Who’s Helping You?

It feels good today to sit down in front of this keyboard and write! Too often brain fog makes it really hard to put together a post as many of you know! With two young kids I also have to reserve some of the energy that I have for them. Lately however I’ve felt as if I really need to put some focus back on writing because I have a lot to say! So much has changed in the last few months and I really believe that we are on the verge of seeing some big changes happen in regards to CRPS!

Some exciting news on the front right here at home is that CRPS Awareness Day has been approved here in Saskatchewan and we are in the middle of working out details for the event that will take place here in Regina, SK on Nov.2, 2016! This is big news because for the first time those of us suffering from CRPS will be heard by dignitaries from within the government and medical communities. So keep coming back as I will be posting about things as we confirm plans! The goal in all this is to raise awareness and make people understand that we need resources and research to help those of us in need.

It isn’t often that I can say I feel good because most days are a struggle to get through. Ten years has had its toll on my body but like a Timex watch I keep ticking! Today I have to say that I feel alright and like I can take on most of the challenges put in front of me. For that I thank God! Without his guidance through all of this I wouldn’t have the strength or energy to keep going. When I started planning out today’s post I just kept hearing that it needed to be one that struck a cord with people! So this is the point at which you can either stop reading or carry on reading.

It isn’t often that I preach but today that’s exactly what I’m going to do. In ten years of dealing with CRPS numerous times I have needed Gods help and not often enough do I talk about how important He is in all of this. I get asked almost daily “how do you do it” or “what gets you through every day”. God gets me through every day! Whatever my concern I always rely on God because I don’t have any doubt in my mind that He will provide in whatever way I need Him to.

I don’t need to get into all the specifics that I’ve had to go through as I’ve walked through this journey. What I will say is this! Several times that I have faced adversity I have felt overwhelmed and alone. Sure I have family and friends supporting me but what I mean is that I felt alone in taking on this beast called CRPS. Family and friends can only offer so much support. My mind was being bombarded with questions that I quite simply didn’t have the answers to nor did anyone else! When I started asking God to help me with all the fear and questions, things started to change inside of me. Bottom line is that I got answers because I trusted Him for those answers. You just have to trust and believe that He will be there.

Psalm 46:1  “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble”

The single most important person in my life before anyone else is God. I stand by that and always will. Am I going to tell you that you need God in your life? Yes but I can’t be the person who makes that decision for you. I can share with you the things that He’s done in my life, that have changed and shaped me into who I am today. I might still be sick with my CRPS and look physically broken on the outside. However on the inside there is this strength and determination that has replaced the fear and uncertainty that used to exist. That is what God can do for you if you have Him in your life! Without question this was a fix from God.

I don’t know why I still have CRPS and why God hasn’t healed my body of it! I know that’s one of the questions going through your head as you read this. I do know however that there is a powerful testimony in all that my family and I have had to go through over the last ten years. God is the one who decides when things happen and what gets done.

Psalm 27:13 “Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord”

I don’t have all the answers because if I did then I’d be God wouldn’t I! Why I have to go through so much I have no idea but I know that God is using it in a really powerful way! Without God in all this my life spins out of control! He gives me the strength to move on and do amazing things within my life.

Psalm 62:2 ” Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken

Like I said to you before I can’t make the decisions for you, at the same time I’m not going to shy away from telling you about the importance of what He can do if you have Him in your life. This is a conversation between you and God so I’d urge you to look at where your at! Are you battling a chronic illness or CRPS and have nobody to turn to? If you are then God is listening all you need to do is take the next step!

 

 

 

 

Stronger! Happier! Wiser!

Hi again! Christmas is right around the corner and it’s coming quickly! It’s the time of year that is so difficult for so many of us! Why? It’s taxing on our nervous systems and we have a hard time keeping the stress levels down or the triggers that set off our pain. So let me just say this! If you have a friend or a family member that deals with CRPS or chronic illness, keep in mind that this might not be an easy time of the year for them. I feel as though this has become a message that I try to speak to every year because it’s important! We are trying and want to enjoy this time of the year but it just isn’t easy for us.  So I guess I’m saying be patient and supportive of those around you.

