Monday, May 11, 2009

I Would Rather Laugh Than Cry!

Ps 73:26 - My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever.

There are so many things that I have missed since having chronic illness and pain for the past 25 years. Each year had taken one more freedom, health issue, and activity, something special from me personally and my family. There are several things I miss greatly. Believe it or not, I enjoyed working outside the home. I was good at what I did, and I enjoyed the friendships one builds in the workplace as well. I miss getting down on my knees to garden, or clean a mess on the floor, or play with a child or animal on floor as well. I miss being able to clean my house in just a few hours. Now it takes me a week to clean a small apartment, but at least I can do it with a little help from my husband. I miss driving myself and going shopping all day if I want or visiting with a friend. I have missed being able to go church or other activities as I desire because my health may be too poor that day. These are just a few things that I have missed since having chronic illness. Isn’t it amazing how it’s not until we lose something that we learn to appreciate what we once had?

Though I have lost many freedoms, abilities, and health, I have gained much more. When my life was full with the hustle and bustle of life, I took my health, family, friends, church, work, and most of all God for granted. For some reason I thought I would always have those things with me. It wasn’t until I lost almost everything that I found what really matters in life.

Eph 5:2 Live a life filled with love for others, following the example of Christ, who loved you and gave himself as a sacrifice to take away your sins. And God was pleased, because that sacrifice was like sweet perfume to him.

The Lord revealed to me that I was too busy doing “things” and forgot to fill my life with loving others as well as giving myself and time for my loved ones. I have found that I now have more quality time for my family. I am there for them if they need a hug, listening ear, play a game, or talk and laugh! I no longer say, “I’m too busy to talk to you right now.” I stop what I’m doing and listen. Yes, there are times I may forget, but the Lord is apt to correct me.

I have also learned to “chill-out” – relax; not let things bother me like they used to. Life is short – but my patience doesn’t have to be!

One of the biggest changes has been the ability to laugh at myself and make others laugh as well. My 14 year old grandson’s one word description of me is “FUNNY”. Travis and I can always find something to do together and we always laugh! My daughter says at time I crack her up and other times she wants to strangle me! LOL… Pay back Heather! LOL. My dear hubby says that living with me is like living in an amusement park! Sometimes it’s like the Funhouse and other times it’s a roller coaster ride! LOL…But either way he says it’s a ride he never wants to get off! How sweet is that?

Pr 15:13 - A merry heart makes a cheerful countenance, But by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.

After many years of adjustments in my life, I have accepted that God is in control and I am not! He has a reason for everything – all the good and bad that happen in our lives will all work out for His good.

Ro 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

But I must say there is one thing I truly miss above all else – MY MIND!! Yes, the Brain Fogs we get once in a while drives my family and I crazy sometimes! But why fret over this loss too – I’ll forget about it soon enough anyway! LOL…

What is something you miss since you or a loved one has had your chronic illness/pain? How have you been able to adjust and accept the fact you can no longer do “it”? What new hobbies or activities have you found you enjoy that somewhat replace what you lost? What has your family missed concerning your illness and how have you found a way to change the way you do things so you can still participate in family activities?

My Rememberer (author unknown)

My forgetter's getting better
But my rememberer is broke
To you that may seem funny
But, to me, that is no joke

For when I'm "here" I'm wondering
If I really should be "there"
And, when I try to think it through,
I haven't got a prayer!

Often times I walk into a room,
Say "what am I here for?"
I wrack my brain, but all in vain
A zero, is my score.

At times I put something away
Where it is safe, but, Gee!
The person it is safest from
Is, generally, me!

When shopping I may see someone,
Say "Hi" and have a chat,
Then, when the person walks away
I ask myself, "who was that?"

Yes, my forgetter's getting better
While my rememberer is broke,
And it's driving me plumb crazy
And that isn't any joke.
I am is trusting in God that He will strengthen me to rise above life's difficulties. Since 1985 I have lived with multiple chronic illnesses: Fibromyalgia, CFS, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus, Interstitial cystitis, IBS, chemical sensitivities, to name a few.

