The wind has been roaring past my window for almost 36 hours now. When I say roaring, I mean gale-like winds. That is approximately the amount of time that I have been sitting in this single spot on the edge of my bed managing to sport only one quick treatment. When the pressure is dropping and the neuropathy is high, moving becomes painful and I try to remain as still as possible. I even taught school from this position today. Multiplication Tables are the order of the today's focus.
Lynne knitting on the NYC
Subway with Ben.
For anyone who lives with a chronic disease, they will understand the title of today's blog. Whether you were a person who was already somewhat focused on yourself, or you were Mother Theresa incarnate before your illness, you will one day find you are becoming unintentionally consumed with self.
In our defense, it is difficult to not to be unwillingly rerouted down this path. When you live daily with pain that never goes away and cannot be controlled, it is wishful thinking to assume that at some point you will not find yourself putting your own physical affliction before any other considerations. To a high extent, it takes extreme mental discipline to keep your life in some sort of reasonable balance and that means constantly being aware of the pain and how to manage it as best as possible. You never forget it is there, you simply have to forcibly redirect your mind to address other parts of life.
There are few people in this world who will find themselves in this situation. It is a struggle when you desire to be there for others and to meet and tend to their needs and yet, for survival's sake, you find yourself consumed with your own plight. How do you move beyond the pain so you can focus more on others? It's not an easy mission and takes a great deal of prayer, and daily, minute by minute, forced focus on something beyond what is unwillingly consuming your mind.
The four greatest Blessings of my life holding
my hand before I am taken into surgery.
Josh was the first thing I saw when
I woke up with our children close.
In addition, you have these beautiful people around you whose lives have been forever changed by this illness too. This weighs heavily on my mind. I can see how much they have given up to accommodate my needs and I am at a loss as to how to make it right. I realized, once again, I am the recipient of great blessings despite the shadows upon my life. Those who love me, who live and walk this path with me every day and give of themselves to show me their love and support. It is what makes waking each morning possible and what keeps me fighting when the fight becomes weary.
I feel like I'm talking about pain and the diseases a lot on my blog but then, I suppose that was the point. For the first part of my illness, I felt so very alone. The long nights of sitting-up in pain that morphine cannot touch, just waiting for dawn which provides a smidgen of relief and feeling like I was the only one in this misery. It helped when I met others who also dealt with these difficult issues. Somehow, just knowing others were living through the pain and making it to the next day to be useful and productive helped me find a way to push through. That is what I am hoping to accomplish through my writings.
I am not alone. I know now there are others on this island with me and with each new day holds new possibilities. As we encourage one another, we can make it through these trials and come out victorious. Reaching out to one another is one way in which we take back some ground on the slide to Narcissism. With each prayer, a thoughtful word or season of just listening, we hold up another who is facing a rare trail. With each card we send, with each deliberate act of concern and kindness, we push past the pain in our own lives, whether that be physical, emotional or some other life crisis, and we become a strength to others. We take back a little of what has been stolen from us by giving a little bit more of ourselves.
Serenity in Fiber,
Originally published Mar 10, 2011