Chronic Pain is Part of My Life

Accepting that chronic pain is part of my life now and for the foreseeable future is something that took an aweful lot of inner strife. You see, for five years I  have been battling to maintain some semblance of a  normal life, I refused to see myself as broken and believed if I just kept trying at some point everything would work out. Attending the chronic pain program made it so I couldn’t ignore the reality of my situation any longer.
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Chronic Pain is Just a Part of My Life

Self-worth, stamina, normalcy, parenting, fitness, finances, independence…

I sit in the the tiny classroom staring through tears at the white board with the words ‘What Has Chronic Pain Taken From You?’ written in black at the top. Green, red and blue words commingle in a kaleidescope of broken dreams, filling the board and causing my head to ache.
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The Never-Ending Back Story – Chapter 3

Chapter 1 ———————– Chapter 2
I have written a lot about my personal life lately, how happy I am with Mr. Wonderful, how I feel more complete and happy than I have in an awfully long time, if not ever, but I have neglected to even touch on what has been happening with my back, workman’s comp and my future health wise. The news is not any where near as positive as it was in my romantic life.
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Faith and Ms. McCain

In the last three months my life has changed more than I thought it would in a year. I have left a five year long relationship, exchanged a major city for my small home town as my surroundings, admitted I feel better after three and a half solid years of not so good feelings, kicked a three year long narcotic addiction and gained some perspective, experience and self-worth. It’s been a hell of a couple months but instead of feeling drained and fed up, I feel… Hopeful? A renewed sense of faith in the goodness possible in life? Like I am a strong person, – I have been told this in various ways, but had yet to embrace it and learn to rely on my inner-strength to see me through what my emotional self feels is impossible. Faith. In me. – That I can work through and get over this… Whatever ‘this’ the last couple of years have been? Continue reading

Flying By The Seat Of My Pants

An awful lot has occurred in my life since my last post. I broke up with C., moved into my parents basement and have continued to see Mr. Wonderful. I haven’t been writing much, for the first time in a long time I am trying not to think as much… Flying by the seat of my pants, if you will.

I haven’t examined my feelings very closely, especially in relation to leaving C. and starting over again. Or about moving home after ten years of living on my own. Or about beginning a fairly serious relationship with a man that I fell head over heels in love with. In fact, I have been listening to my gut, not to my neurotic thoughts, and as a result I am happier than I have been in recent memory.

Over the last three months I have also worked off all pain meds. I was on Fentanyl 100mcg patches for two years and within a couple of months of deciding to get off, I have completely kicked the habit. I do take Percocet at night, to deal with the pain and the withdrawal symptoms, but one Percocet is still a million times better than being cotton headed and slow moving all. the. time. when I am on fentanyl. I suppose this also means my pain level is diminishing. Unfortunately, without pain meds, I am in a ton of pain but it should dissipate as my nervous system readjusts to being free of opioids. I don’t see the surgeon until the 28th of this month, and my fingers are crossed that there is some discernable bone growth.

I have a return to work tentatively scheduled for the middle of June, depending on what the surgeon says of course. I am apprehensive about pushing myself too hard, but I am also excited to be looking at this recovery in the review mirror. I just want it to be over and to be able to make plans and follow through on them. I am ready to go jogging again, strap on my rollerblades and play Frisbee. I want to jump rope and skip, do a handstand and a cartwheel. All small things, but things I miss and that feel impossible right now.

hopelong

While knocking on wood really hard, I think I might be able to say I am heading in a direction that I am comfortable with. There are issues, there are problems, but overall I have found contentment out of my darkest night.

As always, thanks for reading.
Best,
    – S.

Hope for the New Year

...Hope...

 

 

 

Today is the first day of 2013. Today is the day I want to change. Today is the day that I will take a step.

 

 

 

 

 

I have been listening to podcasts by the uber talented Trish Blackwell. I stumbled across her website, trishblackwell.com, today while looking for something to listen to while I typed out my hopes for this year. Continue reading

Hope

hopeanagram

noun
1a. feeling of expectation and desire for a particular thing to happen.
1b. a person or thing that may help or save someone.
1c. grounds for believing something good may happen.

2. [archaic] a feeling of trust.

verb
1. want something to happen or be the case.
2. intend if possible to do something.

I have been thinking a lot about how hope influences me and the power and place it has in my life. I have resolved some points of contention, like whether hope is necessarily connected to religion (for me, it’s not), but others remain elusive, like whether or not the power of hope is dependont on effort. Here, I am going to try my best to explain and clarify my thoughts not only to you, my dear readers, but to myself as well.

It has only been recently that I have admitted and believed that hope has a place in recovery and everyday life. Not only do I believe it is necessary but it makes my less than perfect existence tolerable and allows me to keep going when I think there is nowhere for me to go. I could certainly use more hope – After all who couldn’t? – but there is a hopeful spark deep inside waiting for the fuel required to make it a roaring fire.

What changed to make me veer away from despair and into the territory of hope?

hope2I have come to see that I have not been doing myself any favors by denying the place hope has in the grand scheme of my life. If I have no hope that anything will improve or that I will ever get better, then why would I? One thing that has really driven this point home for me is my relationship with C. That is one area that my hope is wearing thin and is almost completely gone. When the last spark fades, I think I might finally walk away. I realize how naive it was to think that when C. had made some priorities for himself I would suddenly be neat the top of the list. But I digress, this post is  not about C., it is about me.

I haven’t been very nice to myself in a long time. These past few weeks I have been trying to give myself a break. I have been trying to silence my inner stream of malicious and negative commentary. I admit that it is still there but I have felt an almost imperceptible change in my vision of the future – There’s hope. I have this feeling that if I just decided on something to do I could do it.

hope1Surprisingly, knitting has a hand in this change. In the last two weeks I have knitted a pair of slippers, a hat, one mitten, a hooded cowl and a kiddy sized neck warmer for the little boy across the street. I don’t actually know this little boy, I just saw his mom out walking one day and decided to ask if I could knit for her son. She didn’t think I was too weird to say no, but I think I weirded her out all the same. Completing these projects has given me a sense of industriousness I have been lacking. And the best part is it doesn’t hurt at all to knit.

Now that I am knitting more I am also contemