Archive for the ‘arthritis’ Category

I’ve done a few Word Associations with you in the past, and last Saturday I did the first of these for a wee while, so I thought I’d do another one today. When you read each word, please note down the first word that comes into your mind when you read each word – Don’t take time to think about your answer, as it’s your initial response that’s important here.

So here goes…

1. Glasgowpower-of-words

2. Money

3. Frightened

4. The armed forces

5. Video

6. Shopping

7. Water

8. Arthritis

9. Child abuse

10. Language

So how did you get on with those words? Did you find it easy? Did your answers surprise you or were they just as you expected?

Well here’s my responses to my questions:

1. Home

2. Bank

3. Scared

4. War

5. DVD

6. Chore

7. Swimming

8. Pain

9. Criminal

10. English

Were any of your answers the same as mine? Did any of my answers confuse you? Did any of your own answers confuse you?

I’ve said in previous word association posts that I find I get a bit stressed when I’m doing these, as I put a lot of pressure on myself not to over think my answers! Are you relaxed when you do them or do you find it stressful too?

I still believe that when we respond with the first words that come into our minds, our answers tell us a lot about our emotional state, and what’s important to us at that particular point in time.

Bearing all this in mind, review your answers, does my theory hold true?

I sometimes just pick some really random words and just try this myself just to see what my answers are – I know that really does sound sad, but I often find it illuminating to discover what is occupying my subconscious…I’d urge you to try it out for yourself.

When you think of pain, what do you think of?

Do you think when someone is in pain it is always visible to others?invisible pain

Don’t be fooled by a common misconception that someone’s pain is always visible. In fact I would like to point out that there are many people who go through each and every day in severe pain, but because they don’t show it on their face or don’t vocalise their pain to others, it is invisible to everyone but the sufferer.

Not all scars show.
Not all wounds heal.
Sometimes, you can’t always see the pain someone feels.


Therefore, do not judge others or assume you know how they are feeling, just because “they look ok” – looks can often be deceptive!

…2013 seems to be bringing more of the same for me so far. 😦

Firstly, I thought as it was the start of a new year, a time for new beginnings, I would once again make the first move to try to reconcile with brokenfriendshipseveral people who were once very close friends and confidants, but sadly for various reasons those relationships have broken down to such an extent in the last few years that not only to these folk ignore me and sometimes my husband too, but are often downright rude and cruel towards us – I certainly did not think any broken relationship merited such awful treatment, especially from people who would openly tell you they are Christians!

To be honest, I wish I hadn’t bothered again (I’ve reached out several times before to these folk), because the various people concerned either completely ignored me again, or responded in an obnoxious manner questioning why I thought I “had the right to expect them to speak to me” – At no time did I ever tell anyone I expected them to speak to me, so I was deeply hurt again.

So much for new beginnings and putting the past behind us and moving on!

I do wonder what kind of Christian does that make these folk? I’m definitely not saying I’m perfect, far from it, but I’ve felt right from the time these folk started to ignore us that things were taken out of context and exaggerated out of all proportion, and surely as Christians we should be able to rise above these disagreements, put them aside, forgive and move on…sadly not all seem to agree with me.

Secondly, health concerns for my hubby started again on New Year‘s Day again as we had to postpone our new year’s day dinner with my Mum as hubby wasn’t well enough to leave the house.

Thirdly, my own health problems seem to have peaked again since last Wednesday/Thursday although I think some of this may be down to all the other issues that have arisen since the start of the year!

hospital2Lastly, my Dad’s health has deteriorated considerably in the last week and a half as although he was previously sitting with his eyes closed all the time, he was at least responding to us when we spoke to him and was opening his eyes. However it got to the stage where he was no longer opening his eyes at all or speaking to us at all and he was also refusing to eat, drink or take any of his medication. So much so that last Friday he was admitted to hospital because he was badly dehydrated – That was a long day in itself, as the GP saw him about 3.45pm and decided he should go to hospital, although we later discovered he hadn’t bothered to order the ambulance until 5.30pm!

Meanwhile Mum and me waited at the nursing home with Dad for the ambulance as Mum was keen to ensure Dad got settled ok at hospital. What a long wait that ended up being…the ambulance didn’t turn up at the nursing home until almost 11pm. It was then about 12.20am before the doctor first spoke to us at the hospital and then about 2.40am before Dad finally got settled into a ward. By the time I dropped Mum back home and got myself home it was about 3.30am!

It turned out Dad has a chest infection and id apparently can often cause added confusion for dementia sufferers and cause then to be more sleepy and less willing to eat/drink than normal. Dad’s now being treated in hospital for his chest infection and he is beginning to become a little it more responsive when we speak to him  (not that much of what he says makes any sense), so hopefully he’ll get back to being able (and willing) to eat and drink by himself again soon.

