Here’s to all of you with chronic illnesses and conditions! During this latest flare (Fibromyalgia, Polyarthralgia, Piriformis Syndrome, IBS-C) plus additional infections (bacterial vaginosis and yeast infection), I looked at myself in the mirror and simply said:
“I am going to make sick look good!”
My chronic conditions have taken enough! I will embrace my “new” fragile self and continue to thank God every day for his strength and courage to allow Him to be seen through my weaknesses.
Rain brings an increase in temperatures
As it washes snow off the lava…
Rain brings the wind blowing the tree limbs
While cascading the water down the glass…
Rain brings the storm from the Northwest
As it batters the roof and races down gutters…
Rain brings increased ringing in my ears
Drowning out external sounds with its deafening pitch…
Rain brings the joint pain out of remission
Removing the relief of the higher elevation…
Rain brings elevated pain levels
As my body screams out for it to end…
It feels like an eternity since I have written a health update!
Again, I must express my gratitude for my pain pump! It is the reason that my Pain Specialist has been able to determine that I have Sciatica (both left and right side)…. Sacroiliac (right side)…and now Piriformis Syndrome.
A week from Monday, I will receive another injection to calm the Piriformis. We are working towards improved function of my right leg. I am sure many of you have dealt with the Sciatic nerve(s) acting up: burning, numbness, tingling, throbbing, stabbing, muscle spasms, etc. My right leg from buttock to the tip of my big toe has been experiencing these symptoms along with being unresponsive at times –foot will drag or leg will not move when I tell it to.
The issues with my right leg have been a big problem for years now. I had come to accept this as just one more thing to learn to live with…yet now more layers to my medical conditions have been uncovered. There should actually be improvement to movement!
Chronic illness and pain often leaves us feeling like we are driving a hazardous road in the blackest of nights in blinding snow.
I hear the tumultuous waves crashing nearby. My knuckles are white as I clinch the steering wheel ever tighter.
My body is overwhelmed, yet again, with increased stabbing pain and extremely overly sensitive skin…I am counting hours to my appointment tomorrow. A much needed refill to my pain pump and discussion of my latest MRI.
In the early morning hours, as I laid in bed feeling the pain ramping up, I prayed for a touch of relief…tears could not help but fall. I was granted a little more than an hour’s fitful sleep during which I was given an awesome dream.
I dreamt that I was clinging as tightly as I could to a rock as a storm raged around me…pounding pain, large hail stones striking exposed skin, winds whipping and tearing around me…every pore seemed to be screaming as the pain within was rising to the symphony around me. Then I opened my eyes to see that I was clinging to Jesus, his back taking the brunt of the forces.
I awoke with a renewed sense of hope…looking forward to tomorrow’s appointment…knowing that I am truly not alone…that my prayers are being heard.
Chronic conditions take such a toll…stretching us to our breaking point…like a tennis ball on an elastic cord…we are tossed about without rhyme or reason.
We are bombarded by new or worsening symptoms…as we start a medication, deal with interactions between medications, struggle with adjustments to our prescription(s).
Add new diagnoses that further complicate our all ready complex situations…we truly push our medical teams…as they are thrust into the unknown.
The inevitable “Flares” that strike…some we know are coming due to choices we make (like going out to lunch with a friend…attending Parent Night to meet our son’s teachers…a simple short ride in the rig)…others strike for no apparent reason…forcing us to cancel plans…to retreat to the safety of our homes.
It is no wonder that we often feel that we are going backwards…despite our best efforts.
Yet I caught a glimpse of something precious when I paused with my eyes closed…in that short time, I took time to review the past few weeks…months…and saw progress!
I am speaking of those little changes…sitting through a rented movie –actually being able to focus and watch it…no recent falls…sleeping in a four hour block at night.
Take heart! Even when we feel like we are going backwards rather than forwards, we are progressing.
In the early morning hours while saying a prayer, images were brought to mind. It was as if I was watching a slide show highlighting the path of chronic illness that I have been traveling. So empowering and providing such a tremendous peace, that I must share!
With spot light in hand, God provided a glimpse…a “bird’s eye” view of my path. It was like looking at a map. I could see that with each boulder, rock slide, downed tree, or gaping hole there was a small, hand drawn box. The boxes ranged in vicinity to the obstacles…sometimes it was next to the obstacle, sometimes it was a mile…yet with EACH impediment there was a box associated with it.
This personalized Isaiah 64:8 — “But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand.”
These boxes were the many “tools” that have been given to me! I am truly humbled and overwhelmed as I ponder this revelation…friendships, medications, Bible verses, change in attitude, phone calls, songs, surprise visits, text messages…
Some of these “tools” reappear to demonstrate how some are repurposed like my hernia belt that my husband had modified for me due to my Colostomy. This belt is now providing some relief to the Sacroiliac joint that is inflamed as I await the appointment for a steroid injection to reduce symptoms.
As I await results from additional testing, I am thankful for the “tools” that God has granted to me, especially for my family, friends, and medical team.
As if our body’s aren’t under enough stress with our hidden illnesses and conditions, there always seems that more gets added to our plate!
I have been absent in dealing with “new” pain affecting my lower back and both legs. Results of the MRI showed Herniated discs (L4 and L5, S1 and S2) and arthritis in same area. So yes, definitely Sciatica.
I will go in for steroid injections next Wednesday. I do hope they provide relief. It would be SO nice to go back to my “usual” pain!