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What gives you strength?

NumbskullNNumbskull Posts: 1,526
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:47 AM in Matters of the Heart
What is it that keeps you going, that gives you the strength to get up and face each day when you know you'll be dealing with the monster that chronic pain is?

For me, I think it's mostly stubbornness, lol. My mom always said I was "head-strong and stubborn". I like to think of it as being determined, lol. I get up every day and shower and get dressed, even when we have no plans to do anything, for my hubby. I want to look at least half decent for him (he is 8 years younger after all, LOL). When I don't (and there are days, my worse days, that I don't) I think that how I'm dressed effects how I feel as well. He does encourage me to get up and move around so I won't stiffen up, even if it's just to get out to go down the street to get a coffee from Tim Horton's. I think that sometimes he makes up excuses to go out, just so that I'm up and moving around. I don't want him to feel like he's being dragged down even though I might feel like I am.

I also feel like my dad is always looking in on me (he passed when I was a teenager), and I wouldn't want him to see me not living well, or not doing the best that I can.

What gives you the strength to face each day?
APROUD CANADIANveteranButNOTa doctor, my thoughts are my own


  • and I am so looking forward to reading others posts on this one.
    I told myself when I became disabled that I will not lay in bed. Yes there are many many days that I am in my recliner 24/7 but I will not be bedridden. Of course since I have problems sleeping (only sleep 1.5 - 2 hrs per night) I guess staying in bed is not even something I could do.
    For a long while I did not think I had a purpose. Perhaps we all go through that, I am not sure. I went through my share of depression and cannot say I don't have flare ups where that is concerned either.
    My husband is disabled with a bad heart condition, and prior to my injuries I was his primary caregiver. Well now the roles have reversed. He is on SSDI but he goes for his checkups and is stable at this time. I honestly think the fact that he now assists with my care, it has given him a new outlook. He is a remarkable man, never complains, is the best caregiver a woman could ask for and my best friend. Our lives have been an emotional rollercoaster to say the least. But we keep each other going and on a positive note. He gives me so much strength as he has such a positive attitude considering all he has been through.
    I can also say this site has given me alot of strength to face each day. Since I do not sleep much I read so many of the posts and realize so many have it so much worse off than myself. My heart goes out to them and I so wish I could be of help.
    I would be lying if I didn't say I have just awful days where the pain is just unbearable and have had my fair share of pity parties. I think that is normal also. I think given the situations we are all dealing with all we can do is give it our best to try each and every day to have a positive attitude. To realize we still make a difference even though our disabilities may limit us from many of the activities that we once so enjoyed. I believe when you become disabled after getting past the initial anger and depression you must try to find things that make you happy and content. I now so love to look out my back window at the beautiful birds. I see things in a whole new perspective and take one day at a time. I also do alot of praying for God to give me the strength to get through each and every day. Having such a support system in this forum truly helps. Such kind and caring people. You read their posts and know they are going through agony yet they take the time out to say a kind word or help you work through a problem. How fortunate we all are to be a part of so many dealing with the same emotional and physical pain as we are going through outselves. Thats what gives me strength.
  • I really have no idea, Kelly. This is a bad time for this question and I should really just delete this post, but I think right now my only motivation is my husband and my dog.

    Not only do I have this crappy Beast, but I'm job searching and have had interviews and rejections, some right out rejections (that always helps the old ego) and with all the work I do to maintain my state benefits, try to keep up with what little housework I do, walk my dog and looking for a job, I find myself hurting like the dickens each day. So I'm looking for a job when I don't even know if I can do a full time job.

    Oh, but there's Wally, the little stinker, Mr. Casanova, my little monster, and the cutest dog on the face of the earth who wants to walk each morning with me, and my adorable, patient, caring and supportive husband, so I think it's for them that I do whatever I have to and can do. There's not much else at this point in my life, but I hope there are others that think that life is just Jim Dandy and look forward to reading their stories.

