Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Shopping Excursion~~~not what it used to be!!

My husband needed to make a short trip to one of our nearby hill country towns and I wanted to go~~thinking all would be fine, I could stay in one store, do some browsing, maybe catch a bargain or two and be done!  Yes-a chance to get out of the house and feel normal~~~sounded easy, felt great, but the closer we got to the store, nagging doubts started creeping in as the Pain in my Neck began its job of getting my attention.  All I can say is "Bad Idea, Very Bad Idea to go shopping with a messed up Neck!"

Here we go~~Husband lets me out at store-I can't pull the doors open, thank goodness a nice man saw me reach for door, door falls out of my hand, nice man opens door.

Inside store-Pain in the Neck hits!  I keep moving, have no idea as to what I wish to look at, but see some winter shawls on sale, price is so low, I grab two of them!  Only to have them both fall to the floor (arm is weak because of Nerve being pinched in Neck) but I struggle to pick the goods up, and put one back so fast!

I am fading-as Pain is pounding in my Neck, and I go to look at some jewelry (its on sale too) and here comes a major Reality check~~~~when your Neck is hurting this bad-there is NO way you can look up, down, sideways-nothing!  As I walk away, I catch a store clerk watching me-not because I looked like I was going to do something bad~~but I think she was waiting to see me fall to the floor in agony!

Now all I can do is get this lovely winter wrap paid for and find my way outside, praying my husband has arrived early-the store clerk must have been given a page of some sorts because I have Never been checked out of a store so quick in my life!  Thank you God!

As I leave the store, my eyes searching for our vehicle, I see my husband turning into the store parking lot and now my miracle has arrived.  I drag my body toward him as the car door is opened and collapse into the seat.  Sweet husband asks "Well Dear, how did the shopping go today?" 
Pain changes everything~~~and I will never go shopping by myself again until this wicked Neck Pain gets better!

God bless.


Thursday, February 21, 2013

A Lesson in Courage~~

You never know when the moment is given to you-a chance to witness great Courage in others~~all you need do is sit still and listen.

This past week found me on the "opposite side" of a hospital bed as my dear Husband went through a medical test.  You always worry-hoping everything is fine and know the only thing you can do is WAIT.

We had a wonderful nurse to do the IV and vitals check of my husband-I noticed the cheerful sound to her voice~~it was the "real" thing because it was very early and nothing was fake about this woman!

She was at the mini-computer, putting in detailed information, talking about how much easier the computers have made this part of a nurse's job~~for whatever reason, my husband started humming the New Year's Eve song-you know its the one Doris Day sang~~~this wonderful nurse whipped around, a delighted smile on her face and she was singing the words, loud and clear!  For whatever reason, we suddenly had a wonderful Trio going, all of us on key and the words flowed, as our song drifted down the hallway of the hospital!

My husband could not explain "why" he started humming that particular song, but the nurse told us it was her favorite song and she sings it with her grandchildren each year.  This was the moment when we
got "Our Lesson in Courage" as she said "I am glad to still be here-working and helping others because I had both breasts removed three weeks ago!  Yep, I start Chemo next week and everything looks great."

The room was filled with too much silence as we both realized the tremendous courage God had instilled in this nurse~~she suddenly noticed my cane and asked why I needed it .  My Husband gave the Fast Version
of Me Falling out of a Tree, Nine Surgeries and constant Chronic Pain~~she took a "long" look at me, and the words came from her were stunning~~  "Oh my-there is No way I could live with Chronic Pain!  What I have been through is nothing compared to suffering with a Pain that will never go away.  You are a very strong woman!"  

I didn't know whether to hug her, or drop to my knees in honor of this woman~~somehow I managed to mumble something about "I have to keep going" and thats when it hit me~~  God was giving me this moment to witness True Courage, and whatever I took from it- well I think HE was leaving that all up to me.  It was time for my husband to leave for his procedure, I gave him a quick kiss on the forehead and just sat~~I needed time to let this moment sink in.

Everything came out on a positive note for my husband-no need for a return checkup for many years and we both thanked God~~I added a special Thank You for having seen Real Courage in  a special woman.

God bless our Singing Nurse.


Sunday, February 17, 2013

How can Humor, Pain, and Church blend together?

