Not your IDentity

Your Identity is More Than Your Chronic Pain

These Light & Momentary Trials are Not Your Identity

I know! It’s strange to write these words [light and momentary] when talking about chronic pain. I have been in an R.A. flair most of the last year and have arrived at the place where I wonder just how much more I can take. Not that I want to end it all, but when I look at my young life and then look forward to my future, it’s hard to see a light at the end of the tunnel. And I wonder,

“Is this all I have to look forward to?” #lightandmomentarytrouble #interviewwithachronicpainwarrior #chronicpainawareness Click To Tweet

“Light and momentary” comes from the scriptures where the Apostle Paul shares that when we arrive in heaven this will all seem small and insignificant. (2 Corinthians 4:17) He shares that one of the purposes of our trials is that when we get through them we can encourage and comfort others who are experiencing the same type of pain.

Interviews with Chronic Pain Warriors

So this year, I’d like to offer a series of interviews with chronic pain warriors. I would like us to all share and encourage one another so that we can “all patiently endure as we suffer.” (2 Corinthians 1:6)

 And then though “we were crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure, and we thought we would never live through it.” Even when we expect that we will die, we will stop relying on ourselves and learn to rely only on God, who raises the dead. (2 Corinthians 1:8,9)

And now Interview #2 with Stacey Shannon. Stacey struggles with “light and momentary pain” due to fibromyalgia and other UTI issues. Shannon shared on our Legacy Link-up about our father last summer. Greatest Legacy. She is a freelance writer and has her own blog Families with Grace. Find our interview below.

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notes of comfort

Light and Momentary Pain? I’m Not So Sure

Interviews with Chronic Pain Warriors

I know! It’s strange to write these words [light and momentary] when talking about chronic pain. I have been in an R.A. flair most of the last year and have arrived at the place where I wonder just how much more I can take. Not that I want to end it all, but when I look at my young life and then look forward to my future, it’s hard to see a light at the end of the tunnel.

And I wonder, “Is this all I have to look forward to?” #lightandmomentarytrouble #interviewwithachronicpainwarrior Click To Tweet

“Light and momentary” comes from the scriptures where the Apostle Paul shares that when we arrive in heaven this will all seem small and insignificant. (2 Corinthians 4:17) He shares that one of the purposes of our trials is that when we get through them we can encourage and comfort others who are experiencing the same type of pain.

So this year, I’d like to offer a series of interviews with chronic pain warriors. I would like us to all share and encourage one another so that we can “all patiently endure as we suffer.” (2 Corinthians 1:6)

 And then though “we were crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure, and we thought we would never live through it.” Even when we expect that we will die, we will stop relying on ourselves and learn to rely only on God, who raises the dead. (2 Corinthians 1:8,9)

Here is the first interview with my dear friend, Bettie Gilbert. Bettie struggles with “light and momentary pain” due to RA, fibromyalgia, and a host of other diagnoses. Keep reading to learn about her struggles and her faith.

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curleque by Coffee at pixabay
interviews with chronic pain warriors; notes of comfort
image created at Canva.com with free images

Bettie, Thank you for sharing your story. You are always such an encouragement to me so I know this is going to encourage many others.

Share the short story of your chronic pain journey. Share some about the journey to this diagnosis.


In the late summer of 2014, I noticed that my fingers and thumb had some strange swelling and aching, but did not think anything about it until later that fall. I had been helping my neighbor in her garden and I woke up with my right hand locked up in a fiery pain that was unlike anything I had ever experienced. This happened three more times before my yearly physical in December of that year. My G.P. sent through the blood work for Rheumatoid testing, and sure enough, 3 of the 4 markers came back positive for Rheumatoid Arthritis. They rushed me to the Rheumatologist the very next week, and I began this journey of chronic pain.
A year later I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and Osteoporosis. Then 3 years later I was also diagnosed with Sjogren’s Syndrome and Occipital Neuralgia.

Throughout this time, how was your faith walk impacted? Did you lose faith? Get stronger?

I ran to God with my questions and my doubts. I didn’t have anywhere else to turn, because the doctors gave me very little information about what was happening with my body. But I am actually thankful for that because the Lord has become even more intimate and close to me than He was before my diagnosis.

Was there a specific event that became a turning point in your faith during this journey?


