Down A Winding Road
Hi everyone! It’s good to be back in this space. If you haven’t noticed I’ve had to take some time away from posting for a while. Health-wise things have been difficult and I needed to take a break. Sometimes we must admit that we can’t be superhuman and keep going. I just needed to step back and take care of myself for a little while. This meant taking time away from writing and focusing on myself. If you’re anything like me then trying to reduce the amount you are taking on isn’t always that easy. I struggle with it because I want to make a difference for those living with chronic pain. However, I can’t forget that my health has to come first.
Anyway, with that, I wanted to put up a post today just to let you know I’m still around. Life with chronic pain goes on and I take things day by day. Over the last year, there have been a lot of complications going on with my health. Sometimes even for me, it gets next to impossible to keep every medical issue straight in my head. If there was ever a time to say that my health was complex that time would be right now. When somebody asks me how things are going with my health I’m almost at a loss for words because where does one start when you have so much going on? So most of the time I end up giving people the reader’s digest version of what is going on.
With that, this is where things are at right now. Managing my CRPS/RSD has been a little more challenging as of late because my upper stimulator isn’t working and needs to be replaced. This means I’m dealing with more flare-ups and symptoms than normal. Overall however things remain managed the best I can. I do, however, notice that it’s more work than usual and I have to stay on top of things to avoid letting the flare-ups get out of control. I think I do pretty well living with a disease that sucks as much as it does!
I never thought I’d say this but life with CRPS/RSD is easier compared to other issues right now. I won’t get into the other health issues quite yet because we are still trying to figure it all out. Yes, once again I have more health concerns to tackle! Doctor’s offices and visits to the hospital for different procedures or tests seem to be taking up all kinds of time as of late. Sometimes I feel like I need a personal assistant just to keep track of all the different appointments. Quite honestly I surprise myself with how I can handle all of this. God has most definitely given me the strength to endure.
Life has to go on however in this chronic world of mine! So I’ve had to find balance and spend more time taking what I like to call “me time” to make sure that I don’t flare up and that my health stays manageable! My care plan means creating whatever I need to do to reduce stress levels and make sure that I’m listening to my body and that it’s getting what it needs. Reducing stress means taking on less at the moment! In my head that might seem simple because all I should have to do is tell myself to slow down the pace of everything. Right! However, that’s not so easy for me to do because I’m heading into a very busy time when it comes to advocating for chronic pain.
This month we celebrated CRPS Awareness Day on Nov 2 here in my home province of Saskatchewan. Along with this, the entire month of November focuses on raising awareness for chronic pain. Normally, this would mean that I’d be involved in many events that raise awareness for chronic pain. This year though things have been a bit different, and I haven’t been able to do as much because of the way things are with my health. Instead, I’ve focused more on social media and writing to get my message out.
Over the last few years, I’ve learnt that complex health conditions like mine are just that. Complex! So it makes even the most basic things that might seem easy to you hard for me. What do I mean by this? Even something as basic as a scratch or a cut can take several weeks to heal. The common cold even takes me a lot longer to shake than most other people. I think people assume that what I live with is all about chronic pain but I don’t think they understand the true scope of how my body has been affected by this disease. Trying to hit my target date of Nov 2 to get this piece out was even affected! I blame that on the brain fog that comes and goes daily!
This post is just an attempt at an update on how things are going and to get back to writing. This always has been and probably always will be something very therapeutic to me at times when I’m dealing with a lot of stress. Even when I just need to blurt something out, or feel as if there’s a huge weight on my shoulders. In the coming posts, I want to get back to just sharing things that are on my mind. Even though there is value in specific topics I also think that there’s value in speaking from the heart.
This journey has been so complex and has taken more twists and turns than that famous road in Hawaii called the Road to Hana! If you know the road I’m talking about then you get what I mean. It’s one of those roads that continually twists and turns and you never know what lies around the next corner. To make matters worse as you turned each corner you came up upon a one-lane bridge you have to pass over. At times it was hair-raising because you would turn a corner and all of a sudden come face to face with another car trying to cross the bridge. There was no backing up because of traffic behind you, and you had to almost use metal telepathy to figure out what the driver approaching or crossing the bridge in front of you was going to do.
It wasn’t until I drove the road myself that I understood just how stressful it could be. With every corner we came to, you had no choice but to be optimistic that the road on the other side of the turn was clear. I guess my point is that I choose to stay positive in those times when things are stressful and when the path doesn’t look so clear or straightforward. I can’t turn back and have to keep moving forward no matter how hard it might be.