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Sunday, December 2, 2012

Purpose of Pain

I have always loved this time of year.  What could be better?  You spend more time with family and you get the joy of giving gifts to your loved ones. I also love the decorations. I used to have a fascination for Santa clause decorations and now I love snowmen.

I also love the Christmas tree. I love seeing the decorations each year. Some of these decorations hold fond memories. I look forward to putting up the tree every year. Well maybe not the actual putting up of the tree, but admiring the tree afterwards.

This year putting up the tree captured a new and not so fond memory…pain. I only sat on the floor for a about 10 minutes to straighten out the limbs at the bottom of our tree. You see, we bought an artificial pre-lit tree several years ago. Best money we ever spent!  Well that and the money spent on my hysterectomy! 

Afterwards I was in a lot of pain. My bladder was hurting. Bladder pain for me is a new symptom. Oh I’m excited, a new symptom to add to the long list. My legs and bottom were hurting too.  I was totally exhausted and I had done very little that day prior to my holiday decorating.  I was in so much pain and so weary, very shortly afterwards, I went to bed. I told my husband I was going to take Ibuprofen first and if I couldn’t get to sleep, I would take a stronger narcotic.  Much to my delight, I was able to fall asleep and slept well.

Before I feel asleep, I was praying. I was asking God to show me the reason or  the purpose of my pain.  I tried to listen for my answer, but it is very difficult to do when you are in so much pain.  I still don’t have any big revelation other than it is my purpose to suffer in order that I can relate to and try to help others.  I am fine with that most of the time. This was not one of those times, but it made me appreciate feeling good the next day.

Maybe that is the purpose of our pain…to help us learn to appreciate the good days, the good times and those that help take care of us. I am convinced that each person with chronic pain has to figure out their own purpose in their suffering.

I do think there are some things we can do to help ease the pain. I believe that diet, exercise and our attitude toward the pain can help control our pain. My physical therapist gave me a link to a video that I would like to share with you. It has helped me to think more about what I eat and drink. It has encouraged me to get back into the habit of walking daily. One of the main things I took away from the video was that I need to consider ways to reduce stress. Most of my stress comes from my job. If I am feeling stressed at work, I can go for a walk to decompress. If I eat healthier, I will feel more like walking. If I eat well, I will walk. If I walk I will be less stressful.  You see how one part of your life can affect so many other areas?

Another very important thing I have learned about dealing with pain is that if our mind is occupied with something else, we tend not to concentrate on the pain as much. Try to keep your mind occupied with a hobby, your job, a pet or something else that you enjoy.

Chronic pain can be very difficult to deal with every day. Instead of focusing on how difficult the pain is, try focusing on better ways to deal with it. Take an active role in treating your chronic pain and set realistic goals for yourself and hopefully we all can figure out our purpose of pain.

The video below is different from most of the videos I post.  Please check it out and leave your comments below.

2 Corinthians 12:9-10
"But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.  That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong."