A Hurtful Label

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By Joe Schaafsma
Bethel CRC, Dunnville ON
Breaking Barriers Summer 2014

A kidney stone condition since age 21 has brought much suffering, and not just for me. Often the effects of chronic pain have inflicted a negative attitude towards my wife Margaret, our family, friends, and towards God. Bitterness is a poison!

I have difficulty getting and keeping a job. Even though I want to work and am capable of working in many capacities to receive an income to support my family, I have been labeled “disabled,” which is hurtful. This pain is hidden from society, and it results in guilt and shame. Physical pain is not just physical, but also emotional and spiritual.

Few people understand that it’s all encompassing. We are blessed with good medical care and medication to control the physical pain, but chronic pain always demands attention.

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Sherri Maat

Sherri Maat

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