At age 22 while living in Mongolia I developed a severe chronic pain condition that effects every aspect of my life. Continuing this blog reminds me that life's challenges are stepping stones meant to lift us, not roadblocks meant to defeat us.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Lessons Learned.

I am embarrassed to admit that I hit a low point this week, and felt pretty sorry for myself. Several of the past evenings it has felt like someone had mistaken my spine for their wet laundry and they were trying to wring it out, while both sides of my ribs felt like used punching bags, and my sternum and chest felt broken. I couldn't lay down or even lean against anything because of the pain, my muscles were cramping and twitching, and the pain medication wasn't helping like it usually does. My doctor noticed some unusual neurological symptoms and took me off of the medication that has been calming down my nerve's pain response until we could have a neurologist see me. I didn't think the medicine was helping much but now that I am off of it, I can tell it was. My pain receptors seem to be throwing quite the parties to make up for the for all the time they were blocked ;). So, I learned several things from this!

1 - Family support is so important.
My mom read to me this week like I was a little girl again. My brother set up movies on a bed to help distract me. My Dad prayed with me and blessed me. And my sister decided to do her school research paper on fibro myalgia so we can understand it better, and she has started listing all the treatments that have helped others for me to try. These things snapped me out of being sorry for myself, and instead made me realize how incredibly blessed and lucky I am. I am so incredibly grateful for my family.

2- Experience helps us empathize and increases our ability to serve.
I knew that a lot of people in this world suffer, but I had never experienced much suffering so I could only guess at what it would be like. This little sickness I have is nothing compared to what other people suffer from, but in a way I am grateful for this experience because of the new "eyes" it is giving me. I am studying to become a recreational therapist and we help all kinds of suffering people improve their quality of life. I hope I now will be able to sympathize with them a bit more, and be able to treat them a bit better. I also can see how important it was that Christ experienced all we do through the atonement. He can empathize perfectly, and is the most able to help and understand us.

3- When no other relief is available, Christ becomes essential.
I have seen how Christ and His gospel has added incredibly to my life up to this point, but for the first time I realized that without my knowledge of Him, I would go crazy. Literally. I wouldn't be able to put up with this, or see any purpose in life. I don't know how people who haven't felt His love get out of bed in the morning. And it made me want to share what I know all the more.

4 - So many have it so much harder than I do.
This is a short clip about one of those people. I first saw it on our church website, and this woman is a great example to me! If you have 8 minutes to spare, it is worth watching ;)


  1. Thanks for reminding me about what is truly important. I found that during my dads sickness, and when he passed away, family and the Savior were always right there to strengthen me. I know how we react to our trials and whether we grow closer to the Lord or farther away is our test. You are such an amazing example of focusing on what is good in the midst of so much pain and trial. Say hello to your family for me, I love you guys so much and my prayers are with you.

  2. rachael you are amazing, I can't imagine what your family went through/ are going through. thanks for your testimony and I hope you and your family are well! My family says hi back :)