So we’re only 8 days into 2013, but already I’d say I’m really not liking this year so far. So one thing is for certain, 2013 can really only get better, can’t it?!

Welcome New Year 2013

Welcome to 2013! I hope it’s a guid’un for you and yours.

I’m quite pleased to see the back of 2012, as just like 2011, it wasn’t the best year for me or my family.

So what about 2013, what am I hoping to achieve this year?

The main thing I’m hoping for this new year is that all my family and friends have a much healthier 2013 than 2012, but I guess I’m not going to be the only person hoping for better health for family/friends!

Other than that, like last year I’m not going to make any new year resolutions as I always think they’re doomed to fail. Instead I’m just going to set myself some goals/aim for my year. This time though, based on how I found measuring my aims last year, I’m setting less goals this time and making them more prescriptive.

So here’s my list of goals/aims for 2013, in no particular order:

  • Lose another 11lbs
  • Spend 5 minutes praying every morning
  • Think before I speak! – It’s not so much what I say sometimes that’s the problem, but how I say it!
  • Play tennis at least once by Easter, and at least 10 times by end of August
  • Challenge myself to look at old things in a new way, and new things with an open mind

Come the end of 2013, I wonder how many of these goals I’ll be able to say, “yes I’ve achieved that”, only the next 363 days will tell!

Whatever your aims for 2013, or your new year’s resolutions, I pray your year may be one in which you experience God‘s love for you, your friends and your family… whatever 2013 may have in store for you.

Have a great 2013! God bless.

At the start of this year (2012), I shared with you my aims for this year (in Welcome to 2012). These were not my new year resolutions, but what I hoped to achieve this year as far as some lifestyle changes were concerned and some changes in my spiritual relationship with God.

At the end of each month since then I’ve given you an update on how I’m getting on with my aims. So now we’re on the last day of 2012, here’s my last update for this year, which will give you my honest opinions on whether I achieved, or failed, to reach my goals for this year…

  • Eat healthier
    • Over all, I would definitely say I have succeeded with this aim as I have definitely been eating much healthier when I’ve been at work, and have done ok when at home.
    • Yes there’s still room for improvement, as I have given in to my desire for chocolate on a few occasions.
    • Done ok with this ones I’m managing to continue to eat reasonably healthily while I’ve been at work, and not too bad when at home.
  • Lose some weight
    • Well I had my last weigh-in earlier today, and the news is that over the course of this year I’ve managed to lose 10 lbs.
    • I’m delighted with that as I have definitely not been on a diet, but have just been trying to eat a bit healthier and get a bit more active.
    • Hopefully if I continue doing the same things next year I’ll manage to lose a few more pounds.
  • Spend more time reading my bible
    • Some months this year I managed to spend a lot more time reading my bible than I had previously, however there were still a number of occasions when I didn’t even open my bible.
    • Overall though I’d say I’ve managed to spend more time reading my bible this year than last, though there’s definitely still plenty of room for improvement.
  • Don’t let pain rule my life
    • As many of you will know, I’ve had some health issues for a few years now, which I had hoped would have been resolved by 2 major operations. Unfortunately, despite the doctors being happy with the success of these operations, I have still been experiencing severe pain of the same nature I was getting prior to the initial diagnosis.
    • Therefore it has been an on-going struggle again this year to cope with my pain levels. Having said that though, due to all the other situations I’ve had to deal with this year, I’ve often just had to get on with things no matter how severe my pain has been.
    • On the whole I don’t think I’ve actually given in to my pain completely any more than maybe a 3 or 4 times this year, which looking back now, I find quite incredible.
  • Get back to playing tennis as stopped playing in 2003 when I first wasn’t well
    • I have failed miserably at this one!
    • There were a few times during the year when I was all set to go to the tennis club at the weekend when my friends would be there, but typically the Scottish weather put an end to those plans, and on following weeks other things would happen or we had other plans, so it just never happened.
  • Put aside a minimum of 5 minutes each day to spend some quiet-time with God
    • As with my aim to spend more time reading my bible, over the year, this has been a bit up and down – Some months I spent more than 5 minutes each day with God, others none at all.
    • Also depending on what’s been going on in my life at the time, and how I’ve been coping, some of these times with God have not exactly been quiet ones, as I’ve spent much of the time crying! They may not have been “quiet” times with God, but they were at least “times” with God where even although I couldn’t vocalise my prayers, I know God still knew what was in my heart.
  • Get back to playing the piano regularly as it’s been a while
    • I’ve failed at this one!
    • However I did get a brand new keyboard for my Christmas, therefore I will definitely make progress with in the coming weeks.
  • Go on holiday – we’ve not been away anywhere since 2002
    • Due to on-going health issues/concerns with various family members, this has not been possible.
  • Keep on top of the housework (especially the ironing mountain!)
    • I’ve said it before during some of my monthly updates, but I really do hate doing housework, and ironing is definitely my least favourite chore.
    • It’s should therefore be no surprise that I have failed miserably with this.
  • More patience and understanding of others
    • To me, I have managed to be a little bit more patient with other…though you may disagree!
    • I do find this incredibly difficult, particularly with certain people (who shall remain anonymous)
    • I continue to pray for patience daily.
  • Stop procrastinating
    • I’d say I’ve been successful with this aim, as I feel that, on the whole, I’ve managed to just get on with things.

