Shadows-Thru The Darkest Valleys - Home on the Range Blog at - 300765

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Shadows-Thru the Darkest Valleys 
Apr. 9, 2013 8:44 pm 
Updated: Apr. 15, 2013 6:10 pm

"Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? ps 42:5 a

I am so glad I have been canning when I am able. Several days this month, we have had to rely on jars from the pantry as I experience painful flares that just won’t let go. I have been fortunate that some afternoons, the pain eases up for a few hours and I am somewhat functional until bedtime. Then the cycle of pain begins again. This has been a really difficult year to date. Most of it has been spent agonizing and feeling crushed under the heel of this disease. Depression has been a frequent visitor and it gets more and more difficult to evict him from my heart and home.

I have always lived an isolated life. I was raised pretty much apart from my siblings as they were so much older, they were out of the house by the time I really needed them. At the same time, my folks divorced and my grandfather, to whom I was very close, moved to a “retirement village”. I never really knew any other life than being somewhat solitary. That has always been all right with me. I love my family and the few friends I have made. My days have nearly always been spent alone, working horses or down cleaning the barn  until we moved here to the ranch. I finally had someone to ride with and loved what we were doing, moving cows, covering miles of scenic country everyday, learning the things I had always wanted to learn, but it didn’t last long before I lost the ability to do what I most loved and was once again, alone for most of my waking hours. 

I contented myself with a milk cow, goats and sheep and learning new skills, looking forward to the days I'd be strong enough to ride. I committed myself to baking all of our breads and making all of our dairy products,  growing most of our vegetables and canning produce and meals. The best and most important part of my day is  spent with the animals, as I have never been an inside, ‘domestic’ person and even being a loner, I still need affection and companionship.  All my life I have had a need to be outside, doing something. That isn’t possible anymore. I'm relegated to the house more and more. My greatest fear is the day I have to let go of all my animals because I can no longer care for, or interact with them.

I had a serious back injury in 1989 and after surgery, the recovery was long and grueling, but I knew I WOULD recover. I did recover. I fought through the pain and weakness, with sweat and tears and I broke and trained horses for another 15 years and produced some of my best work.
As these autoimmune issues began to manifest themselves, I lost more and more function. I vowed to make another comeback, I fought to get stronger, but mind over matter doesn’t always work out like we hope. Denial has passed and I accept I have a degenerative, incurable disease that is quickly progressing, doing permanent damage and ravaging my body. It’s painful as well as debilitating. I don’t have the incentive of knowing I can beat it, this time. I don’t have the hope that I will ever recover, because I won’t. Not on this side of heaven.
As the barometric pressure has jumped and bounced all this winter I have had the sensation of being beaten, again and again. It becomes very hard to ‘keep my chin up’, as they say.

As the pain and reality become overwhelming, I feel the absence of someone to talk to, someone who could listen, someone to touch. Someone to share the cries of my heart.

I appreciate all of you online who pray for me.  It really does help, knowing there are people who stand in the gap.

I apologize as this is not what I consider an ‘edifying’ entry. Sometimes a person just has to pour out how they feel, even if it isn’t pretty.

 For those who also suffer, know you are not alone. 

For those who know someone suffering, I hope you can understand how much they need your support. Not your suggestions, or the latest ‘miracle cure’. They don't need to be told how they should change their diet, or exercise. We’re doing all we can just to survive. Don’t for one minute assume there isn’t something we haven't tried, or would be doing if we were able. I’ve heard of people being told by friends and family they should stop taking the radical medications prescribed for us, because they are dangerous and don’t seem to do much good. Please understand that the only hope we have in taking these medications is to try and slow down the destruction and hopefully prolong our lives. None of them will cure us. Not taking them will almost surely shorten our life as so many of these diseases, such as this one, attack soft tissue, and organs as well as joints. Sometimes a shortened life seems like a better option, if it wasn’t so much more painful without the medications. Chronic pain is chronic. It's invisible and some days it doesn't wield the power that it can, but it is always ready to rear up and strike us down again. In my experience, every episode is more intensely painful than the last.

Encourage your person. Be there to let them cry. Listen. Love them. Help them. That is all you can do.

Help them hang on until the shadow passes.

"Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him for the help of his countenance." ps 42:5 b<
Apr. 9, 2013 11:26 pm
Petey, I can't sleep at 1:26 am, so I am praying for you.
Apr. 10, 2013 6:19 am
Hi Petey; my heart is sad for you today. With the age of the computer, AR, email etc please note that you are not alone any more. With a quick click of the mouse, keyboard etc you can talk to anyone in the world. We will always be here to hear you and give you our support.
Apr. 10, 2013 6:57 am
Thank you, Paula and Nadine. The barometer is up today, that means the pain meter is down. Such a relief!
Apr. 10, 2013 7:50 am
See? An answer to prayer already!
Apr. 10, 2013 8:40 am
Wonderful news!!! Been thinking of you this morning! Will you cont to can some additonal things as the pain meter is down?
Apr. 10, 2013 8:40 am
I love that idea - I have 3 little wee ones. I hope to in fews take it up!
Apr. 10, 2013 8:53 am
Gosh, Petey, I am so sad reading this blog right now. I think about you probably everyday. I so look forward to your blogs. However this one is one that I wish it had not been necessary for you to write. You are and will continue to be in my daily prayers.Don't give up, you just have to keep on trying to push your way thru the pain.Your sister in Christ.
Apr. 10, 2013 9:21 am
Heather- absolutely. As long as I am able to can things, I will. It makes it so much easier for Randy if he can just grab dinner off of a shelf. Being 4 hours from town there is no place else to get a meal for us. It has to be homemade. At the moment, some Charleys' Mexican meat is in the slow cooker and I will be canning up some of that tomorrow, if all goes well, and I ordered 40 lb of apples from Azure Standard when I go to town next week, so apple sauce, apple pie filling, and apple cider vinegar is on the list :)
Apr. 10, 2013 9:21 am
For sure Paula! Bless you char, and thanks
Apr. 10, 2013 10:04 am
Good Luck for tomorrow Petey! Sounds delish! Will be thinking of you!
Apr. 10, 2013 12:20 pm
Bless you Petey. You have inspired so many of us in sharing the trials and triumphs of your daily life. I knew that you could run circles around most anyone and could achieve most anything, but thank you for telling us about your struggles as well. That is part of life too. You know the one who walks beside you and He will never leave you. It is a privilege to pray for one another. Keep writing. We look forward to hearing from our dear friend.
Apr. 10, 2013 12:24 pm
Petey you are an inspiration,as Nadine said just a click of the mouse and here we are.I start at the Persistent Pain Clinic on the 24th of this month,and if you like will keep you updated as to what they say and do?Hope tomorrow brings you relief,and I will be saying a prayer for you.Thanks for sharing your life with us.
Apr. 10, 2013 12:38 pm
manella, i would appreciate anything you find! I hope it gives you relief there! God bless you. If you ever needed i can be reached at yetep at me dot com
Apr. 10, 2013 12:39 pm
thank you so much, connie! That means a lot. I am often afraid to put to 'paper' all the things that come to me. I appreciate the encouragement and kind words
Apr. 10, 2013 1:36 pm
I can't say that I know what chronic pain is as I don't experience ongoing pain. I have a little now and then and all I can imagine is what that would be like all the time. I have a dear brother-in-law who suffers from a form of arthritis since he was in his 20s, now he is in his 60s. He has been on disability for at least ten years now. He suffers quietly and never lets us realize he is in so much pain. He has infusions about every 3 mos. to help with the pain but still suffers silently. I hope for your sake putting your feelings into words helps you work through pain and depression. My brother-in-law won't talk about it to anyone. He has a son who suffers from this also. I admire you Petey for all you do and your coping mechanisms. Your precious animals need you and you need them. God has given you a purpose for life and you certainly know that purpose. I think your animals (your friends) know this too. I will put you on my prayer list with the hope that God will give you the strength and ability to get through your days and nights. Give those big beautiful dogs of yours (and if you still have your Goldens), a big hug from one animal lover to another.
Apr. 10, 2013 2:33 pm
Thank you Goldens. Yes, my Cider dog is still with us, though he is getting very old. I am sorry to hear about your bro in law and his son. It is an insidious disease, as many of these are. I admire them for being able to maintain their silence about the pain.
Apr. 11, 2013 8:48 am
God love our petey! You have more friends here than you know - and have been such an inspiration to us all. I am so sorry to read of your pain and will keep you in my prayers.
Apr. 11, 2013 11:32 am
Hope your feeling okay today Petey. Your blog was wonderful to read. Thank you for sharing with us sometimes people forget the pain and loneliness of others and there need to feel a part of something as well as that someone cares. Thank you for the reminder.
Apr. 11, 2013 12:25 pm
I've asked my church to join in praying for you and your husband. petey, you are an amazing person, and a source of encouragement to many of us.
Apr. 11, 2013 2:23 pm
Thanks you guys, for all your support. You are wonderful and today is a far better day! :)
Apr. 14, 2013 7:51 am
I hope that we can all lift your spirits when you need it the most kid! Healing thoughts winging your way from Las Vegas!
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About Me
Kids are raised, we are ranchhands on a 250,000 acre working cattle ranch 110 miles from the nearest small town, so we raise a lot of our own food, vegetables, fruits, milk,eggs and meat. Love riding and working cattle, but find myself spending a lot more time in the kitchen, and the garden.
My favorite things to cook
Having 2 Jersey cows as well as milk goats, playing with fresh milk is a hobby, making our own butter, yogurt, sour cream, cheeses, soap and all the other great stuff you can do with fresh raw milk.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Homemade from scratch...anything! All traditions are sort of gone by the wayside, as we live so far from family now
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Most things from this site, this has been the best thing the internet has had to offer!
My cooking tragedies
A layered Jello dessert...the middle layer never set, so it did the 'ooze-wiggle'...and...well..I liquified a couple of chickens on 2 different occasions, turning them into a black gel. Moral of that story is, don't start cooking then go clean barns!...and there was the time that my kids were helping me make Thanksgiving dinner and SOMEbody (who resembled my youngest son) forgot to put the sugar in the pie!!!
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