I am a prisoner. I am locked upstairs in the house. We have a painter in for two whole days. Now such an event would be of little concern to ordinary folk. For me it means pain, anxiety and discomfort. Let me explain.
Over the past few years I have had to deal with a great deal of pain partly due to neuropathy due to my diabetes and partly unknown but possibly decades of steroids haven’t helped. Prescription painkillers do very little to help. Think about an ordinary chocolate bar 🍫 and remove one square. This is the level of help my painkillers give. It’s not always bad it varies by day. I have a large electric recliner with an individually sprung seat this is what makes the day bearable. So just now I am perched on a tiny bedroom chair. It’s far from ideal.
Over the last two decades I have slowly disappeared from all public interaction. Partly physical as I can longer walk very far at all and not unaccompanied and I wobble my right side is pretty useless due to neuropathy so I lose my balance a lot. Now let me explain further diabetes runs in my family it is genetic but because of my other conditions this was missed as the symptoms were all assigned to other chronic illnesses. By the time it was diagnosed, a lot of nerve damage had been done. I also have lesions in my brain and some demyelination has occurred in those areas controlling my movement.
With a major depressive illness unresponsive to treatment I have had to find a way to cope and that means for me social isolation. Please note this is not me being depressed because of my other conditions it is a separate issue that began twenty years ago. I find any alteration to my routine day sometimes catastrophic emotionally. My interactions are now solely with my family in short bursts and domiciliary visits from health care professionals.
I am content however. This is no pity festival. I have all the time I am awake to be thankful for my life, to spend time in meditation and prayer. To prepare for death which for me holds no fear I will be with my beloved Lord whom I have served for fifty years. My faith not born out of need but from an encounter with the Divine. Now as a Catholic (recent convert) I can offer all that I am, all my pain, to the Lord and join it with his suffering. It is a joy to live and suffer.