Sometimes blessings come from tragedy

Living with uncertainty daily as to whether it will be a low pain, or a high pain day is difficult. It is further complicated by the fact that I help homeschool two of my grandchildren daily. My granddaughter is a 1st grader, and my grandson is a 4th grader.  This requires extra planning, patients, and less of the old perfectionist me. But the real blessing is watching them learn and grow. When they discover something new and their eyes light up warms my heart.

Still, I must navigate the pain and medication schedule so that I am able to assist them. It is hard when I have those days where for no real reason my pain goes from a 2 to 6 in an instance. I have discovered that explaining how I am feeling is important. It allows them to learn empathy for others and gives them an opportunity give back. For example, there are times I must sit down and put my feet up. Both children allow me to sit and bring their computers over to me and we continue with their lessons. They are both ready to help me as well. My grandson will ask if I need for him to get me anything. My granddaughter will help put my recliner up and down.

Teaching children how to be helpful, patient, and give back is something that seems to be lost these days. So many children today are only concerned with what can “I get” or “how does this benefit me”. I believe children like to be useful and feel like they are accomplishing things. For example, my granddaughter loves to help Swiffer and fold laundry. Now she might not do a perfect job but that is not what is important. Teaching her how to do the task and praising her for the job she completes is what counts. No matter what the task is giving positive reinforcement is crucial. This allows the child to learn, give back and gives them the ability to accomplish new things. This causes them to grow.

This injury has dramatically changed my life. I live daily with having to take medications multiple times a day to control pain, spasticity, muscle spasms, and sometimes to help with anxiety. But in many ways, it has changed it for the better. It has caused me to slow down, not to take any part of life for granted, and to have patients. It has also taught me how to receive and given me precious time with my grandchildren allowing me to teach them so many things including tolerance and acceptance. Plus, I have also the time to maintain my blog, to create fun crafts, garden, and to share it all with my family.

Published by Denise Rogers

I am a wife, mother, stepmother and grandmother who enjoys spending time with family and friends, crafting, gardening, and I am learning to live with being disabled. In 2017, after my 8th thoracic spinal surgery, I lost all feeling from the waist down as well as losing my proprioception on the right side. This has made it difficult to stand without assistive devices and made it, so I am having to relearn to walk. Plus, I have another uncommon condition called Chiari Malformation Type 1 which also creates balance issues as well as many other health issues. Because of the Chiari and the spinal cord injury, I have been left with severe nerve damage which causes a great deal of pain (5 and greater on pain scale) as well as spasticity, muscle spasms, and allodynia (burning) in various areas of my body. I have endured 8 surgeries on my Thoracic Spine and will probably need more as the drain that was placed will eventually clog and require replacement. Currently, I have a spinal to pleural cavity shunt, which drains the CSF from my arachnoid cysts into my pleural cavity. Professionally, I am a retired Health Care Professional with over 26 years of experience. I have worked in the Public Health realm as well as in Long Term Care and Acute Care. I have a B.A. in Sociology with an emphasis in Social Work. It is my hope that through sharing my personal trials, experiences, and triumphs that I can help others keep moving forward. No matter what life throws at us we can always tell a better story. I know that God is with me and because of this anything is possible. His promise to be by my side every step of the way helps me to keep pushing on even when there are setbacks.

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