Early in my diagnosis, I found myself apologizing to everyone that I had gotten sick. It became such a constant response in me that one day I realized I had begun speaking that to the Lord also: “Jesus, I am so sorry I got sick. I am sorry I need Your help again. Forgive me for being so weak.” About a year into my diagnosis, I began to hear Him calling me, “Come to me, come inside (The Kingdom of God is within you.) I am already here, and I am not offended by your pain.” That whisper from the Lord began such a process of surrender and fellowship with the Lord that is continuing to grow to this day.

What scripture has become a comfort for you in this journey?

notes of comfort; chronic pain warriors
image created at Canva.com free images


But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 2 Cor. 12:9

How do you find comfort during these ‘ light and momentary’ painful days?


Listening to Christian music with a heating pad wrapped around my wrist and arm has become a calming time for me. Reading books is so helpful, and I am blessed to check out the resources of hope offered at the Chronic Joy Ministry Website too.
Sometimes I watch silly YouTube videos when my mind is so foggy that I can’t keep track of anything. And on other days, when my pain level allows, writing and journaling help me to process what is happening inside of me. I try to begin every day by moving very slowly and taking the time to read the Scriptures. Even if I can only read one verse, just to know that His Word is still my solid ground brings me such help.

What are some things that your family and friends do that bring comfort in your pain?


Calling to check on me, and offering to pray with and for me is a huge blessing for me. Receiving and sending note cards in the mail has brought amazing blessings from God to me. When someone brings me a pot of soup, it feels like a gigantic gift! And my husband fills in so many things for me that I cannot do any longer. I am so grateful for each gift offered to me.

Are you participating in any ministries that encourage other chronic pain warriors?

Over the last year, I have joined the team at Chronic Joy Ministry as their Volunteer Prayer Coordinator. I am so blessed to be able to pray for requests as they are shared at the Prayer Pond and send out #PenToPaper notes and emails in response to those prayer requests. Writing posts on Scriptures and Prayer is a blessing to me as well.

Offer some words of encouragement to those who may be searching for comfort in their own chronic pain journey.


Our Lord has told us that He would never leave us or forsake us. So I would encourage you to put that Scripture to the test. Cry out to Him, ask Him for His mercy on your darkest day. And when you pause to listen, He will meet you right there to bring encouragement. Keep your eyes open to watch for moments of His beauty. What seemed small in the past, during your busy days, will shine so much brighter now, bringing God’s grace to you.

Bettie, thank you so much for this encouragement. It will help many of us as we face these ‘ light and momentary ‘ struggles. You are a wonderful reminder that one day, we are promised ‘no more pain’ (Revelation 21:4)

Readers, I encourage you to join Bettie at Chronic Joy. Click here for her latest Prayer Prompt. You can also respond to Bettie here on the blog by commenting below.

Mandy Farmer

Are you a Chronic Pain Warrior?

Would you be willing to share your faith story and encourage others? Contact Mandy for more details about an interview for this blog. See Guidelines Here

#painawarenessmonth #PainAwareness #fibroPainAwareness

Fibro Blogger Directory

Diagnosed RA & Fibro ~ Don’t Give Up!

Advice from a Chronic Pain Warrior

When we receive severe diagnoses, it can shake us to the depths of our souls. And many times, we don’t hear anything the doctor says after that. The last thing you need to do is sit down and give up. Let’s review a few things our doctors may or may not have expressed to you at that initial appointment. These are some things I neglected to do and have learned the hard way about it.

Advise from a pain warrior Don't Give Up.
all images created for free in Canva.com
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push past pain to produce passion

How to Push Past Pain to Produce Passion

Fibro Pain vs. Passion

#pushpastpain #passion #fibro

As if the pain of fibromyalgia isn’t enough, the effect of said pain can wreak havoc on our personal lives. You see, it’s not just pain like a headache or even a broken bone. This pain is constant with no hope of ending. And to make matters worse the pain does not walk alone. It has “friends” that tag along as well. Fatigue, brain fog, muscle pain and soreness, weight gain, and depression are just a few of the “friends” of fibromyalgia pain.

But today I want to go where few dare to go and that is, the lack of libido leading to a strained relationship with your spouse. This is not just a problem for you the fibro warrior but probably, even more, an issue for your spouse.

Now before you stop reading because you don’t have fibromyalgia,

I would encourage you to KEEP READING

because what I am about to tell you

APPLIES TO EVERYONE – pain or no pain.

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lymphatic Draining

Lymphatic Drainage – Natural Pain Management

What is the Lymphatic System?

You may be wondering, “what is the lymphatic system”? I know that, for me, I have seldom thought much about it. I’ve heard of others having cancer moving into the lymph nodes and that was pretty much a death sentence. It has much to do with our immune system so it’s important that we make sure we are giving it some attention.

brush images by SPA Västkusten from Pixabay

But what is it?

