On moving … even when it hurts so much.

20180131_0807081249144312.jpgMy pain has changed recently. Those world-stopping grinding twists that have spent the last few years tormenting random joints have currently lessened in frequency, thanks to a change in my medication. The caveat, though, is that this pain has been replaced by a more diffuse, achey stiffness that has ALL of my joints waking up screaming.

Each day begins with me too stiff to move, but in too much pain not to.

So I get out of bed and stretch. It hurts, but I make myself do it. As a nurse, I know I have to. I absolutely have to. But, wow … it sure is painful. And some days it doesn’t seem to feel much better afterwards, either. I still find it hard to move, even as the day goes on.

I have exercised every day since I lost 50 pounds in 1986. So, after my morning stretches, I do some form of cardio, as well. After all these years, my body and soul both crave it.

Thirty-four years and one chronic disease later, though, the intensity of my exercise has been forced to change. And some days (like today), it’s become tougher to even make myself exercise at all. Fighting the ugly fatigue of Lupus makes it difficult enough, but now add in this new painful nag of stiffness, and it becomes quite the challenge.

Yet I still push myself to move.

This morning I took all my creaky, whiney aches out on a little walk and started thinking about a course I took when I was working on my BSN. It was about disease prevention. I loved that class, it was my absolute favorite.

Every morning I would go to the gym before heading for campus, lugging this giant textbook with me. As I sweated out an hour on the elliptical, I studied the physiology of different diseases, and the ways we could teach our patients to hopefully prevent them.

Over the course of that semester, I realized that this enormous textbook literally had one resounding message that came up chapter after chapter, disease after ugly disease:

The more you move, the healthier you’ll be.

That’s it. Easy. Just keep moving. And, even if disease does strike (as it ultimately did with me), the benefits of all that movement will make you much stronger to fight the battle. Both physically and emotionally. I teach this concept to my patients. And I repeat it to myself as I clumsily trip through my own daily struggles.

Just keep moving, Debi.

Even on days you have no strength. Push through and find a way to move. Gently.

Just keep moving, Debi.

No matter how much it hurts. Fight that pain. Work through that stiffness. Don’t give in to it. Don’t let it win.

Just keep moving, Debi.

Even when you feel like crying because you miss your old self. Don’t think about her. Just look around as you move. Look any where but back at her.

Just keep moving, Debi.

So, as I slowly made my way around the block this morning, I repeated this mantra to myself as I trudged, just wanting to be back home.

Just keep moving, Debi.

At one point, an old Crape Myrtle caught my eye and I walked over to look at it more closely. I saw myself in its twisted, gnarled roots. This is exactly how I feel today, I thought. All twisted and gnarly.

But then I noticed the morning’s light reflecting off of them and was struck by their beauty. These roots have such a story to tell. And it’s actually their twisted gnarliness that gives it to them.

Just keep moving, Debi.

So as I made my way home to my computer, I became thankful for my pain in a twisted, gnarly kind of way. I’ve learned so much through it. I’ve learned how destructive it can be to curl up into that tight little sedentary ball of defeat. Falling into that trap will destroy you in so many different ways.

Just keep moving, Debi.

I’ve learned that accepting what God has brought into my life is a daily battle that I have to choose to fight over and over again. That whiney rebellion bubbles up anew with each morning’s aches. But I can’t give in to it. I fight it every day as I reconcile my idea of who I think I should be against who I’m actually being called to be as God’s plan for me continues to unfold.

Just keep moving, Debi. And keep looking UP … not back. Look at HIM.

I’m also thankful for it because it’s given me a unique perspective from which to minister to the people God sends my way in this world. My family, my friends, my patients, and especially you. I’m so thankful that God led you here.

Just keep moving, Debi. And share your story. Point them to my hope.

Whatever you’re battling today, my prayer for you is that you’ll keep moving. For your health … for your sanity … for your peace. Just keep moving. No excuses, find a way.

We can’t do it alone, though. We can’t.

Only God has the strength to help us push through whatever plagues us. Only He can hold us through our aches and help us see things through His eyes.  And only He can shine His morning light on all your achey, twisted gnarls and help you find the beauty.

Thanks for growing with me. ❤

” … let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,  fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith.” (Hebrews 12:1-2a)

4 thoughts on “On moving … even when it hurts so much.

  1. Oh Debi! You so speak my language! One of my readings this morning was about God being my strength- the strength I need for each step, regardless of my energy level. I had to ask Him over and over to keep me going. I have spent the past year NOT moving. Thanks for the encouragement to get moving and keep moving even though its hard.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: On being a real pain in the honesty. | Growing Nurse Debi

  3. Pingback: When your sleep is actually weirder than you are. | Growing Nurse Debi

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