To Make Matters Worse

Living with chronic pain is no picnic. Well, maybe it's a picnic filled with friends and family and love and laughter and red ants. Lots of good stuff gets mixed with the pain. And the pain can ruin everything if we let it.

Chronic pain can affect so much more than just movement. It's the "little" things that we let fall by the wayside or don't pay close enough attention to that can make matters worse. 

Sometimes I take those who help care for us for granted. I feel sad whenever I think of all the times I just expected things from my husband or children and didn't show proper gratitude for their care, and all the times when I got frustrated with them when, in fact, I didn't make my own needs clear. Letting those who care for us know how much they're appreciated and valued is so important. 

Pain infiltrates all areas of my life. Moving, resting, sleeping, eating, showering, hugging - they are all painful activities. I love love love hugs and kisses and cuddles from my kids. It's horrible that pain interferes with my enjoyment and enthusiasm for such things. When my husband joins me in bed, the ten to twenty seconds he takes to get into bed, under the covers, and get comfortable can be agonizing. I find myself getting impatient and wondering how the bleep long it takes for someone to lay down. Then I remember that I'm in minute fourteen of my twenty or so minute process of getting myself from vertical to horizontal.

Intimacy? Just the thought provokes anxiety much of the time. To make matters worse, more excruciating than the potential pain is the emotional turmoil caused by loving someone so deeply and wanting physical connection with him and being afraid of the pain caused by his touch. I want to want to. Thank God for pain medication and a patient, gentle partner. 

I miss out on a lot of things living with chronic pain, but I don't want to miss out on love.


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