Tag Archives: Pain

Recovery

16 Apr

Since September it’s been constant stages of recovery for me. My health was in a bad place and as my readers know, I was thrown a new hand from a player. Lucky for me there were a lot of things going in my favour.

I have players who never cease to amaze me. They are full of insight, strength and encouragement. I’m also wicked smart and intuitive, which helps me all the time in life situations. I also have never been so happy to be an American.

The new cards shook my whole life. I hate to be so vague about it all but it’s not the time and especially not the place. The big WWW just isn’t appropriate as a sharing platform. At least not this early in the game. All I can say is it got hairy and was touch and go for a while. And not in the good “touch and go” way…  There wasn’t a lot of self-help books for me, which I found very disappointing. And everything I did read kinda seemed like a “Duh.” in my mind. The advice they were giving in the books were so OBVIOUS, I could have written the book before this experience. That all being said, I guess God gave me something I could handle even though it felt like a ginormous kick to the metaphorical balls. I had this inner peace from the beginning even though my whole being felt pain. I knew what way to go, what to say, how to act…. I just knew it all. And for that I am grateful. These cards will most likely, in some way, be in my life forever. But I am confident that their impact, although initially devastating, will eventually turn into the single greatest growing experience my life will ever endure. Or I should hope…

I’ve always been proud to be an American. I might have some issues with our political system and its MAJOR malfunctions… I’ll stop there. This blog WILL NOT turn political. Obama 2012!!! …. (I tried not to write that, really I did. I wrote that during the editing of this post. What is my problem!?!?! See, always room for growth.)

As people know I have health issues. I struggle with my health all the time. Weird stuff usually, that has no rhyme or reason. Something is always going on with my body that’s not even related to my past MD problems. That all being said, the most recent odd thing was bursitis in my right shoulder as well as a concussion, given to me by my ever-dancing son. The pain from my shoulder became unmanageable and the concussion left me with social anxieties and constant headaches. My son and I flew to Seattle in February, back to home to my parentals, to get the care I couldn’t receive in Canada.  GOD BLESS THE USA and their flawed but wonderful healthcare system!!! After 2 1/2 months I am pain-free in my shoulder and it’s running at about 80% function. And although there was no hands-on help to be had with my concussion related issues (the anxiety could last forever they say), I did get a nifty medication that nipped the headaches in the bud as well as a medicine that aids my natural ability to sleep. Things are looking up for me in the health department. Every issue is under good management now, and with the new incorporation of clean eating/vegan lifestyle I am sure my arthritis flare ups will decrease and my energy level with increase. Cheers to good health!!!

So you’re up to speed on my Present Gameplay. I’m back in Canada, I’m working daily on myself physically, mentally and spiritually. Ever searching for that perfect balance to bring true happiness and completeness. Life, despite its many challenges has only strengthened me.

As you know (if you don’t, now you will) “Pain is just weakness leaving your body”. Some day, I’m going be epic strong. Like the Hulk, only zen-like without the green exterior, or male, or huge. Just small, and strong, and peaceful. OK, so maybe nothing like the Hulk. Dang it. I’ll be epic though, in my own Lacey way.

QUESTION PERIOD:
Have you ever had an experience that was horrible, challenging, scary or heartbreaking, but you came out of it like a superhero? And felt all epic-like afterward? Tell me about it, and be as detailed or as vague as you wish!

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Fear not for the future, weep not for the past.

23 Aug

The title of this post comes from Percy Bysshe Shelley, one of my favorite poets.

At 16 1/2 years old my world opened up as my body began its healing. Over a period of 6 months I stuck to a vigorous regime and I could feel my body literally healing from the inside. Against my doctor’s wishes I took myself completely off all pain medications, muscle relaxers and antidepressants, cold-turkey. I was on the fast-track to a new life, and I was ready to take full advantage of this re-deal.

I guess you could say I got a little ahead of myself by picking up my re-deal before my first hand was completely played out. Two months into my seemingly new life I started to dream and see that they could now be a reality. I never thought to go to college because honestly I figured, what’s the point of continuing education if I wouldn’t be able to use my degree in a life-long career? But now I could! I could dream and I could force those dreams into reality, my new reality. I was determined to pursue a degree in Child Psychology and hoped to minor in Sociology. I wanted to help children who struggled with disabilities and dealt with chronic pain. I wanted to be someone they could talk to because I had been there. Who better than to offer perspective and support than myself? I literally knew all they were feeling physically and emotionally. This would be my way of giving back to God for the gift he had given me.

