Hi again! Christmas is right around the corner and it’s coming quickly! It’s the time of year that is so difficult for so many of us! Why? It’s taxing on our nervous systems and we have a hard time keeping the stress levels down or the triggers that set off our pain. So let me just say this! If you have a friend or a family member that deals with CRPS or chronic illness, keep in mind that this might not be an easy time of the year for them. I feel as though this has become a message that I try to speak to every year because it’s important! We are trying and want to enjoy this time of the year but it just isn’t easy for us. So I guess I’m saying be patient and supportive of those around you.
The last week has been full of lots of ups and downs on the pain front, and I’m doing what I can not to fall apart. Like every other day however I battle through and get stronger with every passing day. My illness might be holding me back in a physical sense but I know that from the inside out I’m only getting stronger, smarter, and wiser. I have been affected by CRPS for ten years now and in so many ways its forced me to become stronger. Why? If I’m not stronger in how I battle through each day then slowly the illness breaks you down and over time it could lead to depression or worse yet suicide. So every day I wake up and the first then I do is ask God to give me the strength because I don’t know where else I would get it from. Not only the physical strength to get through every day but the mental strength as well.
As I’ve walked this journey I’ve also become a lot happier because I’ve been able to learn from all the struggles that I’ve had to go through. Lets face it over the time that I’ve had to live with CRPS there have been more than a few ups and downs. There were days where the journey seemed all too much, and trials that have felt nearly impossible to live through making it hard to be happy at times. There were certain times I took on a defeatist attitude and chose to go to a negative place, believing that happiness wasn’t going to be possible. When I really think about it, those beliefs were coming from a place of fear. One in which I probably chose to shut God out sometimes because it was easier to give up and feel sorry for myself, than to trust that He could bring a renewed strength, happiness, and wisdom when I needed it. If I wanted to change this and stop it from happening, then I needed to have an even stronger “all in” attitude and trust that He would provide! Its taken time and a continued effort but slowly I’ve started to see things change. There is a peace I didn’t have before and I’m happier than I’ve been in a long time.
I’ve been fighting this war against CRPS far to long not to know that there might be other trials I come up against down the road. The difference is that I am prepared to face them if need be! My confidence is stronger and I have become so much wiser to Gods promises in my life. Its taken a lot of hard work to get to where I’m at today. Putting in the effort to learn about my CRPS and how to manage to live a “happy life” with my disability hasn’t been exactly easy. Sometimes it’s taken falling down and getting back up to learn how to cope and manage but I’m all the wiser for it. There have been so many hard and sometimes painful lessons that I’ve had to go through. All of them in their own little way however have helped me to open my eyes and see things in a different light.
Living a chronic life hasn’t been easy but its changed me for the better! I say this because in a lot of ways I appreciate life way more now more than I ever did before!
Who knew that a month after surgery I’d still feel like I was run over forwards and then again backwards by a Mack truck! Yes it’s been about four weeks since the surgery and there’s still a long way to go. The mental battle that I’ve had to face through all of this has been huge. On more than one occasion I’ve had to tell myself not to give in to fear, or any other distractions that I’ve come up against along my path to recovery. On Wed I faced yet another obstacle as I ended up heading into the ER because things took a turn for the worse. After not being able to get ahold of my neurosurgeon or my GP I was advised to head down to the hospital to get things checked out.
When I got to the hospital I knew I was in for a bit of a wait. Nothing unusual for a hospital ER right! The doctor came and did a few tests as they always do, and then ordered a few more things to be done and told me that it would be a few hours before we got the results back. So I did a little more waiting and grew a little more tired, before a nurse came and told me they were moving me to another part of the ER. I felt like I was being put in isolation with nobody around and nobody coming to check on me. Under normal circumstances this quiet place would have been great for a person with CRPS to wait. On this night however it was too quiet giving my mind to much of a chance to think, and all of a sudden the pot boiled over and everything just came crashing down on me. I couldn’t put on that brave face anymore, and the tears started to roll down my cheeks as all the stress started boiling over. Of course the timing was perfect because just then the doctor walked in and she could see the emotion all over my face. After talking to the doctor for a bit longer, not only could I hear it in her voice but I could see in her face that she could understand the pain I was in. I could see she really understood me!
