Showing posts with label invisible illness. Show all posts
Showing posts with label invisible illness. Show all posts

Saturday, April 02, 2016

Your Life, Your Choice

Since April is "Your Life, Your Choice" month, I felt the need to write a wee blog post about it. Actually, I didn't feel the need at all.....I chose to write it. (Big difference!)

We all go through life making choices. What time to set the alarm? Breakfast or no breakfast? Tea or coffee? Chocolate or......chocolate? Sometimes the choices are simple. Some choices might be easier to make than others.

My Mum used to tell me that I had a good attitude to life. She said that no matter what life gave me, I always tried to smile and just get on with life.

I turned fifty last month (not really by choice๐Ÿ˜ฎ), but I can look back on my life and I realise that my Mum was right. I do have a good attitude and I am quite proud to admit that.

I try to find the positives in everything. When I find only negative, I try my hardest to turn it around. I try to find something to feel happy about. Something to make me smile. Something....anything which can make a difficult situation a wee bit better. And there is always something.

☔️ Caught in the rain on way to the car - thankful we have a car.
๐Ÿ“Not a single bit of chocolate in the house - but I have fruit!
๐ŸŒŽ Can't afford to go on holiday - have you seen the views from my house?

Obviously those are trivial examples, but they are real examples. For me, it seems natural to find positives. But I know it's not the same for everyone. However, it is believed that people have the power to choose whether to live with negativity or positivity.

It has long been established that positive thinking can lead to a happier, more contented life. For people living with a chronic illness of any kind, it is believed that a positive outlook can also help them to cope with and manage their illness.

I would say that in my case, that is definitely true.

When faced with daily health issues and chronic pain, I personally believe that 'choosing' positivity is so important.

I wake up in the morning and don't know if my back will cope with getting out of bed. My husband has to help me with some of my clothes, because I can't manage myself. Am I going to be able to make myself a cup of tea, or do I need to rely on my husband to do that too. My face hurts the minute I wake up. I don't know if the pain from it will stay at that level, or if it will get worse throughout the day. Will I struggle with food? Will I be able to clean my teeth? Will I need to spend most of the day in bed because of pain in some part of my body?

I could easily wake up in the morning and think about those things and be slowly dragged down into a deep black hole. But I don't want to be in that hole and I don't have to go into it. I have a choice.

Instead, I choose to be grateful. I choose to be optimistic. I choose to smile. I choose to be happy. It's my life and I choose to focus on positivity. 


I wake up and say, thank goodness I have a rail by my bed to help me get up; I'm glad my understanding husband is here to help me throughout the day; I enjoy porridge, soup, pasta and other soft food which is easier to eat; I have a dog who laughs as he bounces through to see me when he decides I've stayed in bed too long; a cat who seems to sense when I'm having a bad day and sits by my side.

Do those things take away my pain? No, of course they don't. But those kind of things help me cope with my problems. My life's not a bed of roses, but those positive thoughts help to put a smile on my face and get on with life, just as my Mum used to say.

Everyone has choices in life and there are always positives to be found.

It's up to us to find them.

#YourLifeYourChoice





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Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Guilt

Something that often comes along with living with chronic pain is guilt.

I always trying to stay positive, trying to do what I can with a smile on my face. I still occasionally get a bit down in the dumps. I will not call it depression, because depression is a lot more serious. Depression is completely different. I get a bit down, just like everyone, but I can also pick myself back up.



However, I do often suffer bouts of guilt. I will add now that nobody makes me feel guilty except myself. But those bouts of guilt are more difficult to deal with.



I had to take early retirement when I was 28, two years after getting married. My pain has always ruled both our lives. But it gradually became worse over the years. Now I do less, my husband does more and I do feel guilty.

I used to be able to push myself more, but now I just don’t have the energy. I also don’t think I am physically capable of pushing myself anyway. I put my feet out of my bed in the mornings (at some late hour normally), and feel as though my feet won’t hold up my body. I struggle with everything. Life is hard. Just living is difficult some days. And yes, I feel guilty that I can’t do what I wish I could.



But it isn’t just that.

