Invisible Diseases

pain blog1
I’ll admit, I’m not a very sympathetic person when it comes to invisible diseases. Or at least that’s how I used to be. When I’d hear people were suffering from chronic pain, fibromyalgia, depression…..anything that I couldn’t “see”…I’d inwardly roll my eyes and think, “Take an aspirin and quit complaining”.  Well that was before I became the victim of chronic pain. After injuring my back and having unsuccessful surgery (and many other injections and treatments), I now suffer from nerve damage and chronic pain. At 35 it’s hard to deal with the fact my body simply can’t do things it’s supposed to be able to do. I’ve never been all too athletic, as far as I’ve never been a rock climber or water skier, but I have always been active. Active, strong, independent and self reliant. Being an oilfield wife means half of time I am responsible for everything…maintaining house, yard, etc…..on my own. Shoveling Alaskan amounts of snow in the winter,  cleaning up  masses of branches and trash in spring, mowing and caring for an acre of grass in the summer, and raking and disposing of leaves in fall.  I garden. I burn trash. I landscape. I rearrange furniture. I haul rocks.  I hang shelves.  Whatever needs done,  I’ve always been able to do it all….on my own. I’ve always been able to count on myself. Until now. What a hard pill to swallow! I do have some good days, days that I would almost pass as “normal” – – and I have bad days, days where I can’t even bend down to put my shoes on. I haven’t given up. I’m still hoping and praying that my back will heal, and I’m continuing to search for different treatments. My latest is acupuncture, which  hasn’t produced any results so far, but I’m still not giving up.   I’m NOT feeling sorry for myself though.  I don’t have all the answers and I don’t know exactly what the future holds for me, or how many things I’m going to have to give up or miss out on, but I don’t feel sorry for myself and I’m not trying to get any pity. I  know I can find something positive in my situation. How can God use me, and what is the point of this pain in my life? One positive thing I can take away from this, is now I am aware.  Now I am compassionate. Now I know that pain is real.  It’s heartbreaking that so many are dealing with pain everyday. From MS to mental illness to arthritis to allergies – there are so many people suffering on the inside.  I don’t know what can be done to ease my suffering or anyone else’s, but what I CAN do – what we can ALL do –  is be aware.  Everyone is fighting a battle. Maybe it’s not one you can see on the outside, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t real. I try to be tough and I try to be strong, but some days it’s hard to cope, not only with the physical pain but with the other side affects, too…like the disappointment of not being able to do something that I’ve always been able to do, even if it’s simply being able to sit on the floor to play a game with my kids. Invisible struggles are difficult.  We could all do a little less judging and a little more supporting.  Invisible diseases are real. Pain is real. So let’s try to be more sympathetic to each other as we walk our separate paths.  Everyone’s journey is different, and everyone has different obstacles along the way.  Even if someone looks “normal” we don’t know what might be going on inside, or what invisible battle they are fighting.

About jenna

Jenna has been an oilfield wife for over 12 years. Her Hot Oil Man husband started working in the oilfield a few months before they were married. The oilfield has lead them all the way from Northern CO to Alaska, where they've lived in the Matanuska Valley for 4 years. The family consists of their two children; a strong-willed daughter age 10, and a goofy son age 7. And of course what family would be complete without a couple of dogs and rabbits thrown in the mix. Jenna is a stay at home mom who doesn't “stay at home” much, and enjoys gardening, baking, reading, watching movies, four wheeling, hiking, fishing, and LOVES shopping. Since moving to the last frontier they have also started home schooling, which is another adventure all it’s own.

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