A Moment Away From CRPS

After arriving home from a great family trip late last Wed night, I had nothing left in me to write a post! I decided that I needed to give my body a few days after arriving home to get itself not only calmed down but turned around. We had a great time as a family in Cancun, and the last thing we wanted to do was come home to the freezing cold. The holiday met all our expectations and more! Not only did we get a lot of time as a family but my wife and I got a lot of much needed alone time as well. Every morning we’d wake up in our room and hear the crashing waves only to open the curtains to this amazing view!

My only regret on the trip was that I made the decision to not take my camera gear along with me on this trip. It was a hard decision to make because I knew there would be all kinds of photo ops presenting themselves to me but family and rest was the purpose of this trip and not pictures. We weren’t planning on leaving the resort and so that was another factor in making my decision not take it. As law would have it however the first day there, I looked next door to our resort to find an old abandonded hotel that was destroyed by Hurricane Wilma in 2005! Naturally the photographer in me came alive and I started seeing possible pictures before my eyes!

I’d been looking forward to taking this trip since we booked it in Sept, and so when surgery happened in Oct it made recovery all the more important so that I wouldn’t have to miss out! The travel is a great way to distract myself from the pain. However the reality is that its expensive and I can’t do it as much as I’d like to.

The relaxation was great though and I was able to calm my nervous system down while laying beside the pool most days! While I did some reading or even had the occasional sleep these two little monsters had a great time swimming or even meeting different kids from different places throughout the world. After the type of year I had last year it was good to just laugh and smile a bit more. I’m so thankful for the family that I have and the amazing support that they give me all the time. Even though I had to put up with my pain and the daily flareups I still feel as though it didn’t stand in the way of us having a good time. My girls had the time of their lives and that’s what mattered the most! As I’ve said numerous times before I don’t want to see CRPS limit me in the things that I want to do and the places that I want to go! I have a lot of this world left to see and I’m not about to stop. So check off Cancun and on to the next destination! The only thing I need to do after this trip was find a way to excercise because I ate way to much while we were there. I’m sure if I stepped on a scale that I will have gained about twenty pounds after all that amazing food!

After arriving home the temperature swing from 31C to -31C really shocked my nervous system and I’m sure its why my body is a bit more cranky than normal. I’m hopeful however that the extreme temperatures will start to ease in the next month or so! It just needs to smarten up or I need to move to the heat! Did I mention that I still have a mental picture of this beach in my mind, with the turqoise blue waters!

Okay! Time to get this post finished as the first week back was kind of crazy and I just wasn’t able to get to finishing this thing up. So its time to put the my nose to the grindstone and get this thing done. In lots of ways I feel like I have too many things that need attention right now. I don’t however have the energy to get it all done. There are two things that I’m really struggling with since having my surgery and that’s energy and the ability to lift any weight at all. I find that even lifting a shopping bag that’s moderately heavy is too much and almost kills me. So trying to push, pull, and lift are all things that I have real trouble with still. The pain doesn’t take a break because with CRPS it never will but over the last week I was able to take a break from focusing on the pain. Every day I watched my two girls take on new adventures and that brought a smile to my face. Both of my girls tackled the rock climbing wall that was there, a little nervous at first but eventually getting the hang of things! In this picture you see my little girl Katelyn scaling it to the top. Then they took a zip line down from the top.

 

So after a hard morning of climbing and zipping the girls would cool off by either doing some water sliding or laying by the pool eating a plate of fries! Yes vegatables seemed to be a rarity on this vacation for them. We would try but over and over they wanted fries and chicken nuggets. It was vacation so we weren’t going to force the issue to much, but it was funny! It was just fun seeing them have so much fun and be kids for a change. What so many people miss is that these kids are growing up with a parent who is battling chronic illness. So life for them is just a bit different because there are lots of times when they have to hold back on that because it affects dad in so many ways. It was the perfect enviroment for them to let loose and just be kids.

When your a family that deals with chronic pain your everyday routine is often a bit different and it can be more taxing on all of you. The moments of stress or tension within the family dynamic are often greater and you have to try hard to laugh at things even when you don’t exactly feel like laughing. This trip helped ease all that stress and for once we could just laugh at each other and smile as we had a good time!

 

Hitting A Wall!

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!