“He continued to live the very life he had been leading before his illness. This was his life. His account of his days, his heart of wisdom, lay in the very passions and commitments which he embodied daily. Day by day, this determination not to run away from his life took more and more courage. The pain increased. The exhaustion mounted. And yet, just three nights before his death, [he] was still in the classroom, still reaching out to others, still using every bit of his energy to make the lives of others better.” http://goo.gl/WB1d.
“In trying to explain fibromyalgia, the American College of Rheumatology uses an effective analogy. They say that for the person with fibromyalgia, it is as though the volume control is turned up too high in the brain’s pain processing areas. Consequently, they endure chronic pain across much of their body, despite no evident source of that pain, in addition to a wide range of other symptoms including chronic fatigue and muscle soreness.” http://www.myfibro.com/what-is-fibromyalgia.
If you are interested in more details about fibromyalgia, please refer to “What is Fibromyalgia” link on the home page.
By 2004, the pain became such that enduring it one day at a time became, after a while, one hour at a time. Later when that too became too onerous a time frame, my mantra became “if I can just get through one minute at a time.” The pain was unrelenting, and none of the doctors, medications, or alternative therapies were of any benefit. There came a time when one minute was far too great a goal to meet, so “one second” became the new target. Of course, it goes without saying that my time finally ran out, and I could no longer hold on. I had to stop working. In hindsight, that is the day that I stopped the fight and surrendered to fibromyalgia.
The man from the passage in “Life is a Verb” died, but he died as he lived, participating in his life, not running away from it. I, on the other hand, though in comparison, blessed to have a chronic illness and ever more fortunate to live through a recent diagnosis of a bilateral pulmonary emboli, can I say the same about me? The answer is a resounding “no.” No, I ran away from my life thinking that doing so would distance me from this illness, from the pain, but as Jon Kabat–Zinn aptly states “wherever you go, there you are.”
If we remain open to them, the opportunity for a lesson learned may well be found in the most unexpected and unlikely of places– even a eulogy.
Life Is a Verb: 37 Days to Wake Up, Be Mindful, and Live Intentionally
Wherever You Go, There You Are (ROUGH CUT)
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