Showing posts with label chronic pain. Show all posts
Showing posts with label chronic pain. Show all posts

Thursday, January 23, 2020

12. What I Wish Someone Would Have Told Me (Sooner) - "Living in Light" Series

Oh man! If only I had known years ago about what I'm about to share with you. Life would have been so much easier. I would have had more help in times of trouble. I would have had more direction in times of utter confusion. I almost can't believe I didn't know this. 

You know how we all have that little negative voice in our heads? That voice that tells us we're not good enough, smart enough, beautiful enough? That it constantly points out every little flaw, negativity, annoyance or past mistake that we've made? 

Have you ever wondered where this voice comes from? 

Well, my friends, I'm here to tell you. That negative voice you hear is the devil. Satan himself trying to fill your head with constant lies. He loves to poison your thoughts, anything to make you feel less of yourself and other people. He is the prince of lies. And if you let him, he can have constant control of your thoughts, actions, and beliefs. 

"He's been a murderer right from the start! He never stood with the truth, for he's full of nothing by lies - lying is his native tongue. He is the master of deception and the father of lies!" - John 8:44 (TPT)

For a long time, I thought that little negative voice in my head was mine. And sometimes when we hear a lie for long enough, we can believe it is the truth. That's what's so dangerous about the devil. He actually tries to convince us in our minds that we are good for nothing, low down people that can never change, never get better, never be happy. And once we start believing that, it draws us further and further away from God. That is the devil's m.o. So he can have more and more power over us so we stop believing in God completely.

"Be well balanced and always alert, because your enemy, the devil, roams around incessantly, like a roaring lion looking for its prey to devour." - 1 Peter 5:8 (TPT) 

One of the biggest lies I started to believe in was that my chronic conditions would never get better. The devil would constantly remind me about what every doctor has told me, every diagnosis, every time I tried to get better and failed. "You'll never get better. There's a reason why they use the word chronic with you all the time. It's never going to happen. Just give up."

But that's when a miracle stepped in. Last spring when I was born again, a Voice came to me that told me to stop listening to that voice. To not believe a word that he tells me. That He can heal me. That He will heal me. This was God speaking to me.

"Is anything too difficult or too wonderful for the Lord?" - Genesis 18:14 (AMP)

People are cured every single day from what I have. Chronic conditions can actually go away

And so I urge you, question every little thought that comes into your head. Especially when it's a negative one. For if it is, that is the devil speaking to you. 

One vision tactic that I used early on, was to picture myself as a Queen sitting on a throne, and every time a person came into the court with bad news, I would simply say, "Guards take him away!" The person with the bad news represents the devil and the guards are God. And now that I have more knowledge of the Bible, I can quote, "The Lord rebuke you Satan" - Zechariah 3:2, and the bad thoughts will magically disappear. You too can use God's help to get rid of the devil in your mind. 

Every time you hear something bad about yourself in your head, tell the devil to take a hike. 

Begin listening to what God says about you and start believing it... 

"I will give thanks and praise to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it well." - Psalms 139:14

This process takes work. If you're used to your mind and thoughts running rampant on you, you may have the Lord rebuking for you all day long and that's okay! Be on guard always. The mind is a battlefield. Do not let the devil win over you. 

God has a wonderful plan for your life and He wants you to be happy. With His help, you can change. You can even change your thoughts, which will change your beliefs about yourself, which will, in turn, change your actions. You can Live in Light every single day.

And as for me wishing someone had told me this earlier, it's better late than never! It's not too late for you either. God told me Himself! And remember Jo may know better, but God knows best. Follow Him and He will never lead you astray. If you enjoyed this please remember to subscribe here: https://www.joannmears.com/jo-knows-better for notifications on each new post!

Thanks for reading & have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

10. How I Became Born Again - "Living in Light" Series

Let's just start by saying I've tried it all. From positive psychology to meditating, to any new-age fad, to "The Secret" and so on. I'm not saying these things "can't work" because they do serve some purpose and did get me through some things.

But... (this is a big but...) when the going got rough, and then got rougher, and ever rougher than that, all those things literally got going.

They couldn't stand up to all the tests, tribulations, pain, suffering and sometimes what felt like pure torture that I was going through. It didn't hold up when I was going through hell, hitting rock bottom or nearly six feet under that.

When my family and I had decided to move halfway across the country mainly for my medical reasons, I thought the move was going to be the answers to all my prayers. I was finally going to get the help I needed from the best of the best.

