Good Days…Bad Days With Maureen Pratt

Good Days…Bad Days With Maureen Pratt


Where Does It Hurt?

posted by mpratt
Image courtesy of Tina Phillips/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Tina Phillips/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

A couple of weeks ago, I gave a talk about “Spiritual Suffering” at a large medical center in Los Angeles. The topic came at the end of a difficult, yet grace-filled year – a great way for God to help me “wrap it all up.”

In preparation for the talk, I revisited a great book that had been given to me by a physician and leading expert on palliative care and the role of spirituality in healthcare, Christina M. Puchalsky, MD. In the book, one quote really struck me. Dr. Puchalski writes,  “As mentioned previously, much of the pain patients experience is not just physical pain, but also spiritual. In fact, from my clinical experience with patients, I have found that spiritual suffering underlies most of the pain that patients and their families experience. Pain is multifactorial: physical, emotional, social and spiritual. Any one of these can exacerbate the total experience of pain.” (from A Time for Listening and Caring: Spirituality and the Care of the Chronically Ill and Dying. Christina M. Puchalski, MD. Oxford University Press. 2006.)

Far from meaning that pain is “all in our heads,” I think that these lines speak to something that we know, but might be afraid of expressing: When we experience emotional trauma and pain, when our spirits suffer, the physical pain with which we live will seem all the more difficult, even crushing. Whatever pain we have, physical spiritual, etc., is interconnected.

At holiday season, when we live in the “now” while often remembering loved ones who have died or who are suffering, there can be an extra dose of sorrow in the celebrations – and more spiritual pain and suffering heaped upon whatever physical challenges we have. If we race pellmell through these days, the added spiritual sadness might take us by surprise, stopping us from understanding and enjoying what we can during this time. It also might blunt our energy to seek necessary medical care.

Health does not take a holiday during the holidays. It’s important to keep up with medical appointments and seek extra time with your doctor if need be, especially if you notice your medical condition changing or getting worse. It’s also important to take ample time to be still, pray, and ask for wisdom to understand the added pain you might be feeling, especially if this year has included a loss of a loved one, job, or other person or thing close to you so that at this time, your soul may feel the balm of comfort and joy.

Blessings for the day,

Maureen

 

 

 



Advertisement
Comments Post the First Comment »
post a comment

Comments are closed.



Previous Posts

Chronic Pain: Lost and Found
Somewhere, amid the pain and the frustration we feel over lost health and today's health trials, there are bright, uplifting memories we've lost track of, times when life was easier or days when we heard and enjoyed laughter, did good things and had good times. There are people and places that broug

posted 1:10:19am Aug. 30, 2014 | read full post »

Chronic Illness: Embracing smooth sailing!
Like the calm before the storm, or the comfort before the next flare, the period of relatively "smooth sailing" can be a bit nerve-wracking. We know that "chronic" means ongoing, and have had flares rise up unexpectedly in the past. So, a period of quiet, when the illness is not so active, might mak

posted 8:03:03pm Aug. 28, 2014 | read full post »

TLC Tuesday: What if you missed Tuesday?
If you have a chronic illness or live with serious pain, you know that sometimes, you "miss" a day or two in the week. It's too hard to get out of bed. You are going through medical tests, and the outside world seems to disappear into the technicality of prep and procedure. You're brain-fogged, and

posted 1:56:46am Aug. 26, 2014 | read full post »

TLC Tuesday: Slow down!
It's TLC Tuesday, again. But it's also probably the heart of "Back to..." season. Back to school, back to work, back to lots and lots of activities. Yes, activities, and, probably, a lot more stress, a lot more "Hurry up!" But we know that our illnesses and pain often react negatively to "Hurry u

posted 1:31:48am Aug. 26, 2014 | read full post »

Chronic Illness: If You Were Not You
One of the techniques I try to use whenever I'm in a quandry over something regarding my health is to ask, "What if I were not me? What if I were my mother? My sister? My friend? What would I say? Do? Pray over?" This helps me take the sometimes-frustrated or "at sea" me out of the conversation a

posted 1:47:51am Aug. 23, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

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

All reported content is logged for investigation.