You are probably thinking I had a few years to finish high school and then I would pursue college. Well, because of my inability to attend high school regularly due to all my health issues coupled with my immense brain power, I graduated at 15, right before turning 16. This meant I didn’t have to wait, I just needed to get accepted and sort out financial aid which was easy enough. I charged off into the adventure of college that fall!

I enrolled at Boise State University and took 4 classes to start. My classes consisted of Psych-101, Sociology-101 Creative Writing and “Bonehead” Math (Me and Math never understood each other, and never will).  My parents were a little apprehensive as this whole “no pain” thing was relatively new and college was going to be very demanding on me mentally and physically. I brushed off their concerns thinking they were overreacting, as parents are known for doing. But a few weeks into classes I started realizing they had a valid cause for concern.

I began feeling very fatigued and started peeing out muscle protein again. See, my classes happened to be on opposite sides of the large campus and I was walking back and forth all day. My body also wasn’t getting the rest it needed as I stayed up far too late being a perfectionist on my assignments. To the average, healthy person this wouldn’t have been an issue. But my body-on-the-mend, couldn’t handle this kind of exertion. Contrary to whatever I believed, I wasn’t that average, healthy person yet.

We began calling around in search of a power scooter to help me get from class to class. There was no way we could afford to buy one, but we did have several resources through MDA and hoped they could give us one from their medical equipment loan-locker. We got lucky, they had one for me! The scooter worked its wonders and enabled me to get from class to class that month. But like I said, this was on loan, they needed it back. So now what? There were 3 weeks left in the semester and I was determined to see it through. I was going to force my body to deal with it.

I had no intention of giving up, but my body had no other choice. 1 week before finals my legs failed me. I ended up in the hospital with lower extremity paralysis for the longest period of time I had ever experienced, nearly 36 hours. The pain upon regaining their use was excruciating  as it usually was, but this time I felt something that never had accompanied my paralysis episodes. I felt the sting of defeat, I felt failure. I had never allowed myself to have dreams before in fear of being unable to achieve them because of my body’s limitations. I had crafted this idea of my new future, I had given my heart over to it. I had poured all of myself into this dream and within those 36 hours of paralysis and the days of pain that followed it, my dream had shattered.Well actually, I just threw it in the trash like a 16-year-old twit.

I missed my finals, I failed my classes. Had my body not flaked out I would have finished that semester with a shining GPA and been well on my way to completing my goal. I like to believe that if this scenario had played out when I was 18 or in my early 20’s that I would have given it a second go. That I would have seen this failure as a minor road-block, not a dead-end. Oh how I wish I would have found the determination to dust myself off, figure out a new approach, and gave a re-try to achieve my goal…but I didn’t. I let negativity consume me and I rejected my dream. I could have learned so many things from this experience but instead I walked away thinking there was no point in dreaming, because my dreams will never be able to enter the realm of reality. I felt humiliated, foolish and defeated.It was quite a pity-party I tell you.

After that event my life consisted of the vigorous healing regimen, continuing the process of ridding myself of not-so-great “friends”, resisting the old habits of alcohol and smoking pot, all the while trying very hard not to get mad at God again.

As I was starting to get over my “college failure” and the depression that came with it, my dad got a job in Las Cruces, NM as a Truss-Plant manager (a totally different storyline but my dad left the ministry when I was 13 to give our family a more stable life. Surprisingly enough, church ministry is very taxing on the family of the Pastor in many ways…). It was time to move…again. Usually when it was time to move, as we did nearly every 2 years when I was a child, I cried. I never wanted to move, and often times I would refuse to make friends for several months upon arriving in the new town. Eventually I would get over it, make friends, and fall in love with my new surroundings…usually just in time to be uprooted again. This time was different though. I would miss my best friend K but I was secure enough in our friendship that I knew distance wouldn’t break our bond. I had nothing else tied to Boise besides her.

I welcomed this fresh start. Maybe it would bring me far enough away from my past that I could clearly focus on the present.

If you knew the can was full of worms

21 Aug

would you still open it?

See I’m one of those people who opens the can knowing there are worms inside. In fact, I’ll use any means necessary to get the can open, heck I may even smash the can open with a hammer or use a crude tool to cut a hole for the worms to be shook out… I get the job done people. And if you ask nicely, I’ll help you open your can as well. Because I’m always here to help.

