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Giving Ourselves the Gift of Patience

I’ve been dealing with a nasty case of Shingles for nearly a month, now. It has been a persistently painful experience. I’ve had a lot of opportunities to remind myself during the outbreak phase that these things "take as long as they take." Healing is a long, slow process, requiring large amounts of time and patience.

Chronically ill patients like me don't often get to use the language of "healing;" for us, recovery is measured in tiny increments. "Success" looks like whatever goals the rehab team established as our "functional baseline," our particular blend of ability/disability, the limitations that we'd managed to surmount before the current episode of acute infection or illness came along and knocked the stuffing out of us (again).

I find that I am particularly salty about having contracted Shingles. I'm pretty sure that my indignation is justified. First of all, I'm too young to be in the "risk category" for the disease.

Second, I've been fully vaccinated, and my two doses of Shingrix in 2022 were supposed to prevent 90% of all cases (disclaimer: the pharmaceutical company says they only tested their data with healthy volunteers; they admittedly have no clue what the efficacy rates are for immunocompromised patients).

Third, I live in a place that has cold, snowy weather for six months of the year: after enduring another seemingly endless Calgary winter, I had anticipated spending June in my garden, not in my bed!

Fourth, the neuropathic pain of the Shingles virus has targeted my lumbar spine and flank, and these firey hot fingers of pain have been constant, throbbing, and intense. I already live with severe chronic pain; adding a new quality/intensity of pain to this already miserable mess of a spine just seems fundamentally unfair.

Fifth, getting blindsided by an unexpected illness is always upsetting. I am used to scheduling multiple medical appointments, treatments, and follow-ups on a weekly basis, but the ability to plan ahead allows me to balance my energy level with the medical load so that I can give myself enough "margin" to recover between biopsies, infusions, and procedures. My informal pacing program is a significant component of my successful medical management. Having a new diagnosis land on me "out of the blue" disrupts my carefully calibrated medical schedule and adds stress to other areas of our family schedule. Chronic issues become acute illnesses, the dominoes begin to fall, and chaos quickly ensues.

Sixth, antiviral medications make me feel like a zombie. Bleck. I'm a pukey, dizzy, brain-foggy, forgetful, utterly worn-out mess of a woman, these days. I am the epitome of exhaustion, a shadow of my previously perky and authentically optimistic self.

I just want to hurry up and feel better, already ... which is exactly why I need a generous serving of patience (but the sooner, the better!)

Patience is a gift that we can learn to cultivate, day by day, and situation by situation. Patience is a lot like a spiritual muscle, and it either grows or atrophies, depending on whether we use it regularly, or not.

Our daily interactions certainly give us all ample opportunities to practice extending patience to our friends and neighbours, coworkers and colleagues, family members and strangers (especially the people with questionable driving habits!)

Still, patience can be a hard gift to extend - perhaps particularly so when we need to give this spiritual gift to ourselves.

For example, when our bodies don’t work the way we want them to, how do we respond?

When our work feels overwhelming, or when we feel time-pressured and pulled in a dozen different directions, does our internal monologue reveal kind comments or harsh judgments?

When we feel discouraged about the state of our soul, our family, our community or our congregation, our country, or even the future of our planet during this time of ecological crisis, what is our attitude toward ourselves and toward others?

Where are the places in our lives that need a generous serving of love and compassion, kindness and humility, gentleness and patience?

These are spiritual gifts that God offers to all of us, freely and generously. Once we receive these beautiful gifts from God, we can also choose to give those gifts to ourselves.

Colossians 3:12 is a verse from the New Testament of the Christian Bible. It says, “therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”

Just like I dressed my body in physical clothing that was suitable for the weather in my local area this morning, I can also choose to get dressed in the spiritual clothing that my circumstances require of me, today and every day. We can choose to put on gentleness instead of acting aggressively; we can wear kindness instead of criticism, too. Humility can replace pridefulness in our capsule wardrobe, and everyone looks gorgeous when pairing patience and compassion - those spiritual qualities look good on literally every body, at every age.