It’s like an additional circulatory system that moves vital hormones and such throughout the body. The lymphatic system consists of all the lymphatic vessels and lymph organs. For example, the lymph nodes, spleen, thymus, as well as, lymphatic tissue found in the small intestine and throat (adenoids, tonsils). It works together with the blood-producing system in the bone marrow, thereby playing a vital role in immune responses to protect the body from various pathogens. It also helps transport nutrients and waste products in the body.

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foot care feature

Foot Care – How to Have Healthy, Happy Feet

We don’t often think about foot care until the pain is excruciating. I recently have acquired an issue with my feet. I suspected that RA was affecting my healthy, happy feet. So did my rheumatologist. There’s a thing called Rheumatoid Nodules. RA can cause painful nodules to develop on various parts of the body, including the feet. I visited my orthopedic specialist. He suspects a neuroma of the foot. “A neuroma is a painful condition, also referred to as a “pinched nerve” or a nerve tumor. It is a benign growth of nerve tissue frequently found between the third and fourth toes. It brings on pain, a burning sensation, tingling, or numbness between the toes and in the ball of the foot.” My orthopedic specialist focuses on knees and shoulders; so he has referred me to a foot specialist. So… we wait. {story of my life}

In the meantime, I started looking for ways to relieve the pain. My knees have been pretty painful as well so one evening I decided to take an Epson salt bath. It always relieves some of my Ra and Fibro pain. I was pleasantly surprised the next day that my foot pain was relieved as well… at least for the day. Then I purchased some Metatarsal gel footpads. These were very comfortable. Once I started walking, I never really felt them in my shoe. However, at the end of the day. I had a painful sore at the edge of the pad and between my toes where the hook had been. I only wore them one evening and the next day.

Foot Care Handbook

It turned out that NetGalley, the source I use for reviewing new books, had a new book by a reflexologist, Stephanie Tourles. It is a Foot Care Handbook. I downloaded the book to see if it might have some good advice for me. It’s a neat little handbook with five chapters.

Chapter 1 Greet Your Feet: Foot Care Basics

What would your feet tell you if they could speak to you? Probably something like, “You’re killing me! Quit wearing those ridiculous shoes!” There are basic things we should be doing for the health of your feet and, consequently, the rest of your body. Stephanie shares these basics with you and how to do them.

Did you know that you should be able to move each toe individually? It was news to me. I can only move my big toe separate from the others. I’m going to try to work on changing that!

Chapter 2: Foot Care Fitness: Stretching and Strengthening

Foot Fitness? Sure! Stephanie offers several great stretches and exercises for your feet. Foot care will relieve your pain in just a short time, I can tell you they are simple and profitable exercises.

Chapter 3: Foot Massage to Relax and Revive

The benefits of foot massage include reducing stress and anxiety, soothing the nervous system, and boosting circulation while minimizing any swelling. There’s more but I know this… It is helping my foot issues without having to get injections or surgery. A very good benefit.

She offers a recipe or two for homemade massage creams with essential oils! I didn’t have all the ingredients so I made do with what I had for the time being. Mary Kay’s Mint Energizing For Feet and Legs. Feels so good and relaxing, too.

Chapter 4: An Introduction to Foot Reflexology

I’ve always found it interesting that there are pressure points in your foot that create paths to all other parts of your body. Stephanie gives a great introduction to reflexology in this chapter. You might find you can relieve a lot of your pain and other issues if to study this chapter.

Chapter 5 Common Foot Problems, Uncommon Remedies

Here Stephanie talks about most of the common foot problems and offers suggestions on how to deal with them. An investment of $10-15 could save you lots of dollars for surgery and doctor visits.

Mandy

UPDATE: Finally, two weeks later, I saw the foot specialist. The massage and exercises must have helped because he said my movement was good. No stiffness in the ankle. He decided I wouldn’t even need an injection between my toes. (PTL!) He gave me a Hapad shoe insert to try and sent me on my way… well until six weeks is up.

PS. Wide size shoes have been a great help for me

I live in Skechers! Here are the ones I love! the STATEMENTS are very flexible. You can actually fold them! The GetAways have awesome memory foam support at the ball of your feet.



Foot Care Handbook

This book is set to publish in December 2021, but you can order in advance now.

