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Friday, December 23, 2011


I wanted to just be positive here, before the holiday, but as I thought about it those of us in pain often have this hurtful (in many ways) quandry.

Christmas Eve is our candlelight service at Church. The choir will be singing a number of songs. We will also be doing a little 'choreography', fanning out along the side aisles to help light the candles of the congregation.

Candles and I are not friends. The flickering hurts my left eye, the movement sets off the pain. The turning on and off of the lights are also a source of pain as the eye reacts to the light, dark, light again.

Using the eye to read the music, the opening of my mouth to sing pulling on the whole side of my face (because of the tightness from the paralysis), even the walking, watching where I am moving, a use of the eye rarely considered. These all have one result. Pain.

I take the codeine more often now that the stimulator is not working. To go the service will mean a lot of codeine. A lot of feeling cloudy, a little slowing of my responses, and worse for singing, a mouth as dry as a bale of cotton.

I want to do this service. It is, essentially, my Christmas.

I sent a few gifts off in the mail but I have noone here, in front of me, to gift or to gift me, or to eat breakfast or dinner with. That is nothing new anymore. I have somewhat come to acceptance with that. Christmas has a bigger meaning, if you are Christian, and I try to keep to that notion. It helps, a lot.

But I miss the beauty of Christmas and a big part of that is the candlelight service. All of us with chronic pain have the situation when the question becomes gigantic. Can I do (thus and so)? I want to, I look forward to it, it is a major event for me. But can I do it? Can I stand the increased pain I know it will cause? Will the pain interfere to where it takes me to the edge of the tolerable level of pain? Will the drug ruin it for me anyway?

I want to do this service. Badly. This is one of the times where the question has to be asked.

Does the pain make my decision or do I overrule the pain and accept the repercussions?


  1. Oh Carol, I wish I was close enough to come and visit you for Christmas! That just isn't right.

    It sucks so bad when we have to make that decision - do we overdo it and deal with the pain or stay home and feel resentful and angry that we aren't able to enjoy the things we want to do.

    I wish I could be there to try to help make things a little better. You deserve a merry Christmas! Whatever you decide, I hope the pain goes away for long enough to allow you to enjoy the holiday.


  2. Chelle,
    Thanks. I appreciate so much that you wrote that.
    I know you have your own issues to contend with and hope that the holiday is a good one for you too.