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Good Days…Bad Days With Maureen Pratt

Good Days…Bad Days With Maureen Pratt

Expressing Sorrow at Lost Health

posted by mpratt

pic for website 2012It’s all right, now, this moment. You feel so very sorrowful that your health is lost. Everyone’s telling you to “be strong,” “have faith,” “be positive.”

But all you feel like doing right now is crying.

And, it’s all right, now, this moment, if you do.

We’re human, and we have strong emotions, and sometimes, those emotions are of sadness, mourning a loss that can be as biting as the loss of a loved one. Of course, being strong is important when we face a health challenge. Positive attitudes and faith will help us rise above the other forces that drag us down when we live day-to-day with heavy health burdens.

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But, sometimes, like perhaps right now, tears can be cleansing, freeing, and completely appropriate.

Crying doesn’t mean we’re weak, and it doesn’t mean we’ve lost faith.

It means we’re human. And sometimes, we feel like crying.

And afterward, we’ll dry the tears streaking our faces, and we’ll move ahead, stronger from having expressed our sorrow and in its wake found courage.

Blessings for the day,

Maureen

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Living with Heredity

posted by mpratt

Maureen Pratt Author PicWell, I’m nearly 15 years into my diagnosis of lupus, and “they” still don’t know what causes it, really. Sunlight can trigger it in some people, and certain medications can bring on drug-induced lupus. But beyond that, well, it’s pretty much a mysterious “combination” of environmental and “other” factors and, perhaps, heredity.

This last factor is particularly problematic in some families. I’ve heard parents argue about “whose side” their child  “got lupus” from. I’ve also heard people talk about worrying that, maybe, they might “get” lupus because a relative has/had it. And, too, I’ve heard people worry about whether they might “pass along” lupus to one or more of their children (or, potential children).

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Generally, it is important to know as much as you can about your family’s health history. There are some diseases that have definitive genetic links, and you and your doctors can be more vigilant and proactive the more you know. But when it comes to lupus…

I approach the heredity issue in a slightly different way than many people do. Rather than dwell on the “did I get it from him/her/them?” I think of the strong, admirable traits that people in my family actually exhibited, lived, were. Even if they had illnesses, I think of the way they coped  and the resilience of their faith.

Rather than think of what I “might” get, I think of the characteristics of familial character that I want to have. And I emphasize that aspect of inherited traits, leaving the physical illnesses and mystery conditions up to God.

To me, illness just “is” in my life. It’s the attitude toward it, the way I live with and through it that truly matters.

Blessings for the day,

Maureen

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When You Feel Like Going Back in Time

posted by mpratt

Maureen Pratt Author PicAt some point during life with chronic illness, you feel like going back to the time “before.” Before your diagnosis. Before the disease or health condition took away so much of what you used to do and were.

Maybe, at such times, you start going through boxes of old photos, crying over the thinner, smiling you that looks back at you. Or, maybe, you throw your hands up and say, “Forget it!” and try to do one of the activities you used to be able to do, but which are way beyond your capabilities now. And you sure feel it the next day, and the next.

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It can be hard to know how much you were able to do in the days “before.” I once wrote an entire screenplay in a weekend. Could I do that, now? Oh, dear me, no! I’d be totally fatigued before I’d arrived at the second act. No, now I have to take it more slowly, even skipping days because of lupus symptoms or other health-related things. And herein lies my meaning for today.

True, I cannot write as pell-mell speedily as I used to. But I can still write. I cannot garden outdoors because of sun exposure. But I can still raise beautiful African violets indoors. Lupus has changed my health and life considerably, but not fundamentally who I am. And if I’m creative and patient and fully trusting in God, then those things that were can still be, just, perhaps, differently.

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As days with illness and pain drag on, oh, so often, we might feel cut off from the things that brought us joy, delight, hope, and excitement. We might wish that we could go back in time, before. When these feelings hit us, it’s helpful to remember that we are who we’ve always been, and our gifts have not gone away. They are still part of us, the deep part of us that is God’s child.

And with prayer, creativity, and patience, all the precious gifts that make  us wonderfully who we are can flourish. Perhaps differently than before, but, stronger because of the courage and grace that come from willingly, joyfully

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The Miracle and Mystery of It All

posted by mpratt

Maureen Pratt Author PicIt’s so easy to dwell on the pain, illness, and constraints that a chronic health condition imposes on us. So very easy, too, to think of what’s falling apart, what abilities are becoming (or have become) disabilities.

But, here I am, typing this. And here you are, reading this.

Considering all that we’re going through otherwise, it’s quite miraculous, really. And all part of the grand mystery that is Life. Something, despite our frailty, is keeping us going and more – something (Someone, really, that is, God) is moving us beyond our illnesses and pain to the world outside of them. Yes, we’re being moved to act, to interact, and to contribute. We’re being moved to experience and to witness. We’re being moved to blessings we cannot imagine just now.

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And we’re being moved to show others what is possible despite our physical challenges.

A friend recently told me, “I don’t know how you do it.”

Want to know a secret? I don’t know how I do it, either. Except that it is by the grace of God and His will that I’m typing this. And you’re reading this.

And, together, we’re participating in the grand miracle – and mystery – that is Life.

And, it is good! :)

Blessings for this Easter Season,

Maureen

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