But after we moved something interesting happened. My medical issues got worse, then worse, then worse than that. I found myself at a complete loss of how to handle it. My physical, mental, emotional and spiritual life was crumbling and there was no amount of "positive thinking" I could do to stop it.

I had always considered myself a Christian. What that meant back then or how I defined that wasn't always so clear. Let's just say I had believed in God and Jesus as the Messiah. Basically, I tried to do my best to be a good person based on my own standards and tried not to hurt others. But it's only until now, I realize that I didn't have a clue about what it meant to be a true Christian and live the life God had meant for me.

It was only until I was at the lowest point of my life that I came to fully surrender. Surrender every old way of thinking, surrender my perceived notions of the world and myself, surrender myself wholly and irrefutably to God in every way, shape and form. That is when He fully came into my heart and I finally began to heal.

Healing is a "dangerous word" when it comes to someone like me who has multiple chronic diseases. You don't hear it often and you'll never hear it come out of a doctor's mouth either. My old way of thinking told myself that I would never heal...

Chronic means forever. There is no way out. It will only get worse.

That is until God showed up, the ultimate Healer. After I fully let Him into my heart, I actually started to get better. What a thought! I was able to get off of highly addictive medications. My pain started to lessen day by day. I've started to actually reverse the damage that had been done to me physically over the course of ten years.

Every day I am truly getting better and better. I am the healthiest that I have ever been before.

It is truly a miracle.

And here's the thing, this is free to anyone. There is an open invitation to be healed. His hand is extended welcoming you to pure and otherworldly joy. First, we have to believe we can be healed by the Almighty, we have to receive Him and simply do His will. This may seem like a lot and we all can feel the desire to be skeptical, but we first have to believe and then we will begin to see. It's not the other way around.

I can honestly say I am finally being healed. Something I thought was completely impossible. But nothing, I repeat nothing, is impossible with God. He has opened my eyes and now I perceive myself, the world and everything in it in a way I never have before. I finally know I have found the path that was there for me all along. I simply had to start walking it.

There will be much more on this subject in future posts! Please subscribe at https://www.joannmears.com/jo-knows-better to get notifications on upcoming posts. Thanks so much for reading & have a wonderful day!

And remember Jo may know better, but God knows best! Listen to Him and He will never lead you astray.

Monday, September 30, 2019

5. Are You What You Eat? Part 1. "Living in Light" Series

I was a meat and potatoes type of girl. If you asked me my favorite pizza, I would always go for the meat lovers. And I loved chocolate, couldn't get enough. So what's changed?

My process of figuring out my diet has been a slow one and at times painful. It was an evolution that was prompted by one health issue after another. In 2016 I was diagnosed with pre-diabetes. In 2018 I was diagnosed with interstitial cystitis and around that same time I found out I was allergic to so many things I used to eat every day. If you're interested, make sure to read my "Are You Allergic?" post on insight to discover what you're allergic to here: https://joknowsbetter.blogspot.com/2019/09/3-are-you-allergic-living-in-light.html

So let's just say I was forced to make some big changes. At first, it was really hard to give up what I loved so much. And don't get me wrong, I still have my moments. My diet is so strict now that most would be amazed at the small list of things I actually can eat.

Now obviously I'm not recommending that you need to be as strict as me, because chances are you don't need to. I can't even eat TOMATOES! Can you believe it, tomatoes! But there are some tried and true things that I have learned. Things most people could try and see amazing benefits.

1. Cut Out the Sugar - And no not necessarily sugars from fruit! I'm talking about that powdery white stuff that's just as addicting as cocaine.

When I was first diagnosed with pre-diabetes, I started looking at sugar in a whole new light. I could not believe how many grams of sugar were in one Chai Latte Frapp. And here I thought I was drinking something healthy while I ran my errands. I might as well have had a Snickers bar!

Yes, there is so much sugar now in things these days. And it's so sneaky and hidden! I know it can be a pain in the butt, but you got to start reading those labels. If something has more than 5 grams, I don't even touch it. And now the ironic thing is... I actually found out I'm allergic to sugarcane so this allergy did me a huge favor.

What are the benefits? Less pain, less inflammation, weight loss! And yes, you can even reverse your Type 2 diabetes/pre-diabetes, something I did in less than 4 weeks! There are so many health issues that can arise from eating sugar. Don't wait until it's too late.

