Romans 15:1 - We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves.
There comes a time when you need to inform your family and friends about the difficulties of living with someone who has chronic pain or an illness, and how it will affect their lives as well as yours.
Pain can be seen at different levels according to the amount of time you spend with an individual:
Observable levels of pain
With each level of pain, there are also levels that then become apparent to those around you.
It’s important to educate your family and friends about your pain. Though at some times when your family will be able to detect what you’re feeling, at others, they won’t always be able to do so. Be aware:
When you say you have pain, it sets off an alarm in those around you. Because they care about you it hurts them to see you hurt. They want to do something about it to fix you.
When I’m in pain, my family often gets frustrated because they don’t know how to help me so they don’t really want to hear about my pain.
The result >> I keep it to myself, because I don’t want to be a burden.
However, passive personalities, like mine, can make other people resentful and frustrated because they don’t know what I want. I may be afraid to tell them, but they still need to know what I need and want.
Another thing you need to realize is:
They also need to know that it’s not a matter of motivation that you don’t do certain things that you used to. It’s a reality that you can’t control.
One thing you can do is have a written plan. It is:
Wikihow.com has some great suggestions on how you can help someone with chronic pain in their article, "How to Understand Someone With Chronic Pain," such as knowing that chronic pain is real and practicing empathy.
Here's another idea: Write out a list of things that you would want your family and friends to do for you. This way they won’t become so frustrated and will understand what you’re going through a little better.
You can see in the Bible verse above that those who are strong should bear with those who are weak. Living with chronic pain or illness can seem difficult to bear with, but finding tangle ways to educate those around you will have a significant positive effect on the quality of life for the suffering.
Do you know someone in your circle of friends who suffers from chronic pain or illness, or perhaps are the one suffering? If you’ve found something that’s helping you I’d love to hear from you.
Joshua 1:8a - Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it.
In a previous post I discussed how to breathe correctly. You’ll find that this is also the first step in beginning a relaxation session.
The kind of relaxation I’m talking about isn’t sitting down in front of the TV or even reading a good book, though these can be an important part of helping you unwind. Relaxation sessions are setting time aside in a room that is quiet for the specific reason to just relax.
It’s best to set time aside in a quiet room, but if that’s not possible; then you can do smaller sessions even at your desk at work, if that’s all the time you have.
There are two main types of relaxation methods – progressive relaxation and visualization.
I like to visualize myself in a quiet setting beside a stream just downstream from a waterfall. The important thing is not where you imagine yourself being, but imagining it in as much detail as possible.
And even in the Bible, as the verse above says, it’s important to meditate on God’s word. There are many verses in the Bible about meditation. You can feel relieved that meditation is a good thing. Sometimes I choose when I’m doing a relaxation session, to focus my attention on a Bible verse and meditate deeply on it.
For more information on relaxation methods follow the link below.
Did this information help you? Will you consider relaxation sessions everyday for pain relief? I do and it helps a lot. I’d love to hear from you.
Isaiah 55:2 - Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and you will delight in the richest of fare.
Remember the old commercial that said, “Bet you can’t eat just one Lay’s potato chip”? It was as if the bag of chips was calling your name. And when you ate them, it gave you a momentary feeling of comfort.
Overeating does the same thing. You may set out to only eat a small meal, but then decide to raid the refrigerator for goodies after the meal and blow the whole effort.
Overeating and pain seem to go hand-in-hand. However, the relief from overeating only lasts momentarily. Whereas, with overeating the effects stay with you as you watch, in dread, as the numbers on the scale keep going up and up.
And as the scale goes up so does a decrease in activity level including exercise. Not just the difficulty in moving your body, but the desire to exercise also lessons.
Whether it’s the taste or the sense of fullness there is real scientific evidence that eating certain foods can provide a temporary relief from pain. These foods are not the ones that can cause weight gain when eaten.
Take a look at the article, “7 Foods That Help Fight Pain,” on everydayhealth.com which talks about food that can help you reduce pain.
And as the Bible verse above says eat what is good and you’ll delight in a right fare. Eating healthy isn’t a kill joy. I recently switched to a diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, along with the deletion of high fat, and a low consumption of carbohydrates. As a bonus to losing weight, I have more energy and a decrease in overall chronic pain.
So instead of reaching for that cookie, reach for an apple. Your body will thank you.
Have you found success in a decrease in chronic pain or in losing weight by eating healthy foods? I’d love to hear from you.
Mark 6:31 - Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, "Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest."
We’re taught in this culture to push ourselves. Many people are working two jobs or at least a great deal of overtime. I understand that sometimes this is the only way to survive financially, but a person who suffers from chronic pain or an illness is unable to keep up this pace for very long. And this is the result:
It’s like being in a space ship on Star Trek and your shield’s going down. You leave yourself as an open target.
“Scotty, we need more power!”
“Aye, Captain. But you used it all up.”
If you burn out, you’ll get nothing done. Avoiding overdrive means a less stressful lifestyle, and productivity will actually go up.
Haven’t you noticed that when you’re in a hurry, you’re more likely to make mistakes and then have to back track? Also, you’ll be in a better place physically.
So what can we do to help this situation? We must adjust our expectations. Our expectations of ourselves and those we have of others. Below you’ll find a link to a great article on expectations. It helps to explain why people today expect so much, but aren’t willing to give back.
The Bible verse above shows that even Jesus and his disciples needed a break from all they were doing. Jesus knew that preventing his disciples from going into overdrive was necessary and important. His example is a good one for us to follow today especially in our “overdrive” culture.
Do you have trouble with pushing yourself too hard or do you ever get stuck in overdrive? I’d love to hear from you.
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.