The last week has been full of lots of ups and downs on the pain front, and I’m doing what I can not to fall apart. Like every other day however I battle through and get stronger with every passing day. My illness might be holding me back in a physical sense but I know that from the inside out I’m only getting stronger, smarter, and wiser. I have been affected by CRPS for ten years now and in so many ways its forced me to become stronger. Why? If I’m not stronger in how I battle through each day then slowly the illness breaks you down and over time it could lead to depression or worse yet suicide. So every day I wake up and the first then I do is ask God to give me the strength because I don’t know where else I would get it from. Not only the physical strength to get through every day but the mental strength as well.

As I’ve walked this journey I’ve also become a lot happier because I’ve been able to learn from all the struggles that I’ve had to go through. Lets face it over the time that I’ve had to live with CRPS there have been more than a few ups and downs. There were days where the journey seemed all too much, and trials that have felt nearly impossible to live through making it hard to be happy at times. There were certain times I took on a defeatist attitude and chose to go to a negative place, believing that happiness wasn’t going to be possible. When I really think about it, those beliefs were coming from a place of fear. One in which I probably chose to shut God out sometimes because it was easier to give up and feel sorry for myself, than to trust that He could bring a renewed strength, happiness, and wisdom when I needed it. If I wanted to change this and stop it from happening, then I needed to have an even stronger “all in” attitude and trust that He would provide! Its taken time and a continued effort but slowly I’ve started to see things change. There is a peace I didn’t have before and I’m happier than I’ve been in a long time.

I’ve been fighting this war against CRPS far to long not to know that there might be other trials I come up against down the road. The difference is that I am prepared to face them if need be! My confidence is stronger and I have become so much wiser to Gods promises in my life. Its taken a lot of hard work to get to where I’m at today. Putting in the effort to learn about my CRPS and how to manage to live a “happy life” with my disability hasn’t been exactly easy. Sometimes it’s taken falling down and getting back up to learn how to cope and manage but I’m all the wiser for it. There have been so many hard and sometimes painful lessons that I’ve had to go through. All of them in their own little way however have helped me to open my eyes and see things in a different light.

Living a chronic life hasn’t been easy but its changed me for the better! I say this because in a lot of ways I appreciate life way more now more than I ever did before!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pet Pal #HAWMC

Today’s topic was suppose to be about writing a thank-you letter to that furry little friend that has always been there through your health condition! Seeing as I don’t have any furry little friends or pets of any kind I have to go to plan B!

I have to thank all the friends and family that have been there through all my health issues. There isn’t a day that goes by where they don’t have to put up with all the distractions that this illness causes! I thank you all for your patience, your kind words, and all the love that you show me. Living life with someone who has a chronic illness isn’t easy and often the friends and family fall behind the scenes when they are hurting just as much as we are. Thank-you for being so understanding and to support me when really I should really be supporting you those of you that have to put up with me!

When I look back at the hard times and the trials that you’ve been there to support me through it leaves me with no words! Without the words that so many of you speak into my life I’d be left lost and full of confusion so once again thank-you. When I find that things are getting to be too much to handle in all that a life of chronic pain throws at you I draw strength from those of you who are around me.

On those days that I find it hard to put a smile on my face you make it possible and for that I am ever so greatful. To my immediate family we are in this together and taking every step of this together, so thank-you for being the rock that I need when times get tough. We will get through this!

 

 

Keep Going & Never Give Up!

I know! Its been a while! This blog has taken the backseat for the last little while. Its had to because things have been rather tough for me lately. Every day is a task to get through at the moment, and so I need to be careful and make sure I’m not taking on to much. My pain levels have been all over the place, and we’re trying to figure out why the surgery site in my back isn’t improving. The surgery site in my back has been getting more painful along with a constant headache that nothing seems to take away. My week was spent having a few tests done to try and determine what might be wrong. With any luck I will be able to avoid surgery!!! I’ve been spending a lot of time flat on my back and forget trying to lift anything remotely heavy because that just isn’t happening. Even bending over to tie my shoes is painful.

Going into this implant replacement I knew that I had to go all in if I wanted to see an improvement in my pain control. So no matter how long the healing time or what I have to face I’m in it for the long haul. That means enduring whatever twists and turns come along the road, and so far there have been a few of those! There might be a few more before all is said and done so I remain as positive and focused on the big picture which is pain relief. A few years ago I committed to this process of the implants no matter what the outcome was or what I had to endure. I’m hopeful that over time things will get better, there are times however where my will is challenged. At times its scary or even frustrating but I don’t regret making the choice I did even though its been pain stakingly hard at times.

