Chronic illness and pain have become too much!
Last Saturday was a terrible day, and it was inevitable that this would happen. In 3 months life has transformed. My job had become a problem as my walk had now reduced to a hobble, with my left leg doing all the hard work. Capable of four hours work and recovering for three days. The next few days are for building up to the next day of being useful and earning a little extra.
Fatigue has become a bigger issue too. This led me to a visit to my GP who sped up my visit with my neurologist. At this visit he informed me that in his opinion I now have Secondary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis. Within 4 days I was in hospital getting IV steroids, and 1 week later, on Wednesday I was using a FES (Functional Electrical Stimulation) device as physiotherapy to help my right leg.
This onslaught of diagnosis, new treatments, and my mind creating vistas of spiraling disability became too much. Mental anguish building. Visions of wheelchairs, double incontinence, chronic fatigue and pain causing me to depend on others, and giving nothing in return. Dark. I failed to see a reason to continue a fight that looked like I would ultimately lose. Why?
I was lying on my bed, too tired to read, and my partner came into my room, and asked “How are you?”. Simply replying “I’m tired”. This led to a conversation which resulted in me breaking down. Silent tears, body heaving, gasping for breath, I said again. “I am so tired. Tired of the fight. Tired of the constant pain.” It was a very low point. I couldn’t see how I could continue.
My partner listened. Not judging, listening. She let this volcano of emotion explode. It wasn’t pretty, nor elegant. It was dirty, rough, uncontrolled. These feelings moved out of my head, and into the world. Instead of bubbling, festering, eating at my will to continue like a cancer, consuming everything. It was out. It lanced the boil.
In the last few days I have filled my journal with all these emotions. Every time they surface, I take my pen and write more. This purging action is part of the solution. Meditation every day helps too. The final piece to this puzzle is to find for myself a purpose. First, a recipe for bread made with no grains followed by researching something on the internet. One thing leads to another. Part of this self therapy is writing this post and being honest about my emotions.
The new fight
This is how I fight against these chronic conditions that buffet me in this life adventure. There are days, weeks, when they control me like the Gods of Ancient Greece. Then I have to uncurl myself, stand again and face my fears. MS and pain only win if I let them. If I don’t fight, or find my purpose, they have beaten me.
It is a constant battle. In any war, one side has the advantage for a period, and then the other. I want to win, and I will win. There will be days it all seems too much, like Saturday. But there are also days like today when I am stronger. When I am winning.