The other night when I wrote the draft of “Anger is the folly of fools” it really irked me that I was struggling with posting about my “Re-Deal”. My re-deal is amazing. When comparing my life 10 years ago to the life I live now there is NO comparison. I am pain-free, I have a wicked awesome son, a husband who is truly superb in every sense of the word…why am I not excited to share this miraculous gift I have been given? Why is it so easy to share the pain I endured and not my present joys? Really, I was so determined to figure this out that it led to a horrible nights sleep and me waking up with a crick in my neck.

I started thinking of everything I had 10 years ago and everything I have now. I was so out of it come 1am that my thoughts started morphing into dreams. Ya know those weird ones where you know you are sleeping but you are still conscious enough to manipulate your dream? Yeah, those aren’t conducive to actual rest. By the time I woke I felt like I had been thinking all night, not sleeping. It was horrible. So what did I do? I continued to think about it of course. Then I thought, maybe if I finish the draft I’ll have some sort of realization of what my issue is. Well I got the realization.

What I discovered isn’t that I don’t love my re-deal but that this pain-free existence has brought me very far away (geographicly) from the people who supported and loved me through my first hand. If I was still sick my world would have remained rather small (that’s if I were still alive), and in that miniscule bubble of a life I would have had physical pain but I would have been physically closer to the ones I love so dearly. So, I seem to have made an exchange. I switched out physical pain for emotional pain. My heart literally breaks that I can not see my parents daily. Sure I video-skype them often, sometimes several times a day, but it’s not enough for me. Call it child-like dependency or whatever you may, but this woman needs her parents in a way that might be unnatural. I want them to come over for dinner, spend the day at the beach or zoo with Beau and I, Go to Starbucks and be a coffee snob with my mom, Hit up a comedy club with my Daddy, hug them and feel their warmth, lick my Dad’s forehead when he thinks I’m going to kiss it… I miss them. I need them. In fact, I need them and so many others too. My brother, my sister, my extended family and special friends… I’m so grateful I had them all in my life when the only reason I wanted to live was to spend time with them. I guess I should be grateful I had them around when I needed them most, but why can’t life be picture-perfect and I have them now as well?

Whoever said “You can’t have your cake and eat it too” well, you just shut up! You jerk! Who would ever buy or make a cake just to stare at it? Pft, Idiot. Don’t you know I’m a “Cake-Eater”?!?!  But for some dumb reason this irritating saying applies directly to what I am going through. My heart is torn between the people I always had present during my first hand, and being with the ones I currently have in my re-deal.

I feel bad for not being content with the life I am living. I’m grateful for my son and husband, so very grateful. But my heart breaks daily as I long for the company of my family and friends. What I wouldn’t give to hug my brother at this very moment!?! He’s going through a lot of life challenges and I just want to hold his hand and help him like he’s helped me so many times before. Or to be with my sister as she’s about to venture into a life-changing experience. I want so badly to hold her hand as she embarks on her journey, to give her encouragement and reassurance IN PERSON and not through Skype or Facebook. But I can’t. I can’t leave Canada with a guarantee that I would be let back in. I can’t risk being kept away from the love of my life to be with the other loves in my life.

T always tells me when I am feeling blue for my family and friends (which is quite often) that someday I can have it all. That by this time next year it will be so much better for him, me and B. I want to believe him with all my heart but only part of it believes. In the grand scheme of things being away from all of them for a few years is just a blip in time in comparison to the lifespan I can now expect to enjoy. But it still hurts…this little blip in time.

No matter how much I sift through this can of worms it doesn’t change the reality. I’m lonely. I often feel an overwhelming sense of despair and mildly-moderate depression that robs me of enjoying my re-deal. Of enjoying my health and the loves that are with me every day. It’s unfair to T and B that I’m dwelling on what I have lost instead of what I gained. God didn’t bless me with a re-deal to have me moping about and not playing the game, that’s not a good way to honour a miracle. And it’s definitely not a good way to show T and B how much I love having them in my life.

