Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Focusing on the Bigger Picture

Sometimes, with chronic illness, we focus on the pain here, the twinge there or the challenge every day brings.  Why wouldn't we?  Each time there is a doctor's appointment, we are asked, "So where do you hurt?  What type of pain is it? Can you rate your pain from 1-10? How has your sleep been in the last month?"  These questions are important so the doctor can assess your condition and treat the symptoms with prescription medications.  That is their job.

I realized that each time I had a doctor's appointment, I'd feel worse afterwards.  One reason was because I know, with a great deal of ER visits, that my body does not tolerate prescription medications and main stream medical doctors are trained to prescribe.  That is the way that they 'fix' people.  They don't have many other tools and are a bit perplexed when I don't fit into what they were trained to do.  I've had doctors tell me that they just don't know what to do with me.

The other reason is I feel worse after an appointment is because the doctor's draw my focus to the pain and discomfort.  It's a laser focus where it's even rated to a specific point.  Once my focus is directed to the pain, it heightens.  One thing I've heard at my spiritual center and had first hand experience with is the phrase, 'what you put your focus on increased'.  There is scientific evidence that if focus on the joy in life, you gain more joy.  If you focus on the things that are frustrating in life, you experience more and more frustration.  Of course this would apply to illness as well.  The more I focused on the pain, the more I felt it.  I've used relaxation techniques, meditation and mantras to practice focusing my attention on the gifts, the beauty in he world and happiness.  I'm not perfect and have more practice to do, but I am able to distract myself enough to shift the energy of the pain to something more beneficial.  It doesn't mean the pain has gone away, it's always there, it just means that I'm learning how to not allow the pain to rob me of a joyful life.

We all deserve to have a high quality of life!  I choose to seek out and focus on those people, things and aspect of life that help me feel as though I'm living life to the fullest.  Just because I have multiple medical issues (many of which doctor's don't know how to fix), I'm unable to work at this time, and I struggle with depression, doesn't mean I should just roll over and let life pass me by.  On the days when  my legs have some energy, I'll celebrate my mobility.  I'm even learning how to laugh at my brain fog
and the silly things I do because of the state of confusion I'm in at times.  We have a choice to either say, "Well, I guess that's just the way it is.  My life is not mine anymore.  It belongs to chronic illness." or we can say, "I'm going to rise above this chronic illness and not let it take over my life!  There are still many things that I can experience in the world.  There are many ways I can even make a difference.  I may not know how right now, but I'm going to keep looking until I find them."  Giving up is not an option for me.  I'm a seeker and I'll always be a seeker, despite what my body may be experiencing.

Thank you for reading, forwarding and following my posts!!!