I joined the social network for A Chronic Voice earlier this year because I needed to find people who understand what life is like with chronic pain. Today I have written a post using the December link-up prompts, to show my experience of living with a chronic pain disorder. Click here to find other blog posts from fellow chronic pain sufferers, or #spoonies as we call ourselves online.
This month I have travelled home to Stoke-on-Trent for very painful reasons. At the beginning of December, I drove to the city hospital to visit my Grandad, who was admitted just days before my uncle passed away in a hospice nearby. That journey was emotional. Just last week I drove home to attend my uncle’s funeral. I did not want to drive myself, but needs must, and I was alone. My eyes were surprisingly pain free that morning, only dry as usual, until I started crying. It was the light that blinded me that day. In the morning, the winter sun hurt. In the afternoon, at dusk, I drove home with a dirty windscreen (my washers had blown a fuse), blinded by the LED lights of oncoming vehicles, and barely able to see the road in front of me. It was a very difficult journey.
In the midst of family grief, I made a more exciting journey to collect our new family dog at the beginning of December. Marley is a 2-year-old bundle of chaos. He is a Staffy-Pomeranian crossbreed, and he is just the little mischievous character that we have missed around the house these past three months or so. We will never forget our beloved Baxter, who died in August, but now we will take time over Christmas to bond with Marley, our new boy. He is already becoming my little shadow, and we have been making memories together as we get to know each other.
We will enjoy the warmth of our multi-fuel stove in the living room this Christmas. I made the executive decision in summer that we should do something with the gaping hole in our fireplace where the old back boiler used to be. I am very pleased with my choice, and so is my husband, despite his initial reluctance. The stove has warmed our family during recent frosty weather, and we will enjoy snuggling on the sofa together as we watch Christmas TV shows and eat junk food.
This is another Christmas where I find myself coping with grief, and our trauma is not yet over. My Grandad is very frail and while he is at home with my Nan (also frail), he is receiving daily care from a team of district nurses, local doctors and professional care workers to try and ease the pain of growing old. He knows he doesn’t have long left in this world, and so do we, his family. We do not know how this will affect our Nan. All we know is that we are grieving for our lost uncle, brother and son, and we wait to see what happens with our elderly family members. We grieve together, as a family. We are strong.
And so, we approach the end of the year. 2019 has been a year for big changes in my family, and of loss. In Spring my youngest daughter grieved for the loss of a school friend who died of complications from a rare chromosome disorder. The little girl was only 4 years old, in the Reception class at school, and she will always be remembered by her siblings and her friends. Then my husband lost his job, although the redundancy had been a long time coming. At around the same time, his beloved car finally gave up and went to the scrap yard. My husband moved almost effortlessly into a much better job that came with a company car, but that brought with it a return to his old ways of anxiety and OCD. Our family dog died in August, and now my uncle in December. I hope that 2020 brings change for the better, and a fresh, happy start for our family. Merry Christmas, fellow Spoonies.
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I can relate to this – it’s hard to be merry at Christmas when you’re worrying about loved ones. Wishing you a peaceful Yuletide, and better things in the New Year
Catherine, I had no idea of even half of the above but share your grief. Constant stressors are so injurious to our health, but your have coped with all of it, despite everything. I have had bronchitis for two weeks yet again, returned to dr this a.m. to be given not only steroids but atibiotics and another inhaler. Although I am staying in over Christmas as I have been for two weeks, i will send positive and prayerful thoughts to you every day. Emotional support is so important. Happy Christmas to you all. Joy x
Thank you, Joy, and sorry to hear that you are still struggling with bronchitis. Hopefully we will catch up soon. Merry Christmas!
Catherine, So sorry to read of all your travails and struggles. Your spirit always shines through it seems. Here’s wishing you a fulfilling and hopefully a luckier 2020
Thank you, Oscar. We are just one family taking each day as it comes. Merry Christmas!
Thank you, Annabelle, I trust that you find peace in your challenges also. Merry Christmas!
I am so sorry for your loss especially this time of year it can have a bigger impact. Marley looks like a great character sure to make some new fun memories when the time is right. Take care, Niamh
Thank you, Niamh. He is a character alright, and a very busy one!
Hi Catherine, I am so sorry to hear about all the losses you’ve had to go through this horrendous year. Definitely not a good year 😦 Am glad you have a dog now, they are such joys. Wishing you all the best next year and sending hugs xx
Thank you. I am very glad we got our dog before Christmas, he has eased the burden and given us something to laugh about again 🙂
I am so sorry for all you are going through. I am hoping the dog brings your family great joy in this time of suffering.
Thank you. He is certainly keeping us busy!