  • I love it.... and couldn't resist making that comment, Kelly. :)

    What gives me strength is my faith, Mike and my kids. As you know...Nikki and Zach are living in Iowa for this school year. I felt it was best for them, as I have not been a fully functioning mother (or wife, or friend) since my fall. They are living with their father, awesome step-mother and step-brother. They also have an uncle and aunt there, as well as other friends and family. You have no idea how hard it was for me... to let my kids go and live so far away from me. But, it truly is in their best interest. Zach turned 16 this year and just got his first car a couple of months ago. Nikki is loving her new school and new friends. They both are thriving. Nikki opened up a FaceBook page a couple of months ago and it's been great to send pictures and little notes to her. She loves to E-mail, too.

    I took a hard fall and it's going to take me some time to get everything rearranged and in good working order again. You know I'm going full-force (without over doing it) so I can be active with my precious children again. And, also with Mike. He is the "Prince Charming" you read about in story books. I am VERY fortunate and count my blessings, each and every day....to have Mike in my life. He goes over and above his "call of duty" and despite my rather poor condition, he still makes me feel like a princess.

    So there. I need to go get a box of kleenex now and have a good cry... lol.

    Tammy >:D<
  • Jan, I love your comment "I think given the situations we are all dealing with all we can do is give it our best to try each and every day to have a positive attitude. To realize we still make a difference even though our disabilities may limit us from many of the activities that we once so enjoyed." This is one thing we should all realize, to live each day. Especially the part that we do make a difference.

    Cathie, I know that you make a difference in your husband's life, and your fur babies, too. That's about all I have as well at this point in time. I feel for you in the job hunting. It is a big blow. My hubby has not been able to get a job since we moved here two years ago for mine. He even just applied to two different grocery stores as a stockperson, and didn't even hear back from them!! He has gone through a very hard time with it all, and then deals with me on top of it all :) Hang in there, and whatever happens, will happen for a reason. I hope that you find something soon, whether you are meant to be employed, or not. And if you're not, you'll find whatever it is that you need to, even if it's that your doing now exactly what you're supposed to doing. (okay, after reading that a couple of times, it makes total sense to me, I hope that it does for you, too). :)

    I'm also looking forward to hearing more too!
    APROUD CANADIANveteranButNOTa doctor, my thoughts are my own
  • I think right now my kids are what keeps me going. Each day I get up at 5:45 so I can be in the shower before my daughter gets up. Then I make her lunch and try to get her to eat breakfast. Next my son gets up and I make him lunch and breakfast.

    So for 3 hours I'm all about them. It's a nice slow pace and let's me spend some time with them. Which is a big change from years past.

    Some mornings getting up is harder so I skip the shower and throw on old clothes. I really regret it because I know it sends the wrong signal to them and I just don't feel good. Yes dressing is a big pick-me-up and does set the tone for the day.
  • Kris, we wrote at the same time! I think we are allowed those days, we obviously need them from time to time.
    APROUD CANADIANveteranButNOTa doctor, my thoughts are my own
  • Kelly I can understand that job hunt frustration. When I was between jobs a few years ago I was desperate. I applied to a department store just to do something. Never heard a word. I think they don't want to hire over qualified people because they know that when something better comes along they will leave. That experience made me realize that I needed to have faith in myself and apply for what I am qualified to do and even a little higher.

    If he believes in himself he will find what he wants. Think positive.
  • I have to start by saying that I am inspired by all of you!!!

    Kelly I bet your Dad is VERY proud of your stubborness!! What parent would not be!!

    Jan you and your dear Hubby sound just blissful together!! Thank God for both of you! :)

    Cath job searching is very crappy even without the problems that we al have, hang in there...maybe you can find a job at a vet or pet shop where you can take your little furr baby with you!! :)

    Tammy I can think of nothing that would be harder on a Mom then to do what you did for your kids out of love!! BRAVO!!

    Kris your kids sound wonderful!! I think that you looking at this as a way to spend better time with them is absolutly the greatest thing!!

    My strength comes from my Hubby, my awesome daughter and the fact that I have ALOT more living to do in this life.....albeit I might have chosen less pain, I got out of bed this morning and by DAM* I WILL enjoy my life!!

