Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Have you ever felt like you have a giant dark cloud following you? Well that seems to be what's happening right now. The other night my youngest daughter decided that she was going to close her bedroom door on the hand that I have CRPS in!! I know she didn't really mean to hurt me, and she really upset that she had hurt her daddy. So as you can imagine my pain is at an all time high and I really need some relief! It just seems like I can't catch a break. One thing seems to happen after another and quite frankly I'm tired of it. Anytime things want to stop happening they can. It's time for something good to happen to me. I just have to call on God for an intervention!!! The way I see it I have no choice but to see it as yet another test of my faith.

I started to look back today at all the times that my faith has been tested through all this, and I wanted to reflect on a few of the amazing ways in which God has been there when I've needed Him the most. I can remember feeling a whole host of emotions when this whole thing started. I remember feeling scared and angry, and like things were spinning out of control. I was trying to figure out what was happening, and why it was happening to me. There was a point at the beginning where I was angry because nobody could give me any answers. Deep down inside I knew that there had to be some answers! 

What I found I needed to do was put more of my faith and trust into God. I started to realize that this whole thing was so much bigger than what I could handle on my own. I needed to ask for God's help and guidance to get through this. He started to help me deal with some of the anger and frustration that was building up inside. God challenged me not to be angry but to try to understand, learn, and grow from what was happening.  At the start I was also filled with all kinds of different fears. There was not knowing if I would get the use of my limbs back, to how I was going to be able to pay my bills, and how we would survive financially. Again I found myself having to put complete faith in Him and trust that He would provide for me in these areas. Once again there have been challenges along the way. 

There was no better example of this than when we were adopting our second child Katelyn. We were stretched to the max financially, and didn't know where all the money would come from that we needed. One day the doorbell rang and  it was a courier from UPS. We weren't expecting anything, so I have to say that I was interested in what it may be. The courier then proceeded to hand me an envelope. Upon opening it were two checks and a note that said to use the money for whatever we needed to and that God loves us!! I was beside myself trying to understand what had just happened. Along the way there have been all kinds of financial stresses similar to this. However we've remained strong in trusting that God will provide financially and so far He has.

God is still working on the physical side of things, and I need to have faith that He will restore use to my limbs again. So although I may not have the physical use of those limbs the way I'd like He has removed any fear that I was dealing with and challenged me to wage a war. Do I have days of doubt? Yes! Do I have days where I just want to give up and stop trying? Yes! It hasn't been all easy and I'm still struggling at times. Do I lose faith? No! Do I stop trying? No! These are two things that God has given me to stay strong and to keep fighting.

As time has gone by there is a new confidence that God has placed within me. This has been huge because as things have been thrown at me I have been able to handle them better. Does this mean that things are perfect? No! It means however that I take things on with God fighting the battle for me, not trying to do everything on my own. We often have a hard time placing things into other peoples hands. What you need to realize though is that this is God's hands! Nothing is to big for God! That's why I can laugh at the big dark cloud that seems to follow me around, because God is right there with me. 

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Reaching Your Limits!!

Today has just been one of those days! I'm tired because my physio took a lot out of me today and it's taking every last ounce of energy to cope with my pain. I've been back and forth between the kids school three times today and what finally did it was when my 6yr old had a redundant conversation about how many days she had been in school this week. I answered the question for her and she proceeded to ask again, and so once again I answered her. It finally ended in her having a meltdown on the drive home, apparently I wasn't understanding the question or something like that!!  I just want to go my happy place today!! Oh! Did I mention that I have to go to parent night at the school tonight!

On day's like today my stress level is a little higher, and therefore my pain gets a little more intense. My plans tonight will be to come home, get into bed and get lost in the good book that I'm reading. Hopefully I'll be able to get lost in my book, and forget about all the extra stress that my nervous system is trying to deal with. Reading seems to help me relax because I'm able to take my mind away from the pain. I'm also looking forward to piece and quite.

Ok! It's time to get myself out of this funk that I'm in and put a smile on my face. I couldn't finish writing yesterday because I just didn't have it in me. The good news is that I'm more relaxed today and in a better mood, plus it always helps that my pain is better than yesterday. In a little while the family will be packed up and heading to the lake for the night. It truly is one of the most relaxing places for me. I truly believe that God has blessed us in giving us such an amazing place.

I really feel that this week has been tough not only on me but on the rest of the family as well. From time to time it gets really hard and it becomes tough to keep fighting this battle. When your in the trenches fighting it can be hard, and sometimes you may feel lost or your confidence may seem shaken. It's at those times that I draw upon God for strength and wisdom as to how to keep fighting. I've really struggled this week to keep things together, constantly trying not to lose it!! At times I've felt as though I've lost my strength and fight that's within me! Trying not to let the pain win like it wants to.

It's now day three of trying to write this, and I' m going to try and finish what I started. It's hard at the best of times for me to try and control what's happening to my body. What I need to do is get my focus back on my family, and what they need from me. I need to find the strength to get back up from all the pain and other things that have been happening, and be that father they need me to be. The only way I can do that though is with God at my side. My plans are to enjoy a Sunday afternoon with my kids and wife and to laugh and play with the ones I love!! As I finish off this post I want to leave you with an inspiring song that encourages me and hopefully will do the same for you.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

CRPS Doesn't Effect Just You!!

