20 Minute Guided Meditation for Healing Chronic Pain
Chronic pain? Reclaim your life before it's too late
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Sometimes I think those of us who live altered lives forget that we are still in charge. It's natural and conveniently easy to blame our disease, our doctors and fate. Certainly, there are aspects of our lives such as discomfort, severe pain, the need for medications and limited activity, over which we have less control. The important aspect which we must never forget is that we are still in charge. I think there are times it would be simpler to blame it all on someone else, but that would be a lie. We go through time, a most precious commodity, blaming a disease for our destiny. Moment by moment, day by day, life is lost. That's just not productive. Nothing good comes from that approach except bitterness, frustration and a great deal of waste. Wasted time. Wasted growth. Wasted muscle mass. Wasted you and me.
Yes, it may be like the cholesterol commercial that reminds us of our genetic predisposition. You know the one that asks if it was fettuccine Alfredo or Uncle Alfredo? Does that mean we blame our relatives? Leave your poor relatives alone. Your DNA is set, so learn to live with it. It might even be from an old injury or some other mishap we were involved in, but the bottom line is not yesterday, but today. What are you and I doing today to take control of this strange, somewhat half-life we live?
That's what I have against wallowing. Sure it feels good sometimes to wallow away, but reality is always there to strike us in the face like a bucket of cold water. There arrives a day when you are all alone and you have to face what your life has become. The truthful, ruthless Sue in me says, So? What now? Are you just gonna sit there? Sure you're getting sympathy like crazy but what about sympathy? You can't eat it. You can't wear it and you certainly don't look good in it. Eventually, even sympathy gets old, worn out and tiresome, for you and for your family.
There is always that moment when I have to say, Sue, you're getting fat. What are you going to do about that? You know how you complain about carrying a ten-pound bag of potatoes from the market up the stairs and into the house? Girl, you've got more than that ten-pound bag of potatoes stressing out your sore joints, right now. It may not be in your hands (I won't tell you where it is) but you still have to haul it up the stairs. Why do you think you're so out of breath when you go shopping? Time to get in shape, at least, as much as you ever do. You're not too athletic, you know. I know, but I hate to be reminded. It's hard enough to look in the bathroom mirror.
I reply (since I talk to myself all the time), But it's the prednisone.
Is it? I say to myself, You don't think it has anything to do with Thanksgiving and that box of See's candies sitting in the bedroom?
I am a merciless censor when it comes to me. I know it's for my own good but it still hurts. To kick one's own self in the tushy is often necessary. Who else are we going to listen to?
What about those stretches you are supposed to be doing everyday to keep the sacroiliac joints in place? What about the treadmill sitting there waiting to be used? How long has it been? And do you really need to eat that donut? What are you thinking? Sometimes, you are an idiot. My truthful self isn't even very polite.
Again I have excuses for myself. Pain, waa, waa, waa. Fatigue, oh poor me. Over exertion over some nonsense or other. Now my excuses are: It's the holidays, the cold weather, etc. I have a million excuses for every aspect of my life but excuses don't get the muscles moving. Excuses don't surround me with the kind of life I enjoy. Excuses don't do anything. They just sit there, in the way. It's constantly something but there is always that bottom line. That ruthless bottom line that speaks loudly, You and you alone must decide if you are going to do all that you have learned to do to make your life more palatable. Only you can exercise. Only you can watch what you put in your mouth. Only you can be sure to take your medications faithfully, as ordered. Only you can fill that weekly pill container of vitamin supplements and remember to take them everyday.
If you are reading this and you have no idea what you can do for yourself, then make an appointment with your doctor and ask for suggestions. Maybe you need a visit to a physical therapist. Find out. Search the internet. Get informed.
In my nursing career and in my private life I have seen individuals who just gave up. Sometimes they are elderly, sometimes not. I'm extremely sad for those folks who would rather not try, at all. To be independent is one of the greatest gifts we are given. Why do so many people fail to understand its value and give it away? I know sometimes it is a deep psychological conflict in which they prefer to be waited on instead of pushing themselves to do things for themselves. This is tragedy at its highest level. Sometimes these individuals are seeking sympathy and pity because they mistake it for love. To me, this is far more tragic than the poor quadriplegic who has no choice at all and must be totally dependent on others. I have a dear friend with Lou Gehrig's disease (ALS), who has no choice. He just can't move any longer.
Therefore, my friends, I challenge you to take advice from the persistent Sue in my head who barks orders at me continually. If you can move a finger; move it. If you can walk a short distance; walk it. To let life slip through your fingers like sand is to lose the diamonds of your life, diamonds which you may lose forever. Fight. Fight with all your might to keep this disease, whatever it is that is attacking you, from robbing you of what you have left in your life. Life is a battle. It is a battle we must wage because we cannot afford to lose it.
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