Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Felt so close to the edge today

Most people that know me know that I am a very strong person.  I may get emotional at times in private, but I am generally the person who is calm in the middle of a crisis or can be the sound voice of reason.  Yet, I felt very vulnerable and naked today. 

My day started with me not getting much sleep last night, probably the result of the stress I was feeling yesterday learning about the severity of my medical situation.  In some ways, I'd like to kick my heels together three times like Dorothy and wish I were in a different place.  Yet, who's to say that a different place would be a better place?  I'm definitely grateful things aren't worse, but I am overwhelmed with the state my poor body is in right now.  Here's what I'm dealing with:
  • Constant lower back pain
  • Tendinitis in my right hand causing constant pain, doctor feels I will need a second surgery there
  • Carpel tunnel in my left hand that has improved over time but hurts significantly when I try to ease the pain in my right hand by using the left one more (did that make sense??)
  • Light headedness/dizziness when I stand up
  • Significant pain from my hips all the way down to my shins in both legs, which the doctor feels is being caused by the osteoarthritis, as well as a weak feeling when I climb hills or stairs
  • Fibromyalgia that contributes to the pain and fatigue
Good Lord, that's a lot to have at one time.   It's no wonder that I got emotional with a friend at work and cried when I told her what was going on.  The tears came from a place of frustration and stress, as well as the realization that the osteoarthritis and fibromyalgia will be with me for the rest of my life.  There are things that can be done to manage the pain (the doctor has already referred me to physical therapy), but it just felt incredibly overwhelming in the moment.  I just want to feel better, and I know that even with everything going on, it's still better than the place I used to be in.  I have to remember that I had deadly cancer last year (melanoma), diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.  Those things are gone now and I really am very grateful, I just need to also honor my feelings about what I'm dealing with now.  Living in constant pain is not easy, trust me. 

Tonight, on my way home from my class, I had an incredibly strong urge to stop by the grocery store and pick up ice cream to take home.  That is not a food I eat today and has gotten me in some major trouble in the past, but the urge was so overwhelming.  And I knew that if I did such a thing, I would eventually eat the entire container.  If I did that, there would be no boundary I'd be unwilling to cross.  So I started praying as I was driving, asking God to help me get through the moment.  I didn't really want the ice cream but I honestly think I wanted something else ... an escape.  I can escape into food and then I don't have to deal with the fact that I'm feeling overwhelmed and tired.  I'm happy to say that the prayer was answered - I didn't stop at any store on the way home and I had a very clean dinner of salad, asparagus and 3 oz. of baked salmon.  I measured out my veggies and weighed my salmon.  It's what I needed to do and it made me feel better that I can overcome the cravings in the moment.  That's the challenge for me, and for many of us ... finding a way not to go to the food to solve problems but to be present and walk through life with all of it's hills and valleys. 


Big Heart said...

Hi lady! I'm so sorry that you're going through all this pain right now (both physically and emotionally). Focus on today and the future but try not to stress my friend. I know it's easier said than done but I think that half the time, stress just makes everything worse.

You're amazing to pull through that urge of getting ice cream. Sometimes we just need to remind ourselves how far we've come.


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