1 Corinthians 7:17 - You must accept whatever situation the Lord has put you in, and continue on as you were when God first called you. This is my rule for all the churches.
There are many challenges we face with a health condition. We deal with the changes that take place which don’t allow us to be able to function in a normal capacity. One-by-one we watch as our freedom to live and move the way in which we want to becomes ever more constricting.
One of those constrictions lies in our inability to drive anymore. Whether due to age or disability, having to give up your driver’s license is difficult. I know because I was there.
My independence was cut short by my vision. I have double vision and loss of being able to tell how close a vehicle is to another object. I also have issues with depth perception.
Losing a driver’s license is symbolized by handing your keys over to someone else. Those keys held your ability to come and go as you pleased and now you have to depend on someone else to take you places. That can be a blow not only to your choices in activities and work; it causes you to have to ask for help. That can be difficult for someone who is independent and doesn’t want to depend on anyone else.
But here you are. Keys in your hand. And then, letting go.
Let’s change the direction of this discussion to the other side of the story – being the one who has to convince a loved one that it’s time to stop driving. That can be very tricky as having that discussion can cause your relationship with your loved one to falter.
First, both for the person who is about to lose their license and for the one who needs to convince another person to give up their license, take a look at some of the rules from the Department of Motor Vehicles on when it’s time to stop driving from the DMV website, “DMV Senior Guide for Safe Driving.” One of the main rules is that the person driving must be alert enough to make quick decisions to make the correct course of action in any type of traffic situation. On the DMV website you will also find, the "California Driver Handbook," which will discuss an individual's cognitive impairment.
In addition, please note: "Physicians and surgeons are required to report patients at least 14 years old and older who are diagnosed as having lapses of consciousness, Alzheimer’s disease, or related disorders." (California Health & Safety Code [CHSC] §103900).
So now that you know some of the reasons why someone can lose their driver’s license, we also need to consider the person who will be the one to talk to a driver about giving up their keys. This is a difficult decision and you'll find help with this in the article, “How to Talk to a Parent About Driving,” on the care.com website.
For the one who is about to lose their license, God knows that you must come to a point of accepting that you will no longer be able to drive. It’s not easy to do, but knowing God will help you to find strength, and provide people around you to help, can ease you into your new life situation. I learned to do so and made several close friends in the process. You can, too.
Isaiah 35:3 - Strengthen the feeble hands, steady the knees that give way.
The old woman looks at her hands. She sees her enlarged knuckles and tries to stretch out her hands, but is unable to do so. And, she remembers:
Hands that used to play the piano.
Hands that used to write cards to those needing a touch of encouragement and support.
Hands that used to type on her keyboard.
Hands that used to button her sweater.
Hands that used to open a bottle.
Hands that used to … She sighs as a tear slips down her cheek.
There are so many things that she used to be able to do, but no longer can. And what stole so much from her? Rheumatoid Arthritis.
Rheumatoid Arthritis is a battle you fight with your immune system causing inflammation of the joints and chronic pain episodes, mostly involving the hands and feet but it can also attack other areas of the body.
In medicinenet.com's article, “Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA),” you'll find some of the signs of rheumatoid arthritis including swollen joints and loss of range of motion.
If you experience any of the symptoms above, you should see your doctor who can determine whether you have rheumatoid arthritis. Also, rheumatoid arthritis can happen at any age. Though there is no cure, there are both traditional medications and alternative therapies available.
Find some of the treatments used in the article, “10 Ways to Fight Chronic RA Pain,” from everydayhealth.com. Diet and weight management are two of the ways used.
Whatever treatment options that you and your doctor decide on using, remember that God will strengthen your feeble hands and steady your knees that give way. He knows every part of your body and wants to wrap you in his love and care.
Isaiah 43:2 - When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.
In previous posts, I’ve written about various treatment options for those experiencing chronic pain:
Each one of these choices has both benefits and side effects. It’s important that you discuss this with your doctor.
There are other options available, in addition to the ones that I’ve mentioned above and they are cortisone injections and epidural nerve blocks both of which I have undergone with good results.
Let’s take a look at the first one, cortisone injections.
Cortisone injections are made up of:
They are usually injected into various joints in the body such as the:
It's important to look at both the pros and cons before undergoing a procedure. Find some of them from arthritis-health.com in their article, “Cortisone Injection Risks and Side Effects.”
Now let’s take a look at epidural nerve blocks.
Epidural nerve blocks are commonly used to numb a pregnant woman’s body from the waist down. This is used to alleviate pain during the final stages of labor. However, the blocks can also be used to treat pain.
The blocks are made up of numbing medication and in some cases corticosteroid medication or narcotic pain medication. It can be given as an injection into the neck, back or legs. Here are pros and cons for the block according to backpainhc.com's article, “Epidural for Back Pain – Is it Good or Bad?”
As I mentioned above, discuss with your doctor the pros and cons of both the steroid injection and the nerve block. Then you and your physician can decide which procedure to undergo, and he can review the expectations for the procedure.
Though you may pass through the fire of fear before undergoing an injection, remember that God will walk through the fire with you and cause the flames not to set you ablaze.
Hosea 13:5 - I cared for you in the desert, in the land of burning heat.
You look outside your window at the thermometer. You can’t believe your eyes. It’s 9:00 am and it’s already 92 degrees outside which means it’s probably going to be at least 115 today. It’s going to be a hot day indeed.
But I don’t live in Death Valley. I live in a small town in Northern California, and in the summer it gets very hot.
Some people love the heat, because they’re able to swim all day. But for someone like myself, who has an autoimmune disorder in which my body is literally allergic to the heat causing burning pain, rashes and migraines, the heat can be my enemy.
Heat intolerance can also be the enemy for those who suffer from chronic pain. As the heat increases the likelihood of flare-ups also goes up.
So how can we cope if we live in an area prone to extreme weather during the summer months? Brainandspin.org.uk have some tips on coping with heat intolerance in their article, “Heat Sensitivity and Hot Temperatures,” such as keeping your skin clean and moisturized and eating cool foods like salads and fruit which are high in water content.
The description in the Bible verse above almost makes you feel the heat just by reading it. Remember, though, God also cares for you in a land of burning heat. He will give you wisdom and discernment in deciding how best to manage your heat intolerance.
Karen Dalske is a freelance writer, public speaker, is active in her church and writes her blogs out of her own experiences of pain, illness and loss.