Before I became chronically ill, well, before anyone becomes chronically ill, this is a question we think to ourselves when we hear of another person's health problems. Other questions might be:
- Can one person really have all of those symptoms?
- Is it actually possible to be this sick?
- How can it be so bad when you don't look "sick"?
It really can be that bad and for those who've never experienced something like this, it's worse. So much worse than you can imagine. That's why when you hear people like us talk about it - it sounds unbelievable. Because there's no way you would believe it until it happens to you. I know. I was the same way.
In many ways, I'm embarrassed by how I used to think about things like this. If only I had known just how much these people were hurting, how alone they felt, and how hard it was each day just to trivial tasks, let alone "normal" life. I would have acted and thought so differently. I would have been a better listener and prayed a lot more for them. For anyone in my life that was treated less than they should have been because of this, please forgive me.
The last +month has been in a nice word - awful. November was filled with extreme nausea/fatigue, increased insomnia, etc. Now into December the nausea has improved (for the most part) but I've swapped that out for mega pain. Think of the kind of pain you have when your body aches all over from the flu and imagine it being more painful. As a kid I always thought the flu was the worst kind of sick someone could get. I was wrong. No amount of advil can touch it - you just have to let it ride it's course. Thankfully yesterday and today the pain has lessened in severity but it's not gone.
I could go on and on about how yucky it's been but a) I don't like thinking about it and b) I don't want to come off as a drama queen. In short, it's been bad - super bad and that's why I haven't written a post in so long.
My hope is in Christ first and foremost and I know God's plans are perfect even if I dislike them at times. But today, if you have someone in your life struggling with chronic pain or illness, try to reach out and understand them. Accept what they are saying instead of doubting them all the time. Pray for them and encourage them if you can. Often, all it takes is a quick text or email saying you're thinking about them. We, as Christians, are called to be Christ to those around us and we are commanded to take care of the widows and the sick. In our western culture it's so easy and so acceptable to dismiss those who are ill or suffering when, if, we claim Christ as our savior, we should be reaching out to them instead. As I've said before, it's not always easy being a friend or family member to someone like me. We require lots of extra work on your part but every time you reach out, every time you remember to pray for someone other than yourself, you are doing the work you've been born to do. :) (Now if I could just remember this myself...)
As Christmas approaches, I just want to thank you for reading my posts, for keeping up with how I'm doing and how I'm handling my new normal - it means a lot to me!! Thank you for your continued prayers, words of encouragement, etc! I pray you have a blessed Holiday Season!
Love Much - Jen :)