Things have to change inside me. So, I’m going to take this can of worms and go fishing in hopes that it will get me out of the Pity-Party (Did someone say Party?…that makes me think of cake. You jerkface! Not you, sorry. I was referring to the woman who thought up that darn saying! And you know it had to be a woman. Only a woman would come up with a reason not to eat cake! Probably some skinny little…Ummm…I’ve derailed. Back to the train-of-thought.) and back to celebrating my life in a way that would make my family, friends and God proud!

No choice, All in.

17 Aug

I really didn’t have a choice at 8 years old. This is my life, the only one I have, and I’m gonna live it. At the time I didn’t really know what all that would entail. I knew I’d always felt weak, I knew my body had issues and that I was different from other kids. But where do I go from here? How am I going to live now, with this, like this?

I awake in bed around 6am to my alarm. I sat up groggy and sleepy-eyed, and swung my legs around the side of the bed… No, wait, they didn’t move. What the…? (Little fact: I wasn’t allowed to say “what the anything” but I sure thought it a lot!) I’m telling my legs to move, maybe they are still asleep. I rubbed them down a little, I can feel them. My brain is shouting for them to move. Why aren’t they moving?

“Momma! Daddy! Something is wrong, I can’t move my legs! L (my older sister currently age 12), go tell mom and dad I cant get out of bed!” Like I said, I really don’t remember crying. I wasn’t in pain, I just couldn’t move. A part of me was worried and scared because this had never happened but, I wasn’t actually surprised. I knew about disabilities, I was a very bright kid. The fact that I’d been so weak ever since I could remember coupled with the pain and muscle protein loss of recent, it almost seemed logical. I was more concerned about missing my test at school than being unable to move my legs.

My parents took me in to see Dr. B that morning. I really loved Dr. B. He was a doctor who genuinely cared for his patients no matter the insurance coverage they carried. I never felt like a “low-income child” when he tended to my needs. He did everything in his power to give me proper care, even if it was more paperwork or having to make extra phone calls. I remember how he looked at me when my dad wheeled me in. And come to think of it, it’s how my parents were looking at me too.  I’m honestly just now remember their faces. Strange how they didn’t translate when I was 8 but now, now I see it and I can’t help but feel a strong emotion. All of their faces read concern, deep concern. They were looking at a beautiful little girl, with a very bright mind and the sharpest wit who very well could be robbed of all her hopes, dreams and aspirations. Their hearts were breaking for me, the worry etched too clearly on their faces and in how they held their bodies and I was completely oblivious.

I’m so grateful I didn’t see their worry. Had I known what was facing me, had seen their worry, or known that I had a cause to be worried, I don’t know that I would have exercised as much strength as I did. I know this is silly, but I didn’t want to worry them. Hahaha, I was being strong FOR THEM. Lol. I’m sorry I am literally laughing  as I type this out. Really though, it’s amazing what children are capable of doing for another person. How they can be strong, how they can persevere and hold to hope blindly.

That day Dr. B recommended I see Dr. N.B. He was the doctor who diagnosed my Aunt P. with Mitochondrial Myopathy, and he might be helpful to us now that I was exhibiting so many symptoms. I’m sure this was no easy feat scoring an appointment with THE BEST DOCTOR IN THE WORLD for Mitochondrial Disorders (No really, google Dr. Neil Buist he’s a rock star). But I had 3 things working for me, 1) Dr. B would do anything for me to get the appointment 2) Dr. N.B. was very much intrigued by an 8-year-old with a possible Mito and last but definitely the most powerful 3) God.

We went home, it had been around 4 hours since I woke with paralyzed legs. And then I felt it. A strange sensation in my toes. Not really a tingling, more of an awareness. Life, I could feel life coming into them. I began focusing like a ninja to wiggle them. Got it! A wiggle! They were coming back it seemed. This made us all happy. Of course, there was still an issue to be addressed but we had the hope of seeing Dr. N.B. soon and now, they are returning! The feeling began to move from my toes up to my knees and then from there up through my legs and into my hips. But as the ability to move returned, pain replaced the paralysis. The most excruciating pain I had ever felt in my entire life. I really don’t know how to explain this pain to you. In my 24 years of life I have never felt anything like it. If someone offered to cut my legs off, I may have taken them up on it. The pain lasted for hours. My parents gave me as much Vicodin as I as they could but it didn’t cut it. I cried now.

This is when I wondered if I could play this hand. Is this pain going to last forever? Are my legs going to do this often? Can I live with this pain and still feel happiness? Why me God?  This is when I realized more would be expected from me in my life than I ever thought.