Can pain and the future ever go together?

My children finished school for the year today. Professor X has to solo parent until I am done next week. What will that mean?

Today’s post is taken directly from Professor X’s status update a few weeks ago:

In 2011, my chronic pain issues were pretty stable; so far as we could tell, I was as bad as I was ever going to get and I just kinda plateaued there for a long time.  

Emotionally, that was a hard place to be. Seeing the future stretch out ahead of me as an endless repetition of today’s agonies knowing that in all likelihood there will be no respite. It was a grim future, one that I had a hard time finding hope in, but I was able to make some progress and find ways to shelter and cultivate joy and hope in a bleak landscape.

But in 2012, I started getting worse again. Getting worse is pretty distressing when you thought you were already at the bottom. And it’s even more distressing when you don’t know how much worse things are going to get.

Looking to the future is much harder; whereas before I could just assume that any point the future would hold repetitions of today’s miseries, now I look forward 6 months knowing that I’ll be indescribably worse but not knowing what that will look like. Will I be awake more than 2 hours a day? Will I be able to travel? Will I be able to read? Will I be able to hang out with people? There’s no way of knowing how much I’ll be able to do and how much it’ll cost me to do them.

My conversations with family have started feeling kinda dishonest: “We can’t afford to go to the East Coast this year to visit you, but we’ll save up money to go next summer.” Next summer? I can’t even envision   this   summer, much less  next   summer. For all I know, I’ll be completely paralyzed by next summer. Or maybe dead. But those seem like the wrong things to say when discussing travel plans with your parents. And my son really wants to go to the annual Gaming Weekend that my friends set up every Feb. I think he’d have a great time. But I also seriously doubt that I’ll be in any condition to go by then. But what else can I do but nod and smile when he gets all excited about going to Gaming Weekend next year with me.

Everybody else is looking forward to the summer or making plans for next year. Meanwhile, I’m trying to peer far enough into the future to see if I can stay healthy enough to keep driving the kids to school until summer vacation starts.

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4 Comments

  1. Must be so hard …. praying for some relief for you all.

  2. Oh my old friend, this is just heart-breaking. And knowing there’s really absolutely nothing I can do is the worst part. Know I am praying for you and your precious family ~ praying for peace and joy as you face a future that seems so much more uncertain than when things are going well.

    I know you know this, but just remember, this hasn’t come as a surprise to your Heavenly Father. It hasn’t caught Him off guard. He is not just the giver of peace and joy; He IS your peace and your joy. He will sustain you for His glory.

  3. I was holding my breath as I read this and struggle to find the words to say… anything… other than I am sending prayers for comfort and strength.
    xoxo jj

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