As a disabled person who lives with multiple illnesses and constant chronic pain, my body simply isn't able to complete all the tasks I would like it to. In my mind, I'm still a teenager with endless energy and supple joints; I sometimes forget how easily my osteopenic bones can crack and crumble, or how demanding my Crohn's diseased bowel can become after just half-a-blessed-bowl of cereal in the middle of a morning meeting.

It takes the just-a-little-too-long furtive stare, followed by the subsequent too-embarrassed-to-meet-my-eye scrutiny of a stranger in the grocery store checkout line to remind me of the prominent pink surgical scar that runs from the top of my right ear all the way down to the base of my neck, these days; it's the scar that the ENT surgical team carved into my flesh last October.

A couple of family members initially suggested that it was unsightly, that I should try to cover it up with cosmetics, but I wear it as a badge of honour, now. My scar has become part of my body, and it isn't unsightly to me; in fact, I think that it is beautiful!

That scar is a tangible reminder of the cancer that threatened my life last year, and of the surgeon who painstakingly peeled apart every last layer of the tumour, which was wound around my facial nerve and had grown into my face, neck, lymph nodes, and the major blood vessles, including my carotid artery. The ENT surgeons removed every last bit of that gnarly tumour, and I am thankful for the knowledge and skill demonstrated by every member of my surgical team.

Yes, my mouth droops on one side, my post-surgical ears don't quite match, and I have a "defect" where my right parotid gland and the soft tissue of my neck used to be; yes, there is permanent nerve damage and facial weakness, and it is a persistently odd feeling to walk around with a partially numb face, scalp, and an ear that feels like a hunk of dead cabbage; still, I am grateful for every single "deficit" and I practice patience whenever strangers stare at my scar.

I know that I am beautiful, and that beauty is not DESPITE my physical imperfections and scars, but in large part, BECAUSE of them.

I had to learn how to forgive my body for "letting me down." My cancer diagnosis felt like a betrayal or a failure - as if my immune system just wasn't up for the task of protecting itself - myself - from the daily onslaught of malignant cells, bacteria, fungi, viruses, toxins, and other threats.

I had to learn how to give myself the gift of patience, how to extend gentleness and kindness to my own unique and uniquely vulnerable body.

It wasn't a quick or easy process, but it was definitely a valuable one. Once I figured out how to be patient with myself, then showing patience to nosy neighbours, clueless relatives, and staring strangers got a lot easier, too. Patience requires regular practice. That's the secret!

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Happy Birthday to me I'm now officially depressed!

#MajorDepressiveDisorder #Diagnosis

So for my 50th bd (1 mo ago), I finally made an appt to my pcp to make my wife and mom happy - I hadn't been for close to 8 yrs and it had been more than a decade since I'd been without a specific issue.

Looong story short, there was a PHQ-9 questionnaire, a somewhat incoherent convo with my pcp, 2 weeks of new physical symptoms including gout in a new foot, achilles tendon issues, reaction to the vaccine, and I'm feeling short of breath a lot. Then the behavioral health referral and I was bawling inside of 3 minutes in the door, and immediately diagnosed MDD.

I know many have trouble with the diagnosis. But as horrible as my 50th bd month has been through all this (layoffs at work - lucky to survive, trying to finish a home remodel, the contractors burned our garage down, I've been feeling my emotional distress well up for a while now and thoughts of worthlessness, trying to move back to our unfinished house, no place of comfort, my body hates me now) - this diagnosis is probably the one thing I feel best about.

I've wondered why I was so seldom truly happy most of my life. I've wondered about but never so seriously. I've been in therapy several times over the last 25 years, but never diagnosed with any sort of depression. It was always identified as because the situation was foremost in my own mind. I do remember when asking them about they basically just answered, have you experienced weight gain/loss? So I guessed I wasn't really depressed.

This diagnosis frees me to seriously consider how to help myself long term. I am grateful. Though I don't know what is to come next.

There is so much more to the story. I'll hopefully get through that with my next therapist.

Right now I'm feeling okay. Must be cured, right? Forget about crying at the insurance agent's office this morning. Forget about whaling into my bedsheets yesterday remember my father's death 17 years ago. Forget about feeling for the last 3 months generally and the last 3 weeks especially that I didn't really care about being alive, other than not wanting to leave a burden on my family with my absence.

