Advertisement

Good Days…Bad Days With Maureen Pratt

Good Days…Bad Days With Maureen Pratt

Chronic Illness: How We Give

posted by mpratt

Second close-up of pictureWhen you have a chronic illness, and associated expenses and unexpected health upsets, it can be hard to figure out how to give to those who are less fortunate (and, yes, although it might be hard to imagine, there are many people who are less fortunate than even the sickest among us!). There might not be enough money in the household budget for meds, copays, and other expenses, and it might be impossible to give time and effort on an ongoing, consistent, regular basis, especially in our church communities. Yet, the pressure is there. And sometimes, I have heard of sad stories of people who are chronically ill being challenged by others that “they can give a little more” or “if they really cared, they’d give more money/time/effort.” I’ve personally encountered negative comments when I respond, “No, I cannot donate blood,” to questions/urgings to participate in blood donation drives, as if I’m making an excuse rather than being truly unable!

Advertisement

Oh, my, where do I begin?…

Each of us does, I believe, have certain gifts from God that are meant to be used. These include talents and treasure, time and effort. These gifts do not abandon us when we are diagnosed with a chronic illness, however how we use them (or are able to use them) might change drastically and seemingly with regularity as our health challenges wax, wane, and carry on.

One of the things I’ve found most helpful with my particular situation is to wake each day commiting to doing one thing to help someone else. Whether that “thing” is as simple as to smile on someone who looks downcast or collect unused possessions and give them for charity, I’ve found there is always something I can give and that nothing we give is too small (much to the contrary of those who would insist otherwise).

Advertisement

It is within each of us to discern whether we are avoiding the issue of giving and hiding behind our health conditions or truly intent on finding that “one thing” each day. It is within each of us, too, to figure out how to keep body and soul together, taking stock of our resources and using them wisely.

Yes, how we give is a very personal thing. God knows our hearts. And if we encounter those who would criticize us, well, the one thing we can do? Pray for them, too.

Peace,

Maureen

Advertisement

Chronic Illness: Prayer that Travels

posted by mpratt

Second close-up of pictureI am about to leave for a long and no doubt fatiguing test. I didn’t expect to have to fit this into my week, but, well, as you know, with chronic illness “thing happen.” I’ll take all the necessary paperwork and cards, a cap for my head when I have to remove my wig, socks (feet get mighty cold), and other necessary things.

And, of course, I’ll take along prayer that travels.

I won’t have the opportunity to read during the test, so I won’t take my prayer books. No opportunity, either, to carry a rosary. But prayer will be in my heart and, perhaps even more important, I know that prayer will be surrounding me, prayer from people I don’t know, prayer from people I do know.

Advertisement

Prayer that travels – what a wonderful gift! And what a wonderful comfort for those times when we might feel otherwise detached from home, familiar friends, or even our favorite wig! :)

Peace,

Maureen

Advertisement

Chronic Illness: All the Bluster

posted by mpratt
Image courtesy of bigjom/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of bigjom/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

We had a mighty wind storm over the weekend. The palm trees outside my window were bent all the way to 10 o’clock, and at times, I thought they might snap off! Rain fell in buckets, too, but it was the wind that was particularly remarkable – and made me think of this blog’s subject.

Advertisement

There are many times when we feel as if there’s a storm raging all around us. Perhaps family or work situations are in bad shape, or the physicality of living with a chronic illness has been so exhausting that daily living seems like a big battle. We might want to retreat at such times, curl up and close our eyes and wait for the storm to pass. And yet, one of the most helpful things we can do – something that I do – is to realize exactly what is happening, to watch the storm unfold, do what I must do about it, but all throughout, keep in touch with the calm, peaceful center within me that is keeping me completely safe, enveloped in God’s care and love.

To get wrapped up in fear means that we don’t have much room in our thoughts and feelings for allowing God’s compassion to touch us. But with one eye on the storm and our hearts fixed on God’s love within, all the bluster in the world won’t roil us – and it, like all of life’s many storms, will eventually pass by.

Advertisement

Chronic Illness: Is the Grass Greener on Another Side?

posted by mpratt

Second close-up of pictureDuring the Christmas holiday, I happened to meet a fellow traveler who was returning from a brief trip. He explained that he had a young family and hd been thinking for quite some time about moving out of state, to another place where he felt he and his family would have better educational and career opportunities. Rather than pick up stakes immediately, however, he had decided to take the time and money to invest a bit in the idea. He had taken time off of work to go to the “greener place” and look at housing, job opportunities, and school options way before physically subjecting the rest of his family to the move.

Advertisement

What a good idea!

I told him that he was being smart, to which he said, “I hope so.” Clearly, it was daunting to think of leaving the place where he had lived all of his life (and moving his wife and children, too). But he was also being caring and careful – qualitites that set him apart from many who might just think, “I’m sure life is better over there, so I’m just going to move there.”

Sometimes, when we get frustrated with the medical care we receive, or the lifestyle that our surrounding area provides, we might also think, “It has to be better [fill in the location blank].” Some of us might actually move there, too. But the example of my fellow traveler is a good one for anyone who might be considering a drastic change of location: Know before you go!

Advertisement

Changing doctors might not be as easy as you might think, especially with insurance considerations. In fact, insurance changes might not be seamless, either – another aspect of moving that is better to be tended to before the boxes and van depart. A faithful support system is another aspect of life that should not be discarded merely on a whim (but moving to someplace where there is a good support system, for example, closer to caring family members, might be a perfect solution to an imperfect situation where you are, now).

More of life is becoming fluid across state borders. National pharmacies, insurance policies, and other tools of our health lives are making it easier to move from one end of the country to another – or in between.  But even so, being smart about moving can make the difference between a good course of action and one that, a few months afterward, leaves us thinking, “Oh, my, it was so much better back where I was before!”

Peace,

Maureen

Previous Posts

Chronic Illness: How We Give
When you have a chronic illness, and associated expenses and unexpected health upsets, it can be hard to figure out how to give to those who are less fortunate (and, yes, although it might be hard to imagine, there are many people who are less ...

posted 5:20:22pm Feb. 06, 2016 | read full post »

Chronic Illness: Prayer that Travels
I am about to leave for a long and no doubt fatiguing test. I didn't expect to have to fit this into my week, but, well, as you know, with chronic illness "thing happen." I'll take all the necessary paperwork and cards, a cap for my head when I ...

posted 5:13:21pm Feb. 04, 2016 | read full post »

Chronic Illness: All the Bluster
We had a mighty wind storm over the weekend. The palm trees outside my window were bent all the way to 10 o'clock, and at ...

posted 5:12:03pm Feb. 03, 2016 | read full post »

Chronic Illness: Is the Grass Greener on Another Side?
During the Christmas holiday, I happened to meet a fellow traveler who was returning from a brief trip. He explained that he had a young family and hd been thinking for quite some time about moving out of state, to another place where he felt he ...

posted 10:07:53pm Jan. 22, 2016 | read full post »

The Importance of an Illness Mentor
When we work, a mentor can be a valuable ally as well as someone who steers us when we might be heading in the wrong direction. A spiritual mentor (or spiritual director) can be a wealth of wisdom and guidance, especially when life gets murky. ...

posted 9:55:37pm Jan. 20, 2016 | read full post »

Advertisement


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.