Struggling with pain

Throughout the past couple months, discussion about my body has made an appearance on the blog. I’ve talked about the joys of seeing results from time spent in the gym and the excitement that comes from the process of transformation. But now I need to come at the body talk from a different direction. I need to be real with you, let off a bit of steam and admit that I am super discouraged.

So, I have a weird body. In the words of my sweet chiropractor, “It’s not weird. It’s special.” I so appreciate the positivity and encouragement reflected in her words because today I just don’t have it. Today I feel frustrated. Today I feel like a 29 year old trapped in an 80 year olds body wondering why I have struggled with such random body issues when I’m still so young!

A couple years ago the weirdness started when I had an issue with my clavicle. One night I came home from seeing the movie Argo, lifted my arms up above my head to change my shirt and was greeted by excruciating pain pulsing through my body focusing itself at the clavicle joint on my chest. For weeks I couldn’t raise my elbow above my shoulder unless I wanted to cower in pain. Many trips to the chiropractor, months spent in physical therapy, lots of stretching and a roll of kinesio tape was what it took to get myself to a place where I was no longer in constant pain.

Then several years later, bending over to stoke the fire was apparently the other “crazy activity” that caused chaos on my body. Suddenly the muscles in my lower back contracted; grabbing on so tightly they refused to let me move forcing me to awkwardly roll onto the floor and wait until the muscles released just enough to allow me to get up and run for my ice pack and essential oils. Again, I found myself back at the physical therapist for a couple more months learning the stretches and exercises needed to keep my back happy.

And here I am, facing yet again another random body issue – this time with my pinky fingers. For the past couple months I’ve woken up and realized my pinkies were contracted. Going to straighten my fingers from the sleepy fist position, it now takes a clunky pry to extend my finger. What the heck?! Just like my other weird issues there's no injury to explain my struggle. No justification to make, no blame to place, other than the fact that my body is “special.” Discouraged and confused, I’ve taken myself back to the chiropractor and maybe soon to be back at the physical therapist to find a way to return to and maintain a happy, tension free body.

I have to be real with you – I’m frustrated. I’m sad. I want to be fixed. I don't want to have a "special" body that seems to need so much maintenance.  Last night, tears slid down my cheek as my husband wrapped towels around my elbows securing them with tape to keep my arms straight overnight in order to give my ulna nerve (which is apparently causing this finger grief) a break. I felt like a freak, I felt like this pain wasn’t going to end, I felt like something was seriously wrong with me, and I felt so so alone.

The reason I share this with you is not just to complain, be sad about my body issues, and search for a little commiseration – it’s to put the encouragement that I need to be reminded of to words. To vent out the icky, sad feelings I have, replace them with truth that I need to hear and hopefully encourage you along the way.

So here’s a bit of truth.

  • Bodies are amazing. The intricate way that God designed our skeleton to give our body shape, our muscles to hold up our weight and keep our bones where they need to be, the way the nerves and tendons stretch and contract as our brains ask our feet to take a step forward, is pretty awesome. I mean really, the fact that they our bodies are capable of so much is mind-blowing.
  • I am a human, and my body is not perfect. Finding out that both my clavicle and lower back issues, (and most likely these pinky finger shenanigans) were mainly caused by improper posture, overuse, and under strengthened muscles, I’ve realized that bodies are delicate and precious. And that it takes work on our part to keep them happy. 
  • I am not alone. Wallowing in my self-pity and letting the frustration of my locking fingers send me into a mood of depression, I was jolted into thankfulness as I thought about the many, many people who suffer with chronic pain. And can I just say, if that’s you, you are a rockstar – I admire you, I respect you, and I am so so sorry for the pain that you suffer day in and day out. Dealing with this pain is just a blip on the scale in comparison to the ailments, diseases, and pains that others are dealing with.  I need to get over myself, because what I've got is not all that bad.  

The moral of the story is, I need to change my attitude. Yes, my fingers are still having issues. Making a fist and waiting for the lock on my pinky to release is no fun – and it definitely makes writing and typing a bit of an issue. But I need to be patient, choose joy, be thankful for what the Lord has given me and trust that He is going to provide.

Jesus Calling, my daily devotional, spoke some much needed truth into my heart this morning as it said, “When things go ‘wrong’, you tend to react as if you’re being punished. Instead of this negative response, try to view difficulties as blessings in disguise. Make me your Refuge by pouring your heart to Me, trusting in Me at all times.” That is what I need to do. To pour my heart out to Him, with joy and thankfulness, but also with the sadness, frustration and fears that I’ll be stuck like this, and trust Him.

The reality is pain sucks, disease sucks, cancer sucks. But the reality that is even greater is that there is hope in the Lord. Placing our trust in Him we give him the opportunity to meet us in our struggles and give us joy like no other, no matter what we’re going through. And what’s even more exciting is His promise that with Him, there will be a day when there is no more pain and no more tears; there will be a new heaven and a new earth and we will have new heavenly bodies!!

I cannot wait for this day to come!!!! But as I do, I’m going to work on changing my focus and trusting that He is faithful – that He’ll meet me in my sadness, in my pain and love me like no other. If you think of me, please pray for me – I’ll take as much support as I can get.

And if you’re struggling with pain, know that you are not alone. I am here for you, and here to remind you that we have a God who’s a comforter, counselor, the ultimate healer and He is with you – so cry out to Him. Take heart dear ones – and be thankful.


Image by Roost Photography

P.S. If you are looking for a good chiropractor please check out Dr. Jamie Mabeus at Full Motion Family Chiropractic !! She is amazing - and even offers animal chiropractic!! AND For an awesome physical therapist head to Health in Balance and ask for Maria.  She too is so great.