Archive for September, 2011
I’m supposed to be on a break from nursing school but I think I’m spending as much time as my former classmates in hospitals, in doctors’ offices, and researching online. It’s a lot of work trying to diagnose oneself!
I got a good kick in the butt recently to do as much as I can on my “down days,” research-wise, to ensure that I’m prepared for my final doctor’s appointment here and all the new appointments I’ll have in California. Right now my condition seems to be a mystery to everyone so I’m trying to find all the conditions that could possibly be causing/contributing to my pain. Additionally I’m researching all the doctors and/or pain clinics I might want to visit in California. I found this one that looks pretty comprehensive and promising. It’ll be a bit of a drive for me, but totally worth it as long as my insurance will cover it.
Also, I spent a good bit of time today going through the pain books I brought to the hotel with me, looking up the websites they recommended. It was time well spent as I was able to bookmark some great websites like these:
In other news I’ve got a big weekend ahead of me – I’m going to attempt to go to a women’s retreat. It will be a beautiful, rich time with some of my best friends and tons of lovely ladies. I’m very excited but also a little concerned about how much I will/won’t be able to do or how uncomfortable I will be. I know, I know… go with the flow and all that. 🙂 I’ll do my best.
Wishing you all a lovely weekend.
more to come…
So you’re about to take a peek into what it’s like to live with chronic pain. It’ not always easy and optimistic – it’s often difficult and challenging and I’m going to share a little bit of this side of it. There. You’ve been warned.
One of the hardest things about living with chronic pain is the constant fluctuations. Sunday may be a good day that only requires two pain pills and allows me to get out and do a lot. You may see me at Walgreens walking around and looking normal. Tuesday may begin with sharp pains and significantly limit my activity. If you see me out and about, I’m parked in the handicap spot, shuffling and/or in a wheelchair. The continual ups and downs make it hard to plan or to have any kind of “normal.” I’m always trying to figure out what my normal is, analyzing every movement and meal to find the magic combination of activity and rest where I feel the best. Over the last week I thought I had finally found my normal. I felt pretty good for about four days in a row and I felt in control and free to do the things I wanted (within reason of course). And then I woke up today in more pain than “usual.” My whole normal was thrown off and I felt like I was back at the beginning, trying to analyze what happened and what I should do differently, if anything.
I’ve been seeing a counselor for the last few weeks in an effort to process all the things I am going through. With her help, I’m realizing that while continuing to try is a good thing (i.e. trying to get better, trying to find doctors who can help, trying to figure out what things help/hurt), my constant analyzing and quest for normalcy is just attempting to control my uncontrollable situation. I want a predictable life while I’m living with an unpredictable condition. She is encouraging me to just go with the flow and take each day as it comes. It’s ironic that I talk about that all the time and often blog about trying to “relax and enjoy the ride,” when that truly is one of the hardest things for me to do. I want to be in control; to plan and know what to expect. Going with the flow is a lot easier said than done.
Since I’m a planner, I’m now planning how to go with the flow. Sounds like a contradiction, right? But hey, it helps, so that’s what I’m going to do, dammit. 🙂 On my good days I’ll do everything I can (again, within reason) and on my bad days I will rest, research more doctors/pain clinics, plan fun things to do/see on my good days, look at magazines, do mind games/puzzles, knit, etc. I’m going to try to think of things I’d like to do this week instead of just this particular day, then do them when I can. For example, I need to go to the store this week so I’ll go on one of the good days instead of planning to go on a particular day and feeling bad if the day I planned to go ends up being a bad day. I won’t feel guilty if I can’t do as much as I would like. I will let go.
Thanks for reading some of my experiences. I hope it will help you understand what it’s like for people with any chronic pain or illness.
Here’s to letting go.
What a journey. The last few months have been a wild ride. Here are just a few highlights:
-finished my first semester of nursing school
-found out I was moving to California
-started a new medicine for my endometriosis (didn’t end up working)
-got my house ready to sell and had a giant garage sale
-experienced a huge spike in my endo pain
-went on vacation to Florida with J’s family
-sold my house
-got everything packed and moved to storage in California
-spent a lot of time with my sweet Momma while she took care of me and helped with moving preparations
-moved into a hotel until we actually move to Cali
-had laparoscopic surgery to remove endometriosis (surgery slightly successful but still in a ton of pain)
-went to California to figure out a living situation
Whoa! That’s a lot of big stuff. Now I’m back in town for a few final weeks tying up loose ends and saying final goodbyes. While I’m so excited to begin this new chapter of my life I’m still processing what a roller coaster this summer has been. It feels like I ought to be leaving all this pain behind as I adventure on to the beautiful central coast of CA. Unfortunately, it will be coming with me – another piece of baggage trekking halfway across the country to my new home. Darn it. The medical adventure continues as I research new doctors and pain clinics in the area that might be able to help. While it’s frustrating to keep fighting this battle, I’m optimistic and hopeful to meet with better/more experienced health professionals, especially in such a beautiful place.
While I still wonder about my future (health-wise) and what it will look like, I realize that wondering is really just worrying disguised as optimism and doesn’t get me anywhere. I’m just going to try to sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride. I couldn’t ask to move to a better place and I feel so blessed. Despite all my “wondering” I am SO excited about the next couple of years. I have this weird, general feeling of joyous anticipation, like something really good is just around the corner.
I’ll try to keep you updated on my journey. Maybe I’ll even share some of the humorous bumps in the road from the last couple of months. You really have to hear the one about the giant handlebar mustache…
…more to come 🙂