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STATON: Life has aches and pains

My Mom used to tell me often that if you have your health, you have everything.

Until you have big scares in your life can you really understand what that statement really means?

For my Mom, her life changed immensely when she broke her back at the Cowden Manufacturing plant in Mount Sterling. She was a floor manager in charge of other ladies.

One of the women had placed a bundle of jeans on top of another bundle. Instead of making the lady move the bundle, she decided she would move it herself.

Not knowing there were two bundles there, her back popped. From that time on, and three back surgeries later, my Mom was in pain the rest of her life.

One of the back surgeries kept her in the hospital in Lexington for six weeks.

That incident made a huge difference in my family’s life.

After I was diagnosed with cancer, “If you have your health, you have everything,” took a different meaning.

This past month I have thought of this saying often.

My great niece had severe pain and, not knowing what was going on, her Mom took her to the emergency room.

Hospitals get things very wrong at times. After two trips to an emergency room and releasing her, my niece got a ruptured appendix.

She was later moved to a hospital in another state. The doctors said the surgery could not take place because of a colon problem sitting on top of where the surgery would need to be done.

Even once she got in the hospital, it took two more days and more pain before she was able to have surgery.

I felt upset and angry she has had to go through so much, and she still has a long way to go.

I was reminded of my Mom when my oldest daughter Kim had to have an operation on her appendix. I took her to a hospital emergency room and she was sent home with the diagnosis of a virus.

She continued in pain, so I called her pediatrician, who told me to get her in quickly. I did, and she was operated on a few hours later.

I have often thought of what could have happened to her if I had not called her doctor.

With my daughter Shanda and step-daughter Erica, I was a little more up on appendicitis and diagnosed both of their cases before I took them to the doctor.

My brother, David, taking after my Mom, called his son and threatened to go to West Virginia to talk to the head of the hospital.

His son knew he would, and soon after, the hospital found a way to operate on his daughter.

Sometimes, when it comes to your kids’ health, you have to listen to them and act. Sometimes, it may save their life. My niece is still in serious condition.

I have had two dear friends who have spent several days in ICU recently.

I feel certain my niece and my two friends have thought that if you have your health you have everything this month. All three of them have a long journey ahead.

When you least expect it, your health can change quickly.

I have had my own bit of discomfort this past two weeks. I picked my sweet grandson Simon up and strained a hamstring and have had some painful days and nights with it.

At the same time, I have had neck spasms and unable to move my neck without pain. If that were not enough, I was being awakened in the night with such horrible leg and joint pain I was crying.

I thought it was all because of arthritis or the rheumatic fever as a child. Most of my life I have had leg pain with every kind of season change. It did not matter if it were rainy, hot or cold, whenever the temperature changes, I am guaranteed to have some aches and pains.

I think I have found out what has been going on. I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. Reading about it made me feel I was reading a blueprint of my life. I had evidently not had as bad a flare up as I had had this past week or two.

Luckily, my pains will be chronic and not life threatening, unless of course my cancer could have a say-so about that.

We all have to take what we are dealt and do the best we can with what we get.

So often, when we look at others’ problems, we decide we would rather keep our own.

As Helen Keller, who was born blind, once said, “Self pity is our worst enemy and if we yield to it, we can never do anything wise in the world.”

Oh what a wise woman she was.

Sue Staton is a Clark County native. She is a wife, mother and grandmother who is active in her church, First United Methodist Church, and her homemakers group, Towne and Country Homemakers.