I look outside every day and every night, my eyes scanning the porch to see if maybe they might have come back. First there was Tuxie, a small mama cat that wearily walked as if the world was on her shoulders. A hard life she led. Then she disappeared. Coal was her baby who was so loving and sweet. He had a teeny tiny meow and when he called for me, my heart melted. The day I was first able to pick him up, my heart soared. Then we brought him in but he was too lively for my 67 year old husband and me so we sent him to live with someone who would be better suited to handle a baby kitten. Then along came Hoagie….such a sweet boy who had some type of injury that caused a neurological problem. He warmed up to us right away and we were talking about bringing him in…and then one day, he stopped coming. We watched and watched for him, but he was gone. The food & water bowls were not touched. All my babies disappeared. Sadly, we brought the bowls inside, and finally after a month, we gave up. But I still look outside. Searching for those warm bodies, those beautiful eyes, sweet innocents trying to survive. I doubt I will ever put food out for strays & ferals again. I can’t take the emotional pain when winter comes, when they stop coming…the wondering what happened to them. It hurts my heart too much. And for anyone who wonders why I didn’t bring them in, you have to understand….I have many chronic illnesses as does my husband and we are not equipped to handle new pets at this point. I can barely handle taking care of myself and my husband. With that said, I carry a lot of guilt and regret, but I did what I could and hopefully I gave them enough food, water and love to extend their lives a little bit. I miss them so much.
Everyone seeks peace, whether they realize it or not. In this world, peace can be so elusive. Everything is so fast paced, crazy-making, anger-producing. We all want peace.
Recently I became interested in meditation, and Buddhism. I was first attracted to the Buddha statues you see here and there, like in Pier One Imports and in people’s zen gardens. I liked how beautifully serene the faces of the Buddhas are….I found myself wishing that I could attain peace like that. So I bought some statues, some incense, some candles and books on the subjects of Buddhism and the practice of meditation.
I began, in my own haphazard way, to do a little meditating, and started to read some of the books. Some of the books were very simple and some were extremely complex. I thought, wow, I don’t know if I can do this or not. One of the books even said, meditation is simple but it’s not easy. They were referring to the practice of keeping your mind centered in the “here and now”, and keeping it from drifting off course into the future or the past. Boy, were they right.
I am a 35 year survivor of chronic pain of various sorts. I have fibromyalgia, RA, and I had endometriosis, thyroid disease. I have carpal tunnel syndrome. I have osteoarthritis. Also several other illnesses that interfere with my daily life.
Just as I was beginning to seek out this meditation as a way to cope with my long-time chronic pain issues, another thing popped up. It seems I now have a partial rotator cuff tear in my shoulder, which for the past couple weeks has been extremely painful and really causing a lot of trouble for me.
Since this started, I am finding it more difficult to continue on my meditation journey. I am not sure why but I think it’s because it’s harder to concentrate when the pain and the anxiety are crushing me. I not only am dealing with my shoulder pain, but all the other chronic pain as well. Pain makes it very hard to learn something new. It makes it hard to practice something new, when of course, now the doctor wants me to start practicing new exercises for my shoulder. It’s like all my attention is now focused on my shoulder and I can’t deal with anything else.
But I really need to meditate. Even though I haven’t really learned the basics, I want and need to meditate especially right now. I’m not sure how to proceed.
I guess I’ll just try to pick up these books and read and absorb the teachings as best I can, and try to meditate the best I can. Because I need the peace more than ever now. I’ll let you know how it goes. I really want this in my life. Everything else I’ve tried has not worked out well for me. So I’m going to put forth as much effort as I am able to, in order to find the peace that I so desperately need.
P.S. I am not meditating to try to relieve my chronic pain. I am meditating to try and find some peace in the midst of the storm. If by some miracle, my pain is lessened as I meditate, that would be great. But I’ll be happy just to exchange my anxiety and restlessness for some serenity.
I will not be made to feel small by the judgements of other people. There are reasons I am the way I am. If that doesn’t measure up to the high standards you’ve set for me then I apologize. I have some shit going on in my own life and it’s very very heavy. I can NOT be everything to all people. I am mostly just trying to survive and do what I need to do. Yes I am flawed and yes I have issues. I fail miserably at many things. I spend the major part of my life in bed or wishing I could be in bed due to severe pain that no one can see because I hide it well when I’m out, or around other people. I don’t broadcast it or moan or scream or cry or wear a sad face. After 33 years I am a great actress, so if you see me outside of the house you would never guess what is going on under the facade. Most people will never understand the depth or severity of what I deal with on a daily basis. Some see me on a good day, running an errand or eating at a restaurant with my husband or doing something else and consider, Well she can’t be hurting that bad or She is lying or She doesn’t look like she is in that much pain to me. Some wonder why I spend 95% of my time alone in my house while hubby is at work. They might think I’m lazy or just sitting around watching tv and eating bon bons, or whatever. No. I am hurting THAT BAD. Bad enough that my life and my world has become very very SMALL. Most of the time I just try to make it to the next pain pill….try to read a book…..or if the pain is too much and I can’t concentrate on reading, then I just lay on my bed with my eyes closed and ride the pain out.
