Friday, December 02, 2016

How I Cope with Chronic Pain

From the age of 4, I've been dealing with chronic pain from Hypermobility Syndrome. Over the years its got worse, and these days I'm in constant agonising pain 24/7. Rose Marie Miller said I should tell others about my experience in case it helps others, so here's how I cope with chronic pain. They go up in ascending order of effectiveness.

1. Painkillers, ice packs, hot baths, swimming in the Mediterranean and massages.
These things all help somewhat, but are just temporary. I try to avoid painkillers as much as possible, not wanting to be addicted, or to mess up my stomach. Ice packs and hot baths are easy to do with no side effects. Massages temporarily ease the pain, but I can't ask my wife to massage me all day! I've found swimming in the Spanish coast to be really helpful. The warm water, along with the salt content helps my joints to be in the right position instead of hanging (a symptom of Hyper-mobility Syndrome).

2. Watching clever movies.
If I can find a clever movie, it helps to distract me from the pain. If its not clever, it won't help. Unfortunately the pain is usually too great to read, so interesting books are out for me. I have to save reading for when my pain levels are not too high.

3. Cooking.
When I cook, it tends to distract me from pain. It's also a way I can focus on blessing others. Pain can easily make me focus on myself too much and become selfish. Cooking helps me to think more about how to bless others.

4. Making music.
When I go into the studio and start making music, I forget my pain. If I'm in too much pain to get to the studio, I have a DJ set up that swings over my bed so that I can DJ in bed.

5. Singing songs to God.
Singing songs where the lyrics focus on how amazing God is, really help me to take my focus off my pain and on to God. I'll either do this by my self or with my family. I have a bunch of songs at the ready so that its easy to play even when I'm in excruciating pain.

6. Praying to God.
Sometimes when I'm in lots of pain I cry out to God to help me. Sometimes I pray that he'd take me to heaven early, other times that he'd give me the strength to take the pain. Sometimes as I pray, I feel an amazing sense of God's presence. There's been a couple of times when this has been such an amazing experience that I've ended up thanking God for the pain because of the joy it led to.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Transcendence and Immanence: Getting more of Christ in hardships

In preparation for tomorrow's conference talk on Christ Centered Church, here's a sermon I recently did on how Christ is both far from and near to us.

and here's the song we sang at the end:

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Another song we'll be singing at the RTU conference this Saturday

As my talk is going to be about Christ Centered Church, we'll be singing this song about God's immanence and transcendence.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Songs to go with the Urban Catechism

Those of you using our Urban Catechism might have noticed that some of the questions have suggested songs to sing that fit with certain questions. Here's a playlist of those songs so that you can easily find them.
(soon we'll have this list updated on our website with the relevant questions to make it easier to find)

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

We're fundraising for my present health needs

For anyone who's interested, my wife wrote the following on a gofundme page:

My husband, Duncan, has Ehlers Danlos syndrome (hypermobility joint syndrome). We hope that buying this bed will help him manage his constant pain and get much-needed sleep. Having Ehlers Danlos means that Duncan's joints dislocate frequently every day and cause chronic pain, fatigue and varying loss of mobility. He started using a wheelchair (on and off) back in May 2015. We are still adjusting as a family to this new lifestyle that involves disability. Duncan is in constant pain (which is very hard to watch when there's not much I can do!) and yet he has carried on working and being an amazing husband and father. He has always had difficulty sleeping and now most nights he can't sleep until about 6am because he is just in so much pain. He wakes up with aches and pains from our current bed, so we decided it is time to get an adjustable bed. An adjustable bed is like a hospital bed where the head and feet move up and down in many different positions providing good support for your body. Duncan tested out one of these beds for a whole afternoon and that evening he was so happy, because he felt so physically good for once! We are hopeful that this bed will help him manage his pain levels better. He does a lot of his work from the bed during the day too, so it will be used day and night!

We've discovered that disability is a really expensive thing! We have had to spend 10k on a wheelchair access van this year so we are at the place of needing to ask for help to buy this bed. Any little you can give would be very much appreciated.

If this bed works out well, and if we’ve raised enough, then we hope to also get an adjustable bed for the downstairs living room as well. Because right now, Duncan practically lives in our bedroom, is isolated and away from family life and rarely goes out. So to have a bed downstairs would be amazing and could change the way we spend time together as a family and the way we show hospitality and socialize with friends. Also, it would help as Duncan has a lot of meetings with people for his work as a pastor and is now limited because he can't spend much time downstairs.

An adjustable bed won't heal his medical condition, but it may help a lot in managing his pain levels, helping him get more sleep, and remove some of the problem of isolation when he is bedridden.

Thank you for considering giving. Our whole family is very thankful! Thanks again for your support via gifts, friendship, prayers!

God bless you!
Shay and Duncan Forbes

(PS. if you prefer to donate to us directly and avoid the 9% fees being deducted please be in touch. )

Wednesday, November 02, 2016

One of the songs we'll be singing at the RTU conference

In preparation for the conference on 19th Nov. Here's one of the songs we'll be singing.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

RTU Conference booking is open

Here's the link to book for our conference on 19th Nov 2016 at East London Tabernacle.
Sorry that the booking has been so late. Thank you for your patience