Jeremiah 10:19 - Woe to me because of my injury! My wound is incurable! Yet I said to myself, "This is my sickness, and I must endure it."
In previous posts, I wrote about being diagnosed with an incurable disease. This is where the battle begins to accept what’s happened to you.
So how do you endure a painful sickness for what may be the rest of your life?
One of the first things to remember is that there are other people who have a much worse situation to endure –
Second, find out as much as you can about your sickness –
Third, surround yourself with people who also are enduring sickness –
Forth, find a support group for living with chronic illnesses –
Fifth, find a physician who’s on your side –
Sixth, it’s important to keep your body moving –
Seventh, just because you’ve been diagnosed with a chronic illness it doesn’t mean that life has stopped -
And last, take a look at people in the Bible who had to endure sickness or pain –
The prophet Jeremiah in the verse above was one of those who suffered greatly. He acknowledged that he was in pain instead of covering it up. He knew that he had to endure his sickness, yet he never gave up on God. He knew God was the only one who could handle his emotional state and wouldn’t turn away from him. God will also never turn away from you. He can help you endure the disease and still flourish through pain.
Luke 11:34 - Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eyes are healthy, your whole body also is full of light. But when they are unhealthy, your body also is full of darkness.
They say that the eyes are the windows to the soul. Your eyes are one of the most important organs of the body. They provide us with a view of our world and allow the world to see into our eyes and the pain or joy that’s inside our hearts.
When living with chronic pain, one of the less mentioned areas is the eyes.
Have you ever noticed when a tiny eyelash falls onto the eye, it causes the rest of our body to shout, “Get it off of me!”
Our eyes are sensitive to touch, heat and light. Our eyes aren’t just our visual input system they can become a true source of chronic pain and disease. And most of the diseases are very painful.
I live with a disease called Sjogren’s Syndrome. Many of you may know it as dry mouth, but did you know it also affects your throat, lungs and yes, your eyes? It’s a very painful disease. Learn about the symptoms in the article, “Conquering Sjogren’s Syndrome,” on sjogrens.org. Currently there is no cure for Sjogren's. You can find how the disease is treated in the article also.
Even with the above methods of treatment sometimes the eye pain still exists. This can be frustrating to the person experiencing eye pain. One of the ways it is difficult is that an outside observer can’t tell you have a problem. Yes, they may see you rub your eyes from time-to-time and your eyes can be red, but most of the time eye pain remains unseen.
That’s one reason why there are support groups for not only people in chronic pain, but also with eye conditions. You can find a link to such groups at the sjogrens.org website along with other helpful information.
Also, let’s take a look at the Bible verse above. It says that the eyes are the lamp of the body and that your eyes’ health affects not just the eyes but the whole body. This is another reason why seeking help from a doctor is important with persistent eye problems. The doctor can then help you find the right treatment for your chronic condition.
As with any condition or disease you may suspect you have always contact your physician.
1 Kings 19:14 - He replied, "I have been very zealous for the LORD God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too."
For those of us who battle chronic pain or illness, sometimes, it feels like we’re the only one who's going through it. Or, when a doctor hands out a new “label” (disease), to add to the list we already have, we also feel like we’re all alone. But that just isn’t true.
According to the Center for Disease Control, on their website cdc.gov in their article, “Chronic Disease Overview,” as of 2012, about half of all adults—117 million people—had one or more chronic health conditions. One in four adults had two or more chronic health conditions. That means: either the person sitting to your left or the one to your right has a chronic health condition and this includes chronic pain and illness.
Elijah, in the Bible verse above, also felt like he was the only one going through his trial.
He had just won a great battle for God, against the prophets of the pagan god Baal. Elijah called on God to rain down fire upon the altar he had built and to burn up the sacrifices on it. God heard Elijah’s prayer. He not only burnt up the sacrifice on the altar but also the water that was all around the altar. The prophets of Baal had not been able to convince their god to do so.
But after this big victory, a threat was made on Elijah’s life so he fled into the wilderness. It was there that Elijah told God what he thought about his ordeal. But God set the record straight. He told Elijah that he wasn’t the only one left. In fact, there weren’t just one hundred men left or even one thousand, but seven thousand were still left who hadn’t bowed their knees to Baal.
One of the things that you can do to help you not feel alone in your pain is to find a support group. Sometimes you will find listings in your local newspaper for support groups. Another way to find a support group is to select the link below. It will take you to the American Chronic Pain Association. From there you can select your state and you’ll find cities listed that have support groups.
If you can’t find one that’s close enough for you to attend, you can start a support group. Call 800-533-3231 to request information on starting a group. Many churches also offer support groups. You can find hope in your pain.
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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.