Some of my friends know that I have been dealing with some health issues of late. For a while now, I have had swelling on the left side of my neck due to a cyst (not a visible one) that apparently had been there for some time, but was causing issues. So on March 6th I had a day surgery that resulted in a 3 day hospital stay, due to the fact they could not find the cyst so they removed a great deal of lymphatic nodes and tissues. But thankfully on pathology, they found out they had gotten it all. Now that was my rock….
The hard place was…5% of people who have neck surgery develop what is known as a Chyle Leak and guess who fell in that 5%? To say I have been in misery is an understatement. A summation of this condition is swelling in the chest and neck, resulting in burning pain and limited mobility of the neck. I will not bore you with all the details, but it will be corrected soon with an additional upcoming surgery with yet another hospital stay to be completed by a Thoracic Surgeon.
So the point of this blog is to state, as we Seniors age, things happen with our health that we cannot foresee and they can knock us for a loop. In additional to the physical pain, I am also dealing with the emotional stress of continual pain and of trying to get my house ready to sell. And that preparation has almost come to a halt for the moment.
So what can I say that will be affirming for others out there who are facing being caught between a rock and a hard place and having issues spiral out of their control? How can we hold on to normalcy as much as we can, when we feel powerless to regain control over our lives? How can we adjust living with pain and some fear with our normal habits disrupted?
Here are some thoughts that might help:
- Seek Spiritual Comfort. First of all, if you are a believer, as I am, remember who is in control and relax. A good Scripture reference is Isaiah 43:1-4 and know that God is in control. If we try to do things in our own strength, we are likely to fail. If we lean on God and trust Him, He is faithful.
- Be still as long as it takes. Get rid of the time table that we often put on our lives. As we Seniors age, we don’t always bounce back and there are often curves ahead that we don’t see coming. So use time in allowing the body to reset, and believe me, it will in most cases. And in the meantime, get up and move, and sit down when your body tells you. We often impede ourselves by trying to move back to our routines too fast or doing the opposite and giving in sitting. Putting ourselves on a time table only adds to the emotional stress.
- Handle the things that you can. As I am now entering my 7th week of misery, I am with the help of Physical Therapy, learning how to listen to my body and adjust things so I can do more and more. And that in itself has been rewarding. I may not be able to lift heavy things, but I can move the smaller ones and ask for help for the larger issues. If you have read previous blogs by me, you know I love my “To Do” lists, so making a short 4-5 item list has helped my spirit feel a sense of accomplishment in getting things done. And that has added to a healthy mental attitude. I am thinking of what I can instead of what I cannot do. And sometimes, in aiding in healing, we ned to focus on the “Can do” rather than the “Can’t Do” things.
- Be Positive. Seriously, this is vital. Positivity will propel you forward. It will break down the walls of depression, anxiety, and defeat that we build when we go through huge health issues and change. And being positive is a choice. It is something you can choose to do. I know this for a fact.
So my list was short, but it has been powerful for me in my current health crises and has helped tremendously in moving me through being caught between a rock and a hard place. I challenge you to find your affirmations to help guide you. Let’s face it, we all are going to face more and more health issues as we age; that comes along with it. But there are definitely ways to navigate our lives in times of pain and in times of challenge.