I didn't realize was the Pins inserted to hold his bones in place were very close to the surface, just wrapped under the surgical bandages and he was worried that if his hand were to get bumped during the night, well all I can say is we both knew it was not going to be pretty!  My craft skills suddenly came to mind as I thought about the Quilting Batting I use in different projects and knew we could wrap a piece of this around the area to give it better protection-of course my husband is not grasping my thoughts and I just told him to "follow me-I will help you out on this" and so off we go to my Sewing area-and as I am cutting a piece of the Batting, he looks at me, hand throbbing, his face contorted in Pain and asks "Why are you using such Small scissors to do this?"  Oops-my Embroidery Scissors-gee I felt like they were moving fast but obviously-not fast enough for this man who was in Pain!

We got his hand wrapped, and finally settled back down in bed, both of us hoping the night would get better.  One minute we are talking quietly, and the next thing I hear is the sound of his familiar Snoring!  I was thrilled and hoped he could finally get the rest his body needed.  Within two hours, my Pain decides to pay me a visit with Leg Cramps that demanded I spring out of bed, and as I stand there, stomping my leg to force the cramps to ease down, I heard the familiar Snoring sound and thought-"You lucky Dog!!"
Yes-now we were back in the correct roles of Pain.  I battled through the leg cramps, crawled back into bed and gave my husband a gentle Pat on the arm.  Then I said a heart-felt Thank you to God.

Its been very hard for me to see him suffering like this-and yet it has opened my eyes to how hard his role is-seeing me in constant Pain and knowing, there is no special late night medicine, or special leg wrap to silence my Pain-instead its the cold reality that like it or not-I choose to battle back against the Pain.  I really do wish my husband had not broken his thumb so badly-but in some strange way, God has helped me to see a different Face of Pain-and I am thankful for it-and so glad I can help my husband through this.

All of this started because I wanted some new plants-might be wise to look at something else in the future.

God bless everyone who walks with Pain-please be strong and Know-I do keep you in my prayers.


Sunday, May 13, 2012

Two Peas in a Pod...

Its never easy when one spouse is not feeling well-usually I fill that part on a regular basis-but as I mentioned in one of my earlier posts, my husband had a major break of his thumb and is headed to the Surgery Room in the morning-where the doctor will insert a Pin to hold the Bones together!

We look like the walking wounded-he must now have his arm wrapped in a huge bandage to protect the thumb from being bumped-I move around at a the pace of a snail-still slowly recovering from my injections and I know people must be thinking "How do they manage to get so banged up all the time?"  We were sitting in church this morning, with my husband struggling to hold a songbook in one hand, as I squirmed around to keep from sitting Flat on the Pew-knowing the Butt Burn is waiting to Wake Up and start yelling at me again-but we were giving it the best effort and yet I have a feeling, folks were thinking to themselves- "those two look like they should have stayed home today!"

It would have been so easy to stay in bed, rest and not push ourselves to church-but we both knew, church was exactly where we wanted to be on this day!  Yes we gave thanks for our Moms who have passed on, and yet we also were there together, praying to God for Him to watch over my husband in the surgery room so that everything will go safely.

So we will be up very early and take our journey to the hospital-I have already told my husband that I will be reminding the doctor as to Who he is working on-"My Rock, Matt-the love of my life" and I want him to get through this surgery and back home with me, where I can do my part of caring for him and pamper all I can-because through all these years of him being the one taking care of me-He pampers like nobody I could ever dream of hoping for.

Yes-I sound a little worried-because I am human and love my husband so much-even a broken thumb can
send worry for him flying all around me.  The next time I decide we need to plant new spring beauty in our yard, I will make very sure his Thumb is out of the way as we watch and let someone help us.

Please if you don't mind-say a simple prayer for my husband tonight.  It will help and I am forever thankful that you will care enough to pray for him.  God bless you.  Martha

Friday, May 11, 2012

An Early Mother's Day Post.

I had planned on posting this closer to Mom's Day but for whatever reason, my heart seemed to say, "just go ahead and put your words out there"-in many ways, I think we could say Each day is a Mom Day-but this one approaching asks us to give Pause and be Thankful for All Moms. 