When a good day comes I try to balance my activity so I don’t do too much (which is hard) because if I do just a little too much then I’m back in bed for another day or another week or another month. Now since my 4 herniated disks have happened, I have new pain to learn to deal with. Along with getting older. I’ll be 61 this year and I’m feelin it. My body is not user-friendly. It has been my prison, my enemy. I have tried so many things to make myself better but nothing ever seems to work. The only respite I have found are the opioids. They block the pain for a few hours, not completely but enough so that I don’t lose my sanity. Unrelenting pain for over 30 years is not easy to take. Many times I have felt like I’m losing my grip. I am strong, but the pain that resides in my body is WAY stronger than me.
So if you look at me and wonder why I am the way I am…..consider what I’ve just said, and try to understand. If the pain had not invaded my life, everything…..EVERYTHING…..would be different. This is not the way I’d planned it. This is not how I’d hoped my life would turn out to be. But it is what it is. If you wish things had been different, trust me, so do I.
There are several studies about the relationship between depression and chronic non-malignant pain. These studies have shown that up to 50% of chronic pain patients are suffering from depression.
It is, therefore, reasonable to expect that pain patients would also have an increased risk of suicidal behaviour. This problem is not well studied.
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For those of you who don’t know, I have been selling country primitive antiques for 20 years. If you’ve never visited my online shop, please follow the link below, and come on in and have a look around. The collage of items shown below is a small gathering of stuff I offer for sale. I usually have around 200 items in stock, most of which are primitive antiques and collectibles from the heart of the country. If you have any questions, please click the “email” button on any item page and I’ll be happy to answer them for you! Thanks so much.
Sarah Kershaw, a former reporter for The New York Times who covered real estate, the Pacific Northwest and New York City schools, died on Monday. She was 49.
She was found with a plastic bag tied over her head and pill bottles beside her,
Ms. Kershaw told friends that she planned to end her life because she suffered from a debilitating illness.
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From Pain to Anger to Depression
They say depression is anger turned inward, and especially with chronic pain, I believe this is true.
What else can I do with my anger at my broken body, a medical system that still has no answers, and a society determined to deprive me of the only pain relief I’ve been able to find over decades of experimentation?
What can I do with my anger over spending thousands of dollars on so many completely ineffective “complementary” pain treatments? The anger about losing my income? Having to give up so many of the activities I enjoy?
Every day is a painful reminder of my fate. Every day is a struggle not only with the pain, but with all the loss, grief, and depression that comes with it.
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Here’s a description of how suicidal thoughts and ideation take root when suffering from chronic pain. This article is worth reading in its entirety.
The chronically ill suffer from severe depression, grief, loss, and a high suicide rate, but these symptoms are rarely openly discussed.
I am not only going to venture into this taboo subject, I am going to share my personal experience.
The mental deterioration due to my illness is a part of me, my experience, and thought process that I rarely speak of because it makes the people around me terribly uncomfortable.
When my body first began its rapid slide to the current disaster I approached it like everyone else; go to the doctor, find the problem, and fix it.
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“So imagine you’re miserable with sinus headache and a hacking cough and a fever. You muster the strength to go to the doctor to get treatment so you can recover and go about your life. You wait for an hour to be seen. She diagnoses you with a sinus and bronchial infection.
But then she turns to you and says, “I think you’re an antibiotic seeker. I don’t feel comfortable with giving you a prescription. So I will just suggest plenty of fluids and some vitamin C. You can try some over the counter cold medicine.” How would you feel?
This is what is happening to people with legitimate diagnosis that cause chronic pain. People are suffering needlessly because of the new guidelines for opioid prescriptions. They suggest alternative treatments that rural areas don’t have access to, are illegal in most states, are not covered by insurance, are far too expensive for limited income or are proven ineffective before the patient even tried opioid medicine to begin with.
Opioid prescription in chronic illness needs to be looked at realistically and if you’re going to refuse patients the only option that works of the many they’ve tried, you better damn well figure out a better alternative that is effective, accessible and affordable.”
~ Trina M. (Patients Not Addicts)