Learning to reframe our thoughts

This was taken during our helicopter tour in Kauai 2021

We can all benefit from learning to reframe our thoughts. Living with an Incomplete Spinal Cord Injury and Chiari Malformation has caused me to fight daily to reframe my thoughts as I face many deficits. Daily many of us face things such as lack of sleep, high pain levels, spasming, lack of muscle control and many issues which can contribute to self doubt and allowing negative thoughts to overwhelm us.

Yet, when we learn to pause and reframe our negative thoughts great things can be accomplished. For example, on my recent vacation, I allowed doubt and negativity to make me believe that I could not snorkel ever again. Then with encouragement from my husband, lots of prayer, and reframing my negative thoughts, I went from “I can’t” to “I at least have to try” which turned into “I did it!”. Wow, what an amazing experience it was to see all the bright colored fish! But it was almost missed because of letting the negative thoughts take over.

No matter what we face, learning to reframe our thoughts is crucial in moving forward. Granted this is not always easy, but with practice it can start to transform your bad days into great days. So, when you spill your coffee or your feet/legs won’t cooperate, instead of getting upset and allowing the negative thoughts to start rushing in putting a damper on your day, take it as “oh well, it was just an oops” and now I must pay more attention to what I am doing and move on. Often there are hidden blessing in our mishaps, and it teaches us to learn to relax and laugh at ourselves.

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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