Advertisement

Good Days…Bad Days With Maureen Pratt

Good Days…Bad Days With Maureen Pratt

Where Does It Hurt?

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.)

Advertisement

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.

Advertisement

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

It Doesn't Take Much to Care
Martyrs and missionaries make astounding sacrifices each day to bring the Gospel and God's love to others. They commit themselves to monumental tasks, knowing that they are giving their lives over to serving and, sometimes, dying for others and ...

posted 7:34:08pm Jun. 27, 2015 | read full post »

Chronic Illness and Pain: Discerning Who to Tell What
As we journey through our lives with chronic pain and illness, we undoubtedly will come across people who ask us "How are you?" Some are truly caring and want to be empathetic and/or reach out with help. Others are being polite, but might not be ...

posted 7:21:50pm Jun. 24, 2015 | read full post »

Chronic Pain: Freshening up the Daily Routine
Like many of you, my days begin with much of the same routine, mostly involving health activity. Stretching, medications, setting up for the day ahead (sun protective clothing or not?) - it can feel as if each day begins with the same old thing. ...

posted 1:16:47am Jun. 23, 2015 | read full post »

Happy Father's Day!
A very happy Father's Day to all fathers - those who are related through blood and those who act as fathers to all of us! Your strength, patience, creativity, and care are truly appreciated - and I hope that this day brings you much joy and ...

posted 7:21:21pm Jun. 21, 2015 | read full post »

TLC Tuesday: A Little Attention
When we consider all of the things we must do each day, we might quickly become overwhelmed. Large tasks - doctor's appointments, job interviews, school finals, for example - and smaller ones - grocery shopping, laundry, feeding the pets - can ...

posted 10:06:01pm Jun. 15, 2015 | 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.