Chronic Illness Calls For Bravery

This is a heavy week at my house. There is so much coming that is worrisome and I am looking ahead with many prayers and cautiousness. Although my list of chronic illnesses is long, the issue of chronic pain in my back is the most bothersome thing I live with. Chronic back pain won’t kill me, but has certainly been the thing that’s kept me from living a normal life.

Tomorrow I’ll be meeting with the pain specialist who ordered my back MRI. I dread hearing the results of that scan. I know he may see something that needs to be fixed surgically. The thing I dread the most is if he doesn’t see much of anything. If he just sees mild scoliosis, aging disks, and arthritis, he’ll probably think that I’m exaggerating my pain levels.

But, I’ll just have to wait and see. I know that he will ask about my physical therapy order. I won’t start physical therapy until he goes over my MRI. I’ve had too many PT appointments that cause worsening pain. The PT needs to know exactly what my MRI shows so that they can “do no harm.” I’m sick of going to therapy and end up doing all the exercises that everyone in the room is doing. With my Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, many of these movements can make me feel worse.

Isaiah 41:13 For I the LORD thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.

Wednesday will be a day to celebrate. Hopefully I won’t react to the 2nd dose of the vaccine. I get my shot and then I’m going to feel free to visit all my kids and grandkids. I haven’t even seen one of the precious little babies yet. I long to see him and my children. I am also excited about going into stores and just being out and about.

Friday is the big day for my husband. He will undergo a PET CT and the results will be going to the cancer center in a nearby research hospital. We don’t know what the final diagnosis will be. We’ve been told it looks metastatic, but we can’t be sure yet. So, in a very few days he’ll have to make a decision about where to go for care. There is so much dread about this.

Chronic illness brings so many emotions. We deal with fear, dread, sadness, depression, anxiety, hurt, and others. Awaiting test results can cause the world to seem to slow down. Dread can cause us to lose days. We feel frozen and numb while we’re waiting to know our fate. Although I’m not an overly positive person or brave, I’m trying to help my husband face his fear. Because I’ve been through so many of these dreading situations, I am trying to help him deal with his stages of grief.

I feel like I need to be brave for him and for me. I don’t feel brave about helping him deal with cancer and cancer treatments. But, bravery is what is needed. Fight is what is called for. We have to face the fear and plan to fight this illness. Aside from my faith, I wouldn’t be able to say that. Knowing that God is with me is what I need in order to be brave.

“Be brave. Remember that bravery is not the lack of fear but the ability to move forward in spite of fear.” Anonymous

As I’ve experienced many times, I know that there will be days when I can’t fight nor be brave. Some days are just meant for sadness. Those days are met with quietness because words don’t come, or they’re not words that anyone wants to hear. My desires are to just escape to visit my grandchildren. But, my brave side knows that I can do this. With God’s strength I can be brave.

@2021, copyright Lisa Ehrman

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