Verse of the Day:
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.” – Proverbs 3:5
Today has been a tough day. I am exhausted, my body is sore and I can’t seem to shake this dizziness and headache. No to mention an out of control cough and chest pain I can’t seem to kick, and this weird heart beat… Blah, blah, blah… poor me, right?! That’s what I think! I mean working moms probably feel this way everyday… jeez, get over it already!
In reality, minus my nagging cough and weird heart beats, I have been feeling stellar compared to the last few years of my life. My nagging aches and pains are few and far between. I am so happy to not be in any real trouble. Some of the heart patients I know are not doing as well as me.
I joined a group this week for Adult Congenital Heart Patients (ACHD). It has been very enlightening for me. Most of the people in this group are younger, by almost ten years, but some of us have similar aches in our daily life. I have never actually talked to a ACHD person besides myself and that is the reason I started this blog. After a few days of reading and learning about these young people I realized how much we do have in common. There is something so settling about knowing your not alone.
Most of the people I have met in my lifetime have been CHD kids, and I have mostly talked with their parents. I tell them a little about me and how well I am doing, all in all, and answer any questions they may have. But on the flip side the only people I have ever had to opportunity to question have been the doctors. Now I have actually “friends” that have been through some of the same surgeries, most of the same tests, and the regular daily grind of living a “half-heart” life.
All of their stories are heroic. Like me they have faced and overcome hurtles that most people their age won’t face. Some of their stories tug at my heart and at my worst fears… heart failure… transplant lists… VAD machines… all of this makes me aware of how blessed I really am.
My condition is rare… but my disease is not. I am rare, but my circumstances are not. Waking up on days like today are a little easier for me because I know that other people struggling with ACHD feel this way too. We do too much a few days in a row and it knocks us on our butts for a day or two.
Today I feel really crappy. And I shouldn’t feel bad at all. I am not sick, I have not done anything of great significance that would cause my body to ache from head to toe, but it does. What I did was clean my house, went bowling, had dinner with friends, and did four loads of laundry. I hate laundry! I did what most people do on a daily basis and it kicked my butt. It is so frustrating and I don’t really understand why it happens. One day I am a rockstar and the next day I feel like a recovering addict. I don’t have the agility that I use to have and I want it back. Then again, my insides weren’t full of metal and mechanisms like they are now. However, knowing now that I am not the only one that deals with this is comforting and I know tomorrow will be better. I will bounce back.
My chest pain and other aches will be dealt with at the cardiologist this week. Nothing to worry about I pray, just growing pains… Old, growing old… hahahaha! The older I get the happier I am… it is an acknowledgement of how much God is really working in my life.
I hope that as you go about your daily grind and those aches and pains get the best of you somedays you can remember you’re not alone. Someone else out there is probably feeling your pain… and hopefully, prayerfully it is temporary. And if it isn’t, if you are battling a bigger beast than just aches and pains you are not alone either. The Lord is always with you. Wherever we are in our lives we are not walking the journey alone. And we are on a path that will always lead to better days. Always. God has a plan for us… we just need to trust in Him and let Him help us get to tomorrow…
5 thoughts on “Aches and Pains”
My prayers are with you Gena. Thank you for sharing this with us. I love the bible verse you have written on top, it’s one of my favourite verses. Yes, God is with us all the time. You take care and God bless you abundantly! 🙂
Wow! I don’t know if the tears in my eyes, the lump in my throat or the sense of love is what I am felling theist right now. I am so grateful for your words… I know you have said time and time again in different ways that I should rest and not feel guilty, but I think I really got it this time. You are my Elizabeth… I so grateful to have you in my life. Thanks Sis! Love you Big! I I love the Lord for the place He has brought you too! You are such an awesome woman of God!
Hey sister –
So as you know, I am 5 1/2 months pregnant. I pretty much feel like this every day. Back pain, headaches, dizzy, off-balance, really tired some days, heck 1 load of laundry will knock me out and forget about dinner with friends or bowling those days!!! And guess what – NO ONE SAYS “Jeez, get over it already!!!”
