So, my heart does go out to you. I guess you're right -- pastors probably aren't expected to have any ailments, just to emphathize with everyone else's. One of the VERY few benefits I have found to PF is that is has humbled me -- probably in ways I needed to be humbled. I have learned to stop making judgments of people I see with handicapped car stickers who don't 'look' handicapped to me...of people who are overweight and need to use the electric carts that stores make available...of people who seem to be 'sitting out' all the fun times. Having fallen victim to one of those invisible maladies myself, I know that things -- and people -- are not always what they appear to be.
I agree with honey-pie sweetie-face -- don't stretch till you are ready to stretch. (Of course -- I never am. My well-documented -- and moderately disputed -- case on this board is that I am healing well WITHOUT stretching and intend to keep it that way.) Lots of people who DO believe in stretching and who DO benefit from it still have re-injured themselves from overdoing it.
By the way, Beverly, I haven't posted a lot on the board about what a mini-miracle I consider my recovery from PF to be. But my friends (locally where I live) know about my feelings. For so long my pain was so chronic and so intense -- I wasn't considering suicide, but I certainly did believe that after four or five more years of such intense, chronic pain -- I MIGHT be considering suicide. I asked God again and again to take away the pain -- and then one day gradually, He started to do so. And it has continued steadily and progressively for the last 10 months or so. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't thank God for my recovery. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't, very consciously, remember how lucky and blessed I am not to be in chronic pain anymore. There are lots and lots of things that I have 'wanted' over the past few years, but PF has brought me to the point where, if I never have anything else other than my current level of recovery from PF, I will be satisfied in life. That's how bad the pain was, and that's how wonderful it is not to have that pain anymore. I do consider it my mini-miracle.
Kim posted recently to the board about not really knowing what the lesson is from PF -- and I agree. What we are supposed to learn from the pain, from the experience, from the solitude and diminished capacity -- I don't know that either. I DO know that having PF -- and also having started to recover from it -- has changed me in ways that nothing else in life has. PF has taught me more tough lessons than I never wanted to learn -- and I earnestly hope that I don't get complacent and ever forget them.
There WILL be relief and there WILL be improvement -- and unfortunately, it may take lots of time and lots of experimentation on your own. I know your faith will help you weather the roughest spots. The support of people on this board will help too. No one was more desolate and ready to give up hope than I was -- so perhaps no one wants to continue to say 'keep the faith' as much as I do. Recovery WILL happen.
Many times I have posted on this board that PF is one of the worst things that ever happened to me. I know it's not AIDS, or cancer, or leukemia. It's not even terminal or 'serious' as medical conditions go. But my experience is -- the pain is all pervasive and it absolutely runs your life. It takes over your life and forces you to adjust and adapt and accommodate in hundreds of ways.
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