2. Eat Less Processed Foods - Does it come in a box? Does it seem to have a thousand ingredients? Did you receive it through a drive-thru window?

The things is, they can sneak in so many things into processed foods. The sugar, the preservatives, the chemicals. Also, when things are processed, it actually breaks down the nutrition that was in those ingredients in the first place. If the list of ingredients takes up the entire side of the box, just put it back on the shelf.

So! I'm not even gonna give a lecture on fast food. I know that you know. You already know, you do! It's common sense. It's that little voice inside yourself (sometimes really deep inside) that says, "Uh uh... don't do it. You know it's not good for you." And that's all I've got to say about that!

And that brings us to how foods should really be... (queue dramatic crescendo music)...

3. Eat More Whole Foods - You guessed it! Fruits and vegetables! To eat foods exactly the way God intended for us to eat! What a thought...

And yes, if you can, eat organic. I know it's more expensive but it is so worth it. I'm spoiled because I live in Southern California, but it was possible to find in the South, some natural grocery stores that weren't that much higher than non-organic.

Eat what's in season. Look for sales. How about putting back that bag of chips so you can buy the organic apples? How about 3 less over-priced coffees a week to get those potatoes?

Listen, you have to want to do this. If you want to be healthier and live longer, you know deep down what it is you should be doing. You don't need me or anyone else to tell you what to do. You already know.

So let's answer the question: Are You What You Eat? Are you unhealthy, "processed" and unwhole? If so, try the 3 things above. I can say from experience, it really does work and will improve every part of your life. Yes, every single part.

And if we are what we eat, let's be whole, organic, clean and healthier than we ever thought we could be!

Stay up to date on Part 2 by subscribing at https://www.JoAnnMears.com/Jo-Knows-Better for new post notifications! Thanks so much for reading and have a wonderful day!


Thursday, September 5, 2019

"Living in Light" Series - Introduction.

It always amazed me how people completely changed their lives after they've been diagnosed with cancer. They changed what they watched. They changed what they ate. They even changed who they spent time with. It's because your odds of beating cancer greatly increase when you make positive changes to your life.

How about making some changes before you get cancer?

I've been through a lot over the past ten years dealing with chronic pain. 24 surgeries and procedures. More chronic diagnoses. Doctors telling me I will never get better.

Through being cut down at my knees, time and time again, I have finally found some answers that have helped me in every single area of my life. I want to share these answers with you in the hope that you can get helped too.

If you want more peace, less pain, and more happiness, I urge you to follow this series. You can try whatever you want to see what works for you. And if it doesn't work for you, then it simply may not be meant for you. But is it not worth a try? You have nothing to lose.

It has taken me more than 10 years to discover some truly life-changing answers. Most came through with just having common sense. Some took a lot of research. Some were divinely inspired. I can honestly say I have never had more peace and happiness than I do now. Especially even though my health hasn't drastically changed, I have changed and now my health is going to have to catch up with me!

I invite you to embark on a journey where some simple changes can make huge results. Please follow this blog or visit https://www.joannmears.com/jo-knows-better to start living in light!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

"Private Rooms" choreographed by Robert Mills for Oklahoma City Ballet - An AHA Moment

With a gleaming stretch of white stage under the twinkle toes of an impressive ballet company, the dancers took the stage in this contemporary ballet that left me with tears on my cheeks. Lit iridescent pillars came down from the heavens and lit the stage in an ethereal and haunting glow. The unique movements hooked my attention from the start. The memorable and famous music captured my heart and mind. But in all the whirlwinds of each dancer, I found myself hypnotized by a soloist which was invisibly caged by the glowing rods of light. It was a dance of despair and vulnerability. Alone, he struggled with pain in his suffering, trapped in his aching temple of a body, but still kept moving as if it was the only thing that would keep him alive.

Then all of a sudden, an industrial light bulb floated down from the rafters, and he looked up at the caged bulb with hope. Hope he hadn't had before. Hope he had struggled without for such a long time. Then with a burst of awe, the bulb lit, and he stared enamored at the divine sign. It came towards his body laying on the ground. Thunderstruck, his body wrapped around the light like he had never seen such an amazing brilliance in all his life. He had such respect for this newfound hope; his body never even touched it. But in the ease his movements took, you could feel that his soul was urging to the edge of freedom. He was no longer trapped by the pillars of light that once held him. He circled each pillar, in shock that he had finally become free. Free to circle the traps that bound him. And only the divine spark of hope was the miraculous key that let his spirit sore.