Happy birthday to me. Maybe this will be a turning point. My bday was during Awareness month.

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Of All the Stupid Things

I know about PTSD my ex has it. I thought I was just having anxiety attacks until last Sunday. On the way home from visiting a family member (a 2 hr trip one-way in a very old car) my car radio started with a warning of a tornado in the area I was driving. On a major highway it starts raining really hard then ice and strong winds. This is nothing new for the Florida state it rains so hard you can't see the car in front. We all put our flashers on continued driving went into the eye then back into the outer bands of the tornado it was terrifying. I was shaking so when I got home I went straight to bed. I hate driving in the rain before this. It seems when I was a child I was in two car accidents with my parents and it was raining. I wasn't driving but I experienced it. Then when I moved to Florida I was in a very bad accident. I was helping in a pre-existing accident during a rainstorm. Car number one had thought she had pulled off of the highway when she was actually in the right lane The car behind her which was the car in front of me....all of a sudden the car in front of me the lights were gone in like a flick of a switch. I immediately yanked my wheel to the left just missed her by milliseconds went into the medin. Everything was in slow motion wheels car parts rolling around steam coming up from car engines people screaming. I ran to the first car the woman had no idea what was going on I told her to shut her car off and put her flashers on asked if she was okay she said yes. I went to the car that hit her which was the car in front of me and it was too young girls. They were both hurt. I was tending to the one in the driver's seat A young man came over I asked if he had a belt on and we put a tourniquet on the driver's leg. I didn't see her passenger right away she kept asking where is so and so. I remember going to that side of the car looking for the girl and then realizing that the young girl was face planted into the dashboard. By this time people had stopped. A woman tapped me on the shoulder and said I'll take care of this girl You go help the driver and I looked at her and she said I'm a nurse We just left the hospital my husband is over there he's calling for the ambulances. I remember walking around the front of the car and that's the last thing I remember except seeing bright lights and somebody yelling run run she's not going to stop. There was a car coming over the hill the woman was drunk and she wound up hitting the girls in the car again and me. I was told I went 20 ft into the air I landed in a ditch. I woke up I didn't have my shoes on or my socks I didn't I know where I was but I couldn't get up I kept trying I was terrified I was going to get eaten by an alligator. Would you believe I didn't have one broken bone I was covered in road rash though. So while I survived that and the home that I currently live in now has flooded every year. I never realized the connection between heavy rain and wind and PTSD with me until I drove through a tornado. It was an EF0 It did tear up mobile homes but it explains so much why I panic every time it starts raining hard. Most of my meditation tapes have water in them most of them I can't listen to. Like I say of all the stupid things to have PTSD too heavy rain. And I just found this out this week. #ADHD #Anxiety
# angioedema hives idiopathic# hiatal hernia #Pleurisy #raynaud syndrome #Shingles left eye #Shoulder bilateral impingement system #unstable lumbar spine #Bastrop syndrome #bone spurs #Cataracts #COPD #Costochondritis
# Fibromyalgia #Osteopenia #Osteoarthritis #Peripheral neuropathy #kyphosis # gerd# ptsd

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It’s not what the world takes away from you that matters, it’s what you do with what you have left that counts

Every day we wake up and have a (even in the times of most adversity) or let things bring you down until all you can do is frown. Feeling sorry for yourself gets you nowhere, making the most of what you have builds character, confidence and gives us a chance for a reason to smile. Every day I have to make this choice, I pride myself in having a positive attitude and when I find myself focusing on all the things that have brought me down, instead being thankful that I survived it all...but there are some days when I fail...its a lifelong journey and every day that starts with a smile is a success. Some days it takes part of the day of allowing myself to suffer that I then can hopefully shift to remembering that I am thankful for all the blessings I have in my life to be grateful for! I choose to smile today!

#ChronicPain # #ChronicIllness #physicalpain #peripheralneuropathy #backpain #neckpain #Migraine #chronicvestibularmigrain #ChronicDailyHeadache #Headache #COVID19 #covidlonghaul #Disability #mentalhealthe#SocialAnxiety #Anxiety #Depression #BipolarDisorder #Bipolar1Disorder #Bipolar2Disorder #BipolarDepression #Addiction #AddictionRecovery #HIVAIDS #longtermsurvivor #Shingles #Bronchitis #Pneumonia #PTSD #Acceptance #Happiness #Selflove #Selfcare #relief #EmotionalHealth #physicalhealth #strength #MightyMinute #IfYouFeelHopeless #Hope #MentalHealthHero #MightyTogether

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Having people that listen and respect us is so helpful and encouraging, so much better than having people who judge, or try to fix us!

