My husband has always been wide awake and cheerful from the moment he opens his eyes. It’s a gift. I’ve never been that way! When he said today, “Good morning! How are you doing today?” I said, “I’m grouchy!” He said, “Uh oh…what’s wrong?” When I proceeded to list my complaints of aches and pains, he snapped at me saying, “You can walk! You’re not in as much pain any more, and you are ALIVE! Do I need to say more?!” That certainly made me stop and think. Had I turned into a habitual complainer?
Any change in your life, however small, brings its own challenges and struggles to overcome. When you are in the midst of these new challenges, it is sometimes difficult to stay positive and remind yourself that things actually are improving! Sometimes the day-to-day, or even the moment-to-moment struggles bog us down. And the emotional effort can take its toll on us as well.
The pain of arthritis in my hands, wrists and shoulders from my job and from using my walker to support my weight is an ongoing complaint. The struggles to put on my brand new compression panty hose are numerous. Compression hose, if you are not familiar with them, are like support hose on steroids! It generally takes about 15-20 minutes to get them on and situated the way you want them, and by then you have worked up a sweat and had your aerobic exercise for the day!
My knees are locked in a bent position from years of osteoarthritis and sitting at my job. The situation can be corrected with knee surgery. That is an ongoing and daily pain I have learned to live with. Women…can you recall the gyrations sometimes used to put on your pantyhose? Kick one leg out to the side, squat here, lay on the bed, kick the other leg out, tug and pull, etc. My knees prevent me from doing all of those things that help to get the pantyhose in place. And so, the gyrations I do, tug here, bend over, tug there, sit down and rest, start again, etc. has aggravated the pain in my left knee and given me a new complaint of muscle cramps in my left thigh and buttock.
On the positive side! I AM out of compression bandages now. Those were bulky, unweildy and I never want to go there again! I can drive myself to work again! I AM using my walker again and not the wheelchair! After a couple of weeks wearing the compression pantyhose, I really CAN tell that it is getting easier! The pain in my left knee and thigh has lessened, telling me some of it was muscle pain that is going away with use. I just sometimes get bogged down in the difficulty and forget the progress I’ve made.
Despite my grousing, I really do say Thank You prayers daily for the strength and abilities that I do have, and for His grace that helps me each and every day to do what I need to do! As my husband reminded me today…Things are better…I am stronger than I was…and I am alive and well! What else could I ask for?