Mothers Day is special-no mistaking that-almost feeling like we need to give a  "shout out"  to say "God Thank You for Giving Us Moms"-yes, none of us Moms are perfect-some we  gladly  hold up as a wonderful example, others we "hear" about and our hearts ache, for these are  Moms who somehow got off  track of loving a child-and the stories are too many and filled with  heartbreak.  Even these Moms need a prayer-for God to help heal the damage within them.  A prayer should also be said for all women out there, not yet experiencing the Role of Mom-only dreaming about it, living with the sad ache in their hearts.

So after some thought, I decided to share about Two Moms that have played a huge role in my life: I start with my dear Mom-in-law who I simply knew as Aggie-we formed a bond that moved so far past the daughter in-law/Mom-in-law relationship-God blessed me with a wonderful Friend!  We laughed together over things that nobody else would find funny, she taught me lessons that at the time-perhaps I thought  why is she telling me this" and yet years later, the meaning of her words came home and suddenly I knew-she had been passing on her message to me, hoping I had listened, because Aggie was taken from us too soon-her life ending from the violence of Murder!  Yet  after her death, it seemed she was still telling us "you must learn to forgive" and even in the sorrow of losing this amazing woman, I heard those words in my heart and try to follow the amazing example of this fantastic woman.

Now for my Mom-well she was one of a kind-there is no other way to put it and I have started to see some 
of her amazing sense of humor in my  Own crazy "You would not believe what just happened stories" and think, how she must be smiling down, as I now am truly learning the deep value of humor in my life. There are so many memories of this woman- I could fill the pages of her unusual antics-but the other side of her warms my heart-I have a vivid memory of seeing her sitting up late at night, in her favorite chair, with a very worn Bible in her lap, pages torn from being looked at over and over.  One night I asked  what her favorite part of the Bible was-she paused for a second and said "Every page!  As I read at night, I am also sitting here and praying for each of my children-I never miss a night on doing that!" It touched me and is now a lesson passed on as I pray for my Son each night.

I grew up on a farm and if we had one Cat, it seemed like we had ten of them-and for reasons only known by my Mom, she did Not take a shining toward them! When meal-time arrived and a grandchild needed a highchair, there was nobody more inventive then Moma- suddenly she would reach into some hidden corner and be stacking some of the oldest phonebooks possible-one on top of the other, usually taking at least six-eight of them-and finishing the job by carefully planting the grandchild as the crowning Top of this creation!
It worked for her,  a child Never fell and the meal began and we all cherished this Special HighChair created by the love of a GrandMother.

My young son got to witness the bad  relationship between Mom and Cats up close one night-as we were all sitting and eating, everything relaxed and easy when suddenly-the Cats arrived to start climbing up the Screen Door-almost a way of letting my Mom know-"Heh-we can smell good cooking-feed us too!"
Suddenly Mom had leaped from her chair, grabbed a Broom and was swinging at those Cats as if her very life depended on it!  To this very day, I can still  see my young son-his blue eyes Huge with Wonder-probably thinking "Wow, Granny can really Swing A Broom" and then just as quickly, Mom was settled back at the table, as if nothing had happened-with all of us sitting there- mouths hanging open in shock!  She was so cool about her "Broom Moment"-simply brushed it off by saying "Well, I bet those Cats never show up at my Door Again!"  It is one for the books-and gives me a loving chuckle for this Moms Day.  

Thank goodness we only have two cats here on our farm and I don't see myself bringing the "Broom Swing" back into action. That one was a classic and belongs to my Mom.  So as this Mothers Day approaches, I look toward the Heavens, giving thanks for these two Women-who touched my life in so many ways.

Yes- I am a Mother too.  I pray God be with all Moms on this Special Weekend.  martha

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Chronic Pain in the life of a Teenager.

Since my procedure, I have spent a lot of time simply laying around, reading, sneaking out to my office for just a few minutes to check my computer and watching television.  I have seen my share of old movies, modern shows-feel like I could cook tons of new recipes and today, for whatever reason, I stayed put and heard the final news report on our local station.  Thank God I was listening because my eyes were opened to a side of Chronic Pain that I never knew existed.

The report was based on young female teenagers, playing Soccer and how easily they can get concussions-with so many of them playing right through till the end of the game, not wanting to be taken out of doing something they treasure.  Yet the side-effects or more importantly, the after-math of a Concussion in these young women stunned me-as I listened to a lovely young girl describe what she now lives with after having endured more than one Concussion.  She spoke in a soft voice, and was in her bedroom, which is kept in a constant level of low lighting-so the lights do not further add to the constant 24 hour a day headache she lives with!  When I heard that number, 24 hours-my heart broke-and yet this girl sat with such grace, although it was very clear she was dealing with Pain even as she spoke.

