Thursday, December 19, 2013

The Other Side of Holidays~~~

Christmas is probably the biggest Holiday of the Year~~lets face it, Promotions start in September as stores start showing all the Glitter and Shine, and when we see these "early Christmas signs" I would swear there comes a collective "How will I get through this Holiday?"

People start to worry about the costs of gifts-money they might not have, children they will let down if that "perfect Tree with tons of Gifts" is not waiting on Christmas morning--while  family relations are churning all around them.

 Christmas brings a load of emotions toward us~~~Bells Ringing, Christmas Carols sung non-stop, the struggle  through shopping lines, watching the cash register soaring upwards, stopping to wait for that "fast Credit Card Swipe" bringing more worry while nervous  Store Clerks say a  "Happy Holidays" greeting,  hoping the customer will just move on and not insist on saying "Merry Christmas!"  Why should a clerk live in fear of  losing their job by saying those  two words, "Merry Christmas?"

Worry, anger, sadness, frustration, helplessness--the list sadly goes on as to the range of emotions flying around as this holiday rapidly approaches us.  There is no magic cure--people must find their way through this time, and the statistics of Violence around this time of  year are rising at an alarming rate.  

What can be done to change the "Commercial Christmas?"  Its not that easy but there is a way to start~~~PRAYER.  Remember the Christmas story~~a BABY was born in a manger, surrounded by animals, shepherds stood still, Three Wise Men arrived with Gifts for the child.  They called him  Jesus...................

May your Christmas find moments of Peace.  God bless everyone.  

Friday, December 13, 2013

Finding Something to Enjoy....

Cold weather comes and I keep thinking---is there any place  to  hide from the Pain that comes with these  crazy weather changes?   The answer comes swift--no place to hide, just have to ride it out and wait for the Sunshine to peek its beautiful rays out again.   

Who feels like doing anything when your body is throbbing with Pain that simply will not stop hurting?   I can rise quickly to anger-snapping at my husband for no reason, apologizing over and over for being so irritable.   During the past few months we have both talked about how I need a 
"New Project" to occupy my mind as  I cope  with the ups  and downs of Chronic Pain.   

I verbally agreed with him but silently thought "Give it a rest!  Nothing is going to help my mood  right now, Nothing!"   Its the rut we can all slide into---Pain rising and falling with the Weather, having LONG nights like the one I am having now~~~Sleep seems to hide, I search for something to do besides sit and watch the television (after 2:00am--not much to see on the screen)  and so I reach for my computer keys--hoping the words will help.   

Then I stop and pray~~ "Lord  I thank you for all the blessings you send my way!   If you don't mind, I could  really use some HELP  right now with this miserable Leg Pain!"   I know my prayers are heard--I must find patience for the answer.......

So how would I know there was something just  around the corner that could bring me some wonderful Joy---we had lunch today at one of our Special places to eat--meaning its so much more than a restaurant!   There is a theatre upstairs for out of town Musicians to display their talents, an Art Studio at the end for both young and old artists to learn the joy of putting brush to canvas and see what comes to life!   

Today the latest addition almost seemed to "Have my Name on the door" as  I glanced  to see a sign that  read "Textile Studio" ~~something pushed me to go take a look.  My husband was lingering behind, telling me over and over "I don't think this part is opened yet.  Lets wait for another  day to see it" but I never heard his words.  As I stepped into the Studio--it was like a huge Pandora's box of Wall to Wall Fabrics  greeted me!   The  Shelving ran from the floor to the ceiling (very old building--walls are 12 feet high or more)  and I could not take my eyes away from this glorious arrangement of Fabrics!  

Quilts made by others hung in various display--I kept walking and whispered to my husband "Have you ever seen anything like this?"   He wasn't  taking in all the beauty I was seeing--but instead  was standing in silent awe as his wife suddenly was like a young girl--having discovered a beautiful treasure!   A clerk approached me and began explaining how the store was designed and let me know there would be an upcoming Class on learning how to Quilt!

I could not fill the  paperwork  out fast enough--as I knew this was  a place I wanted to see over and over again!  As we got home, my husband told me "You were like a little Girl--I haven't seen that much excitement in you for  a  long time!"   

The classes will start soon and I will be there~~~loving every moment of being surrounded by so much beauty!  Wish me Luck on my First Quilt!

God please be with all the people who are suffering with Pain--bring them comfort!


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

The "new" Blog Look!

I look at my "New" blog design and it hits me as to why this choice~~the background images reflect Age-the walls are old and show a lot of "wear & tear."  Photos hanging on the wall, showing images of a very different era,  the "Crank Phone" image transports me back to being a very young girl, watching my Grandma giving the phone a few turns, reaching her friends and talking for hours. 

In many ways I feel like  the aged Walls~~~my body carries a ton of aches and pain.   Here I am in the dark of night--while others sleep, I am typing away,  trying to put my frustration with Pain into  words and not having much success with it.

Lately I seem to have a rough edge all around me~~like the old wallpaper,  the wear and tear of a long battle with Pain is showing on me.  I can't erase the awful day when I fell out of a Tree--no changing that fact, instead I must keep tugging at "my bootstraps" and keep moving down the road of life.

Yes, the old walls are a reflection for me as I continue on~~Joy is still out there, just waiting for me to find it.  I refuse to give up...........

God bless all who are suffering.  You are not alone.    

Monday, December 2, 2013

I just can't Decide!

Martha at Five Years old

All dressed up and happy about my Birthday cake~~but my problem was which Candle to start blowing out First!   As I look back, that seems like such a simple issue--I recall how Proud I was to be in my Brand New Dress  Moma had been working hard on so it would be ready for this day!   

Now I fast forward many years later and here I sit, "experimenting" with my BlogDesign--making changes so fast that I can't keep up with them!  One will look fantastic, the next one results in leaving me feeling like  I am in desperate need of  "Design Web Page  for Dummies" book!  

I see other Blog sites and think "Wow,  how did they do that?"  Suddenly it hits me--I can change my Blog look every single day, but  the most important issue is what I share in words.   When I start writing~~for whatever reason, the words come and I let them flow.   Nope-I  am not the best writer in the world--I write from my heart and that will never change.  

Perhaps  that is the key~~~~I am trying to be technical in designing a New Blog look--time to open my heart and see what happens!    Thanks for being patient.......

God Bless.  

Chronic Pain~~~a Silent Thief

I have a dear friend who suffers with Chronic Pain~~He amazes me with his Silent Dignity in the face of Pain that could easily take the strongest person to the ground.  I can tell how he is doing simply by the sound of  his voice and my heart aches for what he must  endure each day.

Chronic Pain has taken so much from him--simple physical activity  he once cherished  is now changed, each move he takes  is careful and deliberate.  The last  thing he needs is any further  injury to his aching Body.   We check on each other, pray for each other, and lift  each other up in spirit by simple encouraging words "We can Do This~~yes, We Can Get through this Bout of Pain!"   

Tonight I felt Pain approaching my body~~silent, steady--just like a Thief in the Dark.   No place to  run or hide--just ride it out and pray for the Pain to release its grip!  

There are good days for my friend, and for me and countless others who suffer with Chronic Pain, and we give thanks to God for those days!  Its nice when the "Silent Thief" takes a break from our  Pain-weary Bodies.

