A thankful heart

Picture taken by Denise Rogers

Joy Is Easier To Find When You Have A Thankful Heart by Denise Rogers

It is so easy to lose sight of what really brings joy when your body hates you. Each day I am faced with the reality of a body that does not function “normally”. My pain receptors are on overdrive, I must take a boatload of medications, and the lower half of my body often has a mind of its own. Having an Incomplete SCI and Chiari Malformation has taken away my ability to run, dance freely, stand/walk without assistance, and given me a lot of grief.  So, what is there to be joyful for?

First, just waking up and being able to still breathe, see and hear is enough to bring a peaceful smile to my face. I have been given the privilege of another day to enjoy to the best of my ability. I can sit, watch, and listen to the amazing song of the birds, listen to the wind as is blows through the trees, and smell the blooming roses, lavender, and geraniums.

Yes, I may some limitations, but I am still able to do so much. I can share a kind word, a smile and/or a friendly gesture like letting someone go ahead of me in the store. I am also able to use my camera to capture some of the beauty that encompasses me or use my artistic abilities to create something new to share with those around me.

I have also been given the privilege of being able to drive with the use of hand controls. Yes, there are moments where my pain is too high, and driving is out of the question. Yet on most days I am afforded the ability of picking up my grandchildren and having the afternoon to enjoy their company and teaching them.

Although I can do all these things, without a thankful heart I would allow myself to become bitter, depressed and my pain would take over.  Instead, my heart is alive, and I am thankful for so many things in my life.  I can slow down and take the time to relish all the blessings that surround me. Even my pain reminds me that I am alive in this life.  My injuries strengthened my faith and caused me let God carry me through. Through prayer I can refocus and regain being thankful for the blessings God has bestowed on me. I am nobody special, except in God’s eyes.  We are all special in his eyes. So, no matter what we are facing I genuinely believe that we all have a better story to tell.

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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