Thursday, October 28, 2010

We All Fall Down...

We all fall down ... and then we get right back up again: Blog Carnival.

I have always had a competitive spirit - always seeking a good challenge, with others or just with myself. I was able to live this out so well in my school years - sports (cross-country, track, softball) and school (grades, college admissions, honors) - as well as in the working world. I thirsted for challenges. When I had set-backs (such as, the injuries I endured in sports, or not making the place/time (running) or grades (school) I wanted to), I was able to pick myself and keep trying. I was proud of myself, when I was able to overcome adversity.

When I was suddenly faced with chronic, debilitating illness 2 years ago, I tried for a long time to just pick myself back up and move on. When I wasn't able to pick myself back up, I felt defeated.

It has taken me 2 years to even begin to realize and start to accept that there are times that I can't just "get right back up again." Sometimes I need help from someone else. Being a care-receiver is difficult for me, but it is a lesson that chronic illness has taught (is teaching) me. Sometimes life feels like you are taking one step forward and two steps back, but it is so important to keep getting back up and taking those steps...

Here are a few things to remember:
  1. There are going to be set-backs along the way. You're going to "fall down," but that doesn't mean that you have to stay down and be defeated.
  2. You will likely need to reach out and ask for someone's help, and there is no shame in this.
  3. Pray. God longs for each of us to come closer to and rely on Him.
  4. Once you get back on track, keep putting one foot in front of the other - take life one moment at a time. The moments will add up and you'll start to see a fuller picture.
  5. Never give up hope (and keep praying)!

Finally, An Update

First, THANK YOU to everyone for all of your prayers and support. I appreciate it more than you know!

I have been in daily pain for a long time... long enough that I don't know what a "pain-free" existence is like. I hurt my hip in 2001... my low back in 2002... have struggled with headaches off and on throughout that time... and now have been having chronic neck pain and debilitating migraines for just over 2 years. As much as I would love to know why, I just wish I knew how God wants me to use these trials and this suffering...

That being said, I feel that the Lord has blessed me with the opportunity to live without constant, debilitating pain. I had a trial procedure done last week, in hopes of ending these horrendous migraines. The procedure was outpatient surgery (10/19). The trial ended Monday (10/25). More information on the procedure can be found at Ascendant Neuro (if you end up contacting Dr. Reed's office, let them know I told you about them).

I wasn't sure whether or not the device was actually working very well, but after having it removed... I think it's safe to say that it was. I wrote this the other day, as I was trying to find some clarity in the situation...

October 23, 2010

Oh! For these moments of life!
I feel blessed to finally have at least some normalcy and true enjoyment back in my life... or at least the hope of such things...
The pain may not completely be gone, but I'm able to act more and more life myself...
Myself... I'm not even too sure what that means right now...
But, I see new hope and light in my family's eyes, when they look at me...
Perhaps God has conveniently placed them around me to use as mirrors to show me what I cannot see on my own...
I'm a bit dazed and lost right now. Everything feels so surreal.
My family and I each trust in the Lord and look to Him to guide us.
Right now, I feel lost... a bit even from God.
While searching for Him, I will look to my family as guideposts leading me back to Him and His path.

Lord, You know my hurts and fears. Please help bring me clarity in knowing Your will for me for this procedure. Thank You for this time with less pain and more family. Amen.

I fell back on my practical, analytic side the following night and sat and wrote a Pros and Cons list. I compiled a list of the ways that the device allowed me to function better, do activities more/longer (without breaks), and even do some things that I couldn't do before. Once I wrote this list, it was much clearer to see that the device had been what had lowered my pain level and allowed me to do these things. Not to mention that by the time Monday (10/25) night rolled around, my head was already starting to hurt... and I woke up with a migraine Tuesday (10/26).

I had this wonderful taste of freedom from the chains of chronic pain. But, I quickly had to gear back up and prepare to battle the beast for several weeks before the possibility of more - I am scheduled to get it permanently implanted on 11/16!

Interestingly, my body has quickly returned to the "migraine mode"... but my mind and soul are resisting as much and as hard as possible. It is such a slippery slope back down to where I was. I have new hope now - a light at the end of the tunnel. I know that I still have a long road/journey ahead of me, but I feel like I'll be better equipped and ready.

Here are a few pictures from my stimulator trial...

Jim, my wonderful dad
Debbie, my amazing mom

Jenn, my best friend & sister

Robin & Jessica, my adorable twin nieces

Beautiful roses, from my loving Grandma

Ginger, my beautiful horse
Disclaimer: Nothing on this blog is intended as medical or legal advice.

What I write on this site is my own, and if it is someone else's, I take special care to attribute it to the original author. So, please don't use any of my material without proper attribution or permission. Thanks.