    Any morning that the sun comes up and so do I is a wonderful day!!!

  • My daughter ( my only child ) and my grand children are what gives me strength.

    Once it hit me that "this" was it and before my pain was even close to being under control - I thought death had to better then living like this forever.

    However I knew 1. that was wrong ( for me and my faith ) 2. that my daughter & gks would have scars for life if I did such a thing. So I pulled myself together and went in search of help/support and found this super wonderful site :)

    Like most of us, I still have my times - but as before my daughter & gks always refuel me :D
    L1 - S2 "gone" useless in 1 way or another. DDD. RA. Bone Spurs. Tons of nerve damage/issues. Stenosis. Both knees replaced. 50 yrs old. I had a great fall (hence my user name) at age 41 and it has been a domino effect every since.
  • I guess I get mine from a few places...

    1. Great loving and supportive husband - tops the list!!
    2. My 'fur kids' Oscar, Hemmingway and Stephanie
    3. Believe it or not, NOT working. I use my strengths at home now, so not as worn out.
    4. Stubborn to a fault, and heard headed for sure!! :)
    5. Natural "internal" strength.
    6. My hobbies - beading, jewelry, blogging, supporting others.
    7. This site! When you know you're not alone, it makes a HUGE difference.

    There's more, but those are my main ones. I have my good days, and my bad days like everyone. I just try not to let the bad days rule what is ME. :?

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Like so many others said, my family keeps me going. Hubby is extremely helpful and supportive (he's one of those people who had a fusion 30 years ago and never had any issues other than muscle aches from overdoing things). My girls almost 6 & 9; I try to do my best for them.

    Also, as Brenda had said: this site!! There are so many helpful, empathetic and supportive people on this site.

    I am also trying to start my own (very) small business selling mt hand-crafted jewelry, ornaments and crocheted items. I have always been artsy/crafty and with the WWW now there is a whole new venue out there. We'll see how it goes.

    Take care all,

  • My kids are such a powerful motivator as they are still small (9,9,7), my wonderful, understanding and serving husband and my faith. [sniff sniff] i'm having a hard day...now i'm going to make myself go get a bath and get clothes on before my kids and hubby get home and make up the bed I've been wallowing in all am. [sniff]...good topic.
  • Tarheelgirl, I hope the bath, and changing into fresh clothes helps you feel better. Sometimes we need a morning to wallow, to get back on track. Tomorrow is a fresh new day, use your strengths, your kids, husband and faith to get you through today!!
    APROUD CANADIANveteranButNOTa doctor, my thoughts are my own
  • first of all the kittens need to be fed so that'a a motivator to get up. I think family mainly like tomorrow I'm meeting my brother and his family and we're celebrating my Mother's 70th birthday tomorrow because she's leaving for Florida before her birthday. Also this support forum I check in most everyday and it helps. I also have my faith which his spirit helps me deal. But thanks for this thread because I need motivation and I'll be reading others responses. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • Im also very stuborn.I view the pain I have as my enemy that I will beat, it wont beat me.
  • Kelly,
    I would say my wife has been my strength and I always take advice and support from her, her descendants were fishermen and a strong lot, who strived to make things better and did struggle over time. She tells me when I need to up my game and when to rest, her serene demeanour defies that granite like interior that those who fail to see will endure the consequences. I do try to redress the balance and provide all those things that we both miss and those better and worse commitments underpin our strong foundation.

    As my doctor said, this is not the life she would have chosen, to be caring to some of my needs and medically retired at 35, I am a driven person and slowing down has not been easy, perhaps I do get strength from life experience and look for those who can help me, perhaps as with many here those who I thought were friends have moved on and we are both at differing stages.

    This team have worked hard to define the new me and carve out some of the person I was and continue to be, I do have a strong faith and work with young children who continue to challenge me to make improvements in myself everyday. We have three teenagers who are venturing into life at full speed and it is never dull here, bless them.

    In slowing down I see more now than I ever did and appreciate these things second time around, I am focussed on what I need to get the job done and seek help from those best placed to provide me with what I require. I have confidence in myself even though this road has been long and eventful.

