Tonight, I write because sleep escapes me. While this is nothing new, especially as of late, tonight, I at least do not have the burning nausea eating away at my stomach, thus giving me this opportunity to write. Pain has stolen me away once again. Like a thief in the night, it came and it has not left.
I should clarify that this has been above and beyond the normal pain that I live with on a regular basis…and yes, that pain sucks too, but I have learned how to live with it for the most part. While the pain is a constant friend or should I say enemy, there are times it can be much worse. I have had flare ups on occasion…caused from changes in the weather to over doing it, to lifting too much weight, to over loading on stress…all can cause me to flare up with worse pain then normal. I know I have talked about this here a couple of times but for the most part I don’t like to talk about it here or in my “real” life. I just don’t. I don’t like “it” being center of my life and I don’t want people feeling sorry for me. Believe me when I say, I do a good enough job of that all on my own without anyone’s help.
I have learned to breathe through the pain…to not let it control my life…to not let it stop me from living. I spent the first two years of my injury living in that way. Those were wasted years that I can’t get back and I don’t want to lose any more. When I was in the hospital, going through a pain management program, they taught me how to live again. They taught me how to deal with the flare ups that would come and believe me, over the past 5 years since I left that hospital, those flare ups have come and gone.
When these flare ups hit me, it’s like I have been hit by a truck. Sometimes I know when they are coming towards me. Other times it's like the rug has been pulled out unexpectedly from under my feet. At times, it takes my breathe away. Pain makes me sick to my stomach. Noise, sound, light, cold, heat, movement and stimuli can all make it worse. If you suffer from migraines, I have much sympathy for you because I am told that these symptoms are similar to yours. If you suffer from pain period, whether from arthritis, an injury or some other ailment my heart goes out to you. I have learned to do things to help lesson and shorten the length of the flare ups. Things like exercising, cold and hot packs, stretching, breathing, meditating, resting…ect…the list could go on.
Pain makes me want to stop everything yet I can’t. Not completely anyways…because life goes on and until the flare up passes, life kinda sucks. These flare ups last from one day to about a week…on occasion it has been longer but for the most part within a week I have gained back some control over the pain.
This time, it’s different. Last November, I started with a flare up that has never really went away. This time, it has slowly gotten worse. My previous injuries to my neck and skull have started to affect other parts of my body. I was warned 5 years ago of the possibility of this happening or of getting arthritis in the area of my injury as I aged. I’ve lived in denial of this for quite some time. As the pain has gotten progressively worse, I have been forced to stop living in this state of denial.
For months I avoided consulting with the doctors about my symptoms because I didn’t want to admit or believe that there might be something more wrong. I didn’t want to hear what they might say. I kept blaming it on the weird weather we have been having and stress. I kept hoping it would just go away. I have fought long and hard to be strong, healthy and in good physical shape. I kept thinking that if I just keep fighting it would get better again. But it didn’t. Every week I lost more strength and ability to move without pain. Each week I have become more drained and tired. As I began to lose the ability to move my left arm and lost even more strength and mobility, I promised myself and my family that I would go to the doctor once we got back from our trip and they had all left to go home.
The week my youngest daughter left I started consulting with doctors again. I’ve started taking more medications, for inflammation and pain, which is wrecking havoc with my stomach. The pain is so severe that I am now taking pain medications again, even though they don’t feel like they are doing much good. They are suppose to help me sleep but they don’t. I will have tests done this week that will hopefully give the doctors and myself some more answers as to what we are dealing with, so that we can know which direction to go. They talk about injections and more physical therapy and the possibility of there being something more wrong. All questions that need answering. Hopefully soon. Part of me wants to know the truth. Part of me doesn’t.
This feels like such a failure. Like I have lost all that I gained. Yet, I know I cannot afford to stop and feel sorry for myself and think about such things as failure or giving up…or having pity parties. It's these times of deep pain that my mind begins to question and doubt solid truths that I know. It's times like now, that I cry out for courage and resiliency to withstand this mighty test.
This gnawing pain is eating at my soul. It’s trying to steal my life away and even though I am weak, I still fight…and sometimes I just want to stop fighting and give in to it. It affects my ability to think clearly or concentrate… or to see the glass as half full. I’m a glass half full kind of gal and when I start seeing the glass as being full of shit then I start to panic. I have a hard time breathing when I panic. I tell myself to breath, when all I want to do is just lay down and give in to whatever it is that is wrecking havoc on my body, and just stop breathing. But, I know… I. Can‘t. Ever. Give. Up.
I know all the reason why I can‘t. All I have to do is look around me. I look at these pictures from my most wonderful month with my children, grand children and husband and cry…pictures that I haven’t even finished showing you or moments that I haven’t told you about yet because of this big damn wall of pain that stands between me and doing what I want, when I want.
I will get my fight back. Whatever it is that I am up against, I will win. It will not win against me. In my present frustration, fears and panic I may not feel that right now, but it is something I know deep in my soul to be true. I will win. I will beat what ever this is. It will not own me or take away what I have worked so hard for. I will get my fight back and kick some ass once again. You can be sure of that.
In the meantime, I have faith that someone bigger than me is still carrying me and looking out for me. I know that I don’t always have to be strong because He always is. I know He holds the bigger picture in His hands and I trust that whatever it is, wherever this takes me, I will get through it. I know that the outcome of this doesn’t depend on me being perfect or without flaws. I know, without a doubt that He understands my human feelings of fear, panic, self pity and frustrations. He gets me. And for now that has to be good enough.
I write tonight because the pain that flows like blood through my veins will not allow me to sleep. This visitor, that came like a thief in the night, refuses to leave so instead of wallowing in my pain and letting the fear swallow me up, as the minutes tick by and it is already becoming tomorrow, I choose to write. I choose to write in this window of opportunity, when tomorrow I may very well be too sick to touch the keys of this computer. I write to be free of these ugly thoughts and fears. Tonight I write because I can. Thank you for listening.
PS I have been visiting you when I can, even if I haven’t left you comments. You have written posts that have encouraged me. Thank you. You have written beautiful posts that have given me much to ponder. Thank you. You have written posts that have made me smile and laugh. Thank you. Your posts, have gotten me through some really long nights and days. No matter how trivial you might think your posts are, your words bring hope and smiles to my life. Thank you. Seriously, each one of you touch my life with your words…the words you leave here but even more so the words you write at your own place. I cannot begin to tell you how grateful I am, that our paths have crossed. Blessings to each one of you! Lori