Sunday, January 16, 2011

Sunday Faith Blog

Some of you know I've been ill.  I'd heard of shingles and knew it was painful, but I think saying it's painful is like saying childbirth is a romp in the park.    It's VERY painful, especially when it involves your head, not the more expected locations of the chest area or buttocks, which I hear is also excruciating.
I'm writing this because there's an angle about pain and the inability to help oneself that I felt it was good and important to share with you:

I've always been a fairly sympathetic person.  I'm no better than anybody else, but I am sensitive and I do feel deeply for other peoples' pain.  This is just part of my nature and I'm not even real sure it's always a good thing, but it's me.  But, though I suffered migraines most of my life which made me even empathetic toward the pain of others, this pain I had with shingles and feeling like an invalid really opened my eyes. You're stuck in the house, you're in really bad shape and it's a real eye-opener.
My message is this:   Help someone who's in pain or can't help his or herself...don't tell them you know how they feel unless you have had what they have, but listen and tell them how badly you feel that they're suffering.   If that person lives alone, call and tell them you're going to the store and is there anything you can pick up for them while you're there;  don't take 'no' for an answer.  After 2 weeks of sandwiches and frozen dinners (all things which have long shelf-lives so it's easier to eat those things than shop, which can be an impossibility for the sick, and who wants to bother a friend by asking them to please shop for you?) one starts craving fruit, fresh vegetables and citrus.  Get some for the person!!

Help your friend, your family member.........a kind and listening ear, a few craved groceries (I craved lemons so I think I was developing scurvy (smile))(and don't get anything they have to spend time cooking other than warming something up!), a jar of homemade soup, mean THE WORLD to a shut-in.  I said "No, thanks," when I was sickest and that was STUPID.   For too long, I turned down soup, I turned down the offers of loved ones to bring things over, shop, etc., there's another message here:

If you're sick and stuck inside, DO NOT SAY "NO".........your friends/family want to help and it's stupid to turn them down.  I finally had to give in and accept the kindness of others, and OH, were they kind to me...I'll never be able to thank my friends and family enough.

This world is tough enough without being sick or confined to your house for any reason.........please let's stick together and help anyone we hear is either of the above or both.....PLEASE.

"Blessed is he who has regard for the weak; the Lord delivers him in times of trouble.  
The Lord will protect him and preserve  his life;  he will bless him in the land and not surrender him to the desire of his foes."  Psalms 41:1,2

Happy Sunday......keep your eyes and ears open and help someone who needs it.......And, accept the help if you're on the receiving'll both be blessed for it.  I'm feeling 95% better.......thank the Lord.
BY THE WAY...some of you email me personally, some of you have my phone number...and some of us only correspond through our blogs...I want to THANK YOU ALL who called, sent things, and stuck around geeeZ though I was so sick I could barely do one blog a day to keep geeeeZ running.........I shouldn't be surprised, but your loyalty to my blog touched me so many of you just kept commenting while I wasn't visiting at all.    God bless you all for meant a LOT.  Love, Z


Always On Watch said...

I finally had to give in and accept the kindness of others...

Sometimes we can't stand alone!

Mr. AOW had a case of shingles last year. Fortunately, his case was mild and affected only his left side (trunk and back); because his left side has limited feeling due to the stroke he had, Mr. AOW had no pain. He did have a lot of itching, though, and nearly scratched holes in his body before I took away his back scratcher.

Karen Howes said...

Z, my father got shingles after my mom died, on his head. It's HORRIBLE-- itchy and sick as a DOG, and it takes forever to recover from.

A great reminder to look out for friends and neighbors who are having a hard time, too.

I'm just glad you're on the mend!

Elmers Brother said...

Phil. 2...consider others more important then yourselves. You've reminded us of a good lesson.

Lord touch Z's body. Heal her and even though it's been difficult, thank you for the life's lessons that you teach us through pain.

Dan said...

My wife and I were having a conversation with another couple. We were talking about kidney stones. Our friend mentioned that it was worse than having a baby. My wife responded in jest: "I think I'd rather have my head cut off.

I've had shingles on my chest and back. I got them after a stint with a volunteer organization in Central America. I was sure I had some exotic disease that was incurable. As it turned out, I guess I did; but it was good to know that it was not untreatable. I didn't realize that this virus could attack you above the neck. I am so sorry. I will be praying for your recovery.