Last night I prayed  hard for my friend, and asked God for a bit of help for me too!   Its okay to ask HIM for assistance~~HE  knows my Prayers  before the words leave my lips!

I am eternally Thankful for HIS loving Grace..........martha

Friday, November 29, 2013

Oops-I skipped Black Friday Shopping!

Yes its true~~I skipped the biggest shopping day of the year--Black Friday!   As I watched the mid-day news and saw people "brawling" over those "can't  live without Bargains" all I could think was-"Well one  good Shove and I would be on the Ground!"

Why do people get into a physical battle over a small discount on an item?   Do  they truly think a real Bargain is waiting for them?   Maybe its the challenge  of waiting in line for hours, in freezing weather, not thinking about getting a Cold--nothing matters except getting that Bargain  deal.

Shopping is  something I would like to do in a  peaceful manner--but that  usually does not happen!  Black Friday would  be  impossible for me to do  because of the lovely Pain that  follows  me around, day and night.  It hurts to stand for too long a time,  and sitting down--well that is out of the picture.   Things change in life--just that  simple, whether its learning how to live  with Pain,   or a major life event--we either adjust  with the change or  stay in one major struggle.

Life is precious and for this old gal--I  can skip  Black Friday shopping!  Besides I know all the stores are packed  with Christmas, Christmas, Christmas!   Too much, too fast,  and way too Soon.

Take care and hope you find a moment  of simple  Joy.    

Blessings,  Martha

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving~~~stirring the Memory Pot.........

I have been away from my Blog~~wish I could say it was something big that took me away from my writing but its not.  Doubts and fear surfaced and I needed time to sort everything out.   Perhaps one thing I needed to learn was to give myself permission in taking a day or  two or three weeks off from writing.   The break has helped and I realized just how very much I miss sharing my thoughts and life with others--its very important to me as I share my journey of living with chronic pain--always hoping I can be of help to others  who must walk this wicked path.  

There are so many things I am truly thankful for  at this  Thanksgiving~~~I thank God for giving me the strength each day to get up and move~~~keep moving and looking for some Joy, regardless of how bad the Pain gets.  Don't get me wrong~~~there are many days when I simply can't do much, and this is when I really Learn to respect  this Pain--my body needs rest and its okay to  "be lazy" when these days arrive.  I am beyond thankful for my  amazing Husband~~~who stands with me,  helps  me through the tough times, holds me during the Sad times, laughs with me at things that seem Funny just to us!  

So how did Thanksgiving "Stir the Memory Pot" so easily?   Simple~~~memories of so many times with family and friends who have passed on.  Remembering my First Thanksgiving as a married woman and having my parents there to enjoy the meal with us.  Thank goodness I managed to cook the Turkey and dressing---recalling our son chewing on a huge Turkey leg as a very young toddler~~pausing on that memory, sadness rising and the realization of knowing this is our life now and we cherish it  just the way it  is.  

We  used a  lot of Pots  today--each  one managed to  bring another memory to the surface and there was much laughter today, as we remembered  that long ago time when it was just the two of us and that was all  we needed.  Today as we prayed before our meal, we felt "our loved ones" watching over us and realized there will always be a "Stirring of the Memory Pot" at times of holidays.   I pray your
Thanksgiving day was peaceful and  happy.  

Thanks for following my Blog and I pray you will drop  in and read my words again.   Martha

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

I Don't Quit~~

Words  I have  whispered~~clinging to them as Struggles in Life have come my way, I speak them with strong Assurance--a verbal  challenge within me as the words fly  from me~~
"I Don't Quit!"

Where do the words come from?   My Answer is simple--Everything I am,  all the Blessings given to me throughout  my Life come directly from God.   HE  is  my constant Light I  reach for in the darkest  hours  of my  Battle with Pain.   HE shows me Joy in each day  as  I  walk  the path of Life with my "Best Blessing"~~my dear  Husband!  
I  am assured by Faith--knowing God  will never Quit, HIS  love is Constant......
HE is the MASTER  of my LIFE.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Something always happens!

My Dentist must be convinced I am running scared from having more work done on my old Choppers~~not the case in this instance!  Stress has its way of flying at us and at the time, we are so convinced of our coping skills~~but while our minds are in a whirlwind of handling Stress~~the Body is on another course that we are not aware of-Yet!

Just when I finally came up with a solution to the main Stress issue~~Bam!!  I woke up realizing my Body was not the same~~Stress was now screaming at me via my Body and it seems every piece of me hurts.  It dawned on me that during this latest run with Stress~~Food had lost its meaning and my body was letting me know-loud and clear.  I quickly fixed a breakfast fit for a Queen-buttered Biscuits, Fresh Scrambled Eggs, hot Tea and Two Large Glasses of Water.  Within the hour my body began to relax~~as if were saying to me~~ "Okay--now how many times have we been through this together?"  My head hung low--"Too many times--I know, yes I know my mistake!"

Instead of simply looking to the Heavens and saying "Here Lord--this is Too much for me to handle!"  No--I fooled myself into a mess of physical Pain, and will NOT do it again.  Thats when I feel like the Lord says "Oh Martha, Martha--why do you worry so much?"  HE is right.......

Time for Lunch!  I will see my Dentist in two weeks.............

God help us to remember how easy it can be to simply LET GO..............  martha

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

A Message from a young "Tree Climber!"

We never  know when the chance will arrive for  a "Message" to come our  way~~~giving us a few seconds to turn our brains OFF and allow our EARS to  hear words coming.

It happened to me a  few  days ago as I was shopping and stood at the Checkout Counter.   As the years  have  passed, people  see me with a  walking cane-someone will say "You are  too Young for  one of  those!  What happened  to you?"

I have learned to be brief with my story-"Well  I  fell out of a Tree about 18 years ago, landed Too  hard on my Behind, messed up my Sciatic  Nerve, my Leg hurts  ALL  the time, and the  leg feels  Weak and I use the Cane to help me keep  from falling."

No matter how  many times I say it--everyone around me grows quiet!   I wonder what they are  thinking--as I  hear  a  question "Why were you in a tree?"  My answer is  fast--"I  was cutting a Limb down, but  never  thought  I would have  such a Bad  Fall." 

Silence  lingered-- and suddenly a young voice emerged from the line of shoppers and was standing beside  me.   He looked  up at me, lifting his  arm for  me to see it  wrapped  in a Heavy Cast.  His  words  hit home--"Heh- I broke my Arm when I fell out of  a  tree--boy it  really did hurt!"   

My heart was doing flip-flops~~~knowing how bad his  fall could  have  been-- giving Silent thanks that all he had ended with was this broken arm. But He had more to say---"I  heard you tell that  lady about how you Fell  out of a Tree--does you Leg really hurt All  the  Time?"    

I pushed the Tears down inside me--feeling the need to  answer  this child with honesty.   "Well, yes--you did hear me right--my Leg does  hurt All  the  Time.  You were very lucky to only break  your  arm."
He paused---as if he were storing my words  into his mental memory bank~~~ and he said "Lady--I am Sorry you got  hurt!"

Genuine concern from one so young--he started  to  walk  away, glancing back at me with each step  he  took--I  knew  it was time  for just a few more  words~~~"Heh--how about  we  make a promise  with each other?"   His eyes  grew large--"Yeh---thats  okay!"    I  leaned down and said  "How  about we  both promise to NOT climb a  Tree again?"   His  beautiful face broke  into a  huge  grin for  a second--then he grew silent,  I knew  he  was taking our conversation to  heart.

