Picture taken by photographer Josh Telles
For 6 months I felt like I was stuck in a nightmare. Each day almost seemed worse than the day before. I felt hopeless. Powerless. But what’s worse is my husband felt worse than I did. Knowing this increased my anxiety, which grew with each passing day.
My dear husband sustained an injury which caused severe chronic pain for 6 months. Our daughter’s wedding, our much-awaited vacation, Christmas, birthdays all passed by and his agonizing pain raged on like an unwanted hurricane.
As a pastor, he continued working and did so unbelievably well. How could he do that? My pride for him grew.
But no one knew how difficult life was for us.
Not able to sleep, my precious husband was up putting heat and then ice on his shoulder, sometimes up to 4 times each night. Many nights I tossed and turned unable to sleep myself. “God, please heal him. Please put an end to his pain.”
Most days seemed unbearable.
Even my close friends had no idea of the nightmare we were experiencing. I didn’t want to give it any more weight or time than it had already stolen. Talking about it would only give it more credence, and I was way to miserable to do that. I welcomed any break I could get.
Here are 6 tips for survival while in an over-stressful predicament with your spouse:
- One day at a time. Many days my husband would say, “I can’t do this another week, month.” I always said to him, “We just need to get through today.” The key is to focus on one day at a time.
- Be understanding. When someone is in pain, whether physical or emotional, they yelp about things they ordinarily would not yelp about. Don’t take it personally. Roll with it.
- Team up and tackle it together. When someone is going through a rough time having another by his or her side can make all the difference in the world. Most times you don’t even need to say a word. Just be present.
- Pray instead of worrying. When negative thoughts or frustrations arise, pray.
- Don’t talk about it. Talking incessantly about illness or whatever negative predicament you’re in gives it more steam than it needs. For us, we were living it. We didn’t need to talk about it. Obviously we had to at times, but only when necessary. Why give the beast more ground to further destroy us?
- Take care of yourself. If I wasn’t okay I couldn’t be there for him. If there is ever a time to be strong it is when your spouse is counting on you for support.
Finally, after 6 months, and regular visits to our amazing chiropractor, Dr. Craig Keoshian, Mike’s pain subsided and then completely disappeared. It rolled out as quickly as it rolled in.
I could breathe again. The sun shined bright again. Normal was glorious. Thank you. God. For normal. For answered prayer.