An Authentic, Sometimes Gritty, and Always Hopeful Blog for All Who Live with Severe Physical Pain

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Polar Vortex Hurting Your Cortex? (Or Other Places?)

Today, I hoped to begin my 2014 postings, as the holidays are now over.  As well,  my 24/7 head pain seems to be backing off (until today) to about 12/7. (I haven’t used that term before--it seems to fit, though!) 

I’ve been working on writing some posts about ways you can achieve greater pain relief in 2014.   However, they will have to wait. Because today millions are in crisis (I mean that number literally) because of the pain caused by this strange weather system called an "arctic vortex". Indeed, this system may set off a horrible season of pain for many, many of them.  

(“Arctic vortex”--can you believe it! Remember the “Derechio” of July 1, 2012?  That too put millions of us into over-the-top pain.)

Baby, it's cold inside too!

You know it’s cold outside when your windows have ice on the inside of your windows! That’s what the husband and I woke up to--and it was a warm 9 degrees at our house, much warmer than much of the country--see map below.

Strange weather patterns, with their pressure changes, and particularly this one with its dreadful arctic temperatures, ignite pain unlike 90% of people will ever experience in their lives.  

We, the 10% who do suffer extreme pain, may relate to one or
more of these paintings:   (Sorry they are kinda spread out weird 
on this pagecan't figure out how to line them up.)  


Have to apologize again! Now, I can't ind the site from which I downloaded this awesome artwork! 
It was a site specific to pain--if you find it, please let me know! 

You’ve come here perhaps for validation, refuge, or understanding of others’ pain. 

I leave you with this poem by Thomas Kempis in hopes it will comfort and encourage you, as it does me.  It's actually one thumb-tacked onto my bulletin board. 

Hang on, friends. God is with us still.



 Ah, Lord God, Thou lover of my soul,
when Thou comest into my soul, 
all that is within me shall rejoice. 
Thou art my Glory and the exultation of my heart.
Thou art my Refuge in the day of my trouble.

Set me free from all evil desires,
and heal my heart of all inordinate affections. 
So that, being cured and thoroughly cleansed, 
I may be made fit to love,
courageous to suffer, 
steady to persevere.  

Nothing is sweeter than love, 
nothing is more courageous, 
nothing fuller or better in heaven and earth; 
because Love is born of God, 
and cannot rest but in God, above all created things. 

Thomas Kempis

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

P.S.  I’d love to hear about your journey with pain. Please comment or contact me!


  1. Judy,
    This is a letter I felt the LORD led me to write to a friend of my wifes, but may have some helpful insight here. But, please understand this letter is written out of love and know we are praying for you.
    With what I have been through the last 20+ years, & what I have put my wife and children through in that time. I’ve allowed it to rob me of the inner joy and peace each of us as CHRISTians should have. I have taken out on my wife and children, the stress of not being healthy and being in constant pain. Looking back, I wish someone would have told me that it isn’t the problem, but the stress and fear of having the problem, that is the worst. (What I have was commonly misdiagnosed as MS until the MRI could properly be read). I allowed my attitude and the stress overcome or cost me many joys I could have been there for. I let the fear grip me rather than letting the hands of my SAVIOR hold me. Somehow I thought it was okay for CHRIST (the true One and only Son of the Living God) to suffer, but I felt I was above it. Like somehow God did this to me, or I had done something to deserve it. Many times I have had to talk with our children about this and explain God’s love and joy doesn’t stop because I’m limited in what I can do. I limit myself due to, what I guess, is a lack of faith. Jessica, our younger daughter, asked me one night (when she was about ten) “Why God answers all our prayers except those prayed for me.” She had big tears starting to stream down her face. As I struggled for the correct words to say, the Lord spoke for me. The words I spoke came from Him, I know because I'm not that insightful. I told her, “Sweetheart, God answers all prayers. But the answer can be yes, no, or wait. We all want the answer to be yes, and right now.” But we end our prayers with, “Lord let Your will be done.”

    Our prayer for you(remember this letter was written with a single person and problem in mind) is that the doctors see a miracle and you have a real cool story of what almost was. But, if the Lord has other plans, PLEASE don’t let the stress of what might be, ruin what is now. I have made this mistake for a long time, and trying to change now is very hard. Please, please take every chance to do with your family and don’t worry about what “might” happen. I have let the worry of what tomorrow would bring, keep me from enjoying the present. I truly wish someone would have told me to take that hour and toss ball with my sons or play on the floor with my daughters. And, if I had to call in sick at work (from the pain) the next day, at least my children would know that they came first to me and what was important. Now, I’m paying for always worrying what tomorrow might hold rather than leaving tomorrow in God’s hands. I find it rather funny that I now think, I wish my children would ask me to do things because the rapture may come before tomorrow anyway.

    Please don’t take this letter as though I am saying, “I know how you feel.” No one knows how you are feeling. I just want to encourage you to embrace each moment of each day and when you find out Your Loving God has heard your prayers and has healed you… you can go on living life as if it is more precious than most people will ever understand. We have been blessed with a gift - to see what most people take for granted! Having the health to do whatever they want everyday.

    Remember, He hears you, He loves you, He weeps with you, He will strengthen you, and He suffered for you!

    In God’s loving care and in our prayers,

    1. Judi-
      this posting will bring some amazing stories of FAITH, PAIN, and the STRUGGLE we all go through in coping with Chronic Pain.. the above comments from "John" go straight to the heart of living with Pain, and we all relate to his words--we make mistakes all the time--and yes--some of those have results that we can't change. All we can do is move FORWARD, trying to make tiny changes as we can.

      One thing I have noticed lately is how Lonely it can be as we walk this Path of Pain---I know without question that God is right here beside me, but the PAIN seems to become like a ROCK WALL--when it rages and nothing you do will settle it down. I move slower, laugh less, and don't allow TEARS as I need to. A good cry is so helpful---but I worry about my husband as I know he feels so helpless.... So here is a place where I try hard now to make changes----simply spend more time together---even if its a short driive, nothing planned, but just to be with each other... I also work very hard to keep in my prayers all those who are suffering and going through the same range of emotional up and down times that we are all too familiar with...

      I had a moment recently that seemed to touch me to the depth of my soul~~~while waiting in a very LONG line to get prescriptions, I glanced and saw a man trying to "drive a mobile cart" toward this line... At first I felt anger that NOBODY was looking his way--my gut told me that people KNEW he was there.... For whatever reason, I stepped forward so he could see me and said "Come on over here--there is ROOM for you!" He hesitated---but I kept motioning and slowly here he came.. The lady ahead of me suddenly "jumped out of line" to give him room--but just as fast, she was RIGHT back in HER spot on the line! The man slowly stood up and now motioned me forward--but I said "No--you go ahead----I can wait!" We then had a very Brief motioning moment and I stood FIRM.... He stepped in front of me, and turned----"GOD BLESS YOU!" the room and people around us seemed frozen---everyone heard the words... All I could do was touch my heart and whispered "Thank you!" I will never forget this.... Never....

      Judi--I pray for God to keep "Opening the Window" of Pain and allowing the clock to give more moments of LESS PAIN to you... John I pray for God to continue touching you.....

    2. John and Martha-- Isn't it wonderful to know how God is at work always through our pain? As well as, we can choose how to live and behave, about which you both write?

      "Looking back, I wish someone would have told me that it isn’t the problem, but the stress and fear of having the problem, that is the worst." Wow, John, this really speaks to the problem. And, may I add, both stress and fear are lack of trust that God will do what He says He will do and is who He is. How very hard to live out our faith, particularly in great distress! Thank you for pointing all here who suffer greatly!

      I'll never forget your writing about your daughter. Isn't that the question most asked when faced with suffering? Yet, when people tell me how greatly I have ministered to them, they tell me more than anything it is because I am STILL suffering, but I hang onto Christ, even though it is,at times, with just a thin strand. I know my suffering is still allowed by God for good. God IS answering prayers all the time--he answers prayers "prayed in His name" i.e. according to His will, not ours. We don't know His ways, which are always for good.

      Which leads me to question, John, one statement you wrote towards the end of your letter: "I just want to encourage you to embrace each moment of each day and when you find out Your Loving God has heard your prayers and has healed you… you can go on living life as if it is more precious than most people will ever understand. We have been blessed with a gift - to see what most people take for granted! Having the health to do whatever they want everyday."

      Did you intend to mean that God will eventually hear our prayers and heal us if we continue to seek Him about healing? I hope you come back to let me know your thoughts about this, because my studies of the Word, do not lead me to believe this. I don't mean to offend…simply to have a Godly discourse!

      I am praying for you both, and thankful to you both for being part of helping me to help others along their path!


    3. Judi,
      I tried to post an answer to your question but, don't see it. So I will try again-I would like that cleared up in case anyone else took what I said that same way. Thank you for questioning that. No I don't feel that if you pray enough or have enough faith that you will be physically healed. In my case I believe it comes in the form of strength to handle what I have, or in the times (no matter how short) of some relief that get us from day to day. I do believe we will all be healed just not necessarily here. I was hoping people would take from that, that GOD will give us what we need when we need it, and not to give up. Pray fervenlty for healing and for GOD's will. If you yourself had been healed how many people would you be helping now? Paul prayed about the thorn in his side and was never healed of it. Though I still pray for peoples healing because I have seen it happen. The women I wrote this letter to was diagnosed with MS. I do believe GOD heard our prayers as she found out it is the least aggressive type.
      Again, thank you I never mind being questioned.

    4. John-- Many thanks for clearing that up…I pretty much thought your response above reflected your belief, but wanted to clear it up, not only for my understanding…but for everyone else who visits the site. You express yourself so thoughtfully and with great compassion for others…thank you, John. You truly enlarge the sense of caring and hope I desire through this blog! Bless you!

  2. THANK you, Judi. You are RIGHT. I have almost graduated from PT with a pain management system that I could have peace with. Then this Vortex. I have had a 5 day flare, going strong, not letting up. I thought it was just me. I appreciate your blog.

  3. So sorry, Chick 1. And, apologize for my tardiness in replying too. The "PT" (polar vortex) kept me away…but I am much stronger today…now tonight! I pray you are coming out of it as well! Funny how before I became ill with a "chronic" illness, I never imagined that "chronic" meant always a-changin' and giving you a life that is "consistently inconsistent"! Take care of yourself, g'friend!