Almost in exact unison-our words  blended together---"We  promise  to never  Climb up a Tree  again!"    I kept smiling  as  he walked  away,  holding his Mom's  hand and turned to Wave at me.    

This "Message" will  stay in my heart  forever.........  


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Can We make Changes?

Sounds like  such an easy thing to do~~change our hairstyle, change the Furniture arrangement, Change how we Dress, Change our Computer  layout~~the list goes on.  But what happens when we are faced with Changes that pulls  at our heart?

Today I received an email from a dear  friend--with heart-breaking news of two wonderful women we both know well are now battling against the C word----CANCER.   One has faced Cancer before~~it arrived in her life like a  Major Storm, attacking her body non-stop.   The Community bonded together~~PRAYER started and never stopped--it felt as if a special Team of  Love  wrapped around her.  We all "Changed"~~~~our Friend having Changed the most!

The other friend is facing Cancer~~just  after  she had to  face  major life Changes~~~~a marriage ending, new-found Love bringing a joyful  Change for a heart so deserving of Love.   Now Cancer has marched in~ She must face Changes never dreamed of--I already can feel  the Community bonding again-PRAYERS from our hearts for Both of these  Women....

Can We  make Changes?  Yes-because  it can fly into our lives  and  leave  us feeling as if everything has been turned upside  down.  There are no simple answers---except one that I turn to with Hope---

Tonight I will PRAY for these two amazing women--asking God to  wrap them both in HIS loving embrace.   


Saturday, October 26, 2013

What can we do when Nothing makes Pain go Away?

 Its different for each person who lives with Pain~~~meaning we all have our "Pain Habits" in which we reach out to, a way of Wrapping our  Pain up  and hoping against hope  it will simply  go away!
The list of "Comfort items" can go like this~~ Heating Pads everywhere, Special Pillow, our Favorite Comforter/Quilt to keep us warm, a cup of Steaming Hot  Tea, and Favorite old Shows from years ago that we have recorded on our TV, and last but not least--pajamas or Sweat Shirt that top off  our list of needed items for hopeful  Pain relief.

I have my regular  routine of  getting comfortable  when Pain is  throbbing and its definitely a  way of letting people know--"I need to just slip  away today, so please let me sit and do nothing at all."  Yes  all of  these  things serve to help comfort me when I am hurting~~~but as I go through the roughest moments of Pain--I am PRAYING!  Sometimes all I can say is "Help  Me Please"   and my  words grow in desperation as I  find the words  coming out  during the long dark hours of the night--"Please God,  Please  help me get through this."   

Before I  know it, time  has passed and the Pain has settled down to a slow hum--but I know there will be  more rough nights ahead~~~it seems to just go with the territory.    I just looked out the window~~Seems like another Weather System is coming in!   Best  go  gather all my "Comfort Items" up and settle in for the evening.

I pray for HIS loving hand to hold me up.   As the words flow from my lips, I feel a "peace" settle  round me,  and I know this too shall pass.    


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Finding moments of Freedom from Pain~

Okay-let me make it simple~~~you have to hunt HARD to find moments of  relief from non-stop Pain.   Its not an easy thing to do~~people get fed up with hearing my complaints and it  gets worse as my Bad  mood grows from having one day stacked  upon another day as Pain Sits parked in my butt, legs and feet......

It is exhausting to have constant Pain----all I want is for the Pain to STOP!!   Cease and desist for a while so  I can recall what it did feel like to NOT hurt all the time. So many things will cause Pain levels to rise~~~extra Stress, lack of Sleep, Weather Changes,~~~~sometimes it feels like the Pain comes marching in for no reason at all......

I  do not find many moments of Freedom from Pain~~~~no matter how hard I try to make it go away.  So I keep taking a deep breath of air, square my shoulders and keep fighting back against this wicked foe.    Thats not Freedom--nope, thats what I call HARD work..

Time to pray--asking God to please bring relief to all the areas of my body that are screaming for help.   HE hears me, I know that is certain.

Hanging in, hanging on and Hoping.....martha

Please watch over all the people who are hurting and hoping for Freedom from their Pain.....

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Going Back in time~~~

Dripping Springs Drill Team Captain

Well I must travel back in time to remember there was a day when I really could "Kick" my Leg almost over my head!  It was a fun time and we all thought our Team was the best!   

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Who can we reach out to for Help?

Weather changes can be a nightmare for people who suffer with daily Chronic Pain.  As the Barometric Pressure rises--Pain levels rise and we suffer as the Storm approaches.   Who can we reach out to for help as we battle the Pain?  Each person has their own way of coping with Pain~~at times all one can do is Pray for the morning light to arrive.

For me the answer  for help has always been Prayer....

I pray for all who are suffering.  martha

Monday, October 7, 2013

Pain Talk---SHTICK style!!!!

My Inner SHTICK--
created by Veronica Anderson

Its been such joy to  meet Veronica Anderson--and to see her amazing talents.   She has a  way of listening to a person and with the flick of  her creative  hand~~I get to see ME in a different light.  Lets see--I  told her my Leg feels like its on FIRE  most of the time, shared with her that I can be on the Stubborn side at times, oh yes--and I have a habit of putting my hands on my  hips  when I am getting ready to make a strong Point about something.   I would say this young lady got it right!

Veronica has given me something very special--a Fun way  to  look at Pain--even if its just for  a  few minutes~~its a blessing to LAUGH about my Burning Leg and then face the Pain with my heart feeling lighter.    

I send up a  special "Prayer of  Thanks"  for Veronica!  
Martha Herden

Friday, October 4, 2013

A Wonderful Place to Rest my Hand~~~~~~

I can rest my heart and find Comfort in HIS word......

 What a precious Gift HE gave.....

Monday, September 16, 2013


You never know when the time is coming~~~suddenly it happens and you are begging for a  place to hide---so you can Open Mouth and Insert Foot!   I went to Physical  Therapy last  week-new location, staff seems to be caring and yet behind those  smiles are Task Masters that I    feel the urge  to "Run away-fast" before the Work begins.   

Oh how I would love to say my FIRST day was a  huge  success---not the case for this  gal.   One obvious reason is 18 years  of Pain--hard to  know where  to start,  but  my  Therapist suggested   Gentle Stretching---I rolled my eyes to  give her  a look  that said "Are you  SERIOUS?"   Stepping slowly toward me- she gave a look and said clearly "YES" and  I knew--time to work.  

My leg was throbbing,  back was hurting--thank goodness my Task Master was keeping a  very close  eye  on me, as she reminded me "See if you can keep that Leg straight"  as I collapsed  from exhaustion! My eyes were searching the room to find another person who might be struggling like me.  I noticed another man working hard---stretching, weights-geez, I just  had to find out  what brought him to Physical Therapy.   

"So, what are you in here for?"   He gave me a look--I could feel warning bells going off as he slowly said  "Oh I had a Stroke!" I  managed a  weak  "Oh" and  that was it!   I wanted to hide  under the table~~~so I  could quickly 

                                                  OPEN MOUTH &  INSERT  FOOT!!!!!

Hanging in---Holding on---Looking UP....



Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Nothing like Kindness!!!