The words she gave to explain Chronic Pain-that she lives with  were simple and so painful "People think you can't have a headache 24 hours a day, seven days a week, but its true.  They just don't understand, This Pain doesn't Ever Go Away-I can't say it any better-I am sorry but its true, the Pain never goes away."

The words were there-and she said them with a clarity that I shall never forget.  Here was a young girl, telling the world about her Pain, then apologizing for the severe Truth of her words, yet being so honest, that I could feel her heart coming through the screen-as she opened up and gave Chronic Pain a real Face.

She is so young-in the prime of her life and suffering agony that very few know about-especially in the teenage years of her life, playing a sport she loved and now suffering with Pain-a Pain that has already quickly moved the growing process along.  My meaning in that is she  must now face the daily battle of Chronic Pain-still trying to have the joys of being young-yet being pounded daily with Pain that can
age each person who gets in its Path.

I learned more tonight about Chronic Pain-from the voice of this young woman-and I will never be able to
forget her words.  I praise her for reaching inside and finding true inner courage to explain the simple cold
facts of Chronic Pain-when she said "This Pain doesn't ever Go Away!"  God bless this girl, I pray He hold her in HIS loving Arms and ease her Pain.  Hearing this young woman speak gave me courage-and a better understanding to keep my head held high, and walk my Pain journey with true Dignity.  If a lovely young teenager can do it, then by the grace of God, So Can I.

My heart aches for all who are suffering with Chronic Pain.  God be with you.  Martha

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

One real Moment.....

Yesterday I was at the Pain Clinic to have my Pain Management Doctor inject my Burning butt-praying that the medicine will calm it down so I do not feel as if a Cattle Prod has been permanently attached to my behind!  Its amazing to see the number of people walking in at the hour of 6:00am, when so many others are sleeping away and here others are lining up, patiently waiting their turn to be called in and hoping this visit will bring them some relief.

If you do not live with Chronic Pain on a daily basis, its almost impossible for a person to really grasp just how hard this is-you must grow an inner strength that you can pull from to keep having a normal life, in spite of Pain.  So many changes are made as you walk this path, and gradually you do not notice the frustration of letting go of doing something you once treasured.

I have forgotten what it feels like to have NO Pain going on in my body-seriously, its something I don't recall anymore-lets be honest, after fifteen years of having this much Pain, I think the brain must have a way of wiping out the "memory bank of feeling good" and its replaced with "Living Bank of Pain" each day of your life.

All I had on my mind yesterday was to get the injections and pray for relief-but as we waited for my Doctor
to come inside the procedure room, we had a moment where I had been given a small injection to help me
relax and as I lay on the table, suddenly a feeling swept over me and I blurted out "So This is What My Body feels like with NO Pain!  Nobody say a word, Please let me treasure this for just a second!"
It truly felt like you could hear a pin drop-the room was deadly silent and I knew all these medical professionals standing near me were sharing this moment with me.  It had to be moving for all of them as I felt a nurse lean over and give me a very gentle pat on the hand, a way of assuring me, It did happen and they all were so happy for me.

God gave me an amazing Real moment of Joy yesterday-and it will stay in my heart forever-no matter how much Pain decides to fight back at me.  I also realize this does not happen for many others who are suffering and my heart breaks at that thought-all I can do is Pray for you.  That is something I will always be doing.  If you don't mind-please say just one Prayer for me-because I know a single Prayer can take all of us a long way.

God bless you. Martha

Saturday, May 5, 2012

No Sleep, lots of Pain-what can I do?

Well-let me answer my own question first- "Dear God, Please ease the exhaustion in my body, help me to feel better physically-and Thank You for being right beside me each night as I walk around the house!" 

Even after so many years of being in Pain and having a ton of sleepless nights, I still wonder-am I doing something wrong-should I jump right back into that bed and just "wait it out" until the Sun comes Up?  Nights like these can be very lonely-I know that my husband would wake up, grab a cup of coffee and sit with me as I ride through the waves of Pain-but he too needs rest and I try to "man up" as they say and get through it.

