The Stars Are Aligned

The Stars Are Aligned

The Stars Are Aligned     11/01/06

Yes, the stars are aligned for me today
Have you ever heard of this happening?
There seems to be that magical day when everything falls into place
Today, is that day for me

When the stars are aligned for me,
I feel energetic
I feel the mind has more clarity
I feel that hopes and dreams can really be seen to fruition
I feel on top of the world

As I treasure this moment,
I know it won’t last forever
So, I try to document, for safekeeping, the enlightened moments in my mind
I allow myself to dream it will last forever
I must be grateful for whatever time is given to me to experience this relief.

Today, I got to feel free
I could unburden my troubles and cast them to the wind
Today, the stars were aligned for me
I could be like you for a short moment.

Ellen Lenox Smith

As I was first learning to accept the diagnosis of two incurable conditions in 2006, this poem was written to express and embrace that magical day which allowed me to feel more normal, happy and to enjoy the sense of detachment from the unpleasant feelings which so often accompany chronic pain. Freedom from pain, even when temporary, can be liberating and emotionally exhilarating. Now, as my conditions progress, I realize that I still have those occasional moments as described above, along with the inevitable challenge both physical and emotional, in confronting the return of symptoms produced by my medical conditions. This is the essence of the emotional rollercoaster which patients must struggle with endlessly. It never seems to get old having to re-accept the spiraling backwards. To go from feeling like there is hope of not being stuck with these conditions to then the realization, again, that they are here to stay and will keep affecting the quality of life, is a bit heartbreaking. However, if I never had these magical days when the stars are aligned, I would be saddened. It is such an amazing feeling to feel hope, even if it is temporary in nature.

We live life, when we are younger, with visions of so many hopes and dreams. No one looks to the future with the dream of becoming disabled or handicapped. I now realize that I lived so many years undiagnosed as my symptoms, relative to today, were minimal. I had no idea that unexplained medical issues I experienced over the years would become more acute, progress, and become permanent. And I laugh when I tell someone that I have had a magical day. These special days are not devoid of pain and discomfort. They simply periods of time when, for one reason or another, my symptoms are manageable. Individuals in good health wouldn’t describe it magical if they climbed into my body. Those suffering from chronic conditions try to learn to accept what we have to and embrace any positive improvement as such a gift!

So, when you, too, have one of those days that you wish you could duplicate, at will try, to take a mental picture of how it felt. Try to use your imagination to bring some of that good feeling back and hopefully sustain you emotionally until another better day returns to fall back on. Let’s try to hold onto the hope that comes with that experience and dream for many more moments like this.

May life be kind to you,

Ellen Lenox Smith

Author of: It Hurts Like Hell!: I Live With Pain– And Have a Good Life, Anyway, and My Life as a Service Dog!

The information in this column should not be considered as professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It is for informational purposes only and represents the author’s opinions alone. It does not inherently express or reflect the views, opinions and/or positions of National Pain Report.

Ellen Lenox Smith and her husband Stuart live in Rhode Island. They are co-directors for medical cannabis advocacy for the U.S. Pain Foundation, along with Ellen on the board and they both also serve as board members for the Rhode Island Patient Advocacy Coalition. For more information about medical cannabis visit their website.

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Authored by: Ellen Lenox Smith

Ellen Lenox Smith and her husband Stuart live in Rhode Island. They are co-directors for medical cannabis advocacy for the U.S. Pain Foundation, along with Ellen on the board and they both also serve as board members for the Rhode Island Patient Advocacy Coalition. For more information about medical cannabis visit their website.

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This is so beautiful and brought me momentary joy and relief while reading it. Thank you for hopefulness.

Katie Olmstead

Oh for those moments! No, not whole days but moments. Aren’t they delicious? Unexpected, savoring them, where pain is in the background and your head feels clear. Little miracles.

Sandy Miller

Yes, your inspiration comes through and I applaud you for sharing your day with us. Indeed, I’m so very happy for you.

Unfortunately, I haven’t had a day like that in 19 years. I had a hemorrhagic stroke in my right thalamus that has left me with a condition now called Central Pain Syndrome. This part of the brain for me causes unrelenting, stabbing, aching, burning pain 24/7. I have gone through PT so many times it only caused more pain, had injections of every kind at pain clinics, one that punctured my spine and I had a Blood Patch done. I had Scoliosis so bad that I had to have 14 levels of my back fused, along with other procedures done at the same time. It’s been almost 6 years and I can hardly walk. My pain medication has been cut in half. Although the pain never goes away, I did have a few hours of “relief.” My doctor is afraid of losing her license. I wish our government would stay out of the patient/doctor relationships since they know nothing about us, nor our personal medical problems. That’s why they went to college for years. The surgery went into my hips (Iliac Wings). I had to have the surgery because my back was so deformed. I also had heart surgery and am having gallbladder surgery on March 14th due to gallstones.

My family is wonderful and even though my husband has health issues of his own, he helps me with so many things I once took for granted, like putting on shoes and socks.

I tripped and fell last March and fractured the humerus in my left arm, which is my affected side. I have undergone other minor surgeries, however, I am happy to wake up each day because I know there are others going thru more health issues and pain, and my life could be much worse. We have 2 married daughters and 4 wonderful grandchildren we adore. I worked for over 35 years as a legal secretary and my husband worked for our city as a fireman for 22 years, so we’ve been blessed in many ways.

I’m so grateful you shared your day with us! Thank you!


Thank you so much for this beautifully written article. You’ve perfectly put into words how I feel when I have a day that my pain is in the background and is manageable. I get to have a few hours of hopefulness and dream a few dreams. It’s truly magical!

Maureen M.

I love those days! They come rarely and as a mystery though. And when they do… I find myself asking God ‘How is this possible to have such a feel good day?! Why can I not feel like this everyday? My pain level goes way down, my energy level goes way up, my mood is excellent, my smile is bigger and I feel ‘normal’!
So, Is it the weather that particular day?! Or is it simply a gift from God because I am mostly exhausted with dealing with Chronic Spine related and Lupus Pain and He knows I need a break! Whatever the reason…I soak it up and am forever grateful for that day.
Now, if only I could get a full nights sleep now and then too!

Bill H.

I’ve had a day, well more than a moment anyway, like that in January. It was amazing, profound to say the least that I actually felt human! I wanted to do so much like hiking, swimming, going to the museums, gardening, basically conquering the world. I felt so positive, happy, I wanted to have a party for all of my friends and family to show that I am back, returning from the depths of misery and unrelenting pain and anguish. I wanted everyone to see me the way I used to be. It was wonderful! I felt like Snoopy dancing on top of his dog house! I actually took a long walk, I enjoyed gardening and reading (I love reading when the pain would let me which isn’t that often). But later on, that miserable feeling of pain creeped back rearing its’ ugly face. However I feel grateful for those moments of a mental peace of sorts, the all encompassing optimism that I was, and still am on “good” days, experiencing. I cannot wait until the next time this wonderful feeling of being human



Terri James

Thank you for your inspiration Miss Ellen. So true of what you’ve said. I tell my little girl that if it weren’t for the bad days we wouldn’t appreciate the good ones. Of course that doesn’t help her much at the moment although she knows what I say is true. Easier said than done of course especially when days of chronic pain seem to be just too overwhelming. Knowing it wouldn’t be as bad as it is if our government would have left well enough alone. That’s when prayer and faith set in. In the meantime I wish you many more magical days to come!💝