I  was taught from a young age--be Kind to  others  and the lesson seems to  have stayed  with me through the years.    Its the simple acts  of  Kindness  that seem to mean the  most~~~taking a moment to Thank a young cashier  for having  a polite attitude, making sure  to  hold the door  open for  those  coming behind you~ young  or  old--it does  not matter.  

Yesterday at my Pain Doctor's office~~~there  was a  brief  moment of  'Silly Kindness"--best way I can put it.   The office  had been filling up  as we  patiently waited  for  the Doctor  to  arrive.  The door  opened, and a young assistant called out Three names~~~yes mine was  one  of  them, we all rushed  to  the door and realized  how FAST we got  through the  door.   It was  like somebody had  turned  on the "Remember  Kindness Light" as we  looked  at each other--almost unsure if we should walk  into the next room.    I  had to speak---"Heh, we  better  get into our little  rooms quick---it  doesn't  matter Who got through the door  first!"   Laughter filled the  room---it was glorious!   Nothing  like  Kindness!

Try a bit of Kindness---it does help..


Monday, September 9, 2013

My Day Begins!

Most people are sleeping peacefully in their beds---but not me, Pain shook me out of bed, telling me "Wake Up Sleepy Head--this is your Happy Day!"  As my eyes open, it hits me, I will be seeing my Pain Management Doctor this morning~~~oh yes it is a special day, and some Relief of Pain is within my grasp!

The average person would not be jumping with joy at the thought of laying on a table-face down, knowing a Doctor is getting ready to inject their Neck with a Needle~~~or any part of the body for that matter!  Yet here is the key~~~Chronic Pain has its way of "removing" that Average Person Feeling--as it dumps in a load of Pain that will have you begging for help!

Its time to get ready---as I can "see" the line forming~others who are also in need of Pain Relief and  patiently take their place, easing their aching body into a chair as they Wait to go through the door and lay am aching body down on the table.  

I whisper a prayer of hope for all who must walk this pain-filled journey.............


Saturday, September 7, 2013

Okay-Let's Talk Pain~~~~~

                                                        "Have You Got a Minute to talk?

Most of the time my conversation about Pain is  simple~~~~I am MISERABLE!!  Its too hard for a list of words  to be formed--all I can do is find my chair and fall into it~~praying I can get through the next few minutes so  I can pull  this day together.   Year after year  of Pain has taken its toll on my body~~some days all I  want  to  do is CRY--fear grows that I  might not be  able  to Stop.   Does this sound familiar?   Other days come and I stay quiet~~~giving myself  time  to reflect on this Tough Battle I  wage  each day---and finally those days come when I seem to be having a Verbal attack against Pain---not much comes from that.....

So--Here is my few minutes to just  let it  all out~~

I HATE hurting so much--seems  like the Pain has  grabbed  all  my bones and breaks them, over and over!  It takes Forever to start my day moving~~~PAIN demands I collapse in my chair, and not move.  My husband speaks a gentle "Morning"~~~He  sees the  Pain~~that hurts more than anything!!

Where did I go?  Why do  I feel so Old?   How will I get through this Pain?    Can I  handle this and avoid Surgery?    Would Surgery really help?   Why did I do something so silly and climb up that Tree so long ago?    How do people  really look at  me  now?    What can I do to  help my husband  not be  so worried  about me?  

There you have it---a NICE  rambling of  frustration~~~no purpose in filling each sentence  full  with Curse words!   For me--this journey with Chronic Pain is something  I will be working at each day~~~I pray for courage and extra strength~~~maybe I  can learn to let the Tears come more often---have to wait on that one.    If you feel  like sharing--please know you are welcome to drop by and have a PAIN CHAT....    Sounds like  Such Fun!!   Thats  the hardest  Part---there is NO fun in Pain---so please  know I pray for you and hope you will say ONE prayer  for  me.

Thanks  for listening!


Sunday, September 1, 2013

Words from my Dad~~~

Calvert  Herbert Combs~~my Dad's full name but most called him "Bud"--his level of education stopped after the 8th grade as he was needed on their farm to help with the work.  His precious Mom left them too early and it was obvious how huge the loss was for him.  He was a man of few words, but spoke Volumes at times~~~ "Life Lessons" came out and they have stayed with me.  Now my Physical Pain grows,  I long to hear his voice---Suddenly it hits me, the Lesson I need has come rushing back~~ a soft feeling settles in my heart, as if his voice is nearby,

                       "Daughter-- its time you slowed down to remember what I told you"

  "A day will come when you think there is no way you can handle the Pain anymore~~I want you to Stop and Look around~~~You Will  see another person who is suffering Ten times worse than you are! Make sure to thank the Lord for all HE has blessed you with~~ and make sure to say a Prayer for those who are Hurting worse than you will ever know."

A few words-giving me everything ~~Stop,  Look around,  Give Thanks, and Pray.

Thank you Daddy!
I love you  and please say HI to Moma!


Tuesday, August 27, 2013


Sleep feels like an elusive stranger to me~~moments come where I can grab hold of some Sleep and my body is able to rest.  I look back at all the years of Chronic Pain, and realize my view of a full night's Sleep is much different than others.   My husband is sleeping peacefully in our room, I have learned how to ease out of bed, being careful not to wake  him up.  I do  pause and look at him~~~thats when it hits--
                                               "So that's what  SLEEP looks like~~Lucky  Guy!"

I walk into the kitchen, trying to  find my  way for  a glass of water~~suddenly the lights come on and I  hear that familiar  voice~~~"So-you can't  sleep  either--how  about  I stay up  too!"
My heart swells with love--knowing I am not alone and we will  find our way through this journey, together!

God be with all  who suffer with Physical Pain.  Martha

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Laughing together about Pain~~~~

There are moments in our married life where PAIN  does its best to  push between us, we  are  not perfect--but without question our LOVE is solid as a  rock.   So its a shock when we  can see
the  daily grind of PAIN being in our midst  has worn us  down---I am a physical  mess, and my sweet husband  is  tired---so  tired of this invisible enemy taking me apart, one piece  at  a time. 

We don't look for any special weapons or tools to fix our mental exhaustion~~instead we sit down and TALK- its not a cake walk~~one goes first--pushing the other to be  Honest and let  all the frustration rise to  the surface,  knowing we need  it  out  in the open!  It doesn't take long to  shake  everything  out~~we are tired of  the PAIN--but know its not leaving my body anytime soon!!  

As we walk away, my husband stops~~asking if he can gently put his arm around my Neck area~~I want him to sweep  me into his arms, but that is  not possible.   I assure him its okay--feeling the joy as his arm resting gently against  my body~~ we take a few steps--I suddenly stop  to let him know--"time to  move your  arm away!"   Laughter flows between us as he says 'How  about giving this another try in a few months!!!"   Love, Honesty, Laughter~~~we are together in this Journey with Pain........


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Daily Battle with Pain

It never stops hurting---PAIN--my friendly side-kick is always present, sometimes settling into  a steady Hum~~~not pulling so much of me down.   These are  the good  moments with Pain being in my life~~~strange as that sounds.    Its a grudging respect of sorts that I have slowly learned to give Pain~~~believe me,  I do Not like giving anymore of  me to this long battle with Chronic Pain!