I am blessed to have people in my life that are there for me, sometimes just listening and asking what they can do for me, telling me that I’m not alone, letting me know they’ll be there for me, and they love me … but what can really help us feel better about ourselves is when they just say they’re proud of us. Wonderful people in our lives can regularly remind us about everything we’re going through and how amazingly well we are handling ourselves. They can acknowledge us for what we ARE doing even when we can only see and judge ourselves for the things we’re NOT doing. Sometimes they can be there just to listen to us, sometimes they can help us get our minds off all we’re going through by lightening up the conversation and not allow us to get caught in a loop of feeling sorry for ourselves.

But we definitely can’t do this alone, things can appear insurmountable or overwhelming but if we’re lucky we have people who believe in us and are there for us when we just need them to listen and let us get our fears out in the open and talk about our pain. People can help us if they just say they feel for us and wish they could make us feel better. What I don’t think they realize is that by simply being there to walk by our side they ARE making us feel better!

You can expand your network of support by getting up the courage and then tell people that are close to you (that don’t already know) what you are dealing with, sharing what is really happening and what you are going through and then tell them how they can help. I have found most people want to help and if they decline I try not to take it personally. It’s worth the risk to get crucial support

#ChronicPain #ChronicIllness #PeripheralNeuropathy #Migraine #Headache #COVID19 #Disability #MentalHealth #Anxiety #Depression #BipolarDisorder #Bipolar1Disorder #Bipolar2Disorder BipolarDepression #Addiction #AddictionRecovery #HIVAIDS #longtermsurvivor #Shingles #Bronchitis #Pneumonia #PTSD #Selflove #Selfcare #strength #MightyMinute #IfYouFeelHopeless #Hope #MentalHealthHero #MightyTogether

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Why am I'm a magnet for men who want to debase or scam me financially.

I'm on my 3rd divorce we've been apart for 13+ yrs. married 24. He purchased this foreclosure home said I could fix it up and live in it. Use his benefits when he passed, he lives with his gf for 13 yrs. This past Nov. I was blindsided by divorce pprs claiming I owe him all this money, he claims he's in debt he's taken out multiple loans & credit cards he took out most of the equity in the house I'm fixing up. In our state I'm responsible for half his debts. I'm on a low fixed income .
Also I have been following the Ukraine war. Sending messages of hope praying for them. Then I get these guys pretending they are soldiers sending pics trying to romance me then asking for money. I know about scamming I don't fall for it. I feel like I have this big bulls eye target on my back. Why does me caring cause all the nasty people to show up?
#ADHD #Anxiety #Fibromyalgia #Cronic Fatigue# #Osteoporosis #Osteopenia #Raynard syndrome #Peripheral neuropathy #Gout #Shingles

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There are benefits to hiring a residential roofing business.

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I'm new here!

Hi, my name is LUVMYNYX2. I'm here because I've been suffering from Fibromyalgia and Syringomyelia for over 10 years. My day starts with waking up feeling very stiff in my whole body. It feels like Rega Mortis is setting in. I force myself up feeling tired all the time. My right arm is the most painful, a burning, stinging, scrapping feeling. Very tender to the touch. It feels like the way Shingles is described, except without a rash. Then there is pain around my ribs and pressure in the middle of my spine. It feels like a dagger is in my back. Sore breast too. This pain is every day all day. I work and drive all day and every bump in the road intensify the pain. I take Lyrica 200mg three times a day along with over 1100mg of acetaminophen and Ibuprofen. I get very little relief with that. Doctors have no idea how much hell I'm going through with this horrid pain. When the pain is more intense it raises my blood pressure to stroke range and I don't have high blood pressure. My treatment has been consisted of dry needles on top of my shoulders, vitamin injections in my hands were the worst treatments and very painful. I've had physical therapy 4 times. I was taking also units of Vitamin D three time a week and 2500 of Vitamin B12 3 times a day for pain and protection of my liver and kidneys. Doctor's are only concerned with not giving opioids to protect their licenses while I suffer but yet there is treatment for substance abusers still being served Meth to avoid the issues they go through, I'm not drug addicted, don't want to be high or out of my mind. I just want somebody somewhere to treat my pain so that I can live my life. All I do is work and off to the bed. I have to work with prices getting higher and higher. I'm only 67 and feel bad when my grandchildren want me to do things with them. I also have asthma and stays out of breath here lately. Thanks for listening.

