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Good Days…Bad Days With Maureen Pratt

Good Days…Bad Days With Maureen Pratt

Chronic Pain and Illness: How We Do It All

posted by mpratt
Image courtesy of Pixomar/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Pixomar/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

When I talk with people about what I do, their response is frequently, “How do you fit it all into a day?”

My response, generally, is, “I don’t.”

The concept of “a day” is very different for those of us with chronic pain and illness. Some 24-hour periods are mostly spent looking forward to the next 24-hour period, when we’ll feel better – well enough to do what we should be doing in the present period but simply cannot.

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Other 24-hour periods are spent picking up the pieces of days when we were too sick or pained to accomplish everything fully. Half-done laundry, for example. Or, that phone call with a friend that was interrupted by severe cramps from holding the phone.

Quite awhile ago, I realized that it was virtually impossible to think I could live as I did “before lupus,” in that my energy flagged oh, so quickly, if I attempted to sail through a “regular” day. Chores, doctor appointments, errands, social responsibilities – each require a level of attention and energy that are simply too draining if glommed together into one day.

So, my concept of “doing it all” has become quite different. Meaning…

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I prioritize daily, deciding how I feel, what my level of energy seems to be, and what is most pressing.

I am forgiving, especially of myself. If I cannot do everything I’d hoped to do, I don’t give myself a personal scolding and I do not allow myself to sink into, “How weak are you?”

If “big things” are planned, I scrape and claw and resolve myself to do just one, yes, one, in a day, and I allow for recuperation time. (Is this always possible? Well, “things happen,” such as unexpected deaths, illness, or as at the holiday season, jammed calendars. But, I try, oh, yes, I try.)

Throughout, I try to remember that life is fragile, health is vital, and God’s time is not our time.

Which works out perfectly for those of us with chronic pain and illness, as “typical” time is not ours, either! :)

Joy and peace,

Maureen

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TLC Tuesday: Snowed In But Not Snowed Under

posted by mpratt
Image courtesy of prozac1/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of prozac1/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

As I write this, a light breeze is tickling the fronds of the palm trees outside my window. The sun is shining – a bright spot after some gentle rain last night. It’s warm enough for a walk later today. And, yet,

I know many of you are house-bound and looking out at piles of snow and biting wind. Drifts several feet high cover the sidewalks and roads. Chill. It’s very chill. I remember those days of snowstorms, having lived many years in places where they occur. And I know the stir-crazy feeling after the awe of God’s nature wears thin. Even a large home seems cramped, with too many people underfoot, after a day or so of forced confinement.

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Today, if you are feeling antsy, edgy or frustrated from wild weather, take heart! Many of us long for days when there’s nothing to do but nothing! Use your time playfully. Perhaps doodling, singing, dancing, or even writing. Let your creativity loose! And who knows, the seeds from that creative spark  just might melt away your frustration and replace it with something that will become even more wonderful as the days grow warmer.

Blessings of joy and peace,

Maureen

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Food for Thought: Song of the Sea

posted by mpratt
Image courtesy of worradmu/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of worradmu/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Oh, wow, what a wonderful movie is “Song of the Sea!” The story, animation,acting, and music all combine to make a beautiful and moving story lyrically laced with Irish folklore and touchingly told in a familiar familial way.

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I really enjoy animated movies, but I know many adults shy away from them, especially if they don’t have children to take “as an excuse.” But in recent years, the quality of animated movies has soared along with the storytelling, and as with “Song of the Sea,” adults as well as children will find it captivating and moving well beyond the ending credits.

There was a mother with her young son in the theater the day I saw the movie, which is full-length (about an hour twenty minutes). The boy, who I later learned was 3 years old, sat, transfixed, throughout the entire film! Nary a peep!

Afterward, the mother said that it was her son’s first movie, and he’d asked her if they could now watch it at home, too! What a great introduction to film – and what a testament to the movie itself that it could hold a toddler’s attention for more than an hour!

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If you like animated films, this one is a must. If you don’t, if you think that animated films are only for children, please reconsider. Give this one a try. let the music wash over you, and the adventure that unfolds be your adventure, too.

It never hurts to revisit the child within us. In fact, it can be that refreshing breath of air that rekindles a wonder, joy, and newness to all other aspects of our lives!

Blessings of joy and peace,

Maureen

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A Praying Spirit: We Are (Aware of) the World

posted by mpratt
Image courtesy of graur codrin/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of graur codrin/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Many chronic illnesses impose restrictions on our ability to move about freely in the world “at large.” Whether because of mobility issues, sight or hearing problems, or, as in my case, immunosuppressive drugs and their effect on the propensity to get sick, sometimes we just have to “stay put.”

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But, that doesn’t mean we’re not aware, nor does it mean that we should crawl into our proverbial hole and not care about the world outside.

I like to use my “inside” time to learn, reflect, and pray about things happening in distant places – even as distant as across the globe. I like to pray for people I don’t know, remembering them as “those who are suffering” or “those who are oppressed.” It doesn’t matter if I’ve never met them. I pray for them anyway. I also pray especially for others like myself who cannot venture out and who instead are hampered by physical or emotional constraints. How I understand! How I pray!

Praying for others, especially if I’m feeling left out of the enjoyable things outside my door, helps me shift the focus off of myself and what I cannot do to others who need more attention and intercession.

In prayer, we talk with God. In praying for others, we are carrying out an active, vibrant ministry, a calling, that transcends any health challenges that keep us from leaving our home base.

How amazing is that!

Joy and peace,

Maureen

 

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