I look in the mirror and see just how much Pain has really robbed  from me~~~my face is a roadmap  of  Wrinkles~~~some  is the natural process we call  Aging,  but the rest feels like true battle scars I carry as a result of so many years  of Pain being constantly with me.    There are days when I am not up for the battle~~~I retreat into my corner of the Pain Ring and  simply take care of Me!  I know Pain will not stop, but  this is where the "Peace Treaty" seems to take place~~~~Pain probably kicks  angry dust up,  not wanting the battle to  stop  for even a second~~but  seems to understand- 'She is coming back--I will just Wait for her."

If I could give  anybody some advice on how to live  with Chronic Pain~~~it sounds lame but its the way I  see this wicked thing called Chronic Pain--No one person can tell you how to fight your personal battle---You are the only one who knows the Path.    Take advice with a  grain of salt- many people  care deeply and hate seeing anybody in Pain.

Its a lonely journey we  walk with Chronic Pain~~~~please pray for us, we need heart-felt words of Prayer.  God bless.


Saturday, August 17, 2013

A Younger Martha-Just Having Fun.....

I can still recall this moment--we were headed to see my parents and a small creek was close, as it pulled for our attention to stop and enjoy!  My Leg was so easy to kick up, no Pain anywhere, just pure Joy of being young, filled with Love for my husband!   

Why aren't we looking ahead, wondering when the "bad times" will arrive?  We are living~~treasuring the moments as we have them~~I can look at this photo--and a vivid memory rises to the surface, how cold the water felt on my feet, it was crystal clear, and I loved kicking the water upward, not caring if my new Jeans got wet.  I was living this moment in time-like storing all of them up~~~We were looking through some old photos and this one surfaced--Matt held it for a long time, asking me if I recalled this place, how many times we loved to stop and play in the water--acting like two kids!

Yes--it was bittersweet, but we both knew this was a memory that will stay with us forever.  I told Matt--"Well--thats not Me anymore" as I tossed the photo away from me~~he took my hand and said "You will ALWAYS be My Girl" --a beautiful way to help me Treasure those times and to cherish these times we go through now.    Its called Living!

I look up and whisper "Thank You God."  


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

A New Look for My Blog~~~~~~~~

I have noticed changes to other Blog sites and decided it was time for a "fresh new Look"  as I started pushing keys----only to feel a RUSH of fear~~~I was In over my Head!    My  wonderful mentor/dear  Friend  heard  my pleading voice  as I phoned, begging for help to correct the mess I had  made of my  Blog!

In a matter of minutes-she had everything under control and put my "New  Look"  together~~as  I  sat watching in silent Awe, her fingers flying over the keys, occasional questions directed to me as to Colors I liked, different font on my Blog Page and before  I could say a huge THANK  YOU---it was done and I sat admiring her delicate touch.  

This gal is my dear friend~~~~we have been through many rough seas,  facing tough life issues together, sharing sadness and joy.  She has  faced some of  the hardest  times Life can throw at a person and yet  she found  an inner courage~~strengthened by a deep Faith and kept moving. 

This special  gal was the one who gently guided me to the Blogging world--I never thought words could come  out of  me as  I  slowly began sharing my story of Living  with Chronic Pain--but once I started writing--it felt like  somebody  had  opened  the Flood  Gates--pushing me to talk about the hard  battle  Chronic Pain brings to me each day.   I owe my friend  a life-time of Thanks for her love and support!!    Thank you dear Sheryl..........

God sent me a wonderful friend to love.......    martha

Sunday, August 11, 2013

The SHTICK Creater Nailed my Dream~

                                                    Martha's Dream-Created by:  The SHTICKS

One glance~~ "What type of  Dream did this Woman have?"   I had a Nightmare with a  SHTICK Twist~~my body feeling like  a  Mass of  Flames!  The  Dream unfolded  exactly as  it  appears~~~Martha-the Strong SHTICK  stunned to see "Martha-the Burning SHTICK"-down for the count.  I shared my dream with the amazing "Veronica  SHTICand she gave it  "SHTICK LIFE!"    Nothing was missed by Veronica the SHTICK~~she captured my Fears and helped ease all the worry brought on by a terrible Nightmare..    all my love and thanks, martha

Monday, August 5, 2013

New Treatment-Bad Day!

On the road again ~~~its dark as we rush through early morning traffic, heading toward a "New Treatment Plan" to ease the horrible Burning Pain in my Butt! Silence hangs heavy between us~~both of us in deep thought~~~I wrack my brain trying to grasp our emotions. 

Suddenly its like a Light Switch has been hit~~~we are afraid to feel HOPE again!!   All of my "Treatment for Pain" is  familiar to us-- like a warm blanket ~~but today is loaded with the Unknown!  We arrive~~not a word exchanged,  I walk in, grab the paperwork, and wait to be called back.  

Its safe to say moments like this for people who suffer with Chronic Pain are similar to "Bungee Cord Jumping"  we are taking emotions, coping skills, everything we have been through~as we Test our inner courage one more time.  My visit was swift~~ New Doctor explained the Treatment, pausing to ask "Why" I had climbed a Tree~~~~~~~~~~

Within seconds a stranger had me back at the TREE~~~~now I had to hunt for all the years of courage and strength--feeling very Lost and Sad.  Our conversation ended, the treatment was quick and out the door I went.  Matt was snoozing in the car--waking quickly to assess 
all the "damage"~~~~he said "How about some Breakfast?"  I glowed with his Love and knew these were some big bumps in the road~~together we will go past them.

Many are Suffering with Chronic Pain--let us Lift each other Up--not pushing someone down with "words" that hurt!  I will ask the Doctor "Have you ever suffered with a Pain that never goes away?  Have You??

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Having to let go of a Hug~~~

Writing from the Heart-Martha Herden

Our church had its yearly fund raiser last night~~many from the community arriving as  loving Hugs are shared, along with good food, laughter, friendly bidding during a Live Auction.  My husband  begged me all week "We should Not go~~~Somebody is going to grab you for a Hug, your Neck will only get worse!"  

I listened to his fears, changing my mind a dozen times~~and decided PAIN was not going to rob this night from us.  A table was waiting for us as dear friends gathered around~~laughter began to flow and I could feel all the tension drain away.  Many began to reach for me--wanting to share a Hug with me~~they stopped--as my hand went up~ "Bad Neck ahead-do Not Hug this Woman!"

My heart ached~~a gentle Pat on my shoulder will be my "Hug" now~~my husband watched a flash of Sadness cross my face~~our eyes locked, as I felt silent words "I love you" flowing between us.  We have already faced "Letting Go of our Hugs"~~yet  our Love is strong and we walk the path of  Pain together, knowing HE is beside us each second of the day..

Thank you God.  


Friday, August 2, 2013

Going Back to my Roots~~

Young Martha

My Granny-Elsie

My Mother-Dorothy
Time passes fast~~yet these photos seem like it 
was "Yesterday" as I remember standing in
front of a glowing Cake--all dressed up in a pretty 
New Dress.  I could only imagine the late hours Moma spent working on it~~~wanting me to look
pretty on my Special Day....

The "Impish"grin on Granny's face~as if she held a delicious secret! Hours were spent on her porch as
she taught me how to Cross-Stitch. 
                      Her words stay close to my heart~~

       "Remember to keep your Hands busy-It Chases your Worries Away!"

