Pain is the body’s way of telling the brain we are still alive. That’s my story and I am sticking to it.
I have wrestled with the idea of addressing this subject for sometime. I think I can speak for the majority of us who suffer from chronic pain syndrome when I say we aren’t looking for sympathy or pity. We just want you to understand what we are dealing with. Too many think we are overreacting and are just cry babies. I am here to tell you the pain is real and can be relentless at times.
Mine began when I crushed my heel, broke my ankle and instep in 1979. My toes were about the only thing that were spared. The doctor who treated me said he didn’t think I would walk again and if I managed to do so it would be with the assistance of a cane. He was wrong on both counts.
The bones healed but the pain never really stopped. It just got worse. It has wreaked havoc on my quality of life. I have reached a point where all I want to do is sit on my arse and keep my foot elevated to combat the pain.
On those days I force myself to get up, put on my big boy panties and deal with it. Some days are harder than others. The pain is not only physical but emotional as well. I have to fight off depression daily but I can say I have remained victorious in that battle. I get tired of hurting. I try to remember what life was like without pain. It keeps me awake at night and causes fatigue. It becomes a chore just to go to town 3 miles away. Negative thoughts try to creep in but I have learned to keep them at bay with positive thoughts. It can be quite the emotional battle that some days drain me mentally and physically.
Recently I have had to start the day using a cane but once I am up and moving for about an hour and the foot loosens up I can lose the cane. There are mornings that I have to work diligently to get my foot in a boot. The majority of my pain is caused by inflammation and arthritis.
I have enrolled in pain management with little success. I was on hydrocodone for ten years until one morning I got up and took myself off it. It basically just dulled my pain and I was afraid of what it was doing to my body. I wasn’t getting any real benefit from it. I have tried ointments and even used horse liniment that gives short lived temporary relief never completely eradicating the pain.
I contribute my ability to cope with CPS to my love of nature, fishing and kayaking. They keep me motivated to deal with it and to keep on trucking.
I am by no means the only one who suffers from CPS and we all have different ways of combating it. Just please be aware that for the majority of us the pain is real. Our quality of life sucks and we become cranky and hard to be around. We don’t mean to be but the fatigue and pain sometimes become so unbearable we lash out even though it against our better judgement.
No doubt you all know someone who suffers from CPS. Please don’t offer us pity or sympathy. Instead try to understand us and be a positive force in our life. Help us through the rough spots. There are days that an “atta boy” or hug can ease the pain, give us hope and brighten our days. Please don’t judge us just try to understand us.
Decided to do something different this time. For those who know me they know I love to cook and Dutch Oven cooking is my method of madness.
I would normally do this in a bean pot on a wood stove but I like to let it cook all day and this particular day I didn’t have that luxury. I make a fire pit out of rims and a 10 inch dutch fits snugly in the center of the rim. Works perfect.
The reason I call it Lazy Man’s Stew is because for the most part you are just opening cans.
1 pound top sirloin steak
3 tbsps olive oil
2 tbsps minced garlic
1 medium onion (diced)
12 oz Heinz mushroom gravy
24 oz beef broth
4 tbsps Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tbsp salt
1/2 tbsp pepper
1/2 tsp curry
2 medium potatoes (cut in 1/4 inch cubes)
15 oz canned carrots
15 oz canned green beans
15 oz canned corn
2 glasses Elderberry wine
Add olive oil to Dutch oven and when it gets hot add onions and minced garlic. Cook,stir frequently, until onion is clear.
Then add meat.
Now pour your first glass of wine. (optional)
When meat is cooked add the gravy and beef broth. Then add the remaining ingredients.
Bring to a rolling boil and cook for twenty minutes or until potatoes are tender.
Pour your second glass of wine. (optional)
Lower heat (I raise the pot higher off the fire) and let simmer for an hour. Remove from fire and let sit for 10 minutes then serve.
As you can see I always use my finest China.
How many does it serve? Depends on how hungry you are.
I hope you enjoyed today’s blog. Feel free to give me some feedback in the comments.
The country is more of a wilderness, more of a wild solitude, in the winter than in the summer. The wild comes out. The urban, the cultivated, is hidden or negatived.” – John Burroughs
I am a lover of the winter. The beauty of Mother Earth covered in fresh snow causes the spirit within me to move and feel alive.
I turn 66 in a couple of months. My body is occupied by arthritis caused by years of abuse. The cold wind cuts through me like it never has before. It magnifies the pain within my joints and makes everyday life more difficult. I guess it was just a matter of time.
For the first time in my life I am actually looking forward to the spring temperatures that will usher my old friend winter out and let the warming air of spring begin to blow across Mother Earth.
It is partially fueled by my love of the river and searching for that elusive record bass. Camping on a gravel bar partaking of the delicious scents of the river. Engrossed in the tranquility and peace that soothes my soul and enriches my spirit. Gazing into the beauty of the night sky hoping to see a falling star. Listening to the nocturnal creatures that are found along the banks of the river as they go about foraging for food and warning others of the intruder among them.
Floating down the river in my yak experiencing the transformation to spring. Marveling at the beauty of the river influenced by the changing season. The redbud and the dogwood begin to paint the countryside with their blooms manifesting on the branches that were bare in the winter months. The warmth of the sun soothes my arthritic joints as I wonder who had been here before me.
Yes it is hard for me to imagine but I am actually looking forward to the coming of spring and saying goodbye to my old friend winter.
As we grow older it is inevitable that we will face the fact that those tasks in life that we were able to do are no longer within our capabilities. Believe me it is a hard pill to swallow. Unfortunately we tend to refuse to recognize this. We are in denial and keep telling ourselves we can do it. By choosing this path we don’t always do what is best and prolong the inevitable. Just recently I found myself guilty of doing this very thing.
In 2003 I became a full time farrier. I built my business up to a point where I was doing around 1400 head of horses a year or roughly 30 head a week. During the summer you would find me under horses six days a week. During this time I saw so many horses that were never trained and wasting away in a pasture. Something I said I would never do, or so I thought.
I had purchased a cutting horse bred filly. She was quite the handful but managed to break her and had her going well under saddle. I lost her in a divorce and figured I would never see her again.
I began having breathing problems and my energy levels suffered immensely. This was a part of my life for three years, off and on. Finally I couldn’t go anymore. My “get along” had got up and left. It turned out I was bleeding to death internally. My body only had a third of the blood it needed circulating through my veins. The whole time I was struggling to stay under horses to make my living. The doctor told me he had no good explanation as to why I was still alive and that there was probably some damage done to my organs. To make a long story short I recovered but my pulmonologist informed me she thought I had some lung damage. It was evident in my shortness of breath and lack of energy.
Then one day I was given the opportunity to buy my filly, now a mare, back. She had a filly on her side. I brought them home thinking I would break the filly. My health issues changed everything. I kept telling myself I would get better and have the horse I had always dreamed about.
Unfortunately I was in full blown denial. I was becoming one of those people I had always despised just letting her talents go to waste.
Then in January I lost my beloved ride dog Kate. Reality slapped me square in the face. I wasn’t being fair to my filly. At the same time I was wrestling with the realization that I was no longer able to do what I could once do.
I finally admitted my training days were over and I made some phone calls. Some very good friends who I knew would give them both a good home, agreed to take them. They are going to use the mare for breeding and break the filly. I guess it is only fitting that the mare would be the last horse I would break.