Unbelievable! how one day out of 21 can make such a profound difference. A major difference whether I can sit fully in my saddle, or not. Today as I write my body sits much taller in the saddle.
I was grandly reminded a couple of days ago by one of my favorite bloggers fibrobulletin @ fibrobulletin.wordpress.com that despite having illness, injury, and chronic pain these factors do not need to stop your life. Even when it may be on hold because of some change in circumstances. I thank him for this reminder. If you get a chance go by his blog & take a moment to read his post “Finding Hope in Hopeless: My Story of survival”. I believe you’ll find not only an introduction to a very courageous young man but one who leads the way in moving forward and making the most stunning bouquet out of weeds. I’m hoping he’ll not mind I have referred to him here.
Things like this mans life story set me more tall in the saddle. How I find things like his story days after he posted it amazes me. A validation for me that something more powerful than even Pain is at work in my life. Why did I not see and read this post the day the notification came in my email? How & why did I skip over this email? True, my thinking has been altered quite a bit this past week. But I have been trying each day, if not every other day. to check my email. Just so they didn’t pile up. I may have been awful about replying to those who I should, but I tried to at least stay caught up. Anyway… I missed this notification. A few days later I see the email, and then read his story. Amazing!
Ironically that something more powerful than me, than Pain was at work. For the sake of arguments I choose to call this Spirit. Spirit was at work – in tandem with my family. I, who had been isolating myself away in my sanctuary trying to not want to die, my family is guided to take the bull by its horn. For any who don’t know my last request for help from my pain specialist was met with, “it’s only going to get worse, it’s progressive and you need to learn to live with it.” So I had tucked my tail behind my self and the hopelessness crawled in. I hurt, I was fed up and I saw no light. This ladies & gents is after having been a chronic pain patient for more than a quarter of a century and until Pain recently flared out of control, I had been in control.
I’m some one who raised her family, worked, went to school, was an active & with voice member of my community. I fought the Railroad and won. Really! Another story someday maybe. I’ve been able to retire young and spend all the time I want now expressing the creative soul that resides in me. I have grandchildren who I cherish time with and resent the idea that they’ll only recall Nana being in pain. I have an incredibly happy and fulfilling marriage to my best friend, two outrageously beautiful daughter’s who can break this mom’s heart in a second, outstanding close friend’s and a supportive community. I garden, I read, I write, I cook, I paint, I tell stories with paper art, I am a mixed media artist, I am a sworn CASA in three counties, I am an advocate for children who have no voice. This person I become because Pain is in charge does not have enough of her left when fighting Pain for all these things I adore about my life. And I did not have enough left to fight it anymore. Pain had won. I was ready to submit. Finally after fighting Pain for 27 years I did not have anything left.
Only something else was at work. Something more powerful than even Pain. I had read fibrobulletin’s Story of Survival and promptly kicked myself in the rear end. How could I be so selfish to give up? Why would I want to miss out on all that MY LIFE can bring me? Since when do I let anything stand in my way? I fought the Railroad and won. Single handed. I can fight Pain again, and I can win. Can you hear me calling?
I was mustering up enough strength (being in pain 24/7 wipes you out) to get back in my saddle, pull the stirrups to my feet when my dear wonderful hero of a husband comes wandering in to my sanctuary and says. “Your Pain doctor wants to see you at 4:00.” My hero goes on to tell me how this can not be the answer and we are a team, and my doc is also part of that team. In my mind I am recalling fibrobulletin’s message. I am not going away from my doc’s without knowing there is a light, that there is hope that this what I call a “flare” will calm down through the help of something we’ve not tried yet. If we can put a man on the moon, and men are going into the oceans depths than my doctor must have come up with something else. There is an answer for this flare. There is a weapon against Pain.
How different a day can make. How different an attitude can make. Suffice it to say that my appointment was met with better communication on both mine and my doctor’s part. That my doctor hearing what Pain was doing to me through my husband’s perspective helped to paint a different picture than mine was good. I have an awful tendency to minimize what is going on with me to others. It’s not a comfortable thing to have people see you in pain. To see that vulnerable side means letting them see your weak spots. Sitting pretty low in the saddle. So I learned even more about Pain, even after 27 yrs. I am still learning about this disease that has impacted my world. But it has not won.
Nope! I’m back in my saddle albeit trotting pretty slow still. I am not telling anyone there was a magic pill, a magic fix. I’m still feeling the 8 to 9 on the scale of 10 that we who fight Pain use as a reference. I received an injection of Toradol which is my first of this treatment, this drug. I tried it orally some 27 yrs. back, in the beginning with zero benefit and an awful upset stomach. But knowing that an injection intramuscular into my thigh would help to by pass my stomach I was willing. I was willing to do anything. Except surgery. The word came up (again) but I told my doctor that I could not even begin to make a rational thought or consideration regarding cervical spine surgery again at that time. She let it rest. For another day. She also increased my pain medication and is hooking me up with a new neuro-guy who will do trigger point injection into the occipital muscles in the back of my head. My experience has been that this will break the cycle of all the tiny muscle spasms in my head, that these spasms aggriavate my migraine. I’ve only had one migraine this bad one time since being back in Oregon. Seven years. The doctor that performed the triggers then for me is no longer here. Apparently not a lot of doctors like dong them in these specific muscle groups. Which after being in Seattle, with four major hospitals around the corner from me, two teaching medical schools, I never knew it was an issue. Until moving back to a small town in Oregon that is.
So there is that light. The tunnel is becoming brighter and I am refusing to let Pain get the best of me.
Thank you to my incredibly devoted family, my friend’s who never leave me, my doctor who sees through my need to minimize, and to fibrobulletin for reminding me that there is so much more. That Pain can try to take it all away, but sitting tall in my saddle I can fight the bastard. With all I have, and then some more.