I didn't even notice that many tears had streaked down my cheeks after his solo was over. But in that moment, I realized that he had perfectly encapsulated how I can feel given my Chronic Pain Syndrome I have lived with for seven years now.

We can all feel trapped and alone in moments of our own life. Where we feel that we are the only ones going through exactly what we are feeling. The loss of a family member. The end of a cherished friendship. The eternal suffering we can have to endure in this painful journey that can become our lives. The light bulb signified a hope from the divine for me. And however difficult our journey can become, we must never give up. As long as hope is there, we have a fire within us that can set us free from the emotional and mental cages that surround us. It reminds us that we are souls having a human experience, not a just soulful experience in our fragile bodies. Let the fire within you keep you dancing. There is nothing more important than this.

Thank you to the wonderful choreography of Robert Mills and the dancers of the Oklahoma City Ballet. It was truly a transcendent experience. I will never forget it.

www.JoAnnMears.com

Friday, March 6, 2015

That Doesn't Hurt, Part II.

My surgery was scheduled for the end of July. That was just a mere month before we were planing to move halfway across the country. The one thing I can say is when you know you're expecting some impending doom, you will really live up every single day before disaster strikes. Multiple trips to California, concerts, hikes through National Forests were great distractions along the way. But when it came to the night before my surgery, when there was only fear, doubt and sadness to console you now.
I had been put under before so that wasn't necessarily the scariest part of what tomorrow would bring. It was more the fear of waking up in unbearable pain and a slow recovery to simply come back to the healthy state I was on that night.
I had indulged in an over-the-top dinner and dessert, preparing for 8 hours of fasting before my surgery. I don't know about you, but I am absolutely miserable if I'm not able to eat first thing in the morning. I'm a night owl regardless, so having to wake up at 5 a.m. starving to death is my absolute idea of pure torture.
Tears ran down all of our faces from the night before to that next morning. We were all terrified and there was no hiding it. They got all the tubes and needles stuck into my arms. Stripped me naked, putting me in the wretched hospital gown. My stomach was in knots. Then the worst was approaching, that time when they bring your family in to tell you their last goodbyes.
The nurse then holds your hand and leads you into the operating room. She tells you not to cry but that only makes it worse. A team of nurses stare at you, even telling you that you look far too young to be having this type of surgery. But regardless, they're instructing you to lay down on the table in a freezing cold room with UFO shaped bright lights hovering over you. They ask you if you're okay, you shake your head no, but they must proceed anyways. Then all they want to do is put you under, which at this point you're welcoming it so you don't have to deal with your racing thoughts and blubbering emotions anymore.
"Count backwards from 100..." the anesthesiologist instructs.
My brain starts to count, "100, 99..." then I'm out.
Next thing you know your eyes are slowly blinking awake. Then you feel it. A pain like never before. You've been gutted like a fish and they have to have you wake up before they can administer pain medication. You're hearing the moaning and groaning for all the other patients too that have just awoken to all their unbearable pain. It seems like forever, until the nurse finally makes it to you. Then the most beautiful poison enters your body and heaven takes you over. God thank you for MORPHINE. Before you know it you're off to dreamland, on a white puffy cloud with dancing pink elephants, cupid with a trumpet, naked in high-school making a speech, accepting your new role of President of the United States.............
"Jo? Jo??" a familiar voice speaks to you, oh yes, it's your husband, that's right, you're in the hospital. Three nurses lift you onto the bed and the pain starts throbbing out your incision reminding you that you've been speared with a sword.
"Are you okay?" they ask me.
"No. Pain..." I mutter as the stare at me blankly.
Finally, they stick me with another shot of morphine and my beloved pink elephants come back to whisk me off to dreamland.
To be continued....

