Monday, November 24, 2008

Managing the pain

Last night it was late and I was still awake because of the pain in my arm. It feels like I am tearing muscles under there if I move or reach it a certain way. I was discouraged and feeling pretty hopeless, time seems to be dragging on and once again it had been a LONG day. Jeff sat down to talk to me, he looked so tired and I knew that he needed to get his sleep too but he insisted on staying up with me. No one talks a lot about what the Care Givers go through, I don't think he has discussed his feelings and worries about me with too many people. He looked tired last night, he seems like he has aged a lot these past 6 weeks. Every time he asked me what I was feeling, I just cried and only mumbled out a few words. I told him that I know that everyone thinks I a really tough and that I have always made it through some terrible trials but this one seems different, this one is too BIG! I told him that I didn't think I might be able to make it through this, the pain is too great and the future is still so uncertain. With his usual sweet and calm spirit he simply asked "then what will you do?" It caught me off guard and for the first time I actually thought about what the other options were of quitting.

I told him that maybe my faith wasn't strong enough to handle this situation. I can't feel the Lord near enough to me, have I done something wrong? Does He still love me, why do I feel so hopeless? His response again was simple when he said "Lynn, you have to remember that pain drains you and robs you of hope." His first suggestion was that we get the pain under control.  He then reminded me how much the Lord loves me and truly is close by and told me that it  is manifested through the love of my family and so many neighbors and friends who are praying for me and serving me.  I thought of the scripture on service in the book of Matthew 25:35-40 when the Savior reminds them, that when they serve others they are serving Him. So He certainly has not forgotten me or left me alone to suffer by myself. He has given me a companion who has the patience of Job and loves me unconditionally, He has given me wonderful kids who are making the world a better place by them being in it. He has given me neighbors who are like family and always watching over us. He has given me friends from many states and walks of life that love me and have supported me through this, so am I alone...NO!  Can I just quit and say that I have had enough, or say that I can not do any more trials, pain or suffering...No!

I have to do more self talk, I need to think if I were the one watching Jeff or one of the kids going through this, what would I tell them? I certainly wouldn't say..."You are right, this is just too hard. You are never going to live to tell about this one. Go ahead and just quit, don't believe anything any more, you are just on you own this time."  I would be sitting right by their side telling them how much I loved them and how sorry I was that they were hurting or struggling so bad and that I would be right there with them. I would remind them of how important they were to me and so many others and especially the Lord. I would encourage them to pray and study to rebuild their hope and faith and then I would pray with all my heart that quitting would not be an option that they would choose. I would try to remind them to serve in any capacity that they could, because it is true when you serve others that is where true happiness comes from, and through that service some how your problems don't seem so big.

So I went to my doctor appointment with Jeff this morning and decided to just get more information and try not to worry. The first news I got was she could not take out my drain yet because the drainage was still too much, so we will go through Thanksgiving with it. She looked at my arm and my incision and said that she doesn't see any infection and is pleased with how it is healing. I then explained to her how severe the pain is and wondered if that was unusual? She asked if I was taking my  prescription pain meds, and I said no because they upset my stomach too bad. Then I told her I just take Tylenol if it gets to bad but that doesn't even seem to help much. Her response was, the pain you are feeling is normal, but most people don't experience it because they are on those heavy  pain meds for weeks after surgery. She assured me in a week or so after she takes out my drains that the swelling by then should go down and that should take some pressure off of the nerves. The raw and terrible sunburn feeling and hypersensitivity should go away and then she wants me to start physical therapy and massage on that arm and my chest in a week or so. Other than that I just need to ice it and lay low. I was grateful some how to know that even though the pain will persist for awhile that it wasn't  unusual.

I did  get out for a little while with a friend today and yes it was day light and other people saw me. I was worried that people would look at me but it is amazing how many people don't give eye contact and are too busy to notice anything.  I think that is the first time in my life that I went some where and didn't talk or meet any one, but at least I got out. My girlfriend realized  after a little over an hour, that my energy was spent and I was fading fast and she took me home. The kids were so excited and proud of me for going out in public today, I was hurting too bad and too tired to share in their enthusiasm. But at least they realized that I am trying!

So I will go to bed tonight with a much lighter heart and realize that this pain won't last forever and remember how loved I am. That is a good feeling, I don't have to make any decisions this week about my future, this is still my week off. I will be more appreciative of the wonderful people and things that surround me and I will look for opportunities to start serving again (right from my home). And I will try to remember these 2 quotes ...



Good night dear friends.


Anonymous said...

Dear Lynn...I doubt that I am alone when I say that just through this blog you serve so much: your deep and sincere sharing, your beautiful, and sometimes painfully honest articulation, your ability to gain and share insight through a jungle of strife. I believe that what I read here is a manifestation of your unconditional faith and an innate gift that you give with such profound honesty. This gift of yours, of which you give so freely, enriches my understanding of life and deepens my faith. Now that, dear friend, is SERVICE from the soul! And I thank you and love you for all that you are and for all that you share. May your peaceful moments hug you comfortably.

Julie N. said...

Some time ago I read a quote (and it may be an Amish or Quaker saying) "let your life speak". I've often thought of it as being an example or letting your light shine but now I see more in that simple phrase. Your life right now may seem to be an overwhelming struggle but as you share, and share honestly, your thoughts and feelings are helping others and speaking out to others. I am grateful for your example and your willingness to be open to your friends.
love you, Julie