By Rebecca Andrews Christopherson, Former Board Member of Global Pain Association
I am a busy, overextended wife and mother with Partial Complex Pain Syndrome and severe Systemic Lupus. I am like you in many ways. Most mornings greet me with pain and fatigue, and I could make a career out of going to doctor appointments. My wardrobe consists mainly of pajamas, comfy robes…and more pajamas. What I am NOT is the sum of my diagnoses because living with chronic pain does not define me. I am a CHRONIC PAIN WARRIOR.
I love my dogs…all four of them! It all started when my husband followed through with his desire to have a hunting dog, specifically a German shorthaired pointer. Well, my beloved’s said hunting dog is Lady Eudora Rose, or Dory for short. As I am home a majority of the time (in my pajamas), Dory has become my constant companion. In addition, I somehow talked my sweet spouse into adopting Coraline, a homeless English pointer. I mean, Dory needs a running buddy, right??? Next came Ranger, an eleven-year-old Weimaraner in search of a forever family. Would you refuse a senior citizen a chance at a forever family??? Francine, our four-year-old cairn terrier, wandered into our lives of her own volition…honest! In my defense, I searched for Francine’s owner for six entire weeks before buying her that tutu!!!
Over time my crew began to follow my every move like a canine secret service detail. In my home office, I like to catch up on non-profit work on my good days. My canine posse is always on time, ready to offer a helping hand and a supportive ear, each taking their self-assigned seats while I work at my computer. When I am experiencing a bad flare and am in bed for days, Dory is there by my side, curiously uninterested in her usual hyperactive routine. Throughout my days, Dory, Cora, Francine and Ranger serve as my confidantes, my sounding board and source of companionship. It is rather comforting to know that when I think out loud (doesn’t everyone), I actually have a live audience of eager listeners.
Without my friends, the house would be all too quiet and I would be alone with my pain on the bad days. This herd of ill-mannered and all too loud canines is a blessed gift to someone who struggles everyday with moderate to severe pain. They listen intently when I complain and whine, and they comfort me when I feel like giving up. I am able to take on each day because I know they have my back. I am a CHRONIC PAIN WARRIOR and I am the one who has been rescued.
Until next time fellow warriors, stay Strong!!