Illness Doesn’t Equal Lack of Faith


 

I have heard  that my tragedies, illnesses, abuse etc. are cast upon me because maybe I am not virtuous enough?  I’ve even heard that maybe I am cursed because I do not have enough faith?  A friend of mine had someone in a local market say that they were going to “cast away the devil in her” because she carries a cane. I have had people say that they want to “lay hands upon me and pray upon me, because I am afflicted”, they feel that their prayers will “cast out evil spirits, or evilness that has caused my afflictions”.  There was  another who  told me that I don’t “have enough God in my life” and therefore I have “so many tragedies” and it is because I “have not forgiven my abusers in this life”…..Sometimes I feel that over zealous, “fundamentalists”, who are excited about God’s miracles, try to “play God” in peoples lives. For instance, I heard about an 18 year old girl who went to a Christian camp and was told that her younger brother need not have died from Cancer, if only the family had more faith! WHAT?  You NEVER know who is going to be stricken with an affliction, an illness, disease or grief.  Put yourself in their shoes and think about what you say.  I am a “Chemo Angel”.  I get assigned a person who’s going through chemo therapy and I send them small gifts & cards of cheer. Right now I have a small, 3 year old girl, with “Langerhans cell Histiocytosis (LCH) “, a form of childhood cancer. Could anyone say that she is ill because she doesn’t have enough Faith or that she’s done something to wrong God and he is “disappointed” in her? Can you say that she has had cancer for 3 out of her 4 years of life, because her family doesn’t have enough faith? NO, that would be cruel and judgemental!

First of all, none of the statements about “illness being due to a lack of Faith”, are accurate. Look at Job and all that he went through!  Job was persecuted because of his faith in God.  Job was given an “affliction”, not because he was “cursed” and certainly not by his own fault.  Three of Job’s friends came to comfort him at the beginning of his worst pain and loss! They were sure that Job was sick and suffering because of the sins he had committed during his life. They told him that “righteous people don’t suffer”. Job always continued to say that he had done nothing sinful or wrong.  In the Bible it does not say that a lack of healing is equal to a lack of faith! God can choose not to heal the faithful, but it is not connected to a lack of faith.

It is cruel, unloving, unkind and just wrong, to say that someone has a lack of faith and is ill, or stricken with loss and tragedy in life because they don’t have enough prayer, faith or enough love of Jesus Christ.  To accost anyone in such a judgemental way does not help but only makes them feel marginalized and more alone.  There are many different faiths in our society. Each Religion has its own set of beliefs, rules and rituals. I’m not here to judge any of these Faiths or  beliefs, but I am here to say that nobody is sick because of their belief system or lack of faith.  People don’t live with chronic pain day in and day out due to any Religious affiliations or lack thereof. We don’t use a cane, a wheelchair or a walker because we do not pray enough.  It does not help a person with chronic pain and illness, to approach them and say any of the words that I’ve stated above. If you choose to pray for someone, then you can do that. But don’t try to push guilt and more pain onto anyone who’s already suffering. That doesn’t help, it only hurts and makes things much worse. Please try to remember to treat others as you would wish to be treated.

Seventeen Positive Resolutions for 2017!


 

 

Wow, I cannot believe that 2017 is upon us already! Only a few more days and I will have gone through another year with unrelenting nerve pain from systemic/full body CRPS and several other painful illnesses. I have a choice to make, this New year, this month, this week and today. I can choose to get up and start again, to make positive choices and be a “doer”. On the other hand, I can go back to bed, be negative and be a “downer”.  That doesn’t mean that some days aren’t going to be “downer” days.  But we truly must try our best to make the most of each day.  I have decided that some of us may need help getting started with the New Year and those pesky resolutions that we seem to start and never keep.