So that’s my honest answers to how I got on this year with the aims/goals I set myself at the start of the 2012. Looking back now, I think my aims/goals have probably been too ambitious and too vague, as if I’m honest, there was probably no way I was ever going to achieve all these goals in one year. I also think my judgement on how successful I’ve been has been very subjective, so I should probably have made my goals more measurable. i.e. by measuring actual status at the start of the year and comparing with actual measurements at the end of the year.

In conclusion, I’m reasonably happy with what I’ve achieved this year. While I may not have been able to say I fully achieved very many of my goals I have made progress with a number of them which I’m definitely happy about.

How about you, how did you get on with your aims for 2012?

Whatever your aims were for this year, and regardless of whether you achieve any or all of them, I pray you managed to make progress, and that you have at least achieved all God had planned for you this year!

Today I want to continue my blog posts about pain by sharing another example of coping with pain…

I recently heard of someone who had had a minor accident, but it had left them in too much pain to allow them to drive to work. Therefore, rather than take the day off work sick, they intended to work from home. However they were informed that as they couldn’t work from home as they would be “doped up on pain killers“.

You might think this is fair enough, however let me ask you this, if the person requesting to work from home had simply requested to do so for some reason other than their pain, would their manager ever have known they would be working from home while “doped up on pain killers”?

What about those who work, who are in pain, and are “doped up on pain killers’, are their managers quick to stop them working just because they’re on pain killers?

You may think anyone who is on pain killers shouldn’t be working as they can’t possibly be operating at their true level, and therefore their work must be suffering. But can we really be that sweeping with this response? I’d suggest not, as everyone is different. Speaking for myself, I know I am on prescription pain killers and therefore would probably be deemed to be “doped up on pain killers” while I’m at work, but I’d suggest that majority of the time, most people around me at work are completely unaware that I’m struggling or that I’m even in any kind of physical pain.

So basically I’m saying that just because one person can’t work while in pain or “doped up on pain killers”, it doesn’t mean everyone is this same.

We all have different pain tolerance levels.

We all cope with pain differently.

Our bodies all cope differently with pain medication.

Just another little reminder for you today not to judge someone’s ability to cope while in pain or on pain killers, because of their own experiences, as we are all different, and we call cope differently with pain medication.

Over the next few days I want to talk about pain, and in doing so share a few examples of people dealing/coping with pain.

A few days ago someone said to me:

She’s 10 years older than me, but she’s not got any problems as she’s able to walk ok, unlike me.

I was annoyed, though I made no comment as I didn’t want to upset or anger the person who said it to me. It’s all back to that “invisible pain” things again isn’t it! After all the person who said this had no idea whether the person they were talking about had any serious or significant illnesses, but simply judges their state of health based on what they could see…and it’s only ever going to be physical ailments that are visible!

I must be honest and say, as one who suffers from severe pain on an almost daily basis, I find it annoying and frustrating how many people assume you are well and healthy just because they can see no obvious physical impairment. If only all physical pain was that easily identified!

I personally don’t like a lot of fuss, and certainly don’t like being the centre of attention, so for me trying on a daily basis not to let other see my physical pain is an almost full-time task.

Today, I just want to remind you again, that just because someone seems well and healthy to look at, doesn’t mean they are, so don’t make rash comments or judgements about others based only on what you can see.

I was chatting with a friend recently about how when you look back at some situations/circumstances you’ve been through in life, you now wonder, “How on earth did I get through that?“.

We all have times in our lives which challenge us to our limit, and which we find incredibly difficult to cope with at the time, but somehow or other, we do!

For some, these kind of situations arise when they have to deal with the death of a close family member or friend, or when they or a loved one suffers a serious illness.

I’ve had a couple of times in my life, that now I look back on them, I wonder how on earth I got through them. The most recent of these events I’ve talked about a few times in my blog, and that was when I became very ill a few years ago. The other occasion was a number of years ago, in fact 2 months after I got engaged, when my dad took seriously ill. To cut a long story short, hubby and I got engaged in the December and were due to get married the following August, but in the February my Dad took seriously ill. For a while it was touch and go whether he would survive and even if he did, whether he would be able to walk me down the aisle…

I was always a Daddy’s girl when I was growing up, and always into football, tennis and music, just as my Dad was. I think it was this that made it harder for me to comprehend what it would be possibly get married and my Dad not being there…those where very very difficult weeks and months.