So dear sister, here is my 2 cents for you and your fellow ACHD blog readers!!!! GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK! Look, I am pregnant and so most people around me totally understand when I can’t seem to catch my breath enough to even make it all the way around the darn grocery store, much less a night of bowling. Cleaning the house, 4 loads of laundry, dinner with friends and bowling – I would be wiped out for the rest of the week – and everyone would understand! Sure some days I get frustrated and I feel pretty silly – I mean come on how hard can a trip to the grocery store really be. Well, pretty darn hard some days!
And you are the queen of reminding me to REST, and not over do it!!! So, here goes dear sister. No one should be saying to you, “jeez, get over it”, including yourself. Just like the reality that I have a human being growing inside me sucking up a ton of my energy, you my dear have half a freaking heart and the miraculous little thing is upside down and backwards – and directionally challenged cause it ended up on the wrong side of your body!!!
Rest friend. Rest more than you think you should. I am not saying to sink into a pit of self-pity and despair – when you feel that coming on call me – we will take a nice SLOW walk or go out for a cup of tea! But don’t force yourself to do 4 loads of freaking laundry when you just don’t have the energy to spare! Lately, my husband washes a lot of his own socks!!!! haha.
Embrace the times of weakness to lean on your Beloved Savior. Soak up the time with a warm blanket and candle and cup of tea and get lost in the presence of the One who Created you – still in HIS IMAGE, fearfully and WONDERFULLY made. I am finding that even the challenges of pregnancy are a blessing, a gift from Him to give me some much needed time (with a good excuse so to speak) to just REST and enjoy the down time when I am not running the rat race! The past few years of your life (heck the majority of your life) you have been in and out of hospitals, had your chest cracked open several times, been on more drugs and antibiotics than one little body can even handle. This has been your version of the rat race. And finally, you are feeling better, you have a chance to REST and be at peace and enjoy life again – most days! And some days are still hard – embrace those days of REST. Don’t push it. Don’t feel guilty! Let the Father rock you in His arms, do the things that you LOVE to do. And I know you DON’T love laundry!!!!! Laundry can wait, Ryan can wear dirty socks (or hire a maid a few times as a special treat for you, hint hint brother 🙂 Gena, play the piano, paint, read a good book, bake something yummy, sit outside in the sun and do nothing at all but tell the Creator how thankful you and and how much you love Him. REST REST REST!!!! Rest until everything fades away and the only sound you hear is the sound of the Shepard’s voice leading you to still waters, making you lie down in green pastures!!!
Love you, BIG 🙂
I’m not sure of your age Gena, but there are a lot of out here who aren’t kids anymore. LOL!!! I wish I was a kid again and had that kind of energy. I’m not old by any means, but one of the things CHD does to us is to prematurely age our bodies. We don’t have the same circulation that normal people have so our bodies give in to the ageing process first. Hence some aches and pains as we age. I just ignore those little things and get on with my day. I would say be gentle on yourself and listen to your body. Your always going to be tired, it’s in our nature. One of the things that has helped me in the past is an exercise regime. For me it’s been anything from a couple of hours in the gym running on the treadmill and hefting heavy weights (in my youth) to walking twice a day for ten minutes. I’ve found some easy yoga moves and some deep breathing seems to help center me and get my energy back up when it’s down as well. Any way, I’m part of that group and try to write my own blog once a week. I’ll leave my info down below for you.
In the words of Bill and Ted “Be excellent and party on Dude!”
hey Gena, I am in total agreement with Kelly about just letting yourself rest! You so deserve it on a daily basis! On the laundry issue, I usually am behind about 6 loads, but I just look at it from a different perspective. Even though there are lots of loads to wash, I see it as God blessing me with a family, and He provides so we are able to buy the clothing they need to wear. Enjoy yourself today! I hope we can get together soon. I miss seeing you!