October is here! This is the most beautiful month of the year, with all the colors of fall breaking out to please the eye. I’ve seen a few maples turning as I made my way east this week. Hubby and I traveled to the east coast to visit with my son and his family. I’m thrilled to be here and spend time talking and holding my darling grandchild.
This visit has been extraordinarily painful. My back is hurting from top to bottom and even Advil isn’t touching the pain levels. I’m extremely tired and weak and sleepy. After trying to work ahead on all my book reviews, I didn’t get much sleep before arriving. Now, I’m barely functioning. I hate chronic illness, because it is keeping me from fully relating to my family. It’s a horrible feeling when you are too tired to hold your grandchild.
I hope to feel better the next few days, so that I can really enjoy the visit. Living in chronic pain from Ehlers Danlos, arthritis, and Sjogren’s Syndrome is so pathetic. But, I don’t really have any choice in the matter.
This month the word prompts from A Chronic Voice are falling, transitioning, choosing, imagining, and beautifying.
October reminds me that the leaves will be falling throughout the month. I’ve seen a few leaves falling, but the bright colors have yet to appear. Falling leaves is my favorite thing ever! I love watching leaves flutter to the ground even more than watching snowflakes. Growing up in the deep south, there wasn’t much of either. I was surrounded by pine trees and oak trees, neither of which produced lovely colors.
Snow was rarely seen and didn’t last long. So, living in the midwest has helped me to enjoy both types of falling beauty. Soon there will be beautiful falling leaves and I can’t wait to see them. This type of scenery fills me with joy and peace.
My health has been transitioning since Covid started taking over the world. I have put too much of my healthcare on the back burner and just treated whatever was screaming the most loudly. So many of my health problems have treatments that benefit my health. They won’t cure anything or even guarantee results.
Thing that could be helping me include: massage, exercises, physical therapy, and creative pursuits. Because of covid I just haven’t ventured out to do any of these things. I know that I’ve transitioned to a place that is like being in a rut. I’m depending solely on my pills to keep me going. That certainly helps to a point, but I think that adding in many other treatments or experiences could help with pain and energy. I keep hoping to transition out of the rut and back into living outside of my home.
Living with chronic illness means that I may not be choosing many of the things that I experience every day. I think most of us living the chronic life would never choose to live this way. No one wants to be sick, but it happens. No one wants to choose constant pain, brain fog, the energy level of a sloth, etc.
I might not ever choose to be living with multiple chronic illnesses, but because I am living this life, I can certainly see the benefits. Yes, I see benefits to being chronically sick. After finally accepting my new life, I began to see my life in a very different light. I became truly grateful for the smallest little things. When any part of my body worked, I thanked God for it. The beauty of nature took on a level of awesomeness that I had never seen. My perspective of the world and the people in it was totally changed. Feeling the pain of others became a tremendously strong emotion. These are some of the things that I am happy to have learned because of my chronic illnesses.
As I wrote about above, I never would have imagined that my life would turn out like this. But, there are many plus-side things that I can point to. Pain creates an imagination that is different from the mind of a person without chronic pain. I usually spend some time each day imagining my life without pain. I can’t seem to stop it from happening.
I imagine my life with a better place to live. I imagine my life with a stronger and more energetic body. I think that my default brain activity is imagining a better life. I don’t want to do this, because I want to be present in the moment. I would rather deal with the reality I’m actually living in than to daydream about a better existence. Over time we adjust to our pain and tone some of it out.
I love beautifying my home with flowers or seasonal decor. I love to use my china and make a meal feel special with the fancy placemats. Lighting candles is another way I love to bring beauty into my home. Whether my home is messy, because I’m too weak to clean, I can still focus my eyes on one pretty object in the room. Clearing off the workspace or coffee table, and adding a grouping of flowers or candles is one of my favorite methods of beautifying my surroundings.
The stillness and lovely scent fills me with happiness and makes the space feel more calm. Everyone that comes in the room will also benefit from the beauty. It doesn’t have to cost a fortune or take a lot of work. Even setting three white pillar candles on a platter can beautify the space, especially when I light them. If you can cut some flowers or greenery from your property, that’s a free way to bring in some natural beauty.
I love the prompt words this month. It’s probably because I can relate them to the natural splendor of October. I hope that you all have a good month. Although my body hates my traveling this week and is swollen and in extra pain, I can still enjoy the blessings of family that I’m visiting with. I can still feel the emotions of the gorgeous season of the year and hope that you can, too.
@2021, copyright Lisa Ehrman
Disclaimer: I’m not a medical expert. This post contains my experiences and opinions, and is not meant to be taken as medical advice. If you have a medical concern, please consult your personal physician.