Well…. Where do I start…. The past decade has been quite the trip…. And I think that it is beneficial to look back and remember and reflect on where you come from, because it’s the only way to really get a good indication of where you are and how much you’ve grown.
2000-2010…. Is time truly going by that quickly? I’ve been through the worst and the best life experiences during that time. I’ve grown, I’ve matured, I’ve given up, I’ve found hope in places where I never thought hope could live. And I am still here! I’m still blessed with the opportunity to make every day my best day. I have survived the past decade!!! And if you are reading this, so have you!
I was numb and grieving when 2000 came and knocked on my door. My big brother had passed away in the summer of ’99, and I wanted more than anything for the new millenium to bring about positive change…. I had no idea WHAT I was in for!
I was diagnosed with fibro and TMJD in my early teens, but for years it lay pretty dormant, only coming out from time to time as ‘aches and pains’…. I had control over my demons back then.
In 2000 I got pregnant with my son, and the circle of life continues… And I fell head over heels in love with him from the moment I found out he was nestled inside my belly.
In 2001 I delivered my son naturally, we almost lost him at birth. He is truly a miracle. After many days in the NICU and step down unit we got to bring him home on oxygen. I was OVER tired and my body started falling apart, but wasn’t that to be expected?
2002 – My marriage fell apart for the first time. I was suffering from what I now can see was chronic pain, but with a new baby at home, my dedication to nursing him around the clock, my lack of emotional well being, I ignored my body…. And it didn’t like it that much.
2003 – 2005 – this is what I refer to as the ‘blurred years’. Anyone who has ever has a toddler can relate I’m sure. During that time I was a dedicated and ‘healthy’ mom. I noticed that I was stiff and in pain every morning and every night, but I could shake it off. I took Tylenol and over the counter muscle relaxers. I wanted to be super mom. I ignored the whispers in my head that was telling me that I wasn’t okay. My father-in-law got terminal cancer. My Mother-in-law was diagnosed with breast cancer…. I needed to serve a higher purpose…. I battled on. My marriage still on the rocks, I thought I could fix everyone. I wasn’t trying to fix myself.
2006-2009 – The BLACK HOLE YEARS! I woke up in the middle of the night at the end of 2005 screaming out in pain…. And it just never stopped. Hours turned into days. Days turned into weeks. And nobody could figure out what was wrong with me. In and out and back in to the hosptial I went. I had pelvic exams, x-rays, MRI’s, blood tests, urinalysis, nobody could find the ‘reason’. I had exploratory surgeries, I had handful after handful of pills. Nobody had an answer. And all the while my body, my mind, and my marriage fell apart. I went from super mom to a waste of space. I laid in bed for over a year. I just couldn’t move.
I was referred to the Centre for Chronic Pain. I was given a proper diagnosis I was given tools to put the pieces back together. I was taken seriously. I was validated. I was given handfuls and handfuls of different medications. After 2 years of extensive multi faceted therapy I began to accept my diagnosis. I began to accept that the ‘old’ me might never resurface, and if indeed I was going to live the rest of my life with chronic pain, then I was going to try and live the best life I could. I had to make peace with what I had been fighting for so long.
My Dad, my hero, was diagnosed with terminal cancer, and he fought HARD through 2 surgeries, months of the most aggressive chemotherapy there is, and all the emotions and uncertainties that come with facing your own mortality. He showed me how to live in spite of your disease. He showed me what strength and courage meant. He has outlived his prognosis, and is still in remission. He gave me a reason to fight my own battles.
I separated from, and subsequently divorced my ex-husband. I had to go from being a chronic mom to a chronic SINGLE mom. It was terrifying, but in the process I FOUND myself! My son and I moved, and I began getting back to basics, self care, honoring myself, and regaining structure and stability in my life.
A friend that was right under my nose for 10 years offered to help, and in the process he ended up being the love of my life. Funny how things work out?! He had my trust and admiration for years, and now he has my heart. He is truly my best friend, he helps me fight this demon called chronic pain every day, and he LOVES me just as I am. He has taught me the most valuable lesson I have learned in the last 10 years. He has taught me that I deserve to be loved.
Whew…. What a wild ride the past decade has been!
I’m really excited for the future, for the first time in a VERY long time! My pain hasn’t changed, but my perception of it has. I have everything I need to live the very best life I can. I live with chronic pain, but it is only a part of who I am. I choose to live each day, pain or not.
I choose to live.