Medicine And Lots Of Support Help

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By Cor Visser
CRC regional disability advocate, Classis Hamilton
Breaking Barriers Summer 2014

My dictionary says that chronic pain is “constant physical suffering or distress due to injury, illness, etc.” That’s me! In my case, chronic pain is my body telling me something is wrong and to stop doing what I am doing, but that’s not always possible.

When I was young, I thought I could do everything. I tried to work harder and lift more than anyone else. I sometimes overdid it. As I grew older my body started to show signs of the sins of my past. A few pills, a back massage, or a few days off work usually solved the problem. Over the years I had to resort to anti-inflammatory drugs and painkillers to deal with the nagging pain. Now, at age 66, I use a pain patch that is a rapid-response, short-acting narcotic similar to morphine. Like most drugs there are side effects such as addiction, loss of appetite, weight loss, mood swings, fatigue, and high blood pressure.

Presently I have severe degenerative disc disease, signs of stenosis, arthritis, and bone spurs. People ask, “How do you cope with your pain?” I have a lot of good days (thanks to medicine) that I cherish, and on the other days I lean on my heavenly Father. When I feel sorry for myself, I look at people worse off than I and realize how blessed I am.

My main support is my wife Diane. She knows the right things to say and do to get me back on the right path physically and emotionally. She makes sure I take my meds on time, that I get the proper rest, and even tells me to smarten up when needed and to get on with life. My children are also a big support. They know Dad can’t do certain things anymore and help out, and they know when to let me disappear to the bedroom to get some rest if I am having a bad day. Our friends are there for us with their help and prayers. I can lean on Pastor Martin for regular visits that include times of prayer. My heavenly Father is my biggest supporter. Maybe this thorn in my flesh brings me closer to him. I look forward to the time when I will no longer have this chronic pain. Maranatha! Come soon, Lord Jesus!

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Sherri Maat

Sherri Maat