 It’s other things.....like not phoning someone, not getting around to answering someone’s email or Facebook message. Not reading blogs or Facebook posts that I would normally read. Or getting tired mid-conversation and losing track. Forgetting things. Getting things wrong. Just generally not being able to keep up.


I used to do things. I baked. I painted. Made cards. Made Jewellery.  I wrote. I even ironed occasionally. Now, I think I have become a zombie. I get up, I eat, I sleep. Maybe take a turn or two on a scrabble game, but that's about the height of it.

Sometimes I hate being me. Being me is tiring. And I feel guilty for being me.

I actually feel guilty for being me!


I could spend my life wishing things were different, but they’re not, and they’re not likely to become different.

Living with constant pain uses a lot of energy. And guilt is what I class as negative energy. We, chronic pain sufferers, can’t allow energy to be wasted on something like guilt. We need every single ounce of it just to get through the day.


So time to get rid of the guilt.

Might be easier said than done though.....



Monday, November 05, 2012

Looks Can Be Deceiving



For a few days last week, I was certain that every time I looked in the mirror I would see a different face looking back at me. A face all beaten and bruised, with an axe slicing through my head. But it wasn't......it was just the same old me.

Today I expect to see a knitting needle poking into my right eye......but that's not the case. That's how it feels, but there is nothing to show.

But that's Trigeminal Neuralgia for you. One of many Invisible Illnesses. With pain like this, you would expect to have something to show for it. But there is nothing......not a single mark. This kind of pain should be written all over your face for the world to see, but it's not. It's hidden. Invisible.

I have been doing a bit better - still painful, just more bearable.....but then days like these come along and jolt me back to reality.

Oh well, I guess that's life with TN.

Now it's time for wee snooze because that axe is coming back. Maybe it will scare away the knitting needle!





Saturday, March 03, 2012

Taking In The Sun


Today, the sun is shining here. A freezing cold wind blowing outside, but right now the sun is shining. I love just standing at the window, taking in that sunshine. I feel like I am giving my body a wee boost. Most people go on a summer holiday for that. But I am quite happy to get that sunshine through the window of my house.

Holidays, I think, are a thing of the past for me. It’s not the actual holiday which is the problem.....just the getting there.

I remember one time going on holiday, many, many years ago, I was getting airport assistance. At the British airports, that meant a wheelchair with someone to push it. In Amsterdam, where I had to change flights, it meant going aboard an electric buggy and a woman driving at a great speed. I had to say goodbye to my family, and I could only hope that I was deposited in the correct departure lounge to meet up with them again. 

The woman who was driving looked at me, and told me I looked good. It was one of those looks that said that she thought I looked too well to be needing airport assistance. I actually thanked her for telling me I looked good and left it at that....she didn’t need to know why I needed airport assistance. She only had to get me to the correct departure lounge.

Actually, I felt lucky, in fact, privileged to be starting my holiday on one of my better days. It could have been the opposite, so I was grateful to be looking good.

Obviously I needed airport assistance due to my back and my inability to walk about two miles across Amsterdam airport. Assistance wouldn’t have been given for my Trigeminal Neuralgia, since obviously I don’t walk using my face. (Although sometimes it feels like somebody is walking ON my face!)

But people do look at you sometimes and question whether you are really ‘sick’ or have a disability. People can often see that my back is painful by the way I am walking. But when it comes to my face.....nothing shows. Nothing at all. And considering the pain, I wish people could sometimes see it. It must be hard for people to understand how much pain someone can be in when they cannot see anything. I know all my family and friends try to understand it, but other people really can’t get it.

It’s like you break your arm, you have a plaster.

You get a bad cut, you get stitches.

Even if you have the flu, people can see that.

But Trigeminal Neuralgia and other invisible illnesses don’t have anything to show for themselves. So sometimes people can look at us and tell us we are looking well. Other than walking about with an axe through my head, and a drill in my teeth, nobody would know that I have any form of facial pain.

But you know what.......even though I might be feel absolutely lousy inside, it is still nice to be told you’re looking good. Especially at my age!!! Though I guess that's nice at any age.

Anyway, enough writing for today.

Off to take in some more sun.