My Husband suggested I would be wise to stay home~~Pain has been on a rampage with my body lately and after making a feeble  effort  to do some house cleaning-lets just say I was in the early stages of paying a Huge Price for thinking I could get down on the floor and clean!  

I did want to stay home, rest on heating pads and do nothing-but I thought about all God has done for me and my heart knew it was time to pull myself together~~plus it helps to know we live less than five minutes away from the church doors.  

We  are slowly walking up the church steps as  a man is coming toward us~~I am reminded of him 
giving me one of those "Painful Neck Squeezes" and before he has the chance to offer a pleasant greeting- My Cane is raised in his direction as I give a strong verbal warning "Don't even think about getting near my Neck!  Have a lovely day."    People around us started to laugh-as they were telling him "that lady has a really bad Neck-give her a break!"   

It seemed as if the service went on for hours~~I held on to Prayers and my husband-knowing God was there and I could do this.  Services ended and I knew home was just minutes away-but people love to share a moment of conversation as we all headed toward the open doors. Suddenly a caring lady stops me and asks "Martha, are you okay?"  For a brief second I want to tell her "I forgot what Okay is-Pain is the only thing I know about" but I just shake my head,  making my neck hurt more and all I can say is "No-I am a long distance from being Okay"  and she offers words of comfort.

Another lady is standing behind me, we have known each other for a long time~~suddenly she is demanding "Well, what about me?  Am I Okay? Am I Okay?"  I don't think this was how the caring lady thought church might end, but she is quickly asking "Well, are you okay?" I loved how Humor
showed  up~~my long time friend makes a reply "Sure I am Fine, but Martha is  really messed up with Pain-and I  don't want to  hurt like she does!"  

I walked out, laughing with joy at the unusual conversation that somehow managed to pull Pain, and Humor together~~while at church!    

Keep looking up, taking one day at a time, and know I am praying for you.


Friday, February 15, 2013

No Place to run from the Pain~~I keep Learning

Yes I had another long night of Pain~~the old familiar Butt Burn that runs all down my leg, and grabbing my foot-where the Burning Feeling can easily drive me to frustration, anger, and a sadness
I can't fully explain.  Some might wonder- "why can't you explain this Burning Pain-surely you know
how it feels by now-so what gives?"

I am in a constant learning process with Pain~~~~it never stops, but brings changes I never expected and keeps me constantly making adjustments-plans to have an evening out suddenly must be changed
because of Pain. Today is a perfect example~~we had planned to take a short drive to enjoy a Fish Fry at a nearby church, but as time passed, I knew our plans would be cancelled.

As I delivered the news to my husband, he looked at me and started laughing--I stopped him and demanded to know what he found funny about me having to be the one who had to cancel a chance at
doing something simple.  He paused and said "Martha- I knew this morning when I saw how you slowly moved around--we were not going anywhere tonight. If we do not laugh- all we will do is cry and it hurts to see you so sad!"

At that split second--it hit me~~~"Martha you are still learning" and  although I do not like this long
term Lesson~~I can either choose to accept the Lesson and grow from it- or do nothing and keep hunting for a way to run from the Pain.  After all these years of Pain--I have finally learned  there
is No Place to run so I can be free  of Pain.

The Lesson Continues~~~I pray for help to keep learning, and I pray for everyone who suffers with
Chronic Pain.


Thursday, February 14, 2013

A Special Valentine Wish

  My Mom-about 17 years old 

This posting is more than just a wish On Valentines Day~~~~Moma passed away in June 2000 and though the years have flown by~~I think of her often and miss so many things about her.  First of all she loved Valentines Day-especially when it came to her grandchildren~~as she showered them with cards and candy, I felt like it was her own special way of celebrating another milestone of her life, because her birthday was Feb. 15th!!  

Perhaps she rolled it all into one big happy day-not wanting any special thing done for her-but instead always looking for ways to touch the little ones around her.  If she had a new grandchild-well they got a Valentines Card too~~I can almost hear my Dad telling her "Dorothy-that child is just a baby" but she  made sure a card was picked out~~and it had to be a special card, with a little something extra tucked in.

This is my favorite photo of Moma~~she was young and beautiful, not knowing what life would bring her way~but she was stubborn, proud, loving, caring and had a sense of humor I can only dream of having.
Now I can see lessons were being shared~~it seemed she always stayed up late into the night and I finally asked  "Moma, what are you doing?"  Her answer was simple~~~~~~~~
"I am praying for each of my children, I never miss a night and I am reading some too!"  

