Spirituality, Liturgy and the Tao of Inner Peace
Pain, she is my constant companion, there is not hardly a day we do not walk side-by-side. When I awake each morning it is not to the birds singing or the sunlight in the window, it’s to her screaming at me, in my side, my back, my legs. She has an unquenchable thirst for attention and she will not be denied. I feel as though she consumes my days and makes my plans for me.
I have never been athletic or someone who you would say, “oh she’s in great shape,” yes I have been thin, but not some great picture of athleticism. I have battled my weight all of my adult life, beginning in college with the traditional freshman 15, which I think was more like 20. I have continued to gain and lose on and off for 20 years. The pain has always been there whether I was large or small, I guess really she’s always been with me. As a young girl I would have horrible nighttime leg pains, to the point of tears and my mother would give me some ibuprofen or sometimes I would take a really hot bath to ease the pain. Back then they called it growing-pains and I guess I would agree, except they never stopped. I remember in college having the same sort of night ritual of taking Aleve, which was a new over-the-counter drug that seemed to help or the hot baths if I could. Yet none of this has been as debilitating or exhausting as the last two years have been, she has really become THE one constant in all of my days.
I have gone to the chiropractor on and off since the age of 13 always my low back and hips being the issue, mainly. I took NSAIDS a lot…until about two years ago when after a stomach surgery that was no longer an option. When that band-aid was taken away I really began to understand the consistency with which I had pain…a lot of pain. It had become so common place to me that I really did not understand the depths of it, until I started journaling…it went something like this; Monday – Left leg is killing me, Tuesday – Right hip pain, Wednesday – back pain bad….etc…It was everyday – she was my constant companion and now I had no pain medicine except Tylenol, which does about as much good as drinking a glass of water.
About a year ago after many doctor’s visits I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, a condition where the nerve endings are going off and causing pain through-out the body for no apparent reason. There are some who are whole-heartedly of the belief that this is a real disease and others that believe it to be a catch-all where when physicians can’t find a diagnosis they call it Fibromyalgia. Whether it is or isn’t “real” the symptoms are and most will hardily agree. I have taken a couple of different medicines, been seen by physical therapist, chiropractor, and general and specialist doctors. I have also been given advice by many friends and acquaintances all with my good in mind, but yet I still hurt. I hurt every day.
Her latest productions has been a life sucking rib pain, oh yes this one is a good one. For months now my right rib cage has hurt like a mother @#*&%#…well you know. She wakes me up between 2:30 am and 5:50 am like a hammer driving a nail into my side, to move makes me whence. I have seen my chiropractor, massage therapist, and two doctors now but to no avail. It hurts so bad in my side and down into my low back and legs, I hate it. In truth some days it feels like existing is too much. I am often just too tired and exhausted to do much of anything, even cleaning a small house like mine is a huge chore. Honestly most things seem insurmountable these days and I just want to escape this pain and be okay for a bit. I long for days of normal, days without her constant nagging pain, even when it isn’t at the top of the pain scale she’s still there just a nagging persistent reminder of her presence.
I feel alone and isolated, I feel like a failure, I feel like those around me are tired of hearing about it, heck! I am tired of hearing and talking about it! I want to just say, “Oh yes, I am much better,” and go on. It feels like you are somehow a let-down to those around you, I often feel like I must just be weak or a baby…maybe others deal with the same thing and I am just a wimp!?!
Pain often likes to introduce me to her other equally destructive friends, anxiety and depression, the trifecta of misery. I would like to say I keep my head up and keep a good attitude, because in reality I have much to be thankful for, but alas I do not. I find myself down and sad wondering how many more times do I have to explain these odd symptoms to doctors and have them scratch their heads, how many more times do I have to say to the kids, “Moms having a bad day”, how many more times am I a let down to myself when working a full day seems like too much. Sometimes I feel the world and my family would be better off without me, yes, sometimes the depression is so bad I just want to go away, stop the pain, not live in constant companionship with this demon.
I write all this today in part to just help me get it out, today is a painful day and I needed an outlet for my misery. I also write this to be an example of how you never know what’s going on in the life of another, I would bet many had no idea the pain I have been dealing with, because, I, like a lot of others, put on my happy face and go through my days. You never know. So be kind always, smile when you would rather just go on to the next task, have a kind word, let someone cut in front of you…for we truly do not know the path another is facing. #loveoneanother
…in closing I have good doctors and I am continuing to try to tweak my meds, continue therapy and work towards a healthier better me. Yes at times I am at the bottom, but usually it doesn’t take long to look up and see my heavenly father smiling down, or get a call from a friend, or have family embrace me, I am one of the lucky ones, I will make it…