Thursday, October 2, 2014

Pain, pain go away...

It hurts. I hurt. Where? Everywhere and anywhere. It's in my back, my arms, legs, neck, stomach, head and, even, my butt. I'm whining about Lupus, fibromyalgia, osteporosis, gastroparesis, arthritis, my worsening eyesight and the cold weather that's starting to settle into my bones in New York.

I'm making the doctor rounds, as ordered, and some medications are being removed, others added, dosages changed and tests ordered. *Sigh.* It's a job and it's a frustrating one at that.

Talking to a friend last evening who also has autoimmune disease plus work plus family plus daily life challenges like talking to any darn insurance company (auto, home, health - pick one) or staying on hold for tech support or grocery shopping or actually getting WORK done, I found myself giving her advice that I need to give myself again.

Pick three things. That is, choose - in priority order - what things you are going to master today, this week, this month. For example, I suggested:

  1. Health/Self-Care. She's presently in a 'flare' and it's gotten worse due to a huge personal disappointment. Because she was so upset yesterday she canceled her rheumatologist appointment and she needed to address her mental health as well. No good. Health comes first. Reschedule that appointment and talk to a mental health provider. 
  2. Family. She has a son who needs to know she's available no matter what shape she's in. I learned that lesson the hard way by getting too wrapped up in my own grief over my brother's suicide this past year that I neglected my kids and one acted out when he felt it was finally safe to do so. 
  3. Paid Work. As an advocate for others, like myself, she is always helping people for free but neglects work for which she can be paid. 
And because neither of us can stop it, I added a fourth which is our passion: Advocacy.

My friend champions the causes of those who are trampled on in Family Courts across the United States, mostly parents who lose their children under ridiculous rulings by the departments of child welfare. She does an amazing job. I am trained as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for children in foster care and I have become involved in suicide awareness and prevention due to my brother's death last year. I've put the CASA work on hold because that would be my number five. That's too much.

I told her we're good enough as we are; doing what we can, when we can but taking care of ourselves comes first ... and praying doesn't hurt either. I hope she takes my advice. I'm trying to take it, too, because I overextend, over promise, overdo.

Chronic illness should not manage us. We must take back the reins and keep reminding ourselves that it's simply okay to just be.
Picture credit:

1 comment:

  1. Aha! Now I read this again in context... We're always preaching to others those things we should be doing.With this crappy weather I have some pain when I walk, but hopefully temporary! Not complaining- nothing in comparison to those with many chronic conditions. Just saying that my gears are wearing too! So glad I have my new dream(s) in place for the future and working on them bit by bit! Makes the aches and pains, lack of sufficient self-care at times tolerable. Amy you will get better! I just know it! Love, LJ


Please comment! I'll write about what you'd like. Let me know.