Awesome Scriptures that can Trigger “feel-good” Hormones

I’ve heard that we can re-train our minds and deter some of our pain. This year, I would like to instill some “feel-good” scriptures in your minds to help fight against the drudgery of our invisible pain. I have asked fellow pain warriors to write a quick note of encouragement using scripture that helps them get through the pain. Here is the first one by my dear friend, Bettie Gilbert who has shared here on the blog before.

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curleque by Coffee at pixabay

Dear Family and Friends,

Thank you for being so concerned for my health, and for asking how I am getting along.

Recently I was reminded of a Scripture Verse that confirmed what both my Physical Therapist and my Counselor had shared with me:

“Remember [carefully] the former things [which I did] from ages past; For I am God, and there is no one else; I am God, and there is no one like Me.”

Isaiah 46:9 Amp

Did you know that the same areas of your brain that were triggered during a pleasant experience years ago, will be triggered again just by remembering it?

My counselor offered a beneficial practice for me then, on days when I am feeling low or depressed. She said that if I would look back and try to remember better days, and to even try to think about the specific details of a good experience, then those same areas in my brain would be triggered with “feel-good” chemicals now.

My physical therapist went a step further and said that studies have found a real benefit in pain therapy when a patient can remember a time of exertion, such as walking or working out, and slowly pace out the memory as if they are “walking” again in their mind. The right-left sensations trigger those same areas in your brain to produce those “feel-good” chemicals, and even can stimulate pain relief in some patients.

Walk the Halls of Memory

So, on days when you see me feeling particularly low about the days gone by and all that I cannot accomplish now, maybe we could join in a session of “therapy” and walk the halls of our memories together. Who knows, maybe your own “feel-good” chemicals might be given a boost as you share those pleasant memories also.

Isn’t the working of our human body and brain incredible?

Truly we are “fearfully and wonderfully made” as the Psalmist tells us:

“I will give thanks and praise to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, and my soul knows it very well.”

Psalm 139:14
psalm 139
images created in canva.com by Mandy

I am praying for you my dear loved one, as you have reached out to me. May you feel so blessed by God as He pours His compassion through you.

Your loved one in Christ,

BettieG

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curleque by Coffee at pixabay

Thank you Bettie for reminding us of these feel-good scriptures. We can always depend on you to come through with great encouragements.

IT’S YOUR TURN!

Share an encouraging post on your feel-good scripture. It can be about getting through whatever you deal with… not just pain like Bettie and I..

legacy link-ups

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Pill Drill

Pill Drill: Never Forget Your Medicine Again

It’s been a while since I shared about The Pill Drill, while I don’t use this product. It seems to be a great tool for managing medications. I looked up some reviews by users and everyone seems to love it. The price hasn’t changed either. Originally posted March 3, 2017

  “This is a sponsored post.

I have been compensated by the Chronic Illness Bloggers network.

All opinions remain my own and I was in no way influenced by the company.”


“Did you forget to take your medicine?”

“Honey, did I take my medicine?”

“How long has it been since I took some ….?”

Have you heard or said any of these questions in your home?

Are you struggling as a caregiver, trying to keep your parents in a regulated regimen of medication?

These questions are asked (it seems) daily around our place. Between my husband and I, we are always trying to figure out who has taken what when.

Finally, a gadget to help!

The Pill Drill System

Things that impress me about this product

  • Reminders with customizable tones and flashing lights
  • Easy scanning of each medication turns off the reminder.
  • I can notify a caregiver that medication has been given.
  • The mood cube is a nice touch.
  • Reporting will show trends relating to medication and how you feel.
  • It will help you to not forget to take your medicine.

This really may be the answer to taking medications and on time! Also, I’m thinking it will relieve some of the caregiver’s headaches! You will still have the setup time but the reminding should really be helpful.

Here are a few questions I had initially and researched.

How does it work?

Remind

Pill Drill Hub medicine

The hub will play customizable tones and flash when your medication is due. The hub has a large screen for readability and buttons to search the day’s history.

Track

medicine

Scanning tags are provided to place on each container. You may use to containers provided or place the tags on your prescription bottle. When you take your medication, scan the bottle and the hub will record that you have taken your medication.

Track Well-Being

Ppill Drill Mood medicine

The mood cube can be scanned to record how you are feeling.

 

 

Notify

Pill Drill Notify medicine

The hub will then notify your loved ones or caregiver that you have taken your medication. This can be done through e-mail or text.