As you’ll have gathered if you’ve been reading my blog for a while, my Dad did survive, and he was able to walk me down the aisle when I got married. Yes, Dad was quite slow at the walking and his Father’s speak was very short but I was just so happy he was able to share my wedding day with me after the uncertainty of whether he’d survive.

Looking back at those times when Dad was seriously ill and also more recently when I was very ill for a number of years, I have no idea how I got through those times. When I was ill I was in severe pain constantly yet I managed to keep working, although I do remember I spent a lot of time in the ladies toilets trying to keep myself in one piece and cope with my pain. As I consider my pain levels these days and how difficult I find things now, I find it incredible that I was able to carry on working during that time,as my pain levels now are a fraction of what they used to be and I know how difficult I find life now!

So how did I manage to get through those times?

During those times, particularly my own illness, I didn’t feel at the time that I was “getting through it”, and I certainly felt as if I was totally alone. However in hindsight, I now realise that at no time during either of those occasions or indeed any other time in my life, have I ever been on my own, because God as been firmly by my side, holding my hand and guiding my though those difficult times.

In fact these last few months when things have once again been very difficult due to hubby’s health problems, Dad’s dementia, supporting Mum and my own on-going health issues, I have kept reminding myself that God is with me during all of this, and He is there supporting me, even though at times it may not seem as if he is.

So how did I manage to get through my difficult times? I got through them with God’s help.

So no matter what you’re facing in life, do not think you’re ever on your own, because through it all, God will be with you.

Yesterday was quite a landmark day for us, as it was my husband’s final day at work after agreeing to take early retirement/voluntary severance. To be honest I don’t think it’s really quite sunk in yet that hubby will not be working anymore although I’m sure after a few days of me getting up to go to work, and him still being in bed, will hep it sink in!

As for hubby, how does he feel? Well he’s got mixed feelings about it as ideally he wouldn’t have wanted to leave, however given the restructure of our department (we both work at the same place), and his health issues, it wasn’t really a difficult decision for him to make – Nor was it a difficult decision for me to agree with because I certainly hope that the opportunity for him to relax and chill a bit, will help him get healthier and fitter, though obviously the former is the priority!

So what now? Well hubby is planning on taking a few months out in the hope that his health improves and he can get a bit fitter too. Then he hopes to look for another job of some description, although whether that’ll be in IT or something completely different your guess is as good as mine!

Yes, our lives are going to change now that hubby is no longer working. I just hope and pray that this enforced change is just what hubby needs to get his health back on track.

I’d ask you to pray for my husband at this time as he tries to get used to retirement and how to fill his days, but most importantly, please pray that his health will improve.

It’s been just over a week I’ve been off work on annual leave, however, as usual when it’s almost time to go back to work, I wish I had another week off!

I gave you some idea of what I’ve been up to during my time off in Friday’s blog post entitled Normal Service Is Resumed. It’s been good not to be at work, however I must admit it’s not really felt like much of a rest as I’ve found it quite stressful spending everyday with mum!

Don’t get me wrong I love Mum and wouldn’t have wanted her to spend this last week on her own while Dad was in a care home for respite care. However due to all she’s having to cope caring for Dad, as well as us both dealing with my Dad’s and my Aunt’s guardianships, she offloads onto me as she is struggling to cope with it all. That’s fine with me as I’d rather she did that than try to cope on her own, however I’m finding it quite hard to cope too, as I too have a lot going on just now:

  • Concerned about Dad due to his dementia getting notably worse
  • Mum’s health because she’s still caring for Dad at home 24/7
  • Hubby’s health
  • Hubby’s job situation (early retirement/voluntary severance effective the end of this month)
  • My own on-going health worries – I’ve not really shared the extent of this with Mum as don’t want her to worry, as she’s enough to cope with!

I hope I don’t sound as though I’m complaining because I don’t intend too, I know life was never meant to be easy, so I’m simply just trying to give you an idea of some of the things I’m trying to cope with in my life at present, so you understand better the person writing this blog.

Mum asked me just yesterday if I had enjoyed my busy week off work and whether I was looking forward to going back to work for a rest! Maybe she’s more aware more than I think, about how I’m feeling and when I’m exhausted, struggling and in pain…

During my time off, when I’ve been struggling, I’ve found myself drawn again to the song Praise You In This Storm by Casting Crowns. Just like the words of this song say, I do wish that I was through this storm by now, however I thank God every day that I despite all I’ve been going through, I am still able to praise Him!

So it’s back to work tomorrow, and I’m pleased to say that today (Sunday), I finally got a day of doing absolutely nothing (typically I have a day of doing nothing when the weather is fantastic, but hey I needed it!)…and it was fabulous! Anyway I’m sure once I’m back at work tomorrow my week off will soon feel like was a distant memory by 10am!

I think it’s time to start planning another week or two off work!