Thank you Moma~~~Happy Heavenly Birthday!  I know you are watching over us-always.


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Always within Reach~~

To this day I have no idea as to how several generations of the Bible stumbled my way~~but the blessing of having my Great-Grandma, Grandmother, and my Mom's Bibles is wonderful.  Each one of these Bibles have certain verses underlined, notes in the corner of a page as to the passing of a family member, pages have been lost from one of these-but they all hold a special place in my heart.

I spend long nights with no sleep as Pain rages against my body and there is nothing to do but Pray and Wait~~~these are lonely hours-all I need do is shake my husband from his sleep and he is with me, but one of us needs to be fully rested.   All of my Bibles are stacked carefully together~~ one day as I passed by them, something hit me "You need a Bible on your Desk"  I quickly picked one up, not looking to see who it had belonged to-all that mattered was getting it in place.

Now this Bible rests on top of my printer~~~(well This Book is filled with Words meant for all) so the printer felt like the perfect spot.  Recently during one of my worst nights of Pain, I glanced up at my "Pain Won't Beat Me" poster, searching for inner strength~ Pain was growing worse by the hour, and I felt helpless.  Thats when I remembered the old Bible-I grabbed for it like a lifeline, laying it gently on my desk.
My hand settled on top-and I sat still.   

There was no grand moment of relief from the Pain~~~but I could feel a sense of Peace settle within me.  Somehow I just knew HE was with me~~and would help me through this dark night.   As I kept my hand on the Bible, memories flowed as I recalled my Great Grandmother, Granny, and Mom~~~seeing each one of them walking into church, Bible clutched gently to their hearts~~something told me they kept the Bible
close by-always within Reach~~~there to help them through rough times.

If there was a simple answer to make Chronic Pain go away-trust me~~I would be running toward it and urging everyone who suffers to follow me and get relief.  But its not that simple~~~

Chronic Pain is exactly what the two words say~~~these two words carry a ton of physical anguish and
for me, probably for many countless people--its here to stay.

May God watch over all who walk this path-just know He is always within your reach.


Friday, February 8, 2013

I Thought it was a Good Idea~~~~~

Living with Chronic Pain is rough-no doubting that fact, but there can be humor that comes when you least expect it.  I don't feel like cooking-and I thank the Lord my dear husband is willing to step into the kitchen so we do not starve!  Last night for a brief period-I suddenly felt like putting a meal together and managed to do it without making the Pain in my neck get mad and keep me up all night.  Everything came out fine-I kept asking my husband "are you sure its all done, does it taste okay?"  He looked at me and said "Now I think these repeated questions might be showing up because it Has been a while since you cooked-but trust me dear Wife-Its fine and I am proud of you!"

It was music to my ears, a brief feeling of normalcy again but later as I headed for bed, my Neck made sure to send a reminder with extra Pain kicking in.  There it is-frustration and pride all mixed together!  I get upset because I have to stop and think before I act~~something I never had to worry about until the Bulging Disc showed up-so I keep learning how to adjust.

My husband will be the first to tell anybody that when Martha gets on a roll~~just step aside and let her go, because my determination to accomplish a task is strong~~ being able to cook a meal stirred old memories of being in the kitchen, cooking up a storm and having fun!  Tonight I had a bright idea to make a desert for us-I just knew no assistance would be required from my husband.

He is watching television as I am pulling all the ingredients together-recipe in hand~~as I forgot about reaching up, grabbing the items I needed.  Pain waited to get my attention~~~my glasses were in another room and as I picked them up, a Wave of Pain  hit as if a Knife was stuck between my shoulder blades!
I will not deny it~~my pride falling one more time because of Pain.

Somehow I think my husband was quietly waiting-to give me every chance to do something normal and yet
worried of what could happen. Before I rounded the corner, he has a gentle smile on his handsome face and says "So-how about some help with making that desert?"  We both walk to the kitchen as I am babbling away as to how I just knew this was something I could do on my own~~~but Pain has its grasp on my neck and there is no getting around that.