Today has been a pretty good day. Then again any day that I'm able to get up out of bed and not feel like I've been run over by a mac truck is a good day. I had the chance today to be on a radio show and talk about how CRPS effects not only my life but how it effects the entire families life. After the show today it left me thinking how lucky I am to have the family and friends around me that I do. If you want you can listen to the show on demand at her site. The link to the site is  . The air date for the show is Sept 14th. I would also encourage you to go to her other great site which I have listed under my blog roll.

On the show we touched a little on CRPS itself however my wife joined us and we really started talking about how this has affected our family. One of the conclusions that we came to was that not everything has to be bad. We started to list off all kinds of things that have happened that are good. It doesn't have to be all bad that we focus on. Look for positive things that have happened from within a negative situation. The more I look at it the luckier I feel to have the family that I do.

As I sit here reflecting today on everything that has happened I feel encouraged by my family and friends and everything that they do for me to support me. It isn't one person who's fighting this fight it's an entire army!! How often do you stop and look at who makes up your army? My army is lead by God who I thank every day for all that He does for me. I want to stop for a minute though and say "THANKS!" to my wife for all her love, support, and the prayers! Is there someone in your life that is supporting you in your fight? It's important to think about everything that person does for you. What's even more important though is to stop for a minute and think about how that person is dealing with things.

It would be very easy to become focused on myself as I go through this fight. However my wife and two kids are dealing with this as well, and I need to stay in touch with that. I need to make sure that I'm sensitive to how they are dealing with things, and what they need from me. It's important to realize that everything that they are going through is just as important as everything that I am going through. So staying in communication with each other and how we are all doing is very important. I don't always do a great job of it but I try, and there is always room to make it stronger. One thing I do know is that my wife and I are united in our fight to beat this.

This is a fight that we can't fight alone and we depend on more than just ourselves to get through this. I would encourage anyone reading this to stop for a second and take the focus off yourself and look at the other people in your life that need you for support as well.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Managing Your Emotions!!

It's Saturday afternoon the kids are having quite time, therefore it's quite time for mom and dad!! Actually today I'm feeling ok and looking forward to celebrating the Ethiopian New Year tonight. In case you didn't know we adopted our youngest daughter from Ethiopia. It's always a great time to get together with other adoptive families and we always have a great time. I've been having a tough week this week, trying to deal with the pain and some of the other symptoms of CRPS. However that being said I had a relaxing night alone last night thanks to my wife! I went out to our cottage and just enjoyed the quite and a night to myself with no kids.

It's night's like last night that help you get from one day to the next. It may only be one night but that night in my books is like gold!!!! Sometimes your pain creeps and creeps up on you, getting just a little bit worse each day. Finally it gets to the point where your body needs a break. Often I need reminders that I need to slow down or take some time to be quite. I feel like an adult who needs to be put in time out!! However because my body has a hard time slowing  down by itself I need to make it slow down. Spending the night alone last night did just that, it slowed things down and helps me in managing the pain.

Now that I've slowed things down and my pain is better controlled, I'll be able to enjoy the night out more with the family. When my pain is at a tolerable level, then it makes it so much easier for me to interact with my family. The emotional side of things can be so tough because you don't really see how much they can influence your pain until things get really bad. Often it takes someone telling you to take a breath and slow down. This is the time for your TIME OUT! Often people talk about your physical pain but forget about how your emotional state plays a part in all this as well.

When you suffer from chronic pain you don't just suffer from physical pain. Your emotions come under attack and it can sometimes be worse than the pain itself. This might seem easy to control however it isn't. What makes this difficult is that there are so many ways in which your emotions can be set off with a condition like this. There are days that I have a really hard time keeping them under control, however with help from the people around me I manage them the best that I can. There are lots of people however that don't understand the emotional side of our condition, and to those of you that don't I hope I can shed some light.

The easiest way that I can explain this is take a page out of my life. In many ways lots of the basic things in my life have become a real challenge. There are certain things I can do on my own and others that I need help. However there isn't a day where I don't rely on someone for some form of help.  Unless your in this type of a situation you truly can't understand the emotional effect that this has on a person. Lots of time is spent putting on a brave face and saying everything is ok when deep down inside you really aren't. In my case I have a really hard time admitting that I need help. I'd rather try doing it myself then ask for someones help.

When you spend time fighting your emotions then you cause lots of extra stress, which is then going to translate into lots of extra pain. If you don't get them under control then you'll continue to create added stress and feed your pain. Taking time for yourself is a great way to help and get them under control. What I have found to be an even bigger help however is asking God for His help. Whenever I have a difficult time with my emotions then I ask for His guidance and wisdom.

When your trying to manage your CRPS don't always think that things will be come easily. It takes an awful lot of fight and desire to overcome and win. Think about the first word in the condition "COMPLEX".  Your going to go through periods where things seem impossible to overcome. If there is one thing to take away from my post today it's this. Nothing is to complex for God to overcome! 

