I’ve been reading a lot this week about various people and how they cope with their lives. I live with a younger sister. We’re both in our fifties now, and our health isn’t too good, so we’re trying to work on it. She has a particularly nasty condition that leaves her looking normal on the outside, so people don’t really understand when she says she feels awful. Having lived with her for over thirty years, I know just how bad it can get. This week the oak pollen around south Texas has reached near historic levels, according to the weatherman. Her condition makes her immune system hyper vigilant, so her allergies can wreck her. Literally.
Her condition manifests with an inflammation of her inner ears. Her ENT specialist who diagnosed it said everytime it did, more brain cells were cooked in the heat and more of her memory and comprehension would be lost. She’s more concerned by extreme pain and the dizziness that leaves her staggering around and unable to drive. She is given a steroid to deal with it, in the hopes that her immune system can be suppressed and the inflammation decreased. The side effects of that are sleep, swelling, and bad temper. Since she is trying to lose weight, it is not a good season for her.
I have insulin resistant diabetes and a slowly degenerating back. This makes it interesting when it becomes dangerous for her to walk and I have to cook and take her meals. She also is sensitive to light due to migraines during these episodes so she tries to sit in the dark and quiet. I can’t stand the dark and like music playing most of the time. It’s a challenge to make her as comfortable as possible while not giving up my life. Luckily I enjoy challenges. I consider them brain exercises. It’s how I got through breast cancer.
Some people, when faced with an obstacle, sit and stare at it and complain to everybody around them about how it is blocking them. I always wonder what it’s blocking, and become so curious I try to find a way around it to find out. Zoos frequently try to “enrich” the animals lives by giving them problems they have to work at. I figure maybe that’s what I’m getting.
This week a Facebook friend of mine remarked on how she was feeling overwhelmed by all the bad things she was seeing and experiencing. Like many do, she wondered why God was allowing it to happen. I gave her an excerpt from one of the stories in my next book, just as God gave it to me.
“Why does God allow such evil to exist? How can He allow them to suffer like this?” “Because if you were never allowed to try to stop it, if you were never given the chance to care about others, you would not be His children. You would be potted plants. Maybe, at the most, domesticated pets. Would you prefer that?”
I also cope by reminding myself how much worse it could be. I am so much better off than many people I know personally. I thank God every day I don’t have my sister’s problems. I thank Him for letting me have a pension sufficient to live on, a nice home to live in, insurance to pay for most of my medical bills, and transportation not only for myself but for family that need to go somewhere. I have lived in much worse circumstances.
I can dream of winning the lottery, writing a best-seller, inheriting a fortune, or even marrying somebody rich. But they are just dreams. My day to day life is interesting, rewarding, and creative, which is pretty darned good. This Easter weekend when the world celebrates the coming of spring, or the renewal of the Hope of the world thanks to an empty cave, or just enjoys a nice festive weekend holiday, try to look at your life in a better light. Don’t sit around in the gloom, grab some cleaner and polish the windows! It may at least distract you!