Chronic Pain

I’ve been thinking about chronic pain the last couple of days, mostly because I’ve been suffering from a sore shoulder. The microwave has been working around the clock, keeping my hot pack warm. Of course, this is just an uncomfortable, temporary feeling, possibly the cause of over-exerting myself playing pickle ball last Sunday But for many, chronic pain is exactly that: ongoing. I thought about chronic pain Wednesday morning as I listened to Julie Schwarz, from Area Agency on Aging share about the 6-week Chronic Pain PATH workshop that will be offered at the River Valley Senior Center starting April 17. This Stanford developed and tested program provides a fun, interactive environment for participants to learn ways to overcome stress, pace activity and rest, and use medications effectively. To register, call Julie at 269-982-7759. Pain also came to mind as I attended an Opioid/Heroin Addiction class, put on by the Southwest Michigan Chapter of Families Against Narcotics at Benton Harbor Street Ministries. I was shocked to learn that in Michigan, this addiction is the leading cause of accidental death of people age 21-65. I’m thankful for organizations such as Families Against Narcotics, who are working to break down the stigma associated with addiction, educate the public, and supply the antidote Narcan, to those who have taken the training. Because this addiction affects 1 in 3 families, take a moment to look at their website to familiarize yourself with the resources and support they offer: http://www.Familiesagainstnarcotics.org. This season of Lent also causes me to pay more attention to pain, as we remember once again, the pain Jesus experienced in his final days on earth. In his final moments of suffering, we also may ponder the mystery of such intense anguish that births the triumphant entrance of new life everlasting. Through the pain, there is certainly mystery and hope that awaits between the curtain of death and the breaking forth of new life. I believe organizations like Families Against Narcotics, in a practical way, hope to break through with hope to those who are experiencing anguish and possibly facing death.

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