Monday, July 20, 2009

When The Pain Blurs my Vision

Living with a chronic illness, sometimes means having a whole lot of downtime in which to count my blessings.  I view this as a benefit.  Something that can rescue me from the onset of a long-lingering bout of focusing on the pain, while going through the litany of the "Why me's?", only to feel worse for the wear.  When I awaken sometime around noon, most days, I am faced with unrelenting pain which forces me into an immediate state of reality that upsets my balance.  This morning was a particularly bad morning.  We have been experiencing a heatwave here in Southern California that is both unbearable and seems to be unending.  The high temperatures and humidity(Yes, we do sometimes have humidity in So Cal.) have made it harder for my body to recover, leaving me helpless against the outer conditions that I have little to no control over.  This morning, as my body ached and throbbed and rebelled against me, I quietly laid in bed praying for relief.  The pain began to worsen, as I began to make a mental list of each pang.  But then I stopped myself.  I began to breathe in and out more deeply as visions of my husband and our daughter's smiles floated through my mind's eye.  I began to focus on the joy that I have in my life.  My husband, our four daughters, our pets, the beach, and suddenly, the pain was only a background to the inner peace that I was experiencing.  Physically, I was still dealing with the pain, but mentally, I had created some images that had much more power.  The power of love.  The power of choice.  The power of knowing that everything is going to be okay, and that eventually the pain would subside.

It's important to do that.  To store up the mental and physical images that can restore your inner balance during times of pain, be it physical, spiritual or emotional.  To give yourself the tools with which to bring yourself to a better place.  To capture the moments that can make you laugh.  To remind yourself of the things which can bring your sight back into focus.  It is important to allow yourself a little time to wallow, but a lot more time to count the things that make you complete.  For me, this includes my family.  They can make me laugh like nothing else in this world can.
And this morning, these images are what saved me from the pain.  Images of Angel Daughter Number Three and Angel Daughter Number Four being silly with one another.
Angel Daughter Number Three is usually not too excited about having her picture taken.  Maybe it has something to do with being seventeen.  But yesterday, I caught her wrestling around on the floor with Angel Daughter Number Four, and we all laughed.
There is almost nothing that gives me as much pleasure and as much joy as seeing the way that my girls can love on one another.
The older that they get, the more that their childlike nature becomes submerged by more serious issues like boys and school and life.
But when I can catch them just being sisters, those are the moments that I love to hold on to.  The moments that make the hard parts of mothering virtually disappear.  The moments that can take away my pain.
These girls.  My four daughters.  My husband.  They are what bring my life back into focus.

What does it for you?


jojo said...

sometimes it is so easy to lose track of the joys and focus solely on the physical pain. It has been particularly difficult for me to do that lately also, but coming here, I am reminded that my mind can choose to view things differently. I just have to choose...that's the hard part! Hoping you get some relief Deb. I'll keep good thought for you.
Sorry I've been such a bad bloggy friend but I know you understand...jj

kim-d said...

I swear, Deb...those Angel Daughters of yours are so lovely that I'm feeling a little less pain, too!

I'm fairly "new" to this whole pain deal that is suddenly a part of my life, but it's not going to get to me, and it's not going to define me. I finally realized that the first best thing I could do for myself was stop feeling guilty, as if this whole illness thing is my "fault." As soon as I got past that one, it got a lot easier. Beyond that...oh, there is so, so very much that helps me get through the not-so-fun stuff. Family, friends, my kitties. Watermelon. A good cup of coffee. Visiting you and reading your words and taking in the lovely images you share with us.

You always have a way of writing what I need to read; you are a gift to me!

Something Happened Somewhere Turning said...

Deb, I am so sorry that you have been feeling all achy and awful. It is good that you draw on your family in moments like this. It always makes me smile when I see the pictures of your family smiling and laughing. They always look so happy.
Take good care and my best to you and yours.

Laura ~Peach~ said...

amen... family does it thats for sure.... bradley can make all right with the world. :)

Sunshine said...

Deb... I love your family a lot Specially your daughter... They make us smile all the time.. I learn a lot from your family eventhough you have a hard time you make it so easy... You are always in my thoughts and prayers.. i wish you a quick recovery with your chronic illness..

GOd bless you

Ness said...

Thanks for your sweet note on my blog. My sea glass is in its beautiful bag on the table next to my bed and there are many early morning hours that I take it out, look at it, feel it and think of the someday happening that you and I will be on your beautiful beach hunting for 2 more for you and one for me that will be ever so special because we found them when we were together. I'm getting ready to go to Buffalo for a week starting Saturday and look forward to soaking up the love of 11 grandchildren and 3 stepchildren and their spouses and a sister in law and brother in law that have come to accept me as their brother's wife. I will have pictures galore to share when I get back. My trusty computer is going with me so I can stay in touch with you. Prayers daily for your pain and that God keeps you in the palm of His hand.

Mickey Johnson said... sorry you have to deal with a chronic pain that can be so depressing, but so glad to hear that he brings you joy in the midst of it that only he can. your family is yours and they are so special. it is good that you are able to sit back and bask in that blessing. i wish i did it more often, but i hope i don't have to feel pain in order to do it. i am amazed that you can find joy during your trial. you are an inspiration my friend. i hope the pain subsides soon! xo, mickey

Debbie said...

Your girls are so incredibly beautiful and look like they have just the most healthy relationships with each other. I am so glad they can ease your burden of pain.

jenX said...

I never tire of pictures of your beautiful girls, Debbie. And, I never tire of hearing about the pain you have to live with every day. You always show us the spiritual side of it. While I hate thinkinga about someone so full of life and love having to live with a chronic illness, I appreciate that you let us learn from your journey. You are amazing!

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