A Cheerful Approach To A Chronic Situation

 

A cheerful look brings joy to the heart, and good news health to the bones. Proverbs 15:30

It’s a gorgeous morning. The sun is shining, the birds are singing.

I can hear neighbours chatting as they enjoy a morning walk and a cool gentle breeze is blowing through my bedroom window.

I’m resting on my bed in the hope my broken bones will soon cease screaming at me. Pain meds will take the edge off eventually and I’ll be able to stand long enough to sort out my stoma and get dressed for the day.

Sometimes You Just Have To Laugh

I don’t have any concrete plans today. I am pretty much housebound every day. Despite that I still like to dress as if I have something special to do.

Smart casual is my style…or it is now. It used to be corporate suits with high-heeled shoes. I miss that but I quite like my new wardrobe.

Everything has elasticated waists for comfort and ease of wear, plus it works better sitting over my stoma. I like slightly fitted, tunic style tops over 3/4 length bengaline pants. Both have to easily pull on and off and be made of slightly stretchy material to allow me to move freely.

The pants hug my legs a little, as this provides my broken bones extra support when I stand. A bit like bandages. So there is a slight method to my madness of getting dressed like this each day.

I’ve learned the hard way when it’s come to reinventing my wardrobe. My husband and I have been known to cut me out of tops that haven’t stretched, as I couldn’t pull my arms in the right direction to get out of them.

Sad….but oh so funny. On those occasions, through tears of laughter, I’ve managed to give my husband clear cutting directions while I’ve been stuck in the top. A great trust exercise!! Thankfully no one has been harmed during such a procedure. His handiwork has been so good, after each “surgical removal”, I’ve been able to turn the top into a jacket. Bonus!

You really do just have to sit back and laugh sometimes at such a ludicrous  situation.

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Letting A Cheerful Heart Emerge

Today and everyday I’m enjoying what I can do, rather than thinking about the things I can’t do.

It’s not easy.

A concerted effort over time was needed to change my mindset but it was well worth the effort. It’s always worth the effort.

That moment when the focus shifts to the possible, rather than looking at the impossible, is a life changing moment. It’s the moment a cheerful heart has room to emerge.

Don’t get me wrong, dreaming of the impossible, holding onto hopes and dreams, believing they can happen, is also important at times.

But when the very basics of life are verging on the impossible every day, a dose of reality and being grateful for what you can do, is so important.

A Chronic Situation

I’ve had a really tough few months with some bad news on the health front.

Among other things I’ve recently been diagnosed with a benign tongue tumour which could become cancerous. I may need a portion of my tongue removed if it doesn’t go away. I have new spinal stenosis issues at L5/S1. My recent spinal surgeries at L4 have been successful but have left my spine with instability issues. I’ve also been reminded by my medical team, my rare bone disease is progressing and there is no treatment and no cure.

While I need further spinal surgery , my Spinal Orthopeadic Surgeon is concerned I am at such a high risk for permanent complications or worse, we have both agreed no more for the moment.

I’ve been reminded by my lower limb Orthopaedic Specialist, my femur bone graft in 2016 just dissolved in a month as if it never happened. We are dealing with a rare complex disease that has a mind of it’s own. It’s not following any rules of medical logic.

My left femur is still well and truly broken nearly 5 years on from the initial break. It’s now classified as a permanent break. With the progression of my disease, my body is affected from head to toe with various ongoing fractures and muscular atrophy.

I can’t sleep or sit comfortably. Getting in and out of chairs or the car or any movement at all really, causes excruciating pain resulting in debilitating fatigue.

Pain medication only takes the edge off at best. I could increase the medication but it would completely reduce my ability to write, think and support others through my online forum. I would end up both physically and mentally disabled and that’s just not worth it.

It’s a chronic situation and one that requires me to make difficult choices to ensure I am living the best life possible.

The Best Medicine

I’ve needed some encouragement over the past few weeks. It’s can be a bit hard to come by when feeling so overwhelmed with pain and disease.

