I don't talk much about my life with chronic pain. However, sometimes people ask questions, so I try to answer them. One aspect of chronic pain, that I often struggle with, is scheduling and commitments.
I am a planner. I like to have things on the calendar, so that I can prepare and be ready for the events of any given day. Yet, there are days that my pain/headache do not take into consideration what is on my schedule.
Today, was "one of those days". I had planned to fulfill a commitment (that had already had to be rescheduled from last week). Yet, this morning, I awoke with a severe headache. Worse than usual. I started the "headache routine" that involves, meds, essential oils, ice packs, trigger points.
As I waited for the headache to lessen, I had to make a decision. Could I fulfill the commitment this morning?
Yes, I could— BUT would it be the smart thing to do? I also have another commitment this afternoon, that can't be changed. Knowing that I have a unchangeable commitment this afternoon, I made the choice to reschedule (once again) this mornings plans.
For me, that is so very frustrating. I hate not being able to do something I had planned. However, my body can only tolerate so much. So, I need to allow my body time to heal this morning, and lay low.
Thankfully, the other people involved in my cancelation this morning, are fully understanding. They've been along side of my pain journey for most of the past 16 years. They get it.
If you know someone who lives in chronic pain, or has an invisible illness (i.e. autoimmune disease, lyme, chronic headache, diabetes, etc) please be patient if they have to reschedule—even multiple times. It's not that they don't want to do an activity, it's just that their bodies won't allow it. Or they have to save their energy for an upcoming event that they simply can't miss. Please don't read anything into the cancelation of plans. Changing plans is not the desired thing! So, often we look forward to that event and doing something out of the norm. So, please be patient, understanding, and most of all encouraging! I'm so thankful that the people who have come along side of me are all of those.
The key to living with a chronic illness/pain is flexibility. And realizing that things are beyond a person's control. It's about taking comfort knowing that even if things have to be rescheduled, it's OK!
Why am I sharing this? So that others with chronic illness know that this is reality, and that it's ok. So that others without pain/illness learn why plans change.
Today, is not what I had planned. However, my headache level is no surprise to God Almighty. He is fully aware of my pain and headache. Therefore, I take comfort in knowing that for whatever reason, God has allowed my plans to change today. It could be so that I write this post, to encourage someone, or it could be that God wanted to protect me from an accident, or it could be that God just me to take time to be still.
So, if you know someone who lives with chronic pain/illness, please take time to understand a bit of their life. And take time to pray for them.
If you have any questions, please ask. And remember, not all chronic illness/pain is the same. So, my answers may differ from one who suffers with a different illness.