    Take care.

  • Wow, when I read everyone's post I started to cry and did a pity party for myself. I am single and not very close to my family except my dad and my step-mother. I have 3 brothers and a sister I am a aunt to 11 neices and nephews. I talk to two people everyday out of all my family. I did have a boyfriend but broke up with him 6 months ago. We went out for 2 years. The relationship was very hard he had a lot of problems like having a major gambling problem and had manic depression. I only stayed that long because I was lonley. I know I am better off without him but with this up coming surgery I'm so worried about being alone and scared more so at night. Since my break-up I have dated a few men but have not liked them due to certain problems that they have and I know I just would not be happy if I stayed with them. I think I have PMS! LOL! I do have a bunch of good freinds and I have the best fur baby my cat Abby who is cuddled right beside me in bed.

    I am very happy I found this site. I too only sleep a few hours a night and this site gives me something to do during those hours. I will be posting after my surgery at night so I won't feel so alone and scared. I decided to get the button that you press, the one that says " I've fallen and can't get up" so at least if something did happen I can press my little friend! I think I made myself feel better just wrting this post! :)

    I'm very happy that you all have a good support person! right now it's my cat and my antidepressents! I know I will find a husband but I just don't want to settle!
  • You found a new family: the Spiney Family! I've been where you are now and know it can be a bit scary/lonely. The great thing about spineys and SH is that someone is always there to give support, advice or a cyber-hug. Sometimes when we need a kick in the butt, we get that too!

    There's lots of people up in the wee hours of the morning that you can chat with, as plenty of spineys don't sleep well.

    Hope you are having a better day today,

  • LisaRachel, you are not alone!! Like Lisa said, you do have us, and there's always someone on the site 24/7. I know how you feel, I was single and living alone, away from my family, went through a knee surgery, and a literally deathly illness during that time. It is scary, but you do have a good circle of friends, too, don't be afraid to call them! Would one of them stay with you after your surgery, or take shifts to look in on you? At least you know they're only a phone call away. That's a great idea about getting the button, too, a great safety net. Glad you felt better by the end of your post, hope you continue to feel better! Take care;
    APROUD CANADIANveteranButNOTa doctor, my thoughts are my own
  • Thank you Lisa and Kelly. It really is nice to read these posts and have the support from special peeps. Living with back or neck pain is a whole new world and most of my peeps just don't understand. Kelly, I could pick up the phone and call my some of my friends and know they would be here in a heart beat. But most are laywers and animal doctor's so they lead such a busy life. I feel bad and know they are busy so sometimes I feel my visits are rushed. I am going to hire someone and my father is paying for it! :) the first 2 weeks I will have someone here 8-4 so that way I'm not taking anybody away from there life. I'm sure on the weekeds I'll have lots of visitors.

    Kelly, how long were you a Canadian soldier? Did you injure yourself while you were working? I'm from Toronto. I'm proud to be talking to you. Thank you for doing or done for Canada :)

    Lisa, I just gave you a cyber-hug..
  • Hey LisaRachel! I was posted to Toronto for 5 years many years ago! I'm originally from Kingston, and somehow found myself posted home a couple of years ago! I've been in 18 years, still serving, but waiting for my medical release to go through, hopefully by next March, but it's such a long process (over 2 years in the works for me so far), as they want to make sure you're set up and ready to transition to the real world, lol. Yeah, my injuries are all from being in, but mostly the wear and tear over the years have made them worse.
    That is so wonderful that you dad is doing that for you! When is your surgery? Maybe I could plan a trip to come visit, my best friend lives there, too!
    APROUD CANADIANveteranButNOTa doctor, my thoughts are my own
  • My surgery is Nov 24th I'm having it at Sunnybrook. You should come for a visit ! That would be so cool. Let me know when you were thinking.

    So, I guess your looking forward to going back to work after being off almost 2 years. I just recently went back and it's so nice to be busy.

    How many surgery's have you had?

    I'll send you a private message with my e-mail.
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