But I can tell when people see me-they must be thinking-"What the heck was she doing last night?" For most people who know me, they give me a silent caring look and know that Martha is having a rough spell with Pain again.

I wonder how others handle going without sleep and still function at a semi- normal level, all I can recall is missing sleep became  a "Norm" for me and I just kept moving on. Now I will admit my "moving on" was not normal, but just a much slower version of the person I once was-before the Pain showed up.

What suggestions could I give for coping with Pain robbing precious Sleep from our bodies-well one thing I can say is a Five minute nap now feels as if I had been sleeping for hours and it gives me a little boost of which I am very much in need of.

Long story short-there are No easy answers for anybody out there-I have tried the sleep aids but those did not help-I would fall asleep quickly but the Pain was determined to drag me awake and so I stopped taking them.  Be open with your doctor-have a true heart to heart conversation-and I really do pray they will listen to you!  Just think about how easily when blogging, we are able to converse with people we haven't met face to face, but we share this common bond and it helps us, because we know the other person does understand what Chronic Pain really means.

So its taken me all day to post this blog-thats how fuzzy my brain was from no sleep-and now I am headed
to see if perhaps this night will bring me better sleep. Writing this post and actually finishing it-well that has been my Joy for the day.  I will take it.  God bless you all and keep looking up.  Martha

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Not a Good Day here on the Farm.....

Martha and her need for plants-I thought it would be simple-no complications as my husband and I worked together to get the first ones in the Ground by the end of this weekend.  My Husband knows that after my Procedure on Monday-all I will be good for is to lay around and not move, praying the Doctor was able to work her "magic" so this intense Butt Burning will ease up.

We got off to a great start today, already had the plants sitting where we wanted them to be, so their beauty would really show as they start growing-I knew my main job was that of a runner-(no I don't mean actual Running) as those days are long gone, but assisting dear husband as I could.

He gave me the list of things to find in the barn and I heard his words-but there was one thing he had forgotten-Martha has not slept much during the past four nights and as a result-well lets just say I forgot everything and sat at my computer-when it hit me that everything was too quiet and it was time for me to find out where my husband had gone.  Texas ground can be Rock solid Hard in some places and I suggested to my sweet husband the idea of using the tractor with the Drilling attachment which digs a  hole in seconds-but He insisted the ground would yield to his attempts, but I knew the Ground won when I saw him in the barn, driving the tractor around so he could hook up the Auger/Drilling tool, leaning against a tree.  He always puts it there and has Never had any trouble getting it hooked up to the tractor.

So-I figure-"heh-things are looking up,the tractor is running and I will be outside in just a few minutes to water my new plants!"  That was my last thought when I suddenly heard the kitchen door slam open and my husband is screaming  "God all Mighty, I broke my Thumb!"  He is standing over the sink, his face full of Pain and is trying to cover his Thumb with Ice-as Martha gently asks "Are you Sure its broken?"  So I do not forget this point-as He was trying to attach the Auger to his tractor, it slipped and crushed his thumb against the tree!  Yep-pretty good chance there were some broken bones!

Honestly-the Look he gave me-well lets just say I think it was a brief moment when he looked up at God and thought "Where Did you Find this Woman for Me to Marry?"  He let me know with several curse words that Yes-his thumb was crushed and then said "Woman-get me to the Doctor, Now!"  It finally dawned on me that we had a very serious problem going on-as he heads out the door to get in our truck and I come hobbling behind him, only to find we left the Keys in the house!  Again-He looks up to the Heavens, then at me and screams "Dear God, Go get the Damn Keys!"

Now-I hopped out and remember the "running"-well all I could do was a pathetic limp/walk/trot-I really don't know except it was not fast enough for my husband whose Pain level was Rising by the seconds.  He gets out of the truck and yells "Oh My God-do you call that Running?"  Now here we are at one of those
long-term marriage moments when we feel the Need to give some Intense Answers back and forth to each other!  I turn around and yell back "I thought you Knew My Legs don't Run!"  He takes his good hand, slaps it against his head and says "Well lets just go ahead and Wait for Martha to slowly walk toward the house!"  I decided we had talked enough and grabbed the keys and off we went to the doctor!

Thank God the office was only a short distance away and as I come flying in, Panic finally having reached me, I try to park the truck, realize its not straight and begin "the Woman's Manner of Parking" as my husband is sitting next to me, writhing in Pain, takes another look at me and says " Seriously?"
I  turned the motor off and headed to the office.  Thank God they took him in quick as he was now considered a "trauma" situation as they felt the Thumb had been crushed.