When the punches keep coming an encouraging word means so much, especially when you are really limited in what you can do.

Encouragement can come from friends and family, even strangers, or from something you’ve read.

A cheerful look brings joy to the heart, and good news health to the bones. Proverbs 15:30

This little proverb was on my calendar and it reminded me how much a cheerful heart really is the best medicine.

It encouraged me and confirmed I am on the right track when I focus on helping others, encouraging others.

I need to keep surrounding myself with things that encourage me and make me happy, so that I’m able to bring ongoing cheer to others.

It’s good medicine to do that. According to the Proverb, it even brings good health to the bones to give a cheerful look!!

So why are my bones so bad you may ask, especially those of you who know me well and know I give cheerful looks constantly?

Well, I don’t think it’s supposed to be literal. It means to give a cheerful look or to be cheerful, gives you a sense of well-being. When battling a chronic disease or dealing with any difficult chapter in your life, that sense of well being is exactly what is needed to help sustain you.

That being said, I did smile and felt very encouraged that the Proverb says “good news brings health to the bones”. A sense of hope flooded my soul and that’s a good thing. We all need hope and as a Christian, I believe and know that my seemingly hopeless situation is well and truly in God’s hands.

If God wants to send me “good news that will bring health to my bones”, then I believe that is absolutely possible.

In fact I do receive the gift of “good health” every day. Each encouraging interaction I have with others or each time I provide encouragement, I have a greater sense of well-being.

Without the good news of a cure or treatment, I am resolved to remain working on having a cheerful heart. It does make a difference to my overall well-being.

Giving cheerful looks and encouraging words to others, truly is good medicine.

Take care

Sam x

If you’re looking for genuine support, care, understanding & friendship, you are so welcome to join my closed Facebook support forum Medical Musings with Friends. It’s a safe place to connect with others living with chronic & complex diseases, who truly understand the daily challenges. A warm welcome awaits.

I’m a Contributor at “The Mighty”. You can check out my published articles at My Author Page

I also write @ Blogs by Christian Women

I’m a member of the Chronic Illness Bloggers Network, the Grace Girls Facebook Group and Salt and Light Linkup Group

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6 thoughts on “A Cheerful Approach To A Chronic Situation

  1. Dear Sam just read your above article you are an inspiration for yourself and everyone you meet I do believe God has plans for us all and he hears us all after we spoke last time I had pretty well given up hope on any sort of resolution but then then I had a reprieve and God came to me and since then things have changed a lot for the better as my brother said to me a day can make quite a difference what I am trying to say is Sam hang in there darling and God will take your hand and guide you through the mist you have a multitude of energy and love being sent your way and it’s all got to help all my love Shaz xx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you so much Sharon for your encouragement. Your words are just beautiful. Knowing you have found hope when you felt it was lost, brings me such joy. Thank you so much for sharing with me. Lots of love xx

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  3. Surgical removal of tops with sharp scissors, definitely tests the trust in a marriage! That proverb – “good news brings health to the bones” – was made for you, how fitting an excerpt! It can be so hard to smile or be cheerful or laugh at things that have the ability to crush you, and it’s not always possible, but trying to see the lightness, to look at what you can do, to take a new perspective on the situation, can all make a chronic situation a little more tolerable. Everyone needs that encouragement from time to time, sometimes every minute of every day would be helpful! You yourself are a huge encouragement to others, and I hope that can put a smile on your face, too, knowing the positive impact you have on the lives of those around you, and on those like myself who read your blog.
    In the mean time, I hope you can get some relief, even if only fleeting with medications, from the pain over the weekend  ♥
    Caz xxxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Caz. Your comments always uplift me and bring a smile to my face. You have become a dear friend and I can’t thank you enough for being here in our virtual world of understanding and support. How blessed we are to live in this era where we can so easily connect with like-minded people, with common experiences.
      Just knowing we are not alone makes all the difference.
      I hope you are doing as well as possible. Lots of love xx

      Liked by 1 person

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