FrogBurger said...

Hi Z

Big hugs and bisous to you. Again, if you need anything, let us know.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful thoughts this Sunday morning, Z. Thank you.

If there is any good thing to come out of suffering it may be that it can tend to make us more sensitive, compassionate, and generous toward others.

It's probably a cliché, but the more concerned about and helpful we are to other people the less we tend to worry about ourselves. The less we worry about ourselves, the less anxiety, pain and aggravation we tend to feel.

There's another point you made that may be even more important: We've always heard "It is more blessed to give than to receive." I believe that's true, BUT we need to know that in graciously ACCEPTING the offerings people make on our behalf we validate THEM. So giving and receiving should always work TWO WAYS.

If we do all the giving and take nothing for ourselves we may be telling others inadvertently that they don't count and are not wanted or needed.

"No man is an island." We should not attempt to live in isolation. We need to interact honestly but cordially or we are not fully alive.

I wish it were possible for me to do something to benefit you materially, Z. I'm so sorry you've had to go through this ordeal. That you continue to reach out to others through blogging despite your pain is commendable -- and helpful to all of US. I hope it is helpful to you as well.

May you completely recover and get rid of all symptoms very soon.

~ FreeThinke

Maggie@MaggiesNotebook said...

Is there anything more rewarding than caring for family or friends, and then find them there, when they are needed?

I had shingles three years ago. Have no idea why. I was fortunate that they were on my side. I got treatment early. They were miserable, but could have been so much worse. I can't imagine having them on the neck or above.

Having said all of that, I have still ignored my doctor's advice, and put off having the Shingle shot. I must do something about that quickly.

Z, God bless you as you struggle with this, and thank you for the reminder of how to bless others.

Z said...

Maggie, another of my dear blogger buddies I haven't visited but who's kind enough to come anyway...thanks.
I'm glad you were diagnosed early, so was I, and it makes a big difference.

I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THE VACCINE....I AM HAVING IT NEXT MONTH. GET IT, FOLKS. I'm worried today with some symptoms, so please keep the prayers up.

FreeThinker, it really DID do me good, even in the midst of the worst part of the pain, to do a blog....made me feel part of the world when I was so cooped up.
I have to admit I get my ideas and write and get images and post my pieces usually in about 10 minutes so it wasn't that big a struggle...the struggle was finding the energy to visit the others' blogs and read and comment; I had zero energy. SOrt of like after Mr Z died, I just could barely do blogs here and still my friends visited and commented. We have a VERY SPECIAL corner of the blogosphere,, Chuck, Maggie, AOW, Beamish, Karen, Dan, Elbro(who I wish would blog more often again!), MK, Leslie, Mustang, Susannah, Law and Order, Born Again, Malcontent...well, I shouldn't mention ANY because I'm probably leaving out real favorites, but you get the picture.

And NEVER EVER EVER will you read ANY of the blogs on my blog roll and hear NEARLY the vitriol and murderous, threatening talk of politicians dying that you do at the leftist blogs...EVER. And, the worst offender lefty blogs are the most popular, like Huffington, Moveon, KOS, etc....their comments are ACID.
I've never seen a call for death on a Conservative blog as big as those, like at Malkin, or COulter, or any of them..NEVER.
Sad, isn't it. And they tell AMerica it's WE who are the vitriolic inciters!!!

FB, thanks so much.

Dan, shingles doesn't come from something like that, and Maggie, nobody knows why we get shingles, but when we do, it SURE HURTS, doesn't it. And SO MANY people have had it I can't believe it.

They know it's dormant Chicken Pox virus (when someone gets close to shingles lesions..which almost NEVER happens, they can get infected but they won't get shingles, they will get chicken pox)...anyway, they think it's dormant and acts up after the age of 60 (usually) or with stress or compromised immune systems.
Well, if losing my Mr. Z last year wasn't stress, I don't know what WOULD other things I'm facing now........and I know all of us face very stressful times from time to time.

Karen, yes....So not surprised that your dear dad got it after your mom's death....

THOSE OF YOU WHO HAVE HAD SHINGLES, did you have FATIGUE? I'm really curious.

Mr. AOW and SHINGLES, after all he's been through...I think I'd forgotten that......I"m so glad it was mild.