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Forward Thinking!!!

Well here I am again for part two of my post on thinking forward into your future. As I had talked about in my last post, I was saying that thinking into my future helps to motivate me to get better. There are so many things that I get excited about when I think about my future. The thing that I look forward to the most  however, is being able to tell this amazing story about how I overcame something that seemed so impossible to do at the time.

When your right in the middle of the storm, it seems next to impossible to be able to get through something of this magnitude. For me I draw strength from looking at the end, and being able to visualize how things will be when this all ends. With Gods help I am getting stronger and stronger and no matter what gets thrown at me, I am able to stand strong and ride each wave as it comes crashing down on me. Through the course of all this I've asked myself numerous times why something like this has happened to me. There was even a time when I went through periods of anger, because my future was looking good before all this happened. Then in an instant it was all taken away from me! Or was it?

What I didn't see at the time was that God had different plans for my future. I'm still not quite sure what those plans are going to be however the one thing I do know, is that He's going to use this experience that I've been going through as part of those plans. What a testimony to be able to tell people! As time goes by it's one lesson after the next that I learn, and it's these lessons that are helping me to shape and build me. You see what I didn't understand at the time was that God's plans for me were so much bigger than my plans could ever be.

I just need to trust that His plans are going to fall into place when they are suppose to. I don't get angry anymore thinking about my future, because I know that He has something incredible in store for me. It's all a matter of His timing and waiting for it all to unfold. You might be thinking to yourself as you read this, how can I get excited about my future not knowing what it is? It's easy to get excited because I've experienced all kinds of amazing gifts from God already and I know that anything that He plans won't be short of amazing!!

So do you ever think about your future? Or are you feeling lost, hopeless, or even angry?  Don't for a minute think that because you suffer from a disability that your future can't be bright. There may just have to be a few changes that take place in order to get there. In my case God has given me a vision to start writing this blog and to connect with others that are suffering from CRPS like myself. Down the road I don't know what will happen, however I do have a vision that it will involve everything that I am going through at the present time.

I can really get a sense in my head as to what things are going to be like when this is all over. From that standpoint it really motivates me to do all I can to get better. It also helps a person to stay positive and upbeat and not to dwell on the negative.

One last thing before I go for today. In the next little while I am going to be making some changes to my site. I will be registering my domain and changing things a bit. I'll be sure to add a link so you can get to me, as well as give you notice before I move. I have to figure out the changes first! Talk to everyone soon!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Thinking Ahead!!

Well I'm back for another week! This week the kids went back to school and I'd be lying if I didn't say I was doing a bit of a happy dance!! As of late it's been none stop fighting between them so I think getting back to some form of a routine will be good for them, not to mention good for my sanity! The extra stress that the fighting causes doesn't help with my condition. It doesn't help any parents stress level when you really think about it! My pain has been up and down over the last week, but can say at the moment that things are at a level where it's manageable.

This last week my wife and I booked our flights to Hawaii for so I'm ready to board that plane right now and get away for a holiday. This is something that we've been planning for a while and is still a little ways away. However it gives me something to look forward to. I can hardly wait because it's been entirely to long since we've taken a vacation with no kids! I love my kids but it's time for some alone time with my wife. This is something we've had in the works for a while now, so as it gets closer we get more excited.

I've been thinking a lot over the last week about my future. Every once and a while I like to think forward, about how things will be when this is all over. That's the thing about CRPS you spend so much time living day to day, that you don't do a whole lot of thinking about what things will be like down the road for you. My oldest girl started grade 1 this week so she is gone five days a week now, and my youngest starts preschool twice a week so it will leave me two mornings a week with no kids. I'm sure this is why I've been thinking about my future because my kids are really starting to grow up, which starts you thinking about the future.

Let's face it I really don't know what my future will be right now only God knows that, as He maps things out for me along the way. I used to really struggle with what my future holds because it really is hard to say how things will be down the road.  I  used to think living with CRPS that my future wasn't going to very bright because of what I have to live with from day to day. It was hard to see past living with the pain from day to day, however now I'm starting to see past it and it gives me confidence to keep going. It doesn't mean that I don't have my moments where the pain clouds my vision. However it is important to realize that your future can be bright if you want it to be.

The one thing I can say when I think about my future is that I get excited when I think about it. Your probably wondering and saying to yourself how can I get excited about something that I don't know about yet? Well it's quite easy to explain. When I think about my future I start looking back at everything that I've been through so far and how it will influence my future. I look at the ways in which it has changed not only me but the rest of my family. So needless to say, there have been some amazing changes that have gone on in my life. Some of them good and some of them not so good. There has been this ability to fight and not give up which is a gift from God. If you don't think that going through something like CRPS changes you then think again. Needless to say there has been some real character building going on.

My point in all this is that as I start to see the changes in me, I start to see what those changes hold for me down the road. It's all part of something much bigger that is out of my control. No matter how things turns out as I walk down that path that God is laying out in front of me, I know that it's all part of what He is planning for me. How can I not be excited about that! Come back in a few days for part two and I'll get into more of the specifics of how thinking about my future fuels me to overcome CRPS and helps to keep my mind off the pain.
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