Things have been difficult for the past four weeks as Mom suffers through post-shingles pain that has been so relentless that even the two different painkillers she's been prescribed haven't made a dent in pain relief.
Yesterday, we thought we'd turned a corner. Mom got up feeling great and we celebrated by running out to Home Depot and then Sundance, our local nursery, to buy a few plants for the front garden. This morning she was still feeling well and spent the day reading. But by afternoon, the pain had returned like a tsunami and it seemed that once again the painkillers were having no effect.
During setbacks like these, it's easy to get discouraged and to believe that things will never improve. And as much as I'd like to crawl into bed and pull up the covers, I've found that the best remedy is actually to give thanks.
As counterintuitive as that might sound, it works. Somehow it puts things into perspective, reminds us that not all is lost, that things were better yesterday, there's hope they'll better again tomorrow. I am one of those who believe that a positive attitude really does make a difference in outcomes.
Since this pain started, I've gotten down on my knees to pray before getting into bed, and asked God to take away the pain and restore Mom's health. Last night I got down on my knees and gave thanks for the wonderful day she had, for how great she felt. Tonight, I'll get back down on my knees and pray again for her relief and restoration.
But I'll also give thanks that her appetite is getting better, that she has a birthday coming up in July and all her children will be flying to celebrate it with her. I will say thank you God, for healing her pain and I know you can do it again and make it permanent.
Giving thanks is a declaration of hope in the face of despair, it is holding up a candle in the night and knowing that the 'darkness comes before the dawn'. When things look most difficult our resolve must be strongest.
Please keep Mom in your prayers.