We had FUN tonight as the dish was made and now it will be a late night sampling of our creation.  All of this journey is a learning process~~~so yes, I think it was a Great Idea to make Desert tonight.  Without any doubt, I can say this was my great Joy moment for this day.

It is one step at a time when living with Pain--but keep looking up and know I am praying for all who are suffering-I ask God to help you find a moment or two of relief.  Please say One prayer for me too.

God bless you.


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

It can be a real "pain" to explain Chronic Pain

I am sitting at a meeting-pushing myself to attend, but my aching body screams silently-as I can only dream of how wonderful it would feel to be leaning against a heating pad~~letting all thoughts leave my mind as I face total exhaustion from another hard day of trying to battle this unending Pain.    Instead here I sit with others as our church is going through the process of building a new facility and I struggle to hear the latest news-but Pain is dragging me away, as I realize my nerves are frayed-I am so very tired.

It dawns on me someone  is standing beside me, asking how I am feeling (one look at the dark circles under my eyes should answer her question)  I try to give a reply-but its obvious excitement is building as  she starts to tell me about  a cure to end my sixteen+ years of Chronic Pain.  

People do not like to see a fellow human being suffering right before their eyes and its only natural to have a desire to help~~She tells me of a guaranteed Cure-someone who suffered for years with Back Pain drank a bottle of Tonic Water and their Pain was Gone!   Praise God for this person being free of Pain--but its not that simple for another who suffers with Pain-we are all different, after all-thats how God made us!

This is where the cold truth of my life with Chronic Pain hits me~Its a Real Pain to Explain Chronic Pain~~ So I manage a polite "thank you" and wonder~~what would people think if I were to just lay my head on the table, and mumble "Go on with the meeting-I am listening!"

Would anybody really understand? 

We understand and have a simple request-please say a prayer for us "God help those who must suffer with Pain!"  Your prayer helps to get us through the worst moments of  Pain.


Monday, February 4, 2013

Suggestions for 2:00am Activities!

I thought my late-night hours of being pulled from a restless sleep had eased~~~but I forget my New Pain 
doesn't care about the hour~~  If you want to see what lack of sleep will do, try typing on your computer screen at 2:00 am~~~a Loud Snore wakes me up as I look at the screen-only to see Four pages of the same Letter!

Thank goodness nobody is watching~~time for a Late Night To-do-List:

1.  Folding baskets of laundry that have piled up is relaxing-but its a good idea to wait until you have caught up on sleep before putting  clothes away~~~I am still looking for that last batch I folded the other night!

2.  You might try popping a DVD in for some late night viewing-but chances are you will be watching it again-wondering "When did I watch this movie?"

3.  Load the Dish washer up-don't worry about the "strange arrangement" of  dishes.  My husband has opened the machine up-only to look at me and say "So I see we had another long night again!"

4.  Its a great time to get the coffee maker lined up for fresh coffee-but a word of caution~~its a messy clean-up when a full can of Coffee is added to the water holding area! 

My eyes are drooping~~~signal for me to hit the bed and hope for a few more hours of sleep.  I take a quick glance toward the Coffee Maker~~something tells me "Step away from the Coffee Maker!"

God bless!  Hope these ideas can be of help~~~~kkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk!!!

Oh no-I forgot to move my finger away from the key!!!


Sunday, February 3, 2013

Prayer & Pain--which one will Win?

I never know when the New Pain is going to drop by- the old Pain is always on the Radar-that familiar burning feeling doing its thing~~~ when a Sharp, Stabbing sensation screams for my full attention--all I can say is "where the heck did that come from?"

We were at church this evening and I turned to greet a friend-never thinking something so simple would  bring on Monster Pain~~I tried to ignore the loud silent scream my body was making, the throbbing ache growing by the second-as I heard my husband whisper "What is going on-are you okay?"

 New Pain won, plain and simple!   I slumped against my husband, asking for the car keys~~~~knowing all I wanted to do was get home, crawl inside my pjs and turn the heating pad on!  God was with me~~a caring lady suddenly was  beside me as I struggled to get inside the car~~~all she wanted to do was help me-she had the door opened and quietly said "You are too Young to have this much Pain in your life!"

Her words had struck home~yet we both knew, there is no place I can hide to get away from this Pain~~
 I saw my husband walking quickly up the road-and Prayer had its place as I whispered "Thank you God." 

God please help all who battle against Chronic Pain.