It's so much more common on the torso that, in Deutsch, they call it "the red girdle"

Z said...

This sounded whiny no matter how I wrote it, by the way (I think we all sometimes sound that way even for just mentioning we're unwell), so thanks for your positive reactions.

I hope more people are reading it than commenting because I do think it's an important message; it's something I learned LOUD AND CLEAR.

Anonymous said...

I have learned that even if someone says something that is awkward, but thinks it's helping, he/she means well.

Sometimes one doesn't have the words to express his/her feelings. But, those feelings are real and there are not adequate words to describe them.

Z, the prayers for you will continue. You are well loved by so many, I hope that will buoy your spirit. God bless you, friend.


Z said...

Pris, I think we've all learned that, haven't we.
Nobody says anything to hurt or make someone feel awkward.
When one's wick is as short as it becomes after losing a loved one or being an invalid for weeks and weeks (or maybe the rest of one's life) it's very hard to hear certain things. I ask of myself and others now just to think about it before saying it.
My friend with MS has told me the countless unthinking thinks well-meaning friends have said to her, it's painful to her but she's worked through it through the years and she was a great help to me.....anything from "you know, ALMONDS helped MY friend with MS" to "You'll feel better tomorrow, you REALLY WILL!" or "You LOOK fine, are you still SICK?" SO well meaning, aren't they? They sound like HELL to someone who's suffering.
Anyway, my advice (mostly hers) is to err on the quiet there and listen ...tell them how badly you feel. (your emails were very kind and helped me a lot xxx!) >>>.that's's no lecture, I don't have the key, but I have a much better glimpse into this now after having lost my husband and been this sick

Thanks for your kind words in emails AND HERE...this blog's amazing commenters DO buoy my spirits ..! (I love and use BUOY a lot...cracked me up that you used it because I don't hear it much anymore and I LIKE the word!)

xxxx love you,'ve been great.

Anonymous said...

I'm SO glad you're feeling better (even if it's not 100%).

I think this is all great advice and I know how difficult it is to accept help.

Much love...

Z said...

I am having an experience in 20 minutes which suddenly arose and which prompts me to say this (I won't tell you details because I"ll sound ungrateful)...
when you DO have things for a shut-in, call and tell them when you're coming and that you'll just ring the doorbell and leave the stuff by the door and's music to a woman's ears who now doesn't have to tidy up, fix her hair, get presentable, suck up the pain, and SMILE!...someone who'd JUST settled into a great old Cary Grant movie but now THAT's over :-)
ya, sounds ungrateful

TOUGH. :-)

Faith said...

Glad to hear you are so much better and hope you will be 100% soon.

And thanks for the good advice to keep in mind.

Z said...

thank you, Faith

Susannah said...

I am SOOOOO relieved to hear you're feeling better. You have been in my prayers as often as I have thought of you!

There's nothing -- and I mean nothing -- as humbling as being physically ill, & not being able to 'do for' yourself. How wonderful that you have been surrounded by people who've shown you love & support, & help. A blessing, indeed.

Elmers Brother said...

Blogging has dropped on my list of priorities Z as you well mothers surgery and her complications and you know about Elmer. I'm also attending schoole and working full time.

Besides you're much more eloquent than I could ever be.

Keep up the good work.

Elmers Brother said...

school...apparently I need either a typing or a spelling class

Beth said...

I'm sorry, I have read your blog here and there and knew at one point you weren't feeling well, so I apologize for not sending good wishes and prayers for a speedy recovery.

Good message on this post, to take care of each other, pay it forward just in case.

Anonymous said...

Sorry this excellent piece did not draw the full attention it deserves. I guess it's easier to go into fight mode than to affirm wise, helpful, constructive thoughts.

That most people prefer to denigrate, ridicule and antagonize than to build consensus is just one more piece of evidence that human nature is, indeed, "Fallen."

Nevertheless, I believe it's crucial to our salvation that we use whatever we have to help, encourage and cheer others as much as possible.

Thank you again, Z, for these life-affirming faith blogs. Please don't let anything discourage from continuing the practice.

~ FreeThinke

Elmers Brother said...

To me, consensus seems to be the process of abandoning all beliefs, principles, values and policies. So it is something in which no one believes and to which no one objects.

Consensus is absence of leadership.

- Margaret Thatcher