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Posts Tagged ‘pain’

March 20, 2017 marked a day of loss for a very good friend of ours. Her mother passed away. Less than two years ago, I lost both of my parents and so I understand how she is feeling at this moment.

We knew her mother and she was a wonderful Christian lady. There is no doubt in my mind that she is now absent from her body and present with her Lord. I know that the family is as assured of this fact as I am, but it does not take away the sorrow and loss that is being felt right now.

Sorrow and loss are feelings that we all must face because our original perfection was destroyed by our open rebellion against God. Yet God, in His mercy, chose not to leave us in our sinful state, but in His Sovereign Will, would one day restore that perfection.

Until all of creation is renewed, we will be very well acquainted with shedding tears. There is nothing wrong with expressing sorrow over lost loved ones. Jesus himself wept in the Scriptures. There are two recorded instances of Jesus crying. Once over the loss of a dear friend and the second over His beloved Jerusalem. However, Isaiah 53:3 tells us that the suffering Messiah would be “a man of sorrows, acquainted with grief.”

Throughout the life of Christ, I believe that he saw tremendous amounts of sorrow and grief. I also believe that because of His love for us, he shed many silent tears.

We are told that time heals all things. As nice as that sounds, I do not believe that. Death is our enemy. We were created to live, not to die. I’m not even sure that time lessens our sorrow and grief over the loss of a loved one. I think it is more accurate to say that we become adjusted to live with the loss. Regardless of the years that will pass, one rogue memory brings everything back, and that feeling of loss will still be there.

First Thessalonians 4:13 is the light at the end of the very dark tunnel of sorrow. That light is hope. So yes, even as Christians we will experience sorrow and grief. Our consolation in this is that we know a day is coming where our hope will be fulfilled in the saving grace of Jesus Christ.

One of my favorite verses in Scripture is Revelation 21:4 which states “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

For now, my family grieves for our friend and her family for their loss. I pray that in the days to come, she will cling close to our Savior and be assured that one day soon, the sorrow will be gone and our age old enemy, death, will be swallowed up in Victory.

 

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There are many reasons why people stop writing posts for their blogs. I am writing this post to assure my faithful few that I am not going to stop writing…barring death of course.

However, I do find the need to currently take a brief hiatus from writing. My only excuse is that I do not currently feel up to exercising the gray matter to any great extent.

People with disabilities will understand this post more than anyone else probably. Saturday night I got a fun ambulance ride to the ER. I had a fever, severe spasms in my back and lower ribs and felt like I had been hit by a cement truck. I only spent three hours in the ER which I think is pretty good if you knew my track record.

I was diagnosed with a bad UTI (Urinary Tract Infection), given some pain meds and a script for an antibiotic, and sent home.

This morning the ER called me to tell me that my culture came back immune to just about every type of antibiotic – I could have told them that. Anyway…they want me now to go into the hospital for a week to 10 days to get “fixed” up with a strong IV antibiotic because that is the only way to get rid of it. Of course they all talk in words that have at least 14 letters per word so I just politely nod and smile.

I am currently overdosing on Motrin, Cipro and Valium here at home (Wendy keeps giving me strange looks). I am planning on going in to the hospital but not before next week. I have a big book signing this Friday that I cannot miss. Always looks pretty bad to have a book signing without the author doing the signing…don’t you think?

This of course is not that big of a deal for SCI people since it is just one of the little “perks” in life that go along with using a Catheter. So hopefully after all of this is done I will be back to the “as normal as I get” of my abnormal. As the saying goes – “I’m in pretty good shape for the shape I’m in.” Did that make sense?  I hope so.

Enjoy the early Christmas season festivities and wish me luck!

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When I was a kid I heard the expression, “Can’t you sit still? You must have ants in your pants!” I heard that expression a lot, especially from my parents. It may have been in church, school, the grocery store or the car, but some part of me was always moving. I smile when watching my youngest daughter sit anywhere because she does exactly what I use to do. Whether bouncing her knee or ankle, or tapping her toes, some part of her is always moving.

But prior to my injury, I did have control over my muscle movements if I chose to. After my injury the term “spastic” took on a whole new meaning for me.

People with spinal cord injuries will have muscle spasticity ranging from mild to severe. My spasticity is very mild and doesn’t create many problems for me. Mine usually occurs when lying down. For instance, I am lying in bed typing this blog on my laptop, and my legs will occasionally jump, or spasm.

There are many forms of spasticity. “Extensor spasms” are when the legs straighten out and become rigid. I was in college with a man that would experience extensor spasms so severely in his back and legs that he had to be strapped into his wheelchair because his spasms would literally through him to the floor. There are also “Flexor spasms” which act just the opposite, pulling the legs upward toward the chest into the fetal position. Then there are “Clonus spasms” which are repetitive jumping of muscles. These often occur in the ankles which will cause repeated bouncing of your feet on the wheelchair foot rest.

According to doctors, there are both beneficial and detrimental effects to spasticity. On the detrimental side of the scale, spasms can interfere with quality of life by throwing off balance, working against transfers, disrupting sleep and contributing to pain. There are some beneficial aspects to spasticity also such as maintaining muscle mass, stimulating blood flow and lessening the inevitability of Osteoporosis.

Since I know many people in wheelchairs, I see all types of spasticity and all levels of severity. Relating to the spasms that I have, I consider them mostly to be a nuisance. For instance, if I am pushing my wheelchair over rough terrain, my legs will often start to spasm bouncing my feet off my footrest. So I have to stop, pull my feet back up, and then continue on again. There are straps of course that would keep my feet in place, but I look at that as just one more hindrance to deal with every time I want to transfer into or out of my wheelchair.

There are many treatments for spasticity. Doctors usually start with the noninvasive procedures such as medications or stretching exercises. Speaking for myself, I try to incorporate stretching exercises into my daily routine, as a means to control spasms. For one thing I look at exercise as the most beneficial method without any negative side effects. Depending on how severe a person’s spasticity is, stretching may or may not help. The one thing to remember about stretching, for it to be the most effective, is that it needs to be done almost as a yoga exercise in length of time, and become a consistent part of your daily routine.

Medications given are usually the type to lessen pain–the less pain, the less spasticity a person will experience. Any medications should be discussed thoroughly with your doctor to learn about all possible side effects. I have chronic back pain which may or may not be the result of muscle spasms. I have tried numerous medications to lessen my pain: however, in my thinking, the minimal reduction in pain I receive is not worth the side effects.

There are also more invasive treatments available such as an “intrathecal catheter and pump device” which is implanted under the skin. These pumps contain pain medication that directly targets nerve cells in the spinal cord and can be administered in smaller doses with less severe side effects. Of course this would mean more surgery, ongoing maintenance and even pump replacement about every five years.

There are also procedures called nerve blocks and trigger point injections. Believe it or not, Botox injections may also help reduce spasms and pain by paralyzing the muscle. I know people that have had nerve blocks done with some good success for muscle spasms and pain. In my case, because of the way I was put back together, nerve blocks are out of the question.

So when it comes to spasticity that a person experiences, yes there are many options to help lessen them. I say go for the therapeutic stretching exercises and only use meds or surgery as a last resort. But once again, the choice is yours.

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