Its the first time in 37 years of marriage that I ever saw Matt in a Panic of this nature-I was running around, trying to put a cold cloth on his head, then telling the doctor exactly which Pain meds he needed-and my husband is trying to tell the doctor "Heh, I am the Patient-Martha, you do NOT have to help the doctor!"  So-long story today-resulting in the blessing of bones broken, not crushed, stitches, medicine, and a lot of healing time will be needed.  Yet there was still one more "moment" as the nurse was leading him back to have the hand x-rayed and she asks "Matt- why are you limping?"  He looks back at me, turns to the nurse and says "We had our 37th wedding anniversary last week-and I will Never go fishing again!

You never know what is waiting around the corner to happen-so it might be a while before our flowers do
bloom, but this is a day we both will never forget!

God bless. Martha

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Things look So Easy for others....

For some crazy reason, this Spring is the first time I can recall wanting to see things planted, blooming, and then allowing me the joy of just sitting back and "taking it all in!"  If my old body would allow me, I would be outside every single day, planting all sorts of flowers, grasses-just anything I could get in the ground, but its not that simple anymore-if I tried to do all these things-just figure I would be spending some days at the hospital, looking around me and thinking "What in the Heck was I thinking?"

So-being a determined person, when I can't build the mountain, then I bring the mountain to me-aka, my husband so he can "help bring Martha's dreams to reality"-but if you asked him, I don't think his words would be that flowing-instead he would  say "Yep, Got to put some flowers in the ground for Martha-if she does it, well lets just say the picture is Not pretty!  Did you Notice I am planting these flowers and limping at the same time?"

Yes-misery always seems to love some extra company and my husband managed to twist his ankle in a recent fall and its really a sight to see us both limping around here, attempting to do things, then suddenly stopping, rushing to our chairs on the porch and dropping in exhaustion!  Its jaw dropping when we turn to each other,saying "Wow, we had to be out there for at least two hours, right?"  But we look at the clock, realizing a short Ten Minutes have passed and all we can do is shake our heads and laugh.

I have learned one lesson after the other of being in Chronic Pain and finally have learned- its okay to Laugh about at the ups and downs, and I can choose to laugh a bit or cry for a lifetime!  My anger does rise when I see my husband tossing a bag of planting soil around-and I am reminded of how easy it was for me too.

My husband propped his aching foot up for his  version of "My Foot hurts, I am in Pain" then turned to here me say "Wow, looks like it really Does Hurt!  Would you Like to see my Part that hurts?"  I knew his answer and was floored when he said  "Well-I got to talk about my foot Pain First-so I Win this round!"  His foot did look pretty rough and I figured this was a time for him to have a loving hug.

For those who do not suffer with Pain, things do look pretty easy from your end, but for each of us who fight the daily grind of Chronic Pain-Nothing looks easy, and feels as if the Mountain is huge that we must keep
climbing as we work through the Pain.  I keep you in prayer and ask for God's blessings to lift you up.


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

My Story-"Just Wait Till I get Home-Please!"

"Just Wait Till I get Home"-these words are burned into my mind forever and almost  sixteen years later, I can still hear them as if my Husband was saying them to me yesterday.  I have written a lot of postings about my Chronic Pain, how bad it hurts all the time, my anger and sorrow at seeing my body change daily and all of this because I refused to pay attention to a simple request made by my husband.

It took me years before I was able to sit down and write about Falling out of that Tree-those moments were stuffed very deep and I dreaded trying to recall that Terrible Day-why I fell so suddenly-and it has been one of the hardest things to do.  But it hit me recently as I was blogging about my "Burning Butt" that I have never spoken about that day-and something "moved" inside me, telling me "You must talk about awful Day!"

My heart was telling me that if I could find the courage to tell my story-perhaps one person will read this and just before they are getting ready to climb up a tree, suddenly a memory will come to them "oh yeh, I remember reading about that gal in Texas who fell out of a Tree and is in Constant Pain!  So-Maybe I should back away from this tree-just to be safe!"

