Chris Tomlin O Come all Ye Faithful

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Physical and Mental Illness; in the Balance

I've often thought it odd how my mental illness and my physical issues usually do not both exacerbate at the same time. (well, ONCE they did, when I got meningitis, I was already in a psych hospital at its onset....And I DO get nutty following surgery, but that may only be a response to the anesthesia.) Normally, when I'm most psychotic, I'm not dealing with anything physically beyond the chronic issues--at least not if I'm not taking steroids. For example, when I was admitted to the psych hospital, coming up on three years ago now; when I went in, I was "feeling no pain"...I was fighting with all of my strength and not hurting (at least as far as I can recall--which isn't very far )...However by the time I got out onto the regular unit - as opposed to being in "the Quiet Area" ie: padded room, I found myself unable to play ping pong due to the bad state of my hips - this being prior to my hip replacements.

One can explain that endorphins, or at the very least adrenaline, kick in at those points and hide any pain we are feeling...which is likely true. And one can also make a case for the mental illness issues kicking in once things have gotten beyond the point of normal endurance. I know when I had meningitis I was certainly nuts and at other times, such as when I had pneumonia and endocarditis at the same time, I was a bit off the beam then...but I believe that these mental "deviations" can be explained either by the neurological effect of the illness itself or by the medications used to treat it (eg: steroids)...

And when my physical pain is most acute, I think (obviously my point of view here is subjective and may be very mistaken) that I'm usually pretty clear-minded - as much as anyone can be, when their body is on fire. :0

Sunday I was in horrific pain. It started on Saturday...went throughout a hellish night...and all throughout Sunday. My daughter and her boyfriend were to come over Saturday night and then go to church with me on Sunday (yay!) and then my parents were coming over for a small get together --the six of us. Fortunately, I'd had the foresight to scrub the "I'll-just-cook-a-BBQ-dinner" and had altered it to "You'll-just-go-to-the-deli-for-sandwiches" before my husband bought all the BBQ supplies. Even so, it took all of my endurance to make it through the visit....and once they left the pain had escalated from a 9 to a 10. It was so bad that I made those guttural, animal noises any time I tried to move...the same ones I made with my dislocated hip as the paramedics lugged me out of my recliner. (This is usually my "nth -degree" of pained expressions...this or tears. I'm not a screamer.)

Actually, I'd re-read a conversation this morning that I'd held on Facebook
with a friend in Canada late Sunday. And this friend may dispute my "clarity of mind" which I had on Sunday in that excruciating pain. Because as I re-read this conversation I encountered words coming from me which ahhh, are NOT words. lol. But as I recall, I was 99% asleep during that talk so we'll just chock up that little bit of incoherence to exhaustion, okay? Okay.

More and more often lately, as I proofread things I've written I see statements that just don't make sense...or usages of completely wrong words...words that make no logical sense in that setting. And this disturbs me. Is my sz becoming more overt, less controlled? Or is it just my mind caving in due to old age or some other degenerative process??

Does God ever give us more than we can handle?
Like Joni Eareckson Tada, I would have to say, "Yes, he does." But that's why HE'S around so closely at those times! "Come to me , you who are burdened and heavy laden, and I WILL GIVE YOU REST." It's in those times that Jesus, our fellow "yoke-partner" pulls more of the weight...when we are stumbling under a load too heavy to carry.

(And for those of you who would take exception and point out 1 Cor. 10:13;...the word there is "TEMPTATION"-which can also sometimes be translated as "Trials." However if you look at the context of this verse, I strongly believe Paul was talking only of temptations which will never be more or greater than we can bear). Certainly, people every single day face trials beyond bearing. My pain on Sunday was beyond my ability to endure. (That's why they make serious pain killers). The only thing is that we do NOT have to bear them alone. Yes, we still have to experience them and carry them...but God is at our side and we know that he feels our pain in ways that no one else can.
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