Keeping within the theme of "finding positives in Chronic Illness", I have one other. This one however, is a more personal one which I felt warranted it's own post.
When I first became ill, two of my worst symptoms were wide-spread pain and swelling of my left arm. Even though I spent countless days and hours visiting Doctors and Specialists enduring hours of various tests, nobody could explain the cause of this pain and swelling. Needless to say, none of them could offer any relief from it either. It was beyond frustrating.
My ability level was about zero, which impacted my 14 year old daughter deeply. She would help out wherever she could see a need, which took on a wide variety of areas, including trying to help me feel comfortable. I think it really bothered her to see me in so much pain and as a result would "massage" my arms, hands and back. Before long, she'd seem to zero in on specific spots and would ask as she massaged that area,
"This spot right here -- is this where it hurts the most?"
Much to my amazement, she would be spot on. The spot she had zeroed in on, would in fact be the most painful spot on my whole arm.
Sometimes, the spot she picked out was not the most painful but by her massaging that particular spot, it relieved the pain in another spot, further down my arm.
As this became her common practice I questioned her on how she knew the exact spot where I hurt.
"Because I can feel it", she would reply. "Touch here and you will see what I mean. It feels different than the rest of your arm."
To my touch however, there was no difference....it all felt the same.
We challenged other family members to try. One by one they all tried, to no avail. To each one of them, the whole arm felt all the same -- no differences between areas.
It became such soothing relief to me to have her massage my arms, knowing exactly where my pain was. I didn't need to explain to her where it hurt or when it was feeling better, she just knew by the feel of the area.
She seemed to have a natural ability to tell where people hurt even before they told her where and it was this ability the eventually led her to pursue a career in Massage Therapy. She is currently finishing her studies (a 3 year program) and will be writing board exams soon. Her goal is to work with chronic pain clients and the elderly. I know she will help countless numbers of people and I say this not from a "mom" point of view here, but from a client point of view. Chronic pain is a horrible thing to live with and getting relief is difficult. Finding those who can offer relief even more difficult.
As I look for the positives in having chronic illness, this would be the largest one on my list. Thankful for the help and relief she will be able to give to others.
Looking for the positives in order to keep
Balance....despite the chaos!