Questions I Researched About Pill Drill:

  1. What does the Pill Drill Cost? What do I get?
PIll Drill Kit medicine

The cost is $279 plus shipping. Each PillDrill kit includes the PillDrill Hub, 12 Scanning Tags, 2 Weekly Pill Strips, and the Mood Cube.

This is always the first question I ask when I see a new product. I’m always thinking, “With all the money I spend on medications, how can I spend more?” But that may be the point. When you are spending all that money on prescriptions, it is all the more important that it is taken as prescribed, especially with some drugs that must be taken on a strict schedule.

And here’s a great advantage. NO MONTHLY SUBSCRIPTION. It seems a lot of things get you hooked by the nice price, but then you find out there is a subscription fee. I know that I can’t afford another monthly fee going out of my small income.

2. What else do I need to use The Pill Drill?

You will need an electrical outlet and access to Wi-Fi. 

To set up your schedule, you will need to use a cell phone app or go online with your computer.

3. What platform does the app use?

The PillDrill app supports both Android and iOS.

4. How does the Pill Drill differ from the app I am using now?

I think the Pill Drill would keep me on track a little better. The scanning device right on the pill bottle/container will help with recording. We seem to forget to record between taking the pill and getting to the phone to record it. Possibly with the pill being right with the device will help this not to be a problem.

However, my present phone app will track everyone in the family. Also, my phone app handles everything to do with my health: doctor’s appointments, notes, vital signs, weight, ever connects with a food diary if I so wish. I can download any or all of this information to take or send to my doctors and caregivers. And it only costs a couple of dollars.

Also, my phone app handles everything to do with my health: doctor’s appointments, notes, vital signs, weight, even connects with a food diary if I so wish. I can download any or all of this information to take or send to my doctors and caregivers. And it only costs a couple of dollars.

*At the time of this writing, I was using the Med Helper Pro. It quit notifying me, so I am now using Medisafe.

5. Can more than one patient use this?

I believe two people could use the same device if you don’t have too many drugs between the two of you. But it may be confusing to do so.

I understand they are working to release a product to use in tandem.

Final Analysis

If you are a caregiver, trying to keep someone on track, this would definitely look into this system. I think it will ease a lot of your headaches.

If you have fibro fog or some type of brain fog, this will be helpful. As I said before the scanner is a great concept that I think would help.

You can find out more or order your Pill Drill today at www.pilldrill.com

Don’t Forget Your Medicine,  🙂

Mandy

You might be interested in these posts, as well.

Medications and Tips for Chronic Pain Management

Laughter Really is the Best Medicine

Reconsider Your Use of Prednisone

Review: Holy Hustle Planner

The year of COVID-19 has me way behind in 2021. We didn’t celebrate Christmas until mid-January so it’s no wonder that I am just now getting my schedule and plans in order. Is this true for you?

Show me your way, O Lord.

Teach me your paths. 

Lead me in your truth and teach me. 

You are the God of my salvation. 

On You, I wait all day.”

Psalm 25:4-5,

Finding God’s Plan

Finding God’s path has been challenging to say the least. I am baffled how someone with Chronic Illness can struggle even more with being “shut-in”. How is it that my days seem full when I don’t really have that much to do?

Well, being Type-A, I am always wanting to get more done than is physically possible. Those BIG planners only make me have lofty ideas. This planner keeps me from pushing myself too much. I just list my to do’s for the week. (only one per day, max) I’m not nearly as frustrated about what I manage to complete.

images provide by Crystal Stine

PLANNERS GALORE

I have found a lot of beautiful planners. But seriously, they are bulky and way too complicated for the chronic gal. I need simple but pretty. I don’t need stickers or all the minute details; just a place to record doctor’s appointments and a checklist for the things I need to do this week.

Even after 10 years of chronic pain,

I still struggle with overdoing it.

THIS PLANNER WORKS FOR ME

Crystal Stine has come up with the perfect planner for me. It’s pretty with its faux leather cover. It’s lightweight, like a paperback. And simplistic. It offers monthly calendars at the beginning, Then 52 weekly calendars with encouraging quotes to cheer you along the way. And the nice thing is it’s NOT already dated. Start using it anytime and even go into a new year.

Perfect for teachers or homeschoolers or anyone who has a different fiscal year. In the back you will find a year layout where you can put things for the new year or maybe things like birthdays!

I love this #holyhustleplanner! Click To Tweet

And, Oh! By the Way…

Crystal has a whole book about how the handle this Holy Hustle. AND a Bible Study, too! Wow! we can really get on track ’cause she is providing all the guidance we need.

So Go For It!

Purchase yours now!

Mandy