Friday, January 27, 2012


I am a blessed person. I have a wonderful husband and beautiful children. I have a home, cars, and my husband has a job that allows me to stay home and care for everyone. Not a day goes by that I am not thankful for all the blessings God has given me. Would I say that God blessed me with chronic pain? No, I don't think I would go that far.

You see, I believe in a God who loves me. Similar to how I love my children. Would I want my children to have chronic pain? Heck NO! I would not wish chronic pain on my worst enemy and I certainly don't believe that God would wish it for any of his children. God does, however, allow my suffering. In the end, my suffering will benefit me, my family, my friends, and who knows who else. Much in the way that we sometimes need to let our children suffer for them to learn and grow, so God allows my suffering in order for me to learn and grow into the person he needs me to be.

I have certainly experienced many blessings as a result of my illnesses. I have made some incredible friends who suffer the same diseases I do. We commiserate and understand each other. I have a new appreciation for simple things. I don't take any kind of physical activity for granted. It is a red letter day when I can do housework without extreme pain. My illness has brought my family closer together. They are far more appreciative of me when I am able to do things, and my children are learning a compassion and caring that I don't think any other situation would have taught them. My children are all growing up to be great helpers and to understand how to be "gentle" when mommy doesn't feel good. Their understanding of caring for the sick certainly helped this last summer when we were all helping my friend Suzanne. I don't think they would have been half as understanding of all we needed to do if they hadn't already experienced so much of that at home. The more I type, the more I realize that I cannot possibly list all the blessing that have come from my chronic pain.

Even after all the blessings, I still pray every day for this to be taken from me. I never find myself saying, "Thanks God, for that excruciating pain in my hip today!" Instead, my comments run toward, "O.K. God, that was a really painful day. Can we not do that again tomorrow?" So far, the answer has been no. But, you never know if you don't ask. I will continue to ask. And if the answer continues to be no, I will carry on as best I can and be thankful for all the true blessing in my life.

"Jesus suffers to carry out the will of the Father. And you, who also want to carry out the most holy will of God, following the steps of the Master, can you complain if you meet suffering on your way?"
- St. Josemaria, The Way #213

Monday, January 2, 2012

A Pain Free 2012!

Pain free? I can dream, right?

The past few months I have been dealing with my newest medical diagnosis - sacroilitis. After my doc did an MRI on my left hip (where I was having considerable pain) it was discovered that I have "extensive, permanent" damage to my sacroiliac joint. In layman's terms - I have an extreme pain in the ass. My rheumatologist referred me to pain management for treatment. They gave me an SI injection, a steroid injection straight into the SI joint. It was quite uncomfortable and in the end, didn't help enough to make me want to go through the procedure again.

So, here I am, back to being in pain. A pain that can't be fixed with any kind of treatment. It's one thing to have pain from an RA flare. With that, I know that eventually there will be a treatment that will relieve it, whether it is increasing my steroids or juggling my various medications. With this though, this is permanent. Talk about discouraging! Every day is ruled by my ability to deal with the pain. How much can I stand today? Sit? Bend? Drive? All of those things cause pain. Sometimes, laying down helps. Other times, it is when I lay down that the muscles decide to spasm and cramp. Sometimes heat or cold helps, other times it does nothing. The only thing that helps take the edge off? Pain meds.

Thank God for my medications. There are times when I get very stubborn and decide (much to my husband's chagrin) that I am not going to take my pain meds. Just to prove to myself that I can get through a day, or a night, without them. I always get through, just not pleasantly. The truth is, I need my pain medications. They don't completely relieve my pain, it is an ever present part of me. But, they take the edge off just enough for me to function. There are times when I want to weep with gratitude when the medication finally kicks in and I feel this overall peace and relief.

Does that make me an addict? I really don't care.

I am doing what I need to do to get through the next few minutes, the next hour, the entire day. I am doing what I need to do so that I can be the mother and wife that God has called me to be. I try so hard to keep a smile on my face, to walk without a limp, to hug my children without crying out in pain. I am not always successful at all of that, but with managing my pain in the only way I can, at least I know I am successful part of the time.