I’m getting a slow start to my day today. I love Thursdays because they’re my laziest day of the week. We had our first wintry mix precipitation fall early this morning and we lost power for a bit. I’ve been puttering around, reading my book by flashlight. I also put together a grocery list since today is grocery day. Got a hold of my son and found out he is joining us for dinner the night before Thanksgiving, so that’s a nice little surprise.
Power came back on after a few calm and quiet hours.
You know, normal every-day life stuff. Nothing crazy.
But you know what I haven’t been able to stop thinking about this week?
How sick I was this time last year.
Truth is I was a mess. This was before I knew…or before I could 100% verify…what was causing my pain that I was living with every single day.
As I walked our dog yesterday, I recalled the awful nagging pain in my pelvis. It was always there, sometimes horrible, sometimes not, sometimes it would go away for a short time. I’d wake up most days feeling okay, but scared, because I knew the pain would eventually come and it always did. If anything remotely stressful happened, my pain flared. It was, at times, excruciating.
I got through last Thanksgiving (and most of late last year) thanks to anxiety and pain medications. I was walking through a labyrinth of hell, wondering why this had happened to me, and trying to find quality caring doctors who believed what I was telling them or had any sympathy for me at all.
I felt lost and like hardly anyone cared about me.
And I hurt basically all of the time.
It was the most frightening time of my life.
I didn’t know if I’d ever feel right again and I wondered if I would make it through okay.
That’s a scary-ass thing to have to ponder, in case you didn’t know.
I was able to put on a brave face and get through the holidays with my family, even though they all knew I was ill and I wasn’t able to do everything I wanted. They were very sweet and understanding. But it all made me incredibly sad.
I don’t think I will ever forget.
My illness has been one of my life’s biggest and most important teachers.
I’d like to say I am thankful for my pain, but truly, I wish I would have never had to go through all of that just to learn the lessons I did. Perhaps a more pain-free way to learn would have been nice. But, really, I guess a real kick in the ass is one way to get to figuring shit out, you know?
Speaking of my ass, I’m so thankful I can sit here on it, pain-free, and write this blog post.
I’m thankful I can get up, go out the door and walk my dog all over the place and not feel the nagging burning pressure pain with every step.
I’m thankful I can grocery shop and manage to stand in line waiting for my turn to check out without feeling like my bottom is going to fall out onto the floor, basically wanting to choke the other shoppers and cashiers for living normal lives while I’m dying just trying to buy freaking food.
I’m thankful I can stay up past 6:00 pm with my husband and watch tv and eat dinner with him instead of being in bed for an hour already, sad, unable to get up and enjoy his excellent company.
I’m glad I’m able to be among the general population and even if someone pisses me off, my pelvis won’t spasm and bring me to my knees.
I’m thankful I no longer have to take pain medication just so I can feel normal for a little while.
I’m thankful that I no longer need anxiety medication and that I naturally don’t shake from fear all day long anymore.
I’m thankful for those who remained my people when I was not my normal happy-go-lucky self. I know I was hard to listen to then, but they stuck around.
I’m thankful for my kids–human and fur–who waited and were sweet to me while I fought to come back.
I’m thankful for my friend who took care of me mentally and spiritually and physically. Great massage therapist, great listener, great sharer of guacamole.
I’m thankful for my husband who saw the very worst of me last year but never left me alone and helped me every single second of every single day til I was back. And still. And apparently, after all of that, he always will.
And lastly, I’m thankful for my persistence and my bravery and my intuition and
my self-orchestrated recovery.
Next Thursday, I’ll sit for a spell on a restaurant chair and eat Thanksgiving dinner with people I love and there will be no pain.
Just happiness. And lots of food.
Last year, fear had a hold on me. This year, I know how to wrestle the fear and keep it pinned to the ground.