I have become inspired by many writers who share themselves so generously, day by day, blog after blog, article after article, book after book. I want to dig deeper today and invite you to see more of the real me, in this moment.
I yearn to be seen and heard, without any mask or pretense. I will supply more of the back story of my existence. It is as necessary as my next breath.
I am sitting here typing on less than 2 hours sleep. The past few years I have struggled with sleep deprivation from time to time. This is due less to insomnia and more from persistent digestive issues. When I find it is easier to stay out of bed, I come to the computer and television to distract myself. It is easier to go back and forth to the bathroom from a sitting position. I have become more accustomed to the sleep deprivation knowing I eventually catch up on my sleep. I have made my peace with this.
But it has taken time. For about one year ( 2011-2012) I barely held my full-time job. I was out sick several days a week and kept employed due to FMLA. The mornings were the worst, and if I did not sleep, I would call out sick. There are many reasons my health deteriorated back then. But what matters is that I did the best I could to maintain some semblance of order in my disorderly life.
I am in physical pain almost every day. This has been going on for over a year. There are occasional pain-free days, but they are rare. The pain fluctuates from mild to excruciating to anything in-between. I find it really difficult to talk about this. But it is not that hard to describe here. At least not now. Plans are made, knowing full well, they may have to be cancelled at the last-minute. My expectations about how I spend my time are incredibly low. This may be a good thing, as expectations drag me down. And yet, I would like to be able to make commitments with a modicum of confidence.
I cope with the pain in a variety of ways, such as prayer, reading inspirational materials, watching spiritually themed videos, journaling, and positive self-talk. I let myself cry freely and without judgement. Many bloggers write about chronic and/or severe health struggles, and I find solace from reading these personal accounts.
Sometimes turmeric and ginger help. Sometimes I try something a bit stronger. It is interesting that I spent about an hour on the phone with a pharmacist about the dangers of prescribed opiates shortly before Prince died. It was as if I knew these pills could kill me. My doctor only prescribed a few pills with no refills. He handled this very responsibly. It is just that I have a tendency to relish not existing in this reality. I also have a history of self-medicating as a teen. Yet I have only taken 1 pill since leaving the hospital, just so you know. But I am grateful the bottle is close by.
I want to share how I felt on April 15th, my latest trip to the hospital. I had just gotten my first IV dose of an opiate painkiller while in the ER for my lower GI pain. This was the kind of debilitating torture that led me to call 911 for myself. I had never needed to do that before. I can still remember how free I felt once the stuff kicked in. I was devoid of worry, my muscles had relaxed, and my pain was virtually non-existent. I raised my voice and declared how great it was to be free! Funny thing is, the subsequent doses have less of an effect. ( Actually this is not funny at all, quite the contrary.)
I never know where I will be or how long I will be away from home. I pay my bills as quickly as possible, in case I am hospitalized without notice. I sometimes pack a bag to take with me to the doctor, on the off-chance I may need a change of clothes. I eat most meals wondering if I will be regretting my choice of foods. Why is it that the sauce I could eat all my life no longer agrees with me? Why does the sandwich I prepared last week make me double up in agony when I fix the same thing today? Sometimes the food does not make a difference. Truth is, no one seems to know much about my illness, triggers, or treatment.
I am just supposed to live like this.
Today is one of those times where I am struggling with fatigue and pain. I do not know if it will pass or increase in intensity. I never know. It has been so very isolating to keep my feelings locked away inside, only to discuss with a very select few. Many have welcomed a frank discussion about my health. I just don’t like to rehash it verbally. It is quite arduous and seems futile most of the time. But I do not like feeling so alone with my struggle. I want to move out of the false optimism and embrace this moment of despair. For it is real and honest and alive within me.
One day I would also like to put my name on this blog and all of my content. The main reason I don’t disclose my full name is because I am afraid prospective employers wouldn’t be receptive to my story. The irony is that I cannot seem to find a job to save my life.
Now I wonder if finding one would save my life.
Comments are closed for this entry. I would like you to contact me here if you have any comments or questions. Please keep me in your prayers. Perhaps this unfiltered confession will be balm for my soul. Thank you for listening.
image credits ~ wikipedia.org, public domain