It’s my tendency, and perhaps yours too, to focus exclusively on the pain along the spine and even into the hip and down a leg. It’s hard not to, when the smallest movements are disabling and the most modest chores are impossible (unloading the dishwasher – OMG!) But now that I’m pain free with the daily use of my invention called The Spine Wizard® Back Stretcher, I can finally see the big picture, a whole life view how relentless and unpredictable pain can impede every single part of your life. Let’s touch on just a few of these by asking some questions. I’ll bet that your answers are just like mine…
- Can you focus while you’re in pain? I surely can’t. I’ve “watched” the news or my favorite show and realized at the end that I had absorbed or enjoyed none of it because I spent the whole broadcast making tiny position changes, desperate to get more comfortable in my seat. And reading a book? HA! I can’t even read the funnies when I’m hurting. When my back is out, my mind is out too. That hurt takes up all my attention. Why? Because pain is the most powerful emotion there is.
- Can you work in pain? Not to my potential, that’s for sure. I can’t sit in crucial meetings, I can’t stand the drive to and from job sites, and I can’t do any of the minor lifting that even my office days require (who knew a ream of paper could feel like a boulder!) I know my chronic pain affected how my co-workers and bosses perceived me, my abilities, and my potential.
- Can you accept new challenges in pain? If I’m barely making it through the workday, how likely am I to study for a new accreditation of promotion at night? Not very. Chronic pain limited my potential to reach my career and financial goals.
- Can you enjoy your family time in pain? Kids, grandkids, spouses, and friends are a delight, but not if you are hurting too much to play and interact in an emotional way with them. They grow weary of your complaints and physical limitations, or even of your stoic face. Even the most patient, understanding family members will start to make plans that overcompensate your disability, for your sake and for theirs. Chronic pain changed how my loved ones interacted with me.
- Can you travel in pain? Heavens no! Why plan or go on a trip knowing that the pain will become more intense due to increased physical activities such as carrying luggage around at airports or up a few flights of stairs at your destination? For a road trip, I know so many folks who toiled away for years, dreaming of hitting the open road in their golden years, only to hit the recliner instead because the thought of a road trip conjured less Jack Kerouac adventures and more Jack Kevorkian end-games. Chronic pain made my world so small and imprisoned me in it.
- Can you sit through church? Or a guided meditation class? Yes, chronic pain can even block our spiritual life. How many elders in your church quit attending long before their last breath because it’s just too painful to sit on those wooden pews? Too many. Chronic pain kept me from growing spiritually.
My intuition tells me that you could list dozens of more things that you know you cannot do while you’re in pain. Hurting like that long-term, and without warning blocks our spiritual, physical, relational, and prosperity goals.
Now let me ask you one last question, easily the most important one to ponder:
CAN YOU IMAGINE YOURSELF FEELING GREAT AGAIN?
I surely hope your answer is yes!
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