The Normal Life

If I close my eyes, I think of what a wonderful life I’ve been blessed with. You see, the last few months have been unusually difficult. I keep waiting for the storm clouds to disintegrate and the warm, blue, sunny skies of a normal life to take over. I’m beginning to think that day may never get here, or may never arrive at all.

Six months ago, I lost my beautiful, vibrant and brilliant best friend, my mom. She and I had differences from time to time, but what child doesn’t? We always worked them out.

Just after mom died, dad was misdiagnosed with cancer. Luckily for all of us, he had an abscess that looked like cancer. He healed well with antibiotics. When that was through, dad had a very important eye surgery. He is now able to see where he could not before surgery.

And then there is me. I have been sick since March, Easter week to be precise. I’m still sick, but hoping and praying that the end is near. I’m tired. I’m so tired of the pain. I’m tired of just feeling sort of alright. I am tired of my house and relying on others. I’m tired of new problems cropping up. I’m just so tired.

So when I close my eyes, I imagine myself free from pain, free from my house, usually swimming or running or playing like I did as a kid. I see myself able to focus on life for more than 5 minutes. I want to run outside and play with my kids. I want to take my dogs on a walk. I just want to relish my normal life. The same life I took for granted. I will never take it for granted again. That is a promise after this ordeal.

My home is a sanctuary to me, but now it’s become my prison. It’s become the place I wish I wasn’t. I’m trapped. I can’t enjoy my summer because of how I feel. I couldn’t go swimming, my favorite thing to do, because I have a drain in my belly.

The summer will be over and still won’t be back at the job I love because of this, or so I fear. Will I ever heal? I will, eventually. Right now, though, it’s so difficult. I’ll keep my eyes closed and keep dreaming, perhaps. I’ll dream of ordinary and how in love and miss ordinary.
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A Life Longed For

As the weeks rolled by, Kitty grew tired of just lying around.  She was so sick of this life.  She longed for the healthy days she used to have.  This pain, is this what her life was going to be like from now on?  She knew it wouldn’t be, or so they said, but after 3 longs months, each time she tried to do, or be, anything normal, the pain would come back 10 fold.  So did the low grade temp.  They said to watch out for the temps, but not to worry unless it was over 101.5. It never got that high.  It only got as high as to make her feel miserable.  100.8 degrees.  What the hell was with 100.8?

It had been nearly 2 weeks since the surgery.  She had longed for the surgery because she thought that would take the stupid pain away and she would start to feel better.  She did not anticipate feeling worse for this long.  She knew she would feel worse for a while though.  Whenever there was surgery, and this was a big one, there would be pain, but this pain was pretty much like the pain was before only all the time.  And now she had to contend with the temp and being so tired all the time.  When would she feel better?

Kitty had always been a bundle of energy.  She never slept a whole lot and that was fine.  Now, she slept all the time because being awake and just reading in her bed made her tired. If she was awake for more than 2 or 3 hours, it was nap time again.  When would it ever end?  She wanted desperately to be healthy again and to go back to work.  She longed to feel normal again.

She wasn’t allowed to even lift the 13 pound dog onto the bed.  Poor Pooch was over her weight restriction.  She had to call for help for that.  And Pooch had no clue, he just wanted up to sleep next to her.  The thought of her poor garden being ignored like it was drove her absolutely ballistic.  The thought of sitting outside, her usual favorite place, was out of the question.  It was simply too warm and she would quickly over heat.  So, stuck she was, in her bed or the recliner.  She couldn’t even sit for very long as she always did, “crisscross applesauce” or as she called it, Indian style.  She was miserable.

Where were the people that said they’d be there?  Her friends?  Well, her brother made it home from Europe early.  He was feeling guilty from missing her surgery.  He was so thrilled to see her when he got home.  Her dad came to see her once in the hospital and once since she’d been home.  Her friends next door had been there for her everyday, but now they were gone on vacation.  There were a few visitors in the hospital but since she’d been home, no one except her neighbors and her family.

She felt alone and forgotten.  Didn’t anyone realize how big this was? Didn’t anyone care? It was just a stupid pity party and she realized that too.  She would be fine.  She couldn’t expect more because everyone was busy.  At least her aunts from far away had thought of her.  She loved them so much.  She decided that she just really missed her mom in situations like this.  There was no one like one’s mom when you didn’t feel well and she no longer had her mom here.  She knew her mom was her angel though.

She grew stronger with time.  Each day got a little better.  Each week brought more strength and less tiredness.  By 6 weeks post op, Kitty was ready to face the world and the tears stopped flowing so freely.  Kitty could, at last, return to a normal life.  The life she had not had for so many months now.  The life she had longed for.

I’m Just Tired

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Having been under the weather since March has given me a whole new sense of what it feels like for those who suffer from lifelong daily pain. After just 3 months of this and I am just so tired of it. I just want to throw in the towel sometimes. Other times I’m okay. Tonight, I’m simply done. I want my life back. I’m just so tired of it all.

I know, for me, there is an end in sight. I know my pain will end. It can’t come soon enough and yet there are times, like tonight, when I just don’t feel any better. I just don’t want to have to take another damn pill. I hate how they make me feel. I hate what they do to my dreams. I want to sleep longer than a few hours and wake refreshed and pain free. What a great feeling that will be. It’s coming. I know it is, but tonight I keep wondering if it will ever get here.

I can’t imagine going through all of this without my loving husband by my side. He asks why I’m crying and just holds me. I cry because I hurt. I cry because I feel like I can’t go on hurting. He makes this better and easier to deal with. For those people that have no one and have to go through chronic pain alone? I pray for someone to be there for them.

Pain is the most subjective thing we own. No one can truly measure pain on another person. It is what we say it is. I know I can handle a great deal of pain, or so people tell me, and continue to do so even though it is lessened every day. It isn’t fair to judge another’s pain either. People do it often though. I can only say that my appreciation for and sympathy for those whose pain is chronic in nature has grown exponentially over these last 3 months.

With this, I ask that if you know someone with chronic pain, hug them for a long time and tell them how much you love them. You would be amazed at how much the power of love can help pain. The power of touch is truly one of the strongest pain suppressants for me. A hug can raise the levels of serotonin in your brain and help you feel so much better, so go hug someone today. Be the pain reliever and antidepressant all rolled into one. That’s what healing touch does. That’s what a hug is.

Just writing this and sharing with you the struggles of pain and what you can do to help, has helped raise my spirits. I will be fine. I know this takes time and I’m on the upswing of this illness. Next month it should be all back to my normal life, whatever that is! Now, go hug people! Everyone, including you, will feel better!