The back story: 2001. I fall at work. I know I’ve done some damage to my neck and left shoulder. I’m given pain meds and all is supposed to be okay. A year later, more pain. For the next six years I’m in and out of physical therapy. I just never feel the same.
Forward to 2007. I run daily as I know excess weight will not help my situation. I’m working but can’t keep up my normal pace. The pain is beginning to keep me awake at night. Again, back to therapy. But throw in a list of medications. My sleep now is a mere two hours a night. So, the doc’s answer? Meds. The pain is now excruciating! I begin to have migraines. I spend Christmas in bed with one of the worst migraines of my life. I lose 13 pounds in a month and a half. I feel like I’m slowly dying.
I endure this all for a year. I can’t sit for longer than 30 minutes. I can’t stand for more than 15. Some days I can barely move or walk. Most days I curl up by the end of the day and cry because of the pain throughout my entire body; deep, burning, pain with occasional numbness in my arms and hands. It hurts to even be touched. I long just to be held and will hold my breath just to have my husbands arms around me. I’m trapped in this body that seems to hate me and I don’t understand what is going on. I see myself living at most another five years as the pain is debilitating both physically and mentally.
I sign up for classes at a local college because I realize I can’t stay at my current job. I’m trying to focus on having a life after pain control is realized. I’m determined. I refuse to think that my life will continue on this path. I drop out. The pain wins this one.
At each doctors visit I try to explain my pain and how much my quality of life has diminished. I think they understand until they just prescribe another medication, jab me with yet another injection and tell me just to live life. They just aren’t getting it. Even my pharmacist is flabbergasted by how often they change my meds. I feel like a guinea pig. I am referred to a chiropractor and begin to feel a bit of relief but then they refuse to allow me to continue. I ask to see a massage therapist. Refused.
With each visit I get more frustrated and angry. I’m losing all trust that they want me as “fixed” as I do. I imagine the kick back they are getting from all the meds I’ve been on. It angers me! But in the end of all of all those popped pills, I’m still not sleeping and the pain is worse than when I entered the office in 2007 seeking answers. I explain to them I don’t want to depend on prescriptions for the rest of my life. I feel as if they are adding additional issues. I’m nauseated. My mind is a blur half the time. I want healthier choices for dispelling the pain. They offer me nothing.
I end up quitting work. I am paid by work completed and now am only making about two dollars an hour. I’m again sitting in the doctor’s office. The pain level is at a nine. The doctor is telling me there is nothing more he can do. He states so nonchalantly, “You are just going to hurt”. I’m numb with pain and disbelief. He tells me that John F. Kennedy suffered from similar pain. What? Is that suppose to make me feel better? Feel special? Then the kicker. “Take your meds and get a job”, he says. How cold! I’m not sure what my face must have read to him, but I’m sure it must have been “You are a blooming idiot” because I know that is what I’m thinking. I storm out crying, with yet another new prescription in hand. As I walk through the waiting room I want to scream, “Run! Run for your lives.” I sit in the parking lot bawling my eyes while attempting to talk coherently on the phone to my husband. I tell him, “I can’t do this anymore”. The camel’s back has been broke. I will not continue this way.
I never go back. I’m done. It was freeing! The best decision I’ve ever made for myself. I set out to find my own answers. Healthier choices. I begin to decrease my meds, eat healthier, avoid preservatives, and practice yoga daily but only for durations that my body allows. I begin to see a new chiropractor and a massage therapist. They get it! The migraines become fewer and far between. I’m warned it’s going to be a long haul and it is. But now all those things I knew that were going wrong in my body are being resolved. I knew the meds were just covering up the real issues and adding new ones. I was so right. Finally, I am in control of my life and my destiny and my body is responding positively. I know me! I can feel and understand the pains that lie within it. But I just needed someone to listen; to not pretend they had all “my” answers without really understanding it all.
I’m still looking for answers. But I’ve thrown all medications to the wayside. The layers of pain and health issues are like an onion and I’m peeling away each layer until none are left. That is my hope! I’m three years into this healthier way and I’ve made huge strides. But I’m finding my way and trusting that I know my body better than anyone no matter their degree. I have found myself. I am finding my way back to being myself. I’m on the path to a longer, happier and healthier life. I truly believe that. I’m blessed! Blessed beyond belief! All because I have trust in myself and realize what is best for me. I know thyself!
“You were born to win, but to be a winner, you must
plan to win, prepare to win, and expect to win.”
— Zig Ziglar