So here is my Story:

We live on a farm in the middle of a small Texas town-the oldest home on our place was built in 1917 and we use it as a Guesthouse now, but a lot of work was needed on it before we opened the doors to our friends.  There is a tree that grows here in Central Texas-its called a Hackberry Tree (known here as a Trash Tree-folks don't see it having much value for anything)  and one of these trees stood in the old yard-limbs would drop with a strong wind and there was one particular Limb  I wanted out of the way-fast!  It was blocking my view as I would sit and watch the old Well pumping water into a cistern-something I really enjoyed doing!  My husband worked long days as a Robbery Detective in a large nearby city and I kept after him to "get that limb cut down" and he would remind me to just give him a bit more time and it would get done.

That morning as he left for work, his last words were "Now listen, just wait till I get home Today and I will take care of that limb!"  Of course I would wait-thats what I told him but the second his car was on the road-I was moving fast to grab the ladder, saw, water-and something made me bring the portable phone outside, leaving it on our patio-just in case I needed to call somebody.  I was up that tree within minutes-heck I had climbed so many trees as a young child, this was a piece of cake for me and I started hacking away on that one Limb-shouting with joy was it crashed to the ground!  

Just as I was enjoying my victory, the ladder fell- my mind told me  it would still be so easy to get down-and for some reason-I decided to climb higher and was a full 12 feet from the ground.  Everything got suddenly quiet-no breeze, no sound of cars passing by, even the birds had scattered, and our family dog had gone into hiding.  I recall pausing for a second, then another limb caught my attention and I leaned out to start cutting it-and that was It!  I began falling, recall screaming GOD HELP ME and then landing on that hard ground, my butt taking the full impact of the fall and yet I still had the saw in my hand, holding it straight in the air!  The breath had been knocked out of me and I struggled to find some air, tears were streaming down my face-as the shock had settled in that I had just fallen out of a tree-this was a First for Me!

I started trying to move my legs and had my First Hard Meeting with Pain-It was so horribly intense-I felt sick to my stomach-but was  thankful my legs still moved,  a sign everything was working fine!  No-nothing was really working and suddenly my eyes found the telephone and my brain was telling me "Gee Martha-don't you think it might be a good idea to call somebody!"  So I tried to stand and again, a Pain hit me that told me-"Now its time for you to learn all about Pain-looks like you had better think of some other way to reach that phone!"

Suddenly-the "child" within me seemed to say "You know how to crawl-just give that a try" and crawl I did-but a short distance that would have taken only a minute of time, now took me a full hour to do.  My body was covered in sweat, dirt, tears-and with each movement I made, the Pain throbbed so loud-that I had to stop, catch my breath, and then start again to crawl-knowing my one goal was to reach that Phone!  Finally I could feel the concrete patio underneath my wounded body and thanked God over and over for helping me get to this spot, but one more task lay waiting for me-I needed to turn my body over so I could reach up for the phone.  Seemed like a simple task, but when I attempted to roll my body over-All I can say is it felt like HELL had shown up and was laughing at me-this stupid woman-who just had to cut one Limb from a tree and was thrown to Earth with such Violence!

It took another thirty minutes of a back and forth rolling motion before I finally landed on my back, looking upward to a sky that seemed to be swimming around me as the Pain grew by the second.  Finally I called a friend and very calmly asked her, "Uh, would you mind dropping by to check on me?  It seems I fell out of a tree and just thought somebody needs to take a look at me to be sure I am okay!"  She must have thought I hit my head on the way down and within minutes I heard the sound of a car driving up, as she was suddenly standing over me and all she could say was "Oh my God Martha-what happened?"  

I made light of my recent disaster-shook away her begging me to call an ambulance and thanked her for stopping by.  Somehow I knew-this was the biggest mistake I had ever made and nothing in my life would ever be the same again.  My husband never knew what happened until three months later when all the toes on my foot went numb and I knew, the time had arrived for me to tell him what I did-and I shall never forget the look on his face.  It had hit him that our married life had also just changed, as a strange Face was now with us-the face of PAIN.

This is my Story-my Prayer is that someone Learn from these words-and Never Climb a Tree or a Ladder or anything that will throw your body to the ground.  Life changed that day for me in a split Second and now I fight each day to battle through the Pain and God has blessed me with a husband who is right here beside me, lifting me up when I grow so weary from fighting.  Yes-I wish with all my heart things could be different but they are not-so that is why I say "Pain Won't Beat Me!"  God be with you all and thank you for allowing me to share my story with you.  Martha