Friday, February 20, 2015

"That Doesn't Hurt" Part 1. My Journey with Chronic Pain

The doctor was finally able to see me. I'd been waiting a good forty-five minutes to hear my fate. He called me in and before I even had a chance to sit on the gushy table he directed my attention to the cat scan already hanging before its light.
"Something is wrong," my gut had been telling me for months now.
I had thrown my back out carrying a supremely heavy laundry basket up the stairs of our house. They did a simple x-ray which alarmed my primary care physician that next day. She found what looked like a puffy white cloud inside my left rib-cage. It alarmed her enough to make me want to get a cat scan with a thoracic surgeon. The crazy thing was I had absolutely no symptoms. No pain. No signs that anything could be wrong with me. Except that horrible feeling in my gut.
"The type of hernia that you have..." the thoracic surgeon started saying... then his words became nothing but vacant mumbles uttering nothing I could possibly understand. He told me what was wrong with me like he was giving a U.S. History lesson with no emotion, no shock nor special consideration. To this day I still can't believe I didn't shed a tear as he told me my looming uncontrollable fate.
"We'll need to do the surgery asap. There's a chance the hernia could reach up and strangle your heart and you'd only have six hours to live," his words become a little clearer now since I was moving past my initial shock.
We were short-selling our house in a rapidly declining real-estate market in Las Vegas. The worst it had ever seen. We were planning to move to Oklahoma City to be closer to my parents. But now the unknown was upon us and I wasn't sure if we'd be moving at all. Now my entire world was at a stand-still. My life was on the line.
The secretary of the surgeon was trying to book the date and time of my surgery but all I could hear is the blood pounding in my ears.
"Next week?" she asked me.
"Oh I don't know..." I muttered, "I'll have to call you later."
My feet somehow made it to the elevator, out the lobby to the parking lot and into my car. But it was there, that against all the resistant strength I could possibly muster, I broke down. A flood of emotions burst forth like a fire hydrant on its last legs. The pressure was insurmountable and all it can do is gush out powerful water drenching all its surroundings. I was vulnerable to my body. It had swallowed my soul whole. A mix of anger and sheer disappointment raged through me.
My shaking hands found my cellphone. Dialed my husband's number. All he could hear were my sobs. I couldn't get out one word.
"I'm coming to get you."
It felt like forever before he arrived. I collapsed in his arms. At a complete loss of how to break him the news. But I did, and to his immense credit, his remarkable courage and bravery would get me through the worst thing that ever happened to me.

To be continued....

Monday, February 10, 2014

How to be an Olympian

As I've been watching the Sochi games this Olympic year, I've been seeing and hearing a lot of stories about the athletes and their physical trials and tribulations. Their many injuries and surgeries they have had to endure for their sport. The speed skater who had horrifically cut his quad down to the bone from a fall. The slope-style snow boarder who fractured his rib on a rail. The skier who lost her legs because of a deadly disease where surprisingly, out of nowhere, almost took her life.

What occurred to me is their immense fearlessness, the force that drives them so much, that it's not a matter of how many surgeries they need before they get better. How much it hurts to snow board with a broken rib. Or even, who needs legs to ski down a mountain at ridiculous speeds. It's how fast can they get back to doing what they love to do. When they can strap on their gear and head down that slope. It's no matter what, they want to, with all their hearts, compete in this Olympics. No matter how much pain. No matter how much they have weakened.  

I have been contemplating for the last several months to get a surgery done. Where a nerve stimulator would be placed on my spinal cord to intercept the chronic pain I have in my left ribcage from a diaphragmatic hernia repair that took place in 2009 that almost took my life. The nerve stimulator implant is not the riskiest procedure out there, but it's definitely not the least risky either. When the doctor starts talking about chances of paralysis, or even just severe muscle spasms, fear does cloud my thoughts and makes me not want to do it. Having undergone three surgeries in my early lifetime, I know I'm a slow healer and the pain that comes with each surgery, and these are facts that are sometimes almost unbearable to think of and impossible to ignore. With my body, it always seems to be Murphey's law. Nothing goes as well as it was supposed to.

But in some light that has shed on me as I hear the stories of these injured Olympians, I have started to realize, that it is not the pain, the suffering, the loss of limbs, the fear of never being healed, it is the passion to perform that overrides all of those worries. That the risk, is so very much worth the potential reward. That if they did not try to become healed, they could never feel complete. And if they did not compete in this physical game of life, they could not win.

It would be an absolute miracle if the stimulator could take away my pain that I've been living with for almost five years. And who's to say that it's not a possibility? I could be staring down at that snowy slope, more than ready to take on a mountain of gargantuan obstacles. I could be poised upon the ice, ready to race with my competitors. I could be flying through the brisk air, broken rib healed, just thinking about how I will land.

How are we to be Olympians? Be fearless. Risk big. Keep your eye on the prize. Because who knows, there could be a podium in your future. A medal to adorn your neck. A familiar anthem played in your honor. Just take that first leap of faith. That fearless path that could take you to victory. That peace and the wholeness of knowing, who did all you could. That's how.

"You haven't failed, until you quit trying." - Anonymous