To say that the battle through this illness has been tough is an understatement. I don’t know why but today I started thinking about the amount of time that I’ve been living with chronic pain. Or maybe because the pain has been really bad as of late and I just need it to leave. So I thought just out of interest I’d see just how long its been! When I sat down and did the math nine years at 365 days, 24hrs a day translated into 78,840 hrs that I’ve lived with constant pain. No wonder some days seem so long and make you feel so tired and want to give up! If you live with chronic pain or CRPS then you can totally relate to what I’m saying.

There are days when your living with an illness like CRPS when you have to muster all your strength just to get out of bed. This morning was one of those mornings but for some reason I knew I had to do it. Its a good thing I did because in church this morning our pastor used this quote in his message and I can’t tell you how much I could relate to itLook.

 

” If your going through hell keep going”

Winston Churchill

 

Funny how God works but there was a very direct message in this quote and there’s no need to explain it! Such simple words but such a powerful message. The message at today’s service was one I needed to hear because at times when I feel discouraged or frustrated about how much I’ve had to endure with this illness I need to remember just what God says about facing the trials I do in my life.

James 1 2-4 says this:

Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing”

When you break down this peace of scripture what he means by this is that when your faith is tested and you endure and persevere it causes you to grow or flourish in the midst of that adverse circumstance. If I make the right decisions through the trials that I face, then things can actually work for me instead of against me and eventually I’ll be able to come out on top.

I guess this peace of scripture really speaks to me because I’m seeing this play out in my own life. I’ve faced many trials as I’ve been walking along on this journey. Each trial I face tests my faith more and more. As it gets tested my endurance gets that much stronger and I’m seeing myself grow in ways that I never thought I’d see. As hard as some days may be I know that God is there every step of the way and its so encouraging when He’s there to pick me up like He did today when I need it the most.

 

 

Change Within Part One!

For several months now my health has been touch and go and I didn’t know if I’d have to get a refund on our trip to Cancun or not. I can’t tell you how many times it went through my head that this trip just wasn’t going to happen, even though I just wouldn’t admit it to myself.  Looking forward to something fun for a change that doesn’t have anything to do with my health was a welcome change. Well I’m happy to say that in less than twenty four hours we get on that plane for a fun filled holiday full of relaxing on a beach doing absolutely nothing. Normally when we travel we like exploring the region and taking in all that destination has to offer. That won’t be happening on this trip. This time I’m perfectly happy to go and park myself on a beach and not move! Let’s just say my body won’t let me right now!

Now that we are going its time to get last minute details taken care of, and lets just say that there are a lot to take care of. Then there’s this here blog that would normally write a post from wherever I was going so that you can enjoy the same scenery as I am except for one small detail! That YOUR really not there! Not that I want to rub it in because I don’t. The only people I want to do that to are the friends and family that are back home in -30C weather spending day after day shoveling!! I regret to inform you that I won’t be able to do that this time because I won’t be on the internet. With what your paying for in an all-inclusive trip you’d expect that WiFi would be included, where they can make money however they will! So I won’t be bringing you any pictures until I get back. I’m hoping to get around to writing a couple more posts that will publish while I’m away but I’m not sure if I’m that organised this time!

From a pain standpoint things are up and down as always, with some just needing to find that alone time to calm down the nervous system. Those days are very few and far between when you have a nervous system that’s always on edge and doesn’t seem to ever calm down! Its the life that I have to live with and have had to learn to accept along with everything it brings with it. Nobody said this was going to be an easy road, and believe me what I’ve had to endure over the last few years has been anything but a walk in the park. In some ways I feel like over the past year its been one big character building exercise that I’ve been put through. As a result I feel like God has been building me into someone stronger more resiliant, ready to take on anything and everything.

Through this lengthy trial that I’ve had to walk through, I feel as though I’ve been discovering who I really am inside and the person that God created me to be. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again but for the longest time I struggled with what was going on inside myself after being diagnosed with my CRPS. For starters I felt lost and like my self-esteem had sufford a major blow. I had just brought my daughter home from China and I questioned how I was going to be as a father dealing with a disability. Then there was the guilt of my wife having to not only watch me go through this, but to have to take on so much extra and not be a stay at home mom! As if that wasn’t enough I couldn’t stop thinking about what life was going to be like for myself in the future. All of these feelings took several years to deal with.

Somehow in the middle of all these storms and all the trials something changed and a strength and the ability to be extremely happy with my life has come about. How does that happen? In part two of this post I’ll be looking at that! So until next week goodbye and its off for some fun in the sun.