Mark 14:37 – Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Simon,” he said to Peter, “are you asleep? Couldn’t you keep watch for one hour?”
There are times, when you suffer from chronic pain, that you catch yourself falling asleep even when it’s time for you to be awake:
Many of these cases can cause hurt and pain if it’s a person or meeting you’re listening to. Find some tips on how to avoid falling asleep when you need to be awake. On webmd.com in their article, “How to Stay Awake Naturally,” discusses ways to help you not fall asleep such as get up and move around to feel awake, take a nap to take the edge off sleepiness and give your eyes a break to avoid fatigue.
Making sure you get a good night’s sleep is also important. I know that when I’ve had a restless sleep it can be difficult to keep my eyes open the next day. Take a look at the Bible verse above, Jesus had gone a little away to pray and when he returned, he found the disciples had fallen asleep. Even they battled trying to stay awake when Jesus was about to be arrested. As you’re praying, you might find yourself falling asleep. It’s times like these when you need to fight sleep to stay awake.
Philippians 4:6 – Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
Here we are at another Thanksgiving. Preparations are being made for a family dinner with all the trimmings – turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, salads and desserts. But for the one battling chronic pain preparing a meal and having guests arrive at your home, can push you over the top.
It’s hard to clean that turkey and lift it into the oven. You cringe as your back fills with searing pain. And, just the thought of having a lot to do, can put you over the top.
This year, you want to have a joy-filled, thankful day. But you’re having trouble finding something to be thankful for this year.
Your family knows that we aren’t well, but they want you to at least act like you’re happy to see your guests.
So, you push yourself and push yourself until the meal is done. Now it’s time to put out the food and sit down to eat it. From somewhere comes an internal cry from the amount of pain you are in. Would your family understand if you tell them you’re not well?
I think it depends on how to balance showing your love and wanting to retreat to your bed that’s calling your name. How did you get to this point? Why did you volunteer to make the meal this year?
It’s because you want to find a way to be thankful and show it. How can this pain you feel make you more thankful? I think it all boils down to perception. Even if you want to run away to your bedroom and lock the door, so you won’t be disturbed.
Let’s find something to be thankful for in the midst of your pain:
Migrainemantras.com posts in their article some additional things to be thankful for when you have a chronic illness, “8 Reasons I’m Thankful I Have a Chronic Illness,” such as knowing your body causes you to be more focused on what your body is experiencing. In addition, learning how to set boundaries and learning to say, “No” sometimes causes you to have a more balanced life.
In closing, look at the Bible verse above. It admonishes us to not be anxious, which would include chronic pain and, in every situation, not just some situations, pray and give thanks to God when you’re asking for him to help you get through one more day. It won’t be easy but learning to be thankful can be just what you need to live your life despite chronic pain.
Jeremiah 33:6 – Nevertheless, I will bring health and healing to it; I will heal my people and will let them enjoy abundant peace and security.
Why do I cringe at that? It’s something I drum up when my pain level is at an 8 or 9. I try to convince myself that it’s possible to be healthy and that I have all the energy to get done what I need to do.
So, I burst out of my house and head to the office. I haven’t been there for weeks, but I believe I will be able to complete what needs to be done. That’s not a bad way to feel. It can give yourself some energy, but it doesn’t last for very long. True chronic pain seeps in and takes over.
Before it’s lunchtime. You find yourself in so much pain that you can’t even use your keyboard. Your hands hurt with each word you type. You’re back is screaming at you, “You can’t keep sitting like this!” But there are those pesky deadlines. If you’re back to work, you’re expected to do this work and meet those deadlines.
So, you swallow your pride and knock on your boss’ door, and as you wait for him to say, “Come in,” you wonder what you will say.
Here comes the conversation you dread. But it isn’t all that bad. Your boss understands your predicament and tells you that you’re too good of an employee to let go. So, he offers you a way you can do your job, but also takes care of your health. There are many people who now work from home. That way, if you’re tired you can lay down for a while and then get back at it. And the more you do this, the more the work once again, helps you meet your deadlines and the excited of working on this project energizes you instead of trying to bury you.
Here are some of the things you can do from home, listed in bankrate.com, in their article, “The 20 Best (and real) Work From Home Jobs.”
Customer service representative, and tech support specialist. Both you may recognize but are unaware that the person on the other side of the line is sitting at home in their jammies. These jobs involve some training, but the jobs can be your link to the outside world. There are more types of jobs in the list and more are being added each day.
Still, it is good to tell yourself that you’re healthy and can get done today what you need to do. In order to bring full health in all areas of your life, you must believe the Bible verse above. God can bring health, healing and abundant peace and security, when we put our trust in him.
Revelations 21:4 - He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.
Sometimes, when we’re in pain, we want to escape the world we’re living in. But there’s a difference between imagining yourself on a beach, and just wanting to run away from life.
But we don’t have to run away to find peace. We can use our imagination to meditate and find ourselves walking through an open door to the beach. This can be a good thing. Breath deeply and:
However, it isn’t a good thing if we let our imaginations take over life.
Do you see the progression? Where once your imagination was used to help you relax now, we can’t pull ourselves away from it.
What are healthy ways of dealing with pain and wanting to escape?
Here are a few ideas on psychologytoday.com in their article titled, “Escaping Reality to Heal”:
Find the complete list in the article. It will help you to find relief in a healthy way. So, be careful, though, how long you stay in your imaginary place or it can lead to wanting to escape completely from life.
Find comfort also, in the above Bible verse. Know that your pain will not last forever. Someday God will wipe away your tears and there will be not more crying or pain. Focus on this verse when you’re meditating, and you’ll find it penetrating your soul
Matthew 9:12 – On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.”
When we go to the doctor, they expect us to arrive before our appointment, but if we’re late more than 10 minutes, they cancel our appointment.
So we arrive on time and they finally call our name and put us in a room, where we wait and wait. We might get angry, but sometimes doctors are forced to double book the appointment. So much of it isn’t their fault.
On top of everything, I read an article today stating that a local medical group, Dignity Health is cutting 1% of staff. Need to be angry? But at who?
It would do you no good to be angry. Yet, I know so many who are angry at our medical system. But it also points to us, do we really need to see a doctor for every little thing? It would depend on what we need addressed. Remember, as the Bible verse above says, “It’s not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.”
I’m not saying that you should ignore warning signs that might point to a larger issue. If there’s any doubt on whether you should go in, you should get checked out. But as you wait, try to think of the main issue that you need addressed and what you would like the doctor to do for you. Houstonmethodist.org list when you should see a doctor in their article, “10 Signs You Should go See a Doctor?” Some of the signs are you have a persistent fever, your cold becomes unusually bad, you’re short of breath, and you develop unexpected symptoms after a procedure or starting a new medication.
You may find yourself becoming angry when you must wait to see the doctor, but be careful of what you tell yourself, major symptoms and incidents aren’t the only reason to go see the doctor as I talked about above. Whatever your situation, remember that for many conditions early detection can lead to better outcomes.
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.