Things I’ve Learned from Having Chronic Health Issue

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Chronic health issues aren’t easy. Pain is lonely. You can try to help others understand, but others than those closest to you usually don’t understand. Here are some things that I have learned that help to make chronic pain easier on me and others.

  1. God cares. He is here and will never leave me.
  2. My husband tries to understand but sometimes forgets that I am in pain. I try to help him by giving him a number between 1 and 10 for the depth of my pain. This is a good cue for him to know if he should push me a little or back off.
  3. I have several “canned” speeches for those who ask how I am doing. I can’t say, “I’m doing better,” because they think that means I am cured. Rather, I say, “I am having a good day.” Or, “I was able to get out and do a few things yesterday.”
  4. I’m okay even if I can’t perform certain tasks. God loves me just because I’m His. My husband also loves me because I’m his.
  5. The weather affects my pain. Cold, wind, moisture, and sudden changes in temperature may keep me down for a day or two. That’s okay.
  6. The house doesn’t have to be perfect. I do what I can when I can and let the rest go until I can.
  7. Frozen dinners (Mine or Marie Calendar’s) won’t kill us even if we have to eat them for several days.
  8. Peanut butter sandwiches with honey and cinnamon are a great lunch.
  9. I need something to motivate me to get up each morning. It used to be my kiddos, now I have to plan other activities. I do teach an online bible study on Facebook twice a week and  teach piano students three afternoons a week.
  10. I can’t commit to anything that requires regular attendance, especially I can’t be in a leadership role. I sing in the choir, but the director understands my situation and allows me to sing when I can.
  11. I am learning to enjoy the moments – the butterflies, the birds, the snow, the warmth.
  12. It’s okay to lay around and read when I am hurting. That’s not being lazy. I am a very motivated person when I feel well. If I am being lazy, there is a reason!
  13. I need to get out of the house occasionally, even if it’s only a ride to Wal-mart with my husband. Seeing the sky gives me a bigger perspective.
  14. If I can’t get out for days at a time, a change of scenery still helps. I can lie down in the living room or sit in the piano room.
  15. I still do need to do things that I enjoy when I can. Sometimes when I only have a few good moments and the have to’s are screaming, it’s hard to take the moment and do something fun.
  16. My husband needs me to be light-hearted and laugh with him even if it’s over a show on television. I try to read or watch new information when I can, so I have something about which to  converse with him.
  17. I need to see my kids and grandchildren sometimes. More often than I actually get to, but a phone call or Facetime is good. I am blessed to live in the technological age.
  18. I can’t always sit or stand for long periods, but between the two, I can usually do about an hour. I can’t let this keep me from church or friends.
  19. Telephone conversations with distant friends are good, but I have to be honest with them and not skim over how I am feeling.
  20. God loves me. I will bloom where I am planted, uproot occasionally when I can, and be content. 

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