There wasn’t much that the doctor could do for me to help me and although I left the hospital after a long night frustrated that nobody could help me, looking back not everything about the evening was negative. After the fog had cleared and by that I mean the frustration and everything that boiled over that night I was able to look at things in a much more calm and realistic manner. I needed that alone time for everything to come up to the surface. If you keep pushing everything down then it builds and builds leaving you like that earthquake or “the big one” waiting to happen. If that were to happen then everything around you would come crashing down around you crushing you in the process. Isn’t it better that we let off pressure every once in a while so that it doesn’t build and build until we can take no more.
As I sat in that room that night letting my frustrations come to the surface saying prayer after prayer I knew that there was a reason this was happening. I may not have realized it then but when I think about it all now it makes perfect sense. It was time for God to hear my thoughts, prayers, and all the frustrations that I needed to get off my chest. Once again when everything seems to be be getting to be too much, and just when I start to doubt that people are listening to what I’m saying He shows me that there is someone listening and that someone cares. In dealing with an illness where it can be hard to get people to listen, over and over He shows me that no matter where or when He will be there. As is the case with the team of people that have been put together to form the staff at the implant clinic. I really believe that God placed each one of them in their position for a reason.
Sometimes you just have to do a lot of sorting out of all the garbage! Ask yourself is everything in all of this bad or is there a lesson deep down beneath all that trash? Or quite simply do you just need to let it all out because God listens even when it may not seem like nobody else is!
When I decided to start writing this post this morning I didn’t quite know how to start things off. Isn’t summer suppose to be lots of family time hanging out together taking road trips making lots of memories together? It hasn’t quite worked out that way because of all the chaos in my home. I do see an end in site however now that work is being done again. We got final approval to go ahead and drywall today! I’m hopeful that by the end of the weekend we’ll be ready for the final stages and that it won’t be long until we get our basement back.
It’s at times like these that I’m thankful that I have the family that I do. My nephew has come to the rescue and is now finishing the job off for us. He’s amazing and even though he’s living in another province and is extremely busy, he still found time to help us out. It’s a huge blessing and takes a lot of stress off my plate. My pain has been on the rise over the last few weeks and I’m finding that more of my symptoms from the CRPS are starting to surface. I need to slow things down but there are so many projects to get done!
This weekend I am taking time out to go and take in a family gathering which has now been dubbed “wing night” where the cousins host a party that has kind of become an annual event. It’s what cottage life at the lake is all about, lots of family gatherings and the added perk of having great food. In the midst of everything that’s going on right now it’s the perfect break.
On the health front a couple weeks ago I saw my surgeon for a follow up in regards to my implant. I was having a bit of trouble with the incision site because it had somehow opened and there was some concern that the site had become infected. The great news is that things have healed up and it looks like we don’t have to worry about infection anymore. I’m still getting some pain in the area but it seems to be on the mend. Having the implant in it’s new location has been a bit of a challenge because I’ve had to figure out my new limitations. However that being said I’d rather have the battery in it’s new location than in my back any day!
With all the stress over the last little while I’ve started getting a lot of shooting pain in my hand which for the longest time has been under control with the implants. It’s just telling me that I’m doing too much and that I need to get that stress under control. My energy level has been really up and down as well, something that again is any symptom that I’m pushing things too hard. I’ve been trying to do a lot of relaxation therapy to combat the increase in symptoms.
I don’t do well telling myself to slow down and I never have. I’ve always had a really strong work ethnic and pride myself on that. Now that CRPS is a part of my life however I can’t achieve the same high standards that I hold myself to. It’s something that I’ve had a really hard time dealing but over time I’ve had to learn to accept. It’s been a real struggle because my strong work ethic is a part of who I am and CRPS has tried to take that away from me. What I’ve really had to learn though is that my work ethic doesn’t have to change but the amount I do does. This might seem like an easy thing to change but for me it’s been a real challenge. I think I’ve gotten better over time but I still have my days where I think things should be normal.
Well I’d better end this post and get on with things. I’ll be back from the lake in a couple of days when I’ll post again. Hopefully at some point over the next little while I’ll get back to posting every couple of days but being summer and having so much going on I’ll do my best to get one up at least once a week. Talk to everyone soon.