What’s your trigger? Is there something that just sets your pain off to the point that you just can’t stand it anymore? For me noise is a huge trigger! So tell me why I find myself on a sitting at an indoor play structure with screaming kids including my own! My body is being put to the test more than ever but my mind even more.
So why would I put myself through this knowing that this is one of my triggers? The answer is quite simply because my kids shouldn’t have to suffer because of a disability that affects me. Wherever possible I try to minimize the amount that they suffer because of my CRPS. Let’s face it, they do suffer in lots of ways but you can make a choice in how your going to let it affect them. They need to be kids and so why should they miss out on playing and having fun. If that means that I have to suffer with a few extra hours of pain then so be it!
When your caught up in a world of pain it can be really hard think of the other people around you. We often forget about how our kids have been affected in all of this, and how life has changed for them. Something as simple as teaching my daughters to ice skate is the perfect example! Every child looks towards their parents to teach them simple things like this, but because I can’t use my leg I’ll never get the opportunity to do something like this with them. Why should they miss out on something like that? It’s my disability yet they almost get punished because of it. Sure there are others that can teach them including my wife but that’s not the point. If they want their dad to teach them then I can’t. This is a huge piece of them growing up and I want that memory to be as positive as it can be under the circumstances.
Do you want your children’s memories to be ones that they can look back and laugh and have great thoughts about? I sure want that for my kids! It can be hard though because with our illness it isn’t as easy as shutting of the pain. What I can do however is limit the amount of time I give to whatever were doing with the kids to minimize the amount of pain. So if I’m in a noisy place like today I listen to my body and push the pain to the edge but not too far over. What do I mean by this? It might seem difficult to understand but what I do is put up with my increase in pain until I get to that place where I know I’m at my end, knowing however that I’ll still going to be able to recover if I relax and try and quite my nervous system. It take practice to train your body to push itself to it’s limit like this but what starts to happen is that you start training your brain as well to understand that you can recover. Training your brain to understand that your body is safe and that the nervous system “can” in fact calm down even with all the triggers is important because it allows you to do so much more.
Your kids deserve and need to have as normal a childhood as possible. I still have a long way to go with this because my triggers still get the best of me sometimes. With God’s guidance I know I’ll continue to improve in this area. So if you have children take a moment to think about how your disability has affected them!