The Blue Ribbon Campaign was started in April 2009 by an M.E./CFS patient in Canada. The purpose of the campaign is to raise awareness of a devastating disease known as Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS).
What is it?
"Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is one of fifty names for an illness that has caused suffering since the 1850s. Some other names for this illness are Chronic Epstein-Barr Virus Disease, Chronic Fatigue, and Immune Dysfunction Syndrome (CFIDS), and Post-Viral Fatigue Syndrome (PVFS).
The emphasis is put on 'fatigue'. Chronic means ongoing and therefore refers to a fatigue that is long-lasting. The term Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is used primarily in North America. Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) is used in most other countries. It can be best understood when broken down into its individual parts. As you look at the term it becomes clear that the emphasis is on the central nervous system.
My - muscle
algic - pain
ncephalo - brain
myel - spinal cord
itis - inflammation
CFS/ME affects thousands of men, women and children. The majority of sufferers seem to be women between the ages of 30 and 50. Generally these people are high functioning, productive individuals. There are some differences in how children of different age groups are affected by the illness.
Adults generally fall into one of the following categories. Twenty-five percent are bedridden, 40% are able to maintain part-time work, 35% work full-time, and 50% are disabled and cannot work for varying periods of time."
Can people die from this disease?
Yes. People diagnosed with ME/CFS have a lower life expectancy if they do not die from ME/CFS directly is more likely to die than the normal population from heart disease and cancer. Due to the present stigma and the loss of their lives and loves people with ME/CFS have a higher rate of suicide than the normal population. See the ME/CFS memorial page to read about those who have died.
Why does it matter?
- 28 million people around the world have ME/CFS disease.
- We are trying to get the message sent across the world that ME/CFS is real, and deserves as much attention as other diseases.
- All we ask right now is that you put a blue ribbon in your profile pictures across the internet and invite your friends to do so as well in the week of May 11th to May 17th. May 12th is ME/CFS Awareness Day.
Fibromyalgia Awareness Day

May 12, 2009

Objective:National Fibromyalgia Awareness Day aims to increase awareness of FM and provide support to those coping with the illness.

May 12 is National Fibromyalgia Awareness Day, a time to increase awareness of this chronic and life-altering disorder by educating the general public, healthcare professionals, government officials, and legislative bodies.
About Fibromyalgia: Fibromyalgia syndrome affects the muscles and soft tissue. Fibromyalgia symptoms include chronic pain in the muscles, fatigue, sleep problems, and painful tender points or trigger points at certain parts of the body. Fibromyalgia pain and other symptoms can be sometimes be relieved or eased through medications, lifestyle changes, stress management, and other fibromyalgia treatment.


Beth in NC said...

Hi Michele, you are absolutely right about taking things for granted. I take everything you listed for granted.

Thank you for the reminder!

And I have no doubt that you are SUCH A JOY to be around. You bless all of us bloggy friends from miles away.

Have a blessed day!

HEATHER said...

I think you’re TERRIFIC just the way you are, I wouldn't want it any other way. I think you are a marvelous person inside and out. Your beauty on life is extradionary it was my pleasure to walk beside you during your darkest moments and now your accepting, funny, loving moments with having multiple diseases. I love you Mom and may we have more incredible moments together. Heather

He & Me + 3 said...


I wanted to let you know that I went over and voted for your blog several were on there alot. Good for you! I am also on their for the photography blog...will you cast a vote for me? I am way behind the leader,but that is ok.

Debbie Petras said...

Michele, I don't take my good health for granted. I worked too long as a cardiovascular nurse specialist to do that. And I watched my dear mother battle chronic illness between her Addison's Disease and a pain pump implanted in her spine for back pain. She was on daily Prednisone too. Although she died four years ago, one of the things that was so remarkable about her was her ability to laugh. She always had a joke to share and she could laugh at herself too. Laughter is good for the heart and I'd rather laugh than cry.

Saleslady371 said...

It always amazes me how women can be jovial and funny and tolerate chronic pain. Thank you for your testimony of God's grace.

christy rose said...

It is so true how laughing can make me feel so much better so quickly. I was blessed by visiting you today!

bp said...

I enjoyed this. It's true that too often all of us take things for granted until they are gone. I'm glad God gives us reminders, like your thoughts shared here express, of things that are really important.

luvmy4sons said...

I think it is awesome to share the positivies you have learend from suffering. Good stuff! And as always lots of great info too! Blessings to you sweet sister. Suffering from fibromyalgia I get those brain fog days too...loved the poem! It is good to come here and just know someone else understands! Thanks!

Denise said...

I love you dearly my beautiful friend.

Alleluiabelle said...

Hi Michele,

Thank you so much for posting this valuable information. I suffer from so much as well including Interstitial Cystitis, Fibromyalgia, Severe Osteoporosis, Arthritis, lower lumbar back pain to name a few.

I think we fall in the same categories of suffering.

I learn so much here and I want you to know that I love you dear friend.


Crown of Beauty said...

This was such a great post to read. This is only my second time on your blog, and I already learned a lot. It's fun getting to know you more. Your husband is sweet to say that living with you is like being in an amusement park!

I know that God is using your limitations now to make you into a shining gem for His glory.

You blessed me today, Michelle.

I also loved the song Our Hope Endures. My first time to hear it.


Rochelle said...

Thanks for sharing! I found you on Bloggers Unite today. Looking forward to keeping track of you and learning more about you. God bless!