They were strong Women~~enduring long hours of hard work on a Farm, as I go back to my Roots- its easy to see where I first learned  the Lessons about Courage, Strength and Faith.  
I carry them both in my heart~~Forever!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

"Going to the Beach while having an MRI exam"

My body has  been rolled  into an MRI machine  many times  during my  journey with Chronic  Pain~~ each time is a challenge as I do NOT  like small-enclosed  areas.  The  sounds  made by the machine are unreal, ear plugs  are  needed and some have headphones for music.  I choose to relax and take a trip to the Beach~~~~

Its late afternoon--the Sun beginning its slow descent as I sit in a huge  chair~~~wave after wave rolling toward me, growing smaller as cool water reaches the Beach.  My hand drops down to feel the ocean waters, as I contemplate how far the waves  have traveled~~it feels this  moment has been waiting just  for me and I whisper silent prayers of thanksgiving to the Creator of all Oceans!  I glance down the shoreline to  see  my husband taking a  long stroll~~~sunglasses cover his caring  eyes, a baseball cap protecting his bald  head~~~I clap my hands  quietly as he tries to "chase" the ocean waters.  He stops---looking back to check on me, our hands waving in united Love  for each other~~~~the Sun signals us by its now-rapid  sinking into the Ocean Waters!  

"The exam is done Martha" as the loud noise stops and the  aide is asking "Well, how was it  for you?"  I pause for a second~~~"Oh I went to the Beach--it was magical!" He smiles as I  struggle  to sit up--PAIN arriving as I move~~~


