A mile in another’s shoes…

Today is one of the tough days. There’s a big weather shift moving through – I know this not because I’ve seen the forecast, but because I can hardly move. The shifting pressure is making every joint in my body ache, and my head feels like there’s a 50 lb. bag of cement balanced on it.

I’m one of those folks that feels major weather shifts, thanks to crappy sinuses and arthritis throughout my joints. So today is a hard one. I’ve been up since 9am, intending to work on some jewelry pieces that are due, but all I want to do is curl up in a ball and try to get away from the pain. I ate something (I think) hours ago. There is lunch waiting for me in the kitchen, but I know that it has to be taken out, assembled, and heated. Frankly, that’s a little more effort than I can put out right now. I haven’t had anything to drink since 9am (that’s when I think I ate – actually I drank a generic Slim-Fast shake and had some sort of energy water), but again – to go out to the kitchen and put water and ice in my mug is overwhelming.

Ask someone for help? Nope. First, because when I got up this morning, I had no idea it would turn into this kind of day. A weather shift can hit like a freight train, with very little warning. Second, because anyone except Vicki that I could call would have to see our house in all it’s horror and mess, and I can’t endure that. And I won’t disturb Vicki at work.

So, can I get to the point? Really, this is not a massive pity party. Really. 😀

I remember getting SO frustrated with my mom, when I knew she’d sit in her chair for 8, 9, 10 hours without getting anything to eat or drink, and not call anyone who could help her. I also knew that there were lots of people from her church that would come over and help her in a heartbeat, so I couldn’t understand why she would put herself through that…

And all of a sudden, I do understand. I know I need to eat. I know I need something to drink. But I just can’t do anything about it. I understand Mom, all too well.

Do you know someone who suffers? Either with a long-term illness or something chronic? And do you get frustrated with them when you know they sit there and suffer, when you’d be SO willing to help them? All they had to do was ask? Take it from me – sometimes, they can’t. It’s just too hard. To call someone and admit how much they hurt, how weak they feel, how helpless it all seems – it’s like pushing a boulder up the side of a house. To even have the energy to walk over and pick up the phone – it’s just not there.

And, they feel like it’s such a bother to everyone. I know of someone whose husband suffers from a chronic condition. She left him, because she was tired of him being sick all the time. That gives me nightmares. I feel like SUCH a burden to Vicki. So to ask for one more thing?

Reach out to those people you know that are suffering. Yes, it seems like such an act requires a LOT of time, and a LOT of investment, and can go on for a LONG time, and seems like something you just don’t have time or energy to do. The surprising thing is that it really doesn’t take that long, and it really doesn’t take that much investment, but it can make the difference between hope and darkness. And just one small thing – a glass of water, a lunch heated, a steadying hand to get to the bathroom, can make a day become livable.

You’ll never really understand what a little help can do, until you can’t do something for yourself. Believe me – I know. 😀


  1. Anonymous says:

    I’d help if I were any closer than Nashville 🙂 Hope things lighten up, and I know you’ll roll through this just like everything else. Hang in there.


  2. jenelle says:

    From experience, the boulder is hard to lift up initially, but the strength that others give, make that burden lighter. It was killing me to ask people to pack us, move us, unpack us, watch kids so I could nap, bring meals, etc when I had the blood clots… The more I asked, the easier it was. It was never EASY but better. It really has challenged me to help the elderly in our church who deal with not only chronic illnesses, but are often alone as well – even if I have to get pushy about it.

    You are a wonderful, sensitive, giving man and have incredible insight to the human spirit. I really think you should write a book about how to help those in need. How man people deal with someone they love who has an illness, addiction, depression, etc with no idea of what to say or what to do. I really think that God is gifting you to help them. Something to think about.

  3. Cal says:

    Hmmm… think about it indeed. I’ll admit that something like that wasn’t even distantly on my radar. 😀 But I’ll certainly pray about it, especially since Vicki just gave me one of her famous “I think your should seriously consider this” looks. 😀

  4. Pray *real* hard, Cal…. 🙂

    This kind of book is sorely needed. It would help people who do not experience Chronic Pain (thankfully), understand those who do.

    I’ve had a couple people tell me recently that it is just “very hard for (them) to understand, not having been through it.”

    And you are so right in the last two paragraphs. Just even a phone call or an email, even, saying “how are you today?” is huge–it can help someone a lot.

    Thanks for your post.

  5. Cal says:

    I am. I have no idea where (or if) to begin, but I am praying about it. 😀 Actually, I do know one place to start – having a talk with my friend Suzie and getting her take on it. 😀

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