My co-worker lay in a hospital bed, probably dying. He collapsed in a heap the other day while at his desk. I’ve known and worked with this kind, gentle man for ten years, and his sense of humor was wry and hilarious. He always lifted my spirit and made a bad day tolerable.
He has so many medical problems it could fill a notebook. He took the bullet and came bouncing back every single time. You’d see him gone for months or weeks at a time than he’d be back at it. I asked him why he didn’t go on disability because he certainly would qualify but that man worked through his personal physical HELL to get his daughters through college. He was unselfish to a fault.
It’s Friday evening, and you’ve just come home from work either with a pink slip or too much pain to go back on Monday. You’re in full panic mode; how do I support my family, pay my mortgage, buy groceries? Most likely you will emotionally shut down and all the forces of nature will attack you all at once. Your pain level rises, you’ll strike out at those around you and your feet won’t be able to move.
In my last piece, 5 Techniques to Help with Physical Pain, I described five exercises to help ease bodily pain. The response to that piece was so positive that I thought I'd follow-up by describing one of the mainstays of mindfulness-based techniques for helping with chronic pain and illness: the body scan. (The body scan has its origins in one of the manymindfulness meditation techniques taught by the Buddha.)
Pain can prove costly for individuals already dealing with financial woes and problems at home, a new study has found.
According to research published in the August issue of Spine (2011;26:1402-1409), blacks, the working poor and people younger than 35 years old are more likely to suffer from financial problems and domestic issues after settling workers’ compensation claims for painful, on-the-job back injuries.
When someone asks me how I'm doing, I've got my glass-half-full and my glass-half-empty answers. My glass-half-full answer is that I'm now able to be up and about for several hours in the morning and then—usually—again in the afternoon.
I once read that the most common movie line is, "Let's get outta here." That describes exactly how I felt a few weeks ago as I sat in the lounge chair in my backyard. I was suddenly overcome with restlessness. But I didn't have the option to "get outta here." As most readers know, I'm mostly housebound due to chronic illness.
If you could walk in my shoes, You would see, I paid my dues, I worked hard my whole life through, Even though, I no longer do.
You would see how hard I tried. You would see how hard I cried. Can't you see my condition is real, Even though you can't see what I feel. Your support could lift me up. That would be amazing luck. My disability; you can't see, But I need you to believe in me.
Trust me when I say, A friend could make my day. Please lend a helping hand, With your support, I can stand. A little goes along way. A good friend won't turn away. A little kind word can lift my soul. A little kind word can make me whole.
Written By: Manuela McPhee on May 23, 2009
By: Nancy Mann Jackson
How it works: Established by the Social Security Act of 1965, Medicare is a social insurance program that provides health insurance coverage to people who are 65 and over and others who meet special criteria (such as having a permanent physical disability). The basic Medicare plan pays up to 80 percent of medical costs; by adding a Medicare Advantage plan, individuals over 65 can receive more complete benefits.
In May of 2001, I got sick with what the doctors thought was an acute viral infection. But I didn't recover. As the months went by and I didn't get better, I felt as if I'd entered a parallel universe that I didn't know existed. One reason this universe is largely invisible is that many people living with chronic pain or illness don't look any different from those around them. We simply don't look sick or in pain.