Monday, July 29, 2013

I Just Leaned Over~~~~

~~~~~Strong Shoulder to Lean On~~~~~

There are times when I lean against my Husband's strong Shouder~~where we are Happy and Pain is forced to linger in the  background.   I cherish these moments~~knowing they are fleeting, as many "different Leaning Moments" have joined us and sometimes come swift, shaking us to the reality of Chronic  Pain.   

I run these over in my mind~~Suddenly leaning my head on his shoulder  during Church--my Neck is screaming--I need a soft place to lay my head as it feels like a huge chunk of Brick sits on my shoulders and I am weary of holding it  up.    Moments as we arrive home from me having a procedure done to ease  Pain~~~I rise from the vehicle, ready to take short steps to our front door---suddenly I must  stop and Lean my weary body against those  Shoulders, taking a  deep breath as  I  dig deep for  a bit of strength--determined to show PAIN~~I am still here!

Pain has its way of Grabbing my attention~~last night was a big night for Pain--I leaned over to turn a water faucet on~~suddenly feeling as if a Knife had been driven into my back!   My husband heard me Moan--waves of Pain hitting me.  This time I  needed all his strength to  help me find a place to sit~~~but it hit me some humor was needed-- "How about me trying that again!"  

Awful Pain, long night, strong shoulders, and Faith in the One Above--as  we gave words of Thanks
that I could still move,laugh, and live.   

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Pain is consuming me!

Lately the days seem to be one big Blur of Pain stacked upon Pain~~~I wonder why everything hurts so  much and it  hits me--"My Pain is out of Control!"  Here I  am-complaining about one Pain upon another~~my husband hears the majority of  my down moments and simply talking helps me to move   past the throbbing.  

Why does talking Help?   The answer is not difficult to understand--somebody takes time out to truly LISTEN~~~we all need to be heard,  for me it comes with strong Shoulders, big  Heart, and Patient  Ears--my husband has all  of  this and more.    As my voice  slows  down, I  notice  Pain is settling down into a familiar pattern--one I have lived with now for many years.

I make sure to say "Thank You" to my husband--this is no cake walk for  him either and he needs  to know his wife is still here--ragged down by Pain, but still able to smile, laugh,cry and Gently hug!!!

We are learning how important  the "little things" can be~~~

My prayers are with all  who suffer with Pain.  


Sunday, July 21, 2013

'Was it our Fault?"

Gentle tap on my aching shoulder gets my attention--I slowly turn and see a familiar face, an old friend has settled behind me at church.  Worry  lines  her face as the words fly "I have to know something~~~you mentioned a Tree being the reason  you are in such Pain!   Remember when you helped us cut a Big Tree down~~~Was that when all this happened? Please tell me, Please!"

Silence hung between us,  the memory flying back~"Oh that Tree--yes I recall helping you cut it down--and I also remember laying on the ground, my lungs  begging  for air--realizing I had met  my match by trying to work with you!"   I felt a deep ache inside--"No--it took another Tree to do all this damage~~nobody's fault but my own!"

Aged Eyes filled with Tears--her hand lightly caressing my shoulder--no words needed.  Compassion poured and I drank it  in.  Two women~~bound together by friendship and the memory of Trees.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Chronic Pain~~~a teaching tool?

My moments of escaping Chronic Pain are few~~happening only when I sleep peacefully on  a procedure table as My Pain Management Doctor  works  a bit of magic on my aching body.  New Pain terms keep arriving "Herniated  Disc in Neck, Degenerative Disc Disease" as I  shake my head slowly~~knowing a sudden movement  now  brings extra Pain.

We never know how our words will impact another~~as I arrived at the Pain Clinic, quickly checking  in, signing familiar  papers, the Receptionist watching carefully so every box  needed  is  checked--stops turning papers--"My kids were spending the weekend with my Parents.  When I got there to pick  them up, Grandma tells me the kids are climbing the huge Tree in the backyard!   All I  could  see in my mind was You, I screamed at them to get out of the tree and held my breath until  they were  safe  on the ground!"

She was rattled--worried I might be offended~~~but just the opposite as I  said "Thank You!"  We sat in silence and I  had to  ask how she felt when seeing her kids  up in a tree~~~words failed her and I  helped--"A Mom Never wants to see her child  suffering"  Tears were coming to the surface as I walked toward the doors of "Pain Relief"  she found her inner voice~~~
~~"Thank  You for being so strong--going beyond your Pain as your words help us learn"~~

Yes-Chronic Pain  can be a  teaching Tool--all I had to do was open up and share.  We never know when someone is  really listening.

For all who  struggle to find their way through Chronic Pain~~please know you are Not alone.


Sunday, July 14, 2013

Is This how it Feels?

Internet Image of Nerve Pain

Nerve Pain can feel as if an Army of Ants are attached to your body with an intense Burning never easing.  My Sciatic Nerve was injured when I fell from a tree, severe bruising, Scar Tissue formed---end result, I live with a terrible Burning Pain going up and down my leg.  

People ask  "How do you cope with so much Pain?"  My answer is simple "I take it one day---one moment at a time."  Chronic Pain does not make me stronger than the next person.  Bad things can happen in our life--plain and simple!  The coping "tools" come in many forms-my Faith in knowing HE is beside me through this-having blessed me with a husband who rides the journey with me.

I am just one of many people living with Chronic Pain -- wishing the "Stinging Ants" would go away.    Martha

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Hard Lessons at the Pain Clinic~~~~~~

Another visit to my Pain Doctor--seems I have hit a WALL--the intense burning has become unbearable--I just want it to Go Away--but reality tells me "Not going to Happen" so here  I am-seeking relief in the early hours, the waiting room already filled-my husband grabs the last two chairs---we both know this will be a  long day.   

A quick sign-in and the Pain Watch begins~~obvious suffering shows its ugly face--a woman appears to be so sleep-deprived, rubbing her back,  twisting in the chair as she struggles to find relief.  We sit near an older man who is very involved  in his IPAD, I think to myself--"good means of distraction from the Pain" --something pushes me to find out which game he is playing.   He calls it the Word Game~~tells me his daughter beats him all the time~~~but he smiles with joy at the memory.  His next words held the Hard Lesson "Well I am not into the games, but I have Alzheimer's and the Doctor tells me it  will help  "Slow" the worst part of this illness--so I play the game!"

There is an uncomfortable silence in the room~~~people have compassion~~but none of us want to walk in this man's shoes.  I ask how long he has been coming to our Pain Doctor~~"Oh,lets see--about  Five years now--she is wonderful.   How about you?"   It feels like all eyes are on me-waiting to hear my answer~~"For me, its been 18 years." The words hang there~~now he is looking at me as his question comes tumbling out- 

"What happened to you?"  I glanced at my husband, gaining courage to speak "Well--all I can say is Never  Climb a tree and fall out of it!"

Pain comes in many forms, bringing Suffering to so many.   Today I asked God to Please help this Man walk the Journey that waits for him.  


Wednesday, July 3, 2013

4th of July--

Matt with his dear Mom

This photo says it all~~ the Love a Son has for his Mother shines with such glorious beauty and yes, my dear Matt truly adored his Mom--we all loved her and the years we had with her passed all too quick.  

None of us knew what lay ahead on July 04th,1990~~~

the phone ringing in the dark hours of that day, a detective looking for Matt, my heart leaping with fear that something had happened to him.  Another call from Matt brought a nightmare to our family--a young man had broken into her home, ransacked the house, finally stepping on an Alarm Pad in her bathroom--and Aggie woke to face her final moments on this Earth. The man beat her terribly, and stabbed her six times.  As these words appear on my computer screen, my heart is back to that awful day--Grief surrounded us, engulfed us, we were robbed of a precious woman who loved her children deeply.

So much of that day seems to be like a fog--everyone kept moving, all her children grown adults who never dreamed they would face such heartbreak~~~we moved through a beautiful funeral service, so many Priests there to pay their deepest respects--Aggie was working at the age of 79, cooking for a group of Priests and she loved it!  

As the service ended, the lead Priest spoke words that have stayed with me all these years--he asked us to all rise~~ his voice quivering as he said "A great Lady is passing by us today-She is so worthy of our Respect!"

Yes the man who took Aggie from us is in prison for the rest of his life---we all struggled to find our way, it would have been so easy to slide to bitterness--but then we all recalled what Aggie would say "You have to Forgive this person" and we prayed hard, long, lonely prayers---but we found our way there.  If we had chosen to stay eaten up with anger--an even heavier price would have been paid and this family has suffered terribly~~a crime of violence does not leave your memory.

Each of her children dealt with the loss of their Mom---ups and downs. We all sat through a horrible court trial two years later-reliving a time we will never forget..

When I think of Aggie-the first thing I see is her loving Smile, I hear that glorious voice, laughing and living each moment to the fullest.  God gave me two amazing Gifts----I am blessed to have Aggie's son as my dear Husband, and then I was blessed with Aggie--she was so much more than a Mom-in-law!  We had a loving friendship and I learned so much about Faith, Prayer, Love, 
and being strong in the toughest of times.  

We seem to do better each year--just a little bit---and now we can sit together and share memories of Aggie--laughing with delight!   I know Aggie is smiling with heavenly Joy.  

Thank you God--Aggie was one of a kind.  


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Lows of Pain~~

I hear people comment "Well there is No way I  could live with Pain like you do-just don't know how you do it!"  Guess what--I don't know the Answer to that comment, and each time I hear it, my brain reaches fast for a flippant answer~~~~

"Oh its a piece of Cake to do this--I have it mastered" as I see people looking away, knowing they have heard the "EDGE' in my voice--and a Nerve has been touched.  Nobody wants to constantly hear about nights of no sleep, Pain clinging to me throughout the day--the tension grows as it feels like a billion ANTS are attacking my feet, leg and butt.  These are the true LOWS of living with Chronic Pain and countless people throughout the world face the same LOW moments of despair .

I had convinced myself there were no Pain issues too big for me to handle---but the past few months have  brought new waves of Pain into my world that take away all of my  bravado and leave me feeling all tied up, as tears flow from sheer exhaustion of the Battle.

