Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Reflections on Pain

"Much of your pain is the bitter potion by which the physician within you heals your sick self." ~ Kahlil Gibran 

Pain. Sometimes it comes slow and insidious like a serpent, threatening to overtake us at any minute. Other times it is sudden, like a bolt of lightning, fierce and powerful. It can consume us if we let it. It can consume us even if we don't let it. It can be a friend, letting us know when our bodies are going haywire. It can be a friend in that when it is not present, we appreciate those moments and days as much as possible. More often however, it is our enemy. It is the force that can take away our independence, our joy, and our resolve.

I do try not to let it get the better of me. Try to be brave and not complain. I know that I don't always succeed in that. It must be hard for my loved ones to see me suffer. It must be hard for them to listen to the same complaints over and over again. It is easy to fall into the trap of "why me?" It is like everything else in life; you can see the glass as half full or half empty. I can sit around bemoaning why I have to suffer or I can sit and be grateful for all the wonderful things I get to experience when I am feeling well, and there are many.

It is difficult when sometimes every step feels like knives in my feet or like a chisel going into my joints. Frustration sets in easily when it is a gigantic effort to get down the street to lunch with my mom and the hour away from home leaves me exhausted and hurting. Or later in the day when I want to cook up an awesome gourmet meal AND do laundry AND play with the dog and realize that I have to pick and choose because any one of those activities will put me in more pain and fatigue...sometimes I don't get to choose any of them.

Sometimes I wonder if it is just an issue of mind over matter. There are so many people in the world who cope with pain on a daily basis, some much worse than what I have experienced. Besides acupuncture and medication, I use so many other techniques to deal with the pain. Distraction and relaxation techniques help a lot as does massage (sometimes) and heating pads. I make sure to laugh as much as possible in hopes that it will help heal me. I try to talk to myself and just tell myself it will be alright, it will pass. I get a lot of comfort from knowing I have been in this situation before and it DID get better. It is not necessarily forever. There will be relief, eventually. So I take one hour and even one minute at a time. I try to not let my entire day be about experiencing pain. I remember to keep in mind that I need to find something good and positive in each day because I will never get that day back again.

 I remember to live.

Photo: Courtesy of Google images.


  1. I believe that everyone experiences pain, and each individual's pain is unique and awful and, well, painful. I think you are on to something when you say, " I try to not let my entire day be about experiencing pain. " Your earlier post about being mindful of the moments reflects Jesus' presence in the midst of pain. He is there. Feeling it. Healing it. And He is also there in the moments you celebrate. And he is hearing and cheering and (oh man, I wish I could find another "--eering" word)well, you get the idea. Jesus is with you in EACH moment, so to ignore a moment (even a painful one) would be to ignore his presence and the love he has to share in the present.
    The pain we feel is real as the love we experience from those who care about us. I pray that your moments of pain are fewer (because let's face it, pain stinks!), and the healing love of Jesus is great as you move forward from this moment in your journey.
    ps. I hope this makes sense.

  2. Todd ~ It does make sense. and thank you from the very bottom of my heart. That helped more than you know...

  3. Great Post Christine! It really show's where those of us with Sjogrens, RA, Fibro, or other auto immune illnesses come from and how the pain and fatigue truly affects our lives! I would love to repost this, giving you credit, on my blog Pargas Junkyard ( as a guest writer. Please let me know if this is ok with you!

  4. Thank you coronaryn for the feedback. That would be fine with me if you use it as a guest post. If possible, it would be great of you could include the link for my website and let me know when it will be posted. Thank you!

  5. THANK YOU SO MUCH for this post. I was just having one of those i hate pain moments and saw this post and HAD to read it. I am so glad I did. It was just that simple subtle reminder i needed that im not alone and someone else understands what its like. Thank you for the possible different out looks and how it is our choice how we choose to (or not to sometimes) deal with our pain. It has been getting very unbearable and reading this was just the refresher and encouragement i needed today. So if i havent already told you.... THANK YOU :)

  6. You're welcome Julie! I'm glad it helped. I was really hitting the wall with a sudden onset pain episode when I wrote it and it helped me to put the whole pain thing in a little more perspective....hope this finds you feeling better!

  7. would like to join facebook, e-mail anything to have contact with other sufferers with s/s thanks connie reich-lee

  8. Connie ~ I posted the info on the Sjogren's Syndrome Foundation Facebook page where you posted the other message.