30 Things About My Invisible Illness You May Not Know

1. The illness I live with is: trigeminal neuralgia
2. I was diagnosed with it in the year: 2007
 3. But I had symptoms since: 2006
4. The biggest adjustment I’ve had to make is: not doing so much and being active
5. Most people assume: I have a headache
6. The hardest part about mornings are: wondering if this day will be really hard
7. My favorite medical TV show is: untold stories of the ER
8. A gadget I couldn’t live without is: ha-I would say my ice pack pillow(not really a gadget)
9. The hardest part about nights are: nothing to keep me occupied while I am in pain
10. Each day I take 15 pills & vitamins. (No comments, please)
11. Regarding alternative treatments I: have tried everything
12. If I had to choose between an invisible illness or visible I would choose: tough one-sometimes it's helpful for others to see my pain but I don't want it to be a distraction either.
13. Regarding working and career: my public school teaching career is over, although God is using me at home to homeschool.:)
14. People would be surprised to know: I'm in pain 24 hrs a day but try to put on a happy face in public.
15. The hardest thing to accept about my new reality has been: not being able to play with my daughter and take her places as much, and to watch healthy people enjoy things I cannot enjoy.
16. Something I never thought I could do with my illness that I did was: write a book about chronic pain to help others! You can get it HERE
17. The commercials about my illness: are non-existent
18. Something I really miss doing since I was diagnosed is: running and being away from home at church or with family for extended amounts of time.
19. It was really hard to have to give up: thinking I was in charge of my life.
20. A new hobby I have taken up since my diagnosis is: knitting, sleeping and reading God's word more-although that's a life shift not really a hobby.
21. If I could have one day of feeling normal again I would: laugh a lot, go to the beach, run, stay out really late, enjoy each moment.
22. My illness has taught me: I need to rely on the Lord in everything, to trust Him, to be more compassionate to others and to be thankful!
23. Want to know a secret? One thing people say that gets under my skin is: you seem to be fine.
24. But I love it when people: pray for me, let me know they love me, visit me, tell
me genuinely they care
25. My favorite motto, scripture, quote that gets me through tough times is: Romans 8:18 "For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us "and Revelation 21:4 "and He shall wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there shall no longer be any death; there shall no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away."
26. When someone is diagnosed I’d like to tell them: I'm here. Yes the road is hard, but keep your focus on Christ. He will sustain you.
27. Something that has surprised me about living with an illness is: so many others who are suffering and need help or just an ear to listen as well as how much I need God daily.
28. The nicest thing someone did for me when I wasn’t feeling well was: come over regularly to visit and care how I am.
29. I’m involved with Invisible Illness Week because: more people need to know how these diseases affect us.
30. The fact that you read this list makes me feel: thankful you care enough.

Getting to the heart of the matter

         I've been reflecting lately, not on what I say, or how I act but what my actions are reflecting...I've been bitter about so much. Parenting to start with. Dealing with a difficult, crazy, fun, energetic 7 year old is hard work. But being a mom AND having chronic pain every day is pushing me past my limit. I seem to yell a lot-funny how I am yelling at my daughter to stop acting like that and be more respectful and obedient when I am not giving her such a good example to model after. Considering the Bible verse...In your anger do not sin (Eph 4:26), I am doing the very thing I am asking her not to do. And so I become bitter. 
           Bitter in that I am juggling so many things in life to deal with but at the heart of it all is my relationship with God. I am still, at times, turning to my old crutches to try to hold things together. They never stay put together, you see. In the end they topple down and then I have to start all over. It's exhausting. "Come to me all who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest," says the Lord in
Matthew 11:28. 
          Why don't I naturally believe this and run to my Savior when life gets too difficult? Pride? yes. Sin entices and encircles us-making it hard to believe our Savior wants us to come to Him for we just keep messing life up plus we can do it ourselves-or so we think! But He is there...He is there with arms open wide waiting, yes waiting for us. He loves me. He loves you. You see in the end no matter what our struggle is... pain or elsewhere our heart is the issue. It's always been the issue.
         If we recognize this-aww what things await us as we have the ability and the right (through Christ) to run to our Heavenly Father, throwing ourselves down before Him, praising and thanking Him for all that we have in Christ-He has saved us! What victory! What joy! PLUS we can know He is there to pick up our burdens and carry us through our difficulties.
          I pray today you see the amazing blessing we have in Christ to run to Him, casting all your cares on Him. For He cares for you... 

I love you, Lord, my strength. The Lord is my Rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my Rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
Psalm 18:1-2

Exerpt from Don't Waste Your Pain...

More Questions

       I often think of why God has not healed me. I know He is more than capable. I know He loves me. I wonder if you have felt the same. It can be a lonely place. Once I got a firm grip on the overarching idea behind His story (the Bible), I realized a few things. First, if things were given to us by God to make our lives easy, it wouldn't make sense. If you read through the Gospels, you will see that Jesus is all about working things out that are impossible to human understanding. If we can accomplish hardship easily, then we get the glory! Think how many times you have said,"That was not as hard as I thought." I know I have. Do we then turn around and say,"Thanks be to Jesus for helping me through this not-so-hard thing I am going through?" No.
        Should Christians be exempt from hardships or despair or cancer or strokes? Believe me, I would like to not go through this horrific pain, but for the sake of the cross I do. For I know that God wills in and through me to do amazing things. He takes this hardship, or your cancer, to radiate Christ to the world, if you let Him. 

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