Sounds rough, feels worse---all I can do is keep moving as I pray for HIS help.    For all who are in the trenches with your personal battle with Pain, I do hold you close in my Prayers.  A dear friend/Pain told me recently " try to find just one Thing to laugh about each day-just One simple thing!"

God bless all who are in the grips of Physical Pain ..................martha

Monday, June 17, 2013

Chronic Pain binds us together on this day~~~

The conversation starts out with polite exchanges-the  usual 'Hello, how  is everyone doing, sure hope we get Rain soon, and  how about that basketball game last night!"  We quickly settle back in our chair, waiting for a voice to call our number out~~ #67, #16, #03~~~and watch the other rise quickly from their chair of Pain--walking with the Nurse and knowing "Okay--I made it this far, relief is through these doors,  thank God!"

For those who suffer with Chronic Pain--its  a true statement to say we  can slip into a hospital gown so FAST~~~ready to  answer the regular questions that  come each time, "How  is  your Pain Today--please rate it  on a  Scale  of 1-10" and you hear a round of "10's" bouncing around the room--what we want to say is "Come on folks--lets  get  a Number that truly reflects  our  Pain level~~~how about Ten Million,Billion, Zillion?"  The Nurses always tell you "Your Pain must really be bad"  and that helps--more  than we can say.  But the  "Lesson" is  waiting  for  each one  as  we  sense a  silence around us--PAIN fills the  room and we can't escape it.   I lay snuggled in warm blankets~~when a young woman slowly walks past me~~Pain has her in its tight Grip and my heart aches!

I glance to see  my "Fellow Pain Numbers" watching the young woman--i can feel One Question rise in us~~~WHY?  The answer is right in front of us~~PAIN brought her here~~~~she seeks any relief possible--just like the rest of us.  A silent prayer goes around the room as we watch her
bed go rolling by, and we ask God to help ease the Pain that has brought us here today.

God be with all who walk the path with Pain.


Sunday, June 16, 2013

"Trouble & Daddy"

                                                       " My Dad--one of a kind"

                                                        Its one of my favorite photos--if memory serves,this was taken on my  Dad's last Birthday---illness was already working on him but that gentle twinkle was still in his eyes!  Another "Father's Day"approaches and I realize how much I miss him, wishing I could hear his voice, feel one more gentle hug from him and ask him so many questions. 

But I pause and recall how much he suffered during his last year of life--Pain chewed on him daily and was usually followed by sudden illness that landed  him in the hospital for several days ~~he would rally and the process would start again.   

The days got hard--it hurt to see him~~~one day I walked in, my"smile" firmly planted as I could feel    a dark mood around him--as he lay in bed, his eyes looking out the window and I asked, "Okay--now whats wrong?"  He was never one to mince words~~"Well Sister, this is one Hell  of a way to Die"
the Pain in those words cut through me as I struggled to hold back the tears and prayed for  something to say--but words failed me as  I reached for his weathered hand, and knew in that moment-he had said so much with just a few words.

I feel so blessed on this Fathers Day~~so many wonderful "Dads" fill this world,  moving through each day-working hard so their family will be safe and secure.  No man is perfect--many struggle to do their best as a Father~~making mistakes that can't be un-done, and we need to realize this special day of the year can be "bitter-sweet"for so many.  On this day I stop  and pray for all the "Dads" of this world--"Lord, lay your Loving Hands upon them--comfort each one today."

Yes-my Husband has experienced the joys and sorrows of being a Father--and I am so very proud of him on this day.


Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Just how OLD did I really look?"

Yes-I have  a vanity streak still left inside--but I  know Pain has  taken a huge toll on the "outside" and I do not like  that fact-but this is Life! I look back in time--recalling moments when I would never leave the house without makeup on and my hair  done, but years have passed and living with Chronic Pain takes  those thoughts away--it just feels nice to get away from the house.

The Grocery Store seems to be  one of my easy get aways-my husband sprints through  the store,  grabbing  the bulk of our shopping list  and I don't give any thought  to "how'" I look~~~or worry who we might see.  But everything changed in a  Flash~~~~~

My cart was telling me "find my husband"  as I rounded a corner and came to  a swift halt--there stood a former  police officer who had been in the academy with my husband and of course his  sweet wife  stood  beside him.  What happened next still upsets me~~I  put my head down, trying to  hide  my face, my aged body,  my Walking cane---I was trying to hide Me!  Words were flying  out, all  jumbled as I  said "oh no-I  did Not want you to see me  looking this old"  I kept repeating these same words, over and over again!  It was a awkward moment~~~nobody was talking until  somewhere deep inside me,  I reached for Martha~~~ finding my way back to  reality as I explained
"This is how you look after Falling from a  tree, Sixteen years of non-stop  Pain and  Nine Surgeries--but I am still here!"

I could  "feel" my precious husband  smiling~~~as we all started talking, laughing and going over long ago days of our husbands starting out as Police officers.  They had a class of  about thirty-five  and we realized a sobering fact--almost all who had married did not make it.  We were two of a handful whose marriages had stood  the tremendous stress faced as we would see our husbands leaving for work and always fearing they might not come home.

It didn't matter how OLD I looked--God gave me the courage to step up to the plate, age and Pain joining me--and yet I can still feel the Joy  of being here!   

Friday, June 7, 2013

late night shuffle

He tells me "I can hear you snoring" but I can't be asleep---the Fire Department hasn't arrived yet to put the flames out!  Not to worry, its not the house~~just me and my leg, feet and the old buttock, sizzling away and driving me to distraction!!

Why complain about it?  He has heard the same words a thousand times~I have felt this burn for many years now and one would think "So what is the problem?"  The answer comes easy--"I can't remember what it feels like to be Pain Free- Normal!"  

So I continue my Late Night Shuffle~~moving from room to room, falling asleep for a few minutes in my chair, waking quickly as my glasses slide off my face and the Burning Pain has been on Idle--just waiting for me to wake and join in on what feels like a "Continuous Torture Session." This is where I dig deep for help, putting me to the side and Think~~~~

I think about all the others who endure the same Burning Pain~~wondering how they cope with their wicked Pain.  As I shuffle off to bed, my heart quickly aches~~~~its as if I can feel the countless faces in this world who face a life filled with Chronic Pain, how I would love to help them--and take their Pain away! Yes--I would then beg them " please lend some hands if you don't mind and make my Pain leave!"  The image fills me with warmth as I know Chronic Pain People would leap over tall buildings to help relieve the suffering of another "member of the Pain Club!"

It would be easy to lose Hope-but all I need is right here-as I ask God to watch over all those who are suffering, as I sense a Guiding Hand to help me make it through another Late Night Shuffle.


Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Venting Pain~~~

Anyone who suffers daily with Chronic Pain reaches moments where we feel like a Un-opened Bottle of Champagne--its ready to Blow and for anybody standing nearby-it would be wise to step away for a bit.  I am human--making me no different than others who suffer with Pain, we all reach moments where we want to run outside, look up to the Heavens and shout"Okay, Okay, enough already--just need a brief respite from this Pain, PLEASE!"

So let me roll out "Martha's Vent List about Pain"--something tells me you might just see a phrase or word that you have also felt like saying/screaming/begging/raging~~~~~

My Prayers become very short---"Help Me God!"
I am bone-weary Tired of hurting!
Pain is like a wicked Monkey that clings to my back-beating on me constantly!
Unless you have lived with Chronic Pain, you do not understand all the issues we deal with.
Our loved ones can't Help us--but we do need them to Listen!
You reach a time in the Journey with Pain that Smiling is definitely Hard to Do.
My Feet are TIRED of feeling numb, burning, on fire---constantly! 
I Hate the Pain!
I don't look in the mirror as much---Pain has left its mark on me.

What in the World was I thinking that long-ago day while standing in the Tree?

I hear my Doctor asking me--after I have said a very firm NO to Surgery-- "Martha, can you Live like this?"  Yes--I can do it!  It will not be pretty, lots of stumbles will happen along the way, Pain will continue robbing pieces of Me~~~~but as I hold Tight to HIS Hand---Yes I can do this! 

My Venting ends as I close my eyes--remembering my Moma singing "One Day at a Time, Sweet Jesus, thats all I'm asking of you.  just give me the strength to do everyday what I have to do.  Yesterday's gone Sweet Jesus, and tomorrow may never be mine.  Lord help me today, show me the way, One Day at a time!"  (thank you Moma, & thanks to Cristy Lane Lyrics)

Pain Won't Beat Me----you have my prayers--as you take the Journey One Day at a Time.


Sunday, June 2, 2013

Frustrated, Tired, Irritable~~~comes with Pain Territory.

Its the "simple"  things that bring instant frustration--in simple terms, the list of things I can't do seems to keep growing, it  just adds to the pile  of  stressed out nerves from Pain levels soaring off  my  1-10 Chart --because of  a long run of  Weather changes across  the country~~~~~I  am MAD! Mother Nature  wreaked wicked havoc  around the country--and my body screamed with Pain each day--even though the weather was hundreds of  miles away. Anger seemed to grow with the Pain and nothing would make it go away.

Add  to the daily  grind of  Chronic Pain--Matt suddenly is  puttering around the house with My walker~~~early morning call to his Orthopedic Doctor  tells us what we already know--he has  fluid back  on his knee.   Recurring problem from surgery, over-doing it, and that lovely thing  we call Age!!

When things  are not good  in Matt's part of our world--my focus  is constantly on him as I  offer advice from my long  years in Pain (hits me fast--I am not a  Doctor) and I  settle down to give Matt  his time and try to get a  grip on "fussing over  him" as I am bringing water,  snack, magazines~~~~when Matt  gets my attention and lets  me know "Heh, its  just my Knee!"  All I  can think is  how much I  love  this  wonderful  man and wish I could fix his knee--home surgery came to mind---Nope, not  a  good idea!!

Pain Territory is filled  with so  many ups and downs~~~emotions can run high if I  let them--but I  am reminded as to how Pain can rise in the body when a  person is churning  with emotion!  Time to push everything I am feeling to the side,  take a long deep breath and get ready for  the next  step!

I take a  long slow breath of air--look outside to take a drink of the beauty around us and tell  myself-- "Martha--You Can Do This, I am with You!"   Blessings to all of you.  Martha