#MightyTogether #Fibromyalgia

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I'm new here!


Hi, my name is Podiceps73. I'm here because I have been very active all of my life and enjoyed outdoors immensely. And now things have changed. And no one can put a finger on exactly what has happened- but a few people have their opinions which is all that they are.

In January 2022, I received my booster injection for Covid 19. Within three days I developed a slight rash on my abdomen. Two days later it was confirmed that I had Shingles. I was 72 years old and was ignorant of the need to be double immunised and my Doctor (who is a dedicated physician) failed to see the warning on my health pages. I had Shingles twenty five years earlier so never thought of it recurring. The latest Shingles rash passed and no more skin pain occured. I had moderate pain and a rash of about 50mm diameter on my LHS abdomen and a few spots on the side and back.

A fortnight later I was finding it difficult to speak normally and when I did speak I was so slow getting the right words out that it was becoming a serious concern to say the least. My movements had also slowed down and we described at as the speed of an old sloth- I was truly very very slow. I was checked out by the local Hospital ED and no identifiable issues found.

Two or three weeks later I was referred to a Regional ED with suspected mini-strokes. I spent three nights in hospital and a thorough assessment occured including MRI of my brain. Still nothing found. One prior experience that I had was videod to show the Doctors just what was happening. I was sitting in a lounge chair reading and I had my legs crossed. I thought I will put them straight- in other words my intention was to lift my right leg off my left leg. Pretty simple procedure. We normally just automatically get on with it. But for some reason try as I might, I could not lift my right leg for even one millimetre- it was stuck there for about 15 minutes.
By this time I was wondering if this was just a load of "it's all in your head" stupid! But I sensed that it was real. This became my new reality and I had repeated episodes.

When I walked my legs felt as if they weighed a tonne and I could at best shuffle along; my arms also just hung heavily and required a bit of mental assistance to be lifted; my turning movements were slow just like a sloth- lifting my arms and legs required planning because my automatic functions had stopped working. I wondered if there was one part of my brain wanting to move and the other normally responding part failing to coperate.

The next four months saw the arrival of new changes that suggest I have to get used to this long term. And still no one has an answer.

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These are my precious furry companions. Do you have any fur companions that are your life?

Wow this time I was able to post a picture and they're together. In foreground is Gracie 13 yo we've been together for 12 1/2 years. The black blob at the top left is Merlin 9 yo I adopted him 2 years ago. He was considered unadoptable bc he's a black cat, overweight (20) lbs & has feline asthma. He was 20 lbs when I adopted him and weights the same no matter what I try. These furry creatures are my life. Gracie is my cuddle bunny after we lost both her fursisters (within 4 months of each other) who she grew up with, she literally stayed with me for the times I just cried for days. I felt badly for her bc she would search for her sisters everytime we had a shared time like meals or nitenite treats. So I got Merlin. No background on him,he's vocal loves the sounds of kittens crying makes biscuits while trilling hated being picked up no cuddling. I Taught him to use an inhaler for his asthma attacks. He recently had mini stroke, his personality changed for the better. Now likes to cuddle, calls for Gracie when it's nitenite treats or if he sees me outside or it's 5 minutes past time to eat he meows pitifully. Thank goodness for them.
#ADHD #Anxiety #Arthritis #Fibromyalgia #Gout #Osteoporosis #Osteopenia
#congenital Kyphosis #PeripheralNeuropathy
#Bastrop Syndrome
#bone spurs
#Reynards Syndrome
#Shingles # Shoulder impingement Syndrome
#spinal stenosis #Cataracts

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