Why is it so hard to write the first sentence? I suppose because I feel like there is this endless backstory. But today, I am not going to go into all of that too much. Today, I just want to explain the basic premise of “Chronic Joy.” It will be about my journey and experience with chronic pain, but also have a healthy dose of joy, hope, and gratitude, because although chronic pain can be very difficult, life is still beautiful in so many ways. I want to count the blessings while confessing the curses. I want to be grateful for the things in my life that are good and positive, and I never want to lose hope. So much of reality is about perspective.
My journey with pain dates back five years. I pulled something in my back while working out and ended up with pain. That pain is no longer much of an issue most of the time – it took years, but finally I have learned to “live around it.” Last year, around this same time, I had a knee swell up. A shot of cortisone took care of it, but not entirely. Again, I learned to live around it. I was also diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. I didn’t seem to have many symptoms, so I put off taking medication. That has all changed now. Two months ago, I took a very long car ride (12 hours) and ever since that time I have been in pain. I cannot sit for longer than 10 minutes. I have had xrays, CT, and last week an injection in my piriformis muscle. I’m still waiting, but the injection does not seem to have done much, and possibly, even increased the pain. Currently, I am having what feels like an internal burning sensation under the tailbone. It can get pretty intense. Sometimes, I get so frustrated and sad about this pain. I have cried more out of frustration in the past several weeks than I ever have in my life.
One thing that helps is to just get my mind off it. To focus on the positive things in my life, which are abundant.
I am grateful for …
A loving and supportive spouse. He has really been there for me through this, helping in any way he can, going with me to appointments, reassuring me, making me laugh.
A daughter who is living life. I have a healthy, 17 year old daughter, who is enjoying her life. Her and my husband are my heart … well, my dog too!
My sweet pooch. My loyal, silly companion.
My parents, my husband’s parents. I was feeling down this morning and went to the mailbox. My husband’s mother had sent me a little note card with a funny newspaper clipping. It made me cry because I realized someone out there cares about me. I have a lot of people who love and care. I am extremely grateful for that.
Medical opportunities – I have health insurance. My husband has a good job. I am in a position to seek out medical help. Not everyone can do that. I am so fortunate for that.
Nature & Technology – Nature gets me out of my head, especially when I’m using the camera. I took the shot of the honeysuckle earlier, and my husband planted two mini rose bushes while I gave him instructions (lol). And I’m grateful for technology because it gives me a medium to express everything I just have.
Happy Mother’s Day.