Isaiah 40:1-2 - Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her hard service has been completed, that her sin has been paid for, that she has received from the LORD's hand double for all her sins.
It’s another one of those days. You stayed up late working on a project knowing full well that if you did, you’d receive what was coming to you.
The pay you’d receive isn’t something you earn at work like overtime pay. It’s also not the pay you’d receive by way of complements and the words, “job well done.”
The “reward” I’m talking about can’t be taken to the bank to save up to spend on something you really want. The “reward” due to you would be how your body reacts to work those long hours. To be more specific, it would come in the form of a pain flare-up.
A pain flare-up can come in the form of muscle spasms, deep bone pain, loss of strength, inability to function on a daily basis and the guilt that would follow knowing that you had caused harm to your body.
But don’t stay put in guilt mode. Sometimes we have to do what we have to do. Life expects us to sometimes step up to the plate and give it our best shot. Our team is counting on us. All the bases are loaded and we’re up to bat. We can’t just put down the bat and run away. Right?
Not all is lost though. There are things you can do to quench the flames of a pain flare-up before the fire gets out of control when you must push yourself at work or home. Here are a few:
These are are just some of the ways that I use to help me make it through a difficult pain day. Painpathways.org, in their article, “Preventing and Recovering from … Overdoing It!” provides us with several ways to cope with a pain flare-up. One is to, “schedule a rest period mid-morning and mid-afternoon. A half-hour is usually effective, but some people take an hour or longer.” Another way is to, “do light stretching and petting your dog.” Animals can make a big impact on how you feel on the outside as well as the inside.
Though going through a pain flare-up can seem all consuming, with the right knowledge, help from coping skills and the support of others, you can get through the flare-up easier and faster than you may have thought you could.
In addition, take a look at the Bible verse above. Sometimes we may indeed feel guilty that we caused another pain flare-up, but God is ready to comfort you and speak kindly. He knows the price you’ve paid, and will wrap his arms around you, hold you and tell you that you’ll get through the pain together.
Psalm 102:13 – You will arise and have compassion on Zion, for it is time to show favor to her, the appointed time has come.
There are seasons in our lives that come and go. Some go by quickly, while others drag on. Some are seasons of great joy, while others leave our hearts broken.
Sometimes we have a season when our bodies are working correctly and our pain is held at bay. Our bodies let us go out and take part in family gatherings and spend time with friends.
But then our chronic pain slaps us in the face demanding that we focus on it instead and we head into a season of pain. We try to do what usually helps our pain like physical therapy or cold and heat treatments. We try to look on the bright side and believe it’s just one season and we can get through it, right?
Yet, we’re not alright. We are writhing in pain and every move we make hurts. So we try to push forward.
Sometimes that’s all it takes to get us through a painful season, but sometimes it’s not. So we lock ourselves inside our homes and throw away the key. This season of pain is so intense that we plunge into a season of emotional pain as well.
So what can we do to survive a season of pain? Psychologytoday.com lists some ways in their article, “How to Survive Chronic Pain One Moment at a Time.” There suggestions include seeing things as they are without being judgmental about them, and noticing your suffering experience without attaching to it. You can practice this by reminding yourself that you’re much more than the pain you feel.
Life can be so difficult to bear, but we can survive the tough seasons of pain. Take a look at the Bible verse above. It may feel like no matter what you do God’s not going to heal you of this season of pain. But God has great compassion on you. In the right time relief will come. And perhaps it’s time, now, to feel God’s favor over you and go beyond this season of pain.
Jeremiah 17:8 - He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.
You step outside your door and then do a double take and head back inside. It’s much too hot for you to be outside.
Summer can be a worrisome season especially if you have a health condition that is affected by the heat.
Some include having an autoimmune disorder where your body breaks out in rashes or hives whenever the individual becomes overheated. Others include passing out or having difficulty breathing. And for those who are in their senior years, the heat becomes even more unbearable.
Summer, though, can be a difficult time even if you don’t have a disease that makes it hard to be outdoors. It’s a matter of time; when you stay out in it longer than is wise you can be impacted by heat exhaustion or heat stroke.
Heat exhaustion and heat stroke are both heat-related illnesses. They both have similarities and differences. Emedicinehealth.com's article, "Heat Exhaustion vs Heat Stroke: How to Tell the Difference," lists ways they are the same such as headache, weakness and muscles cramps; and their differences such as heat exhaustion causes pale, cool clammy skin and heat stroke causes flushed, hot dry skin.
Either of these heat-related illnesses are to be avoided. Heat exhaustion can lead to heat stroke which can lead to death.
Greatest.com in their article, "24 Tricks to Survive Hot Summer Nights (without AC)," provides some great tips such as how to make a DIY air conditioner using ice and a fan.
Now with the aid of ways to help you stay cool and avoid heat-related illnesses, and with God’s watchful eyes upon you, there’s no longer any need to fear the heat. So go out and enjoy your summer!
1 Peter 4:12 - Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.
In my previous post, I discussed the physical and emotional warning signs of a flare-up. This post will discuss how to be prepared ahead of time so that you can quench the flames before the fire gets out of control.
Below are some suggestions. Chose something from each category so that you’ll be ready in any situation:
Relaxation Breathing Use pillows
Lay down Change your position
Relaxation Heat or ice
Take a bath Medications
Massage Tens Unit
Isolate yourself Go to a comfortable place
Cognitive or thinking
Distraction Stay busy
Setting limits Humor
Someone to be with you Coach
Have someone hold you Call someone
Put together a plan using the above situations. The plan will allow you to feel more confident as you go throughout your day. You’re free now to live your life to the fullest in spite of the flare-ups.
Just remember the Bible verses above. Don’t be surprised by the fiery trials which you go through. It’s not something strange or new. You’re not the only one who’s going through this right now, and there are many more that have already made it successfully through the pain.
Draw strength from those around you, and be ready to share what works for you with those who are weaker and just beginning the journey through their valley of pain.
If you’ve found some tips that have helped you through past flare-ups, share it with us now. I look forward to hearing 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.