These are the kinds of things we can all do to help ourselves and each other to have a better year than the one or one’s prior.  Here is my list of resolutions for the New Year, 2017:

  1. First of all, when you start to think more positively, you will become a more positive person.  So first, and foremost start to think more positively.
  2. When  you feel that you are having an especially bad day, take the morning to rest and recuperate. Try to do at least one thing in the afternoon, that will make you feel that you have accomplished a minimum of one activity each day.  This activity may be as simple as taking a shower. When you deal with chronic illness, taking a shower can be very draining and therefore, this is an accomplishment!
  3. If you are a woman and you used to wear make up, try putting on making up once in awhile. If you are a man, then try to shave once in awhile and put on some after-shave, even if you live alone. You’ll be surprised at how different and revived it’ll make you feel.
  4. When you wake up in the morning, make a choice for yourself that this will be a “good day”. If not a “good day”; then at least try to make it a little bit better. The more we think positively, the better we will feel. This will lower Blood pressure and negative thoughts etc.
  5. whether you are with a husband, a partner or living alone, try to be more respectful of the other person or people around you. Remember that they are suffering your illness(es) as well. They are missing out when you cannot go with them to places and/or events as much as you are missing out on going. Just be mindful of how your actions cause reactions in the ones that you love.
  6. Get up and out of bed each day. Even if it is only to do a small action, such as moving onto your favorite chair instead of lying in bed all day. If you have a pet, sit with them in a different area. Give yourself different sense of scenery. You’ll see that just getting out of bed can make you feel more positive.
  7. Try each day to either watch a funny movie, read a good book or if you cannot get into this kind of commitment, then find some good articles on the internet to read. These things tend to keep our minds sharp and help with a positive mind set.  Don’t read only the “bad stuff” in the News; or articles about your illness(es).  Try to get “lost” into a fun or funny book /movie or a drama.
  8. If your memory is a bit foggy due to illness(es), try making a list. You can make a list of things that you want to accomplish in this New Year if you want to think long term. If you want to look at this in a shorter time frame then make a list each day, of things that you want to accomplish during that 24 hours. Check off things as you do them.
  9. Try to learn at least one new skill this year. There are so many things to do and many that we can do even if we are not feeling very well.  There are things to do that pass the time, which are more positive.  Some examples of  larger scale activities or skills might be:  sewing, making jewelry, cooking,  knitting, crocheting or learning a new language.
  10. Try new activities on a smaller daily scale, such as:  the new adult coloring books, go to library or get someone to go to the library for you and sign out some magazines and read through different articles, make a scrap or memory book or organize your photos. You could even do something as small as starting a new board on Pinterest.
  11. Remember that “junk drawer” or closet that has been cluttered up all year long? Clean those out and organize and you’ll be surprised at how much better you will feel! A weight seems to be lifted when we start to organize or “de-clutter”! If you cannot do it yourself, ask for help! Many people do want to help us if we allow it.
  12. Join an organization or group that does something good for yourself and others. You could join a support group or start one for a number of different causes.
  13. Volunteer at your local humane society or animal shelter. You can do tasks as simple as petting cats and /or dogs. Give love to an animal and see how that makes you feel more energetic and positive.
  14. Volunteer to read stories to children at a day care center or at your local library. That is a “sit-down” activity that will make you feel useful and children always make us feel loved.
  15. If you cannot get out of the house, then try to do something online. Volunteer to be a patient leader and do positive activities online such as positive Meme’s on Facebook or tweeting positive affirmations for yourself and others.
  16. Make your surroundings seem new, different or better by something as big as cleaning, painting (even just a little bit each day), putting up new pictures or rearranging your furniture. Get someone to help you if you need that. On a smaller scale you can do something as simple as changing your haircut, color or paint your nails. If you are a male, you can buff up your nails, clean them and put on some clear polish to feel and be more groomed.
  17. Lastly, you can find several organizations that need you. There are many church’s, libraries and Senior centers that would love to have you come to visit even just for an hour once per week. If you cannot get out of the house, then try looking into being a Chemo-angel (you write letters or send small gifts weekly to persons going through chemo-therapy). You can start your own “sunshine” type of group and send letters to those who are feeling ill just like you and me. When you do something for others, it helps your own Psychological and physical health.

Above I have given you 17 “New Year’s Activities” for 2017.  If you can force yourself to get up each day, get out of bed and cleanse your body and your soul; you will be one step closer to feeling more positive.  If at all possible, do something each day that makes that day just a bit brighter.  If each day is similar and we do all of the same mundane things, then we will get into a “rut”.  Get out of your “rut” and think of someone else. You will be amazed at how good you’ll feel just by giving some of yourself to someone else’s cause. There are many excuses for not doing, going or getting out of bed. So many of us have chronic daily pain that make it difficult. I understand that because I am one of these people. But I have found that by joining organization(s) in which I have control of how much or how little I have to contribute daily; I can lower my pain if only for a few moments or hours.  By giving of myself and helping others who are also in pain, I can do so many things! What I’m trying to explain is that these things pass the time. The days can become so long when we leave ourselves alone and vulnerable to our own thoughts.  Keep your thoughts as upbeat as possible. You’ll be surprised at how much more energy you have when you are positive. It takes more energy to be negative and many more muscles to frown than to smile. Make someone else smile and you will be a happier person.

I don’t mean that you have to do something every single hour of every day. Of course we all need some down time. We need our naps & restful periods to regroup,recoup and revive ourselves! Have a Blessed New Year and I will be praying and hoping that you have a healthier, more positive 2017! When all else fails, put on some headphones, turn down the lights and listen to your favorite music! See you in the New Year!

From The Mouth of A Fur Baby


Hello all,
Hey to all of my furriends here on Catster…sorry I’ve not been around so much lately. Mommy is still not doing so well since February when she had the heart surgery…she’s just tired alot and not feeling so great. She’s a good mommy and she tries hard to be everything I need and want …but I just want to be me with my own personality and my own quirks. When mommy and daddy got me they actually got me because their daughter who is 25 has her own apartment and another kitty named “Sutton”. They all love Sutton, she is “fixed” and she is a good kitty and mommy’s daughter thought that she’d get another kitty (me) to keep Sutton company . But when I went there after the foster home, I didnt’ like it so much. I was stuck in the bathroom for a few days and I felt lonely and worried about what was going on for me in life. I was let out of the bathroom for times and then Sutton would be put in the laundry room for awhile while I sniffed out the place and played awhile…then we went back to our own spaces again…just until we could get used to each other. But Sut-Sut never got used to me and started worrying , not grooming, not eating and whenever we got put together to try and be introduced; we both got upset and started clawing at eachother and hissing…
We did not like each other and it just was not gonna work and mommy’s daughter was going to have to take me back to my foster mom’s home. But my mommy intervened and she told her daughter to bring me to her house and they would take me as they fur baby and be my family. I was really cute and I didnt want to be alone in a room downstairs that first night and I jumped up the basement stairs and over the 1/2 door and into the living room! I made a big sound and they wondered what happened!! I made them so surprised and they were laughing so hard and I was instantly allowed upstairs with them and trusted.
OK…so you all know my trials and stories and eveything we’ve been through together, right? You know how my mommy used to say that she had hoped that I would be “cuddly” and everyone said to give me time? Mommy had hoped for company and love and companionship. She is in pain all of the time with a nerve disease and doesn’t feel too good and she just wanted something to love and be loved. (*On a side note mommy has an abusive family and she has to stay away from them to be safe…she also lost her oldest daughter 9 yrs ago )…. She feels like she could use some unconditional love like the love only fur babies can give…but not me…so far I’m not capable of this. Mommy knows that kitties are sometimes loners or we want things our own way….You know my mommy loves me and you can see by all the pictures she takes of me that I’m so important in their lives. I’m so smart and cute and funny…but mommy is sad because I never want anything except to sleep and play (playing is harder for her but she’s a good sport and still plays with me a lot). I’m funny to watch but I’m not any company really. You see….Mommy & Daddy.. they both are allergic and think that having 2 cats would be “pushing it. Mommy and daddy’s allergies are in check just by taking a pill daily so thats good and with me, they are doing OK with it and that is wonderful. But two kitty’s might be pushing it a bit much and mommy’s has asthma as well (which is also doing good at the moment).
Mommy keeps saying that in time things will be better, that I’ll get used to everything, that I’ll be better, less skittish etc. Daddys starting to get upset because mommy is sad quite often about the whole thing. Daddy keeps saying that they should let the foster mommy come back and bring me to her house because she said I could come back to her house any time forever. Mommy loves me so much and daddy does as well, but the only thing that they do is clean out my litter box and feed me and play with me. I won’t let mommy (or anyone) hold me, I won’t sit with her, I won’t sit next to her, I won’t sleep with her, she cannot hold me! I stay in one room of the house most of the time and they are always in the TV room. I used to sleep with mommy but haven’t in about a month and now I sleep up on the mantle over the fireplace or I also sleep in the rocking chair in the room upstairs, the spare room. You see, right now its Sat. night…daddy and mommy are watching TV and playing on their Ipads…I’m upstairs by myself in the computer room in a chair. I used to greet them in the morning if there was a night that went by and I didnt want to sleep next to mommy. I would at least be head butting and meowing and happy to see them and get them up. Now I just keep going backwards 5 steps and forward one step!!
I won’t drink water from my bowl…not any bowl…only from the faucet….I want mommy to pet me while i eat or sometimes i wont eat…the only thing that I do that shows any kind of affection whatsoever, is sometimes I’ ll fall down onto my side like “plop” and want to be petted…but only for a few moments or then I start swiping my claws at them. I don’t get excited to see them or even get up off of my perch when either of them come home….Mommy’s friends who are in a support group for pain patients, they have kitties and their kitties lay down in the bed with them for the most part when they don’t feel good throughout the day. I don’t care if mommy doesn’t feel good and I stay in another room ….
Mommy and daddy are so sad …especially mommy. She /they know that animals are not “disposable” creatures that can be “traded” as the cat behaviorist has suggested when mommy talked to one at the humane society where I used to live. She said that if mommy isn’t happy and it’s been so long, about 8 /9 months now and I’m just not that “into them”..that they should take me back to my foster mommy who doesn’t mind taking me back at all! She told them that they could for sure find mommy a loveable lap cat that would possibly fit in at this house and with this family since I don’t really seem to do anything here except keep to myself and I like it that way. Mommy is afraid to hurt my feelings or afraid to do anything except just keep me here with them, with her. She said they should try a dog or another cat and just let me be who I am and leave it at that…but daddy says that thats not an option…..because of his allergies being worse, he only wants one animal and he has to do the laundry, housework, and lawn work and everything pretty much …already…Because mommy has several health issues its alot on his shoulders. He is a full time teacher and has been for 36 years as well….it’s just hard and they know they could do it and welcome it and not mind at all…but they just want me to give some kind of sign of love and affection. I mean, I hate seeing mommy unhappy because of me….she is sad quite often and she has enough to be sad about daddy says, without me being a part of it. I was supposed to be part of the family and their lives and love and be loved…it’s hard because I’m not like that and I’ve been here 9 mos almost.
Lastly, you know…mommy and daddy had they picked out their own family fur baby, they’d have chosen one with a history of being loving and a lap cat and such…but their daughter brought me home and that didnt’ work out with her kitty and me. We didnt like each other at all. Remember, she was going to take me right back after a week, to the foster mommy…but my mommy now didnt want that to happen and she said they would try to take me and see how it goes….it’s been all this time and I’m getting more and more apart from them/her and instead of closer…..any suggestions will be so hoped for… but mommy cannot handle anymore hurtfulness because there are so many abusers in her life that she’s trying hard to keep at bay…thank you all for being warm, caring and understanding…..love, Luna …purrrssss20130922-002207.jpg20130922-002224.jpg