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My story starts with a prayer. I was desperate. The girl I had fallen head over heels for in 7th grade history was now my wife and the mother to our two young girls. A dream come true was being derailed because of severe, chronic unresolved nerve pain. With all my heart I asked for help: “Please Dear Lord tell me what to do”.

How do I help the Love of my Life?”. “Her pain is never-ending”. “We are pulling apart — WE are becoming SHE and ME”. “Lord please tell me what to do to save our love”…He responded so clearly I got goosebumps and the hair on my arms stood up. I felt his response as it pulsed through my being. GOD told me to “EMPATHIZE WITH HER PAIN”.

Of course. Understand where she is coming from. Imagine being in her shoes, er shoe. Always on crutches.Walking on one leg takes so much energy. Her nerve pain steals away hours at night the rest of the world uses to recharge. No wonder it is hard for her to get all the things done in a day she schedules for herself. She manages not just her day but the girls’ too as I am travelling around the U.S. in the ups and downs of my sales career at IBM and beyond.

Of course: He had laid it out very clearly. If I put myself in her shoe I might not lose my patience. I might not feel like I carry so much more than my share of the load. I would lose the ego that gets in our way. Simple, right? Not. A little more than a year later we added the awful pain of a divorce to our lives. I had failed. How could I fail to empathize with the Love of My Life? How could I fail to empathize with the girl I had loved with all my being since 7th grade? Failing her meant failing also my two young girls. I failed to follow the path God had so clearly laid out for me. I could not empathize with the terrible chronic nerve pain that tortured my wife.

If you honor me with your time and your empathy following me and my posts, you will hear about adventures and life education from my time on Long Term Disability the last 10 years. I will share the battles for respect chronic pain patients are drafted into. You see, JUST LIKE MY LOVE, just a couple years later and from a different cause, I now must deal every day with severe chronic nerve pain. I suffer from unresolved chronic diabetic peripheral neuropathy pain. You will hear how My love/the girls’ Mom, passed away too early, before I could tell her how much I still and always loved her. I will honestly share with you the mistakes I made that contributed to the downfall of my marriage, the bad decisions that have piled emotional pain on top of the physical, and just as importantly what I have learned that might help someone you know that is living in pain. It might help you to EMPATHIZE WITH THEIR PAIN. I pray by sharing the pain I live with now, that I might save another family some level of hurt.

Thanks for listening. Please share with me your stories of managing a life in pain.

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