I really do not know what to say. I sit here looking at the computer screen and I cry.
For what it’s worth, I’ve missed you. And your words. A lot. I visit you on occasion. Hungering for words that could distract my mind from what is…chewing on your words…yet I leave without saying anything because I am speechless. Go figure. Me with my long winded comments has been silenced. I have nothing to offer anyone. And this makes me beyond sad.
I’ve thought about a hundred things to write about but words escape me. When I think about writing about why I have been absent here and why I haven’t visited your place, I struggle to find the words. I cannot stand superficial or people that pretend to be who they are not. I like the real deal. Yet, here I am finding it really hard to be “real” because I don’t like spewing out negativity. If you have spent any amount of time here then you know that. Still here I am. Spewing out what is within the walls of my world. And it’s not positive…so if you are steering away from negativity, now is the time to click away from here.
Pain has swallowed me up. Intense therapy has made things worse which although I know it’s normal for it to get worse before it gets better, doesn’t make it any easier to swallow. It sucks the life out of me and makes me feel less then human. It’s leaving me bruised and wore out.
Since there is nothing that takes this kind of pain completely away, there really is nothing that the medical community can offer me to relieve it. Maybe it’s crazy that I refuse to take any pain medications but after spending the first two years of my injury going that route I know it’s not the answer. I will not cloud my mind and fill my body up with substances that mess me up and don’t really help anyways. Pain medications are not meant to be taken long term and after awhile our bodies build up immunity to them.
The things that can help with pain…. Alternative things… are not allowed by worker compensation. They do help because I have experienced their benefits but are not an option right now. Things like acupuncture, medical marijuana, healing touch and massage. They are either not in the budget or not legal in Minnesota. I know people who are using all of these to help with pain, and for other ailments. I know someone with severe arthritis that manages her pain and sleeps through the night(after years of not sleeping) with the help of the medical marijuana. This is enough to make me want to move to a state in which it is legal…and if this state was warmer(and with less snow) than where I live now, it would be an added bonus.
The thing is, just to get the intense therapy that I am getting now, which borders on the alternative, I had to jump through hoops and go through the court system to get it. They put me through 9 months of court fighting over me getting this therapy that costs them $150 a session, yet ironically they had no issue with providing me with morphine, other narcotics and drugs that cost well over $5,000 EVERY month for 2 years. The thing is, this therapy helps and the narcotics do not. The fact that they only approved for me to have 12 sessions means that if my therapist wants me to have more I will likely have to fight for it. And I’m not sure I’m up for it.
I am forced to face the truth of living a life with pain. Saying goodbye to what was and welcoming what is, is not easy. I can pretend it doesn’t bother me. I can say all the right things to convince those around me it is just fine. But, sometimes it just isn’t. I’m not fine. In these moments that I lose hope I feel far from fine. I loved that job. I was passionate about it…hell I still am passionate about it.
I’ve been a step away from saying goodbye…calling it quits…I dream about dying and it feels good. Actually that is the only time I have good dreams these days. It feels good to be done…but then I wake up and I’m still here, in pain…either that or I wake up in total terror because of the monster that visits me when my eye’s are closed…the one that attacks me over and over again while I sleep that leaves me wishing I never had to sleep. When I finally get up after only a couple hours of sleep I promise myself that I only have to make it through today.
I am sure my thyroid that is still giving me issues only compounds everything.
I know this long, cold, snow filled winter, that has kept us inside a lot, has not helped matters. The bitter cold does make my pain levels higher and all this never ending “togetherness” is causing all 7 of us in this house to be a little bit stir crazy. There is no end in sight either as the big piles of snow are not going down and there is talk of a lot more being added to it in the near future. Actually I can handle more snow than the bitter cold days and the winds that blow snow across the roads, making them icy.
High pain levels increase the PTSD symptoms. I find myself fretting about being attacked again. It really is ridiculous because I am not in danger of being attacked. I find myself not wanting to sit where people can come up behind me. I have less tolerance for loud noises. I startle easier. There are moments that the cloud of fear is so strong that it is hard to see through the fog. I rarely leave my house except to go to work or to go to therapy. Not just because it’s cold or hard to be out in public but more because masking the face of pain is exhausting. Making sure no one see’s how much I’m hurting is a full time job.
I am seeing a counselor that specializes in chronic pain and PTSD. He say’s that everything I am experiencing is normal for someone in my position. He say’s it’s perfectly normal for people that live with pain to go through periods of wanting to throw in the towel. He would like to see me go through the pain program again. He also say’s it’s time for me to express my anger about the attack, my attacker and the company that did nothing to protect me. When I say “I’m not angry.” he just smiles at me.
My day begins and ends with pain. In between I do all the things I can to maintain. I ice. I stretch. I breathe through it. I mediate. I pray. I try to let it go and not fight it. Not allowing any of this to stop me from living life is not easy on the best of day’s but when the day’s of high pain pile on top of each other along with the piles of tasks that need to be done around my home, I start to lose my fight to want something more.
Since pain and not sleeping so well drains me of energy, I prioritize what gets done and what doesn’t. My little’s literally get the best of me. They are at the top of my list. While they exhaust me, they give me life. Their joy for life and the simple things ... Their big love for me and the way they look at me is what keeps my heart beating. Their gentleness with me when they see the pain that I cannot hide is priceless. They breathe fresh air into the moments that I feel like I do not want to go on. They fill up my day with beautiful messes and sweet chaos and I cannot imagine life without them.
Nor could I imagine life without my husband or my adult son and daughter that fill in the gaps and give me endless support. I know it is not easy for them to see me suffering. As hard as I try to hide it, they see the pain in my eye’s and read between the lines. Giving up sleeping in or their own interests in order to drive me to therapy or to watch the little’s so that I can go. Taking the little’s outside when it warms up enough, just so that I can have some moments to breathe or coming home to the living room being dusted and vacuumed are priceless gifts they give me.
Between them and the little’s I have a reason to get up every day and to not check out of this life. They keep me from laying down and never getting back up.
The other day, in the middle of my intense therapy I broke down. After these weeks of therapy I finally felt safe enough to express the emotions that screamed to come out whenever her hands touched certain area’s of my head or neck. I had no control over my emotions. While that didn’t freak me out it did make me aware of just how much I still have inside of me and how I am still coming to terms with what happened and my new life that resulted from that.
In May it will be 9 years that I started on this journey. The physical pain and the pain of PTSD have taught me lessons I would not have learned otherwise. I am grateful for what I have learned and the people I have met because of pain. I do believe there is a reason that I am going through all of this even though I may rage against it every now and then. I know that there is a greater purpose that is bigger than me and my understanding. I know that each trial or tribulation that I have been through was an invitation to learn something that would benefit me when I got to the other side. There are blessings and lessons in these long day’s and I am trying to not miss them.
I have always been a bit of a rebel. Okay, a lot of a rebel. Right now I feel like rebelling against what is and what I “should” be doing. I want to take this shit sandwich and throw it at my old bosses heads and see if they like how it feels.
It’s these moments that I want to stand in the middle of the room and scream out obscenities. Or I want to curl up into a ball and just cry.
I am weary and sad. I am tired of the pain gnawing at my last nerve. My hope is running on low. I am clinging to my faith but I would be lying if I said I never questioned God on all of this.
I ask myself, What am I being invited to learn right now? What would I be missing out on if I wasn’t in this present moment, pain, exhaustion and all? Would I be missing out on these precious simple moments because I would be too busy “doing”? Being forced to literally “stop” I am forced to see what I may miss other wise. I know that even though I may not “feel” it right now, I have a great life and much to be grateful for.
As I was getting ready to go to work a couple of weeks ago, my husband was asking about all the work that needed to be done and sounded kind of exasperated about doing it while caring for the youngest 2 little’s. Without missing a beat, little lady say’s to him, “Welcome to Mommy’s world.” Too funny and so true.
It’s things like this that fill my day’s and not only put’s smiles on my face but reminds me of why I can’t check out of this life.
I am not sure if I will have the guts to push publish on this post but if I do I ask that if you are a prayer, that you would pray for us here. I ask that you would send positive thoughts our way.
I promise that I will be by to visit you and leaving my two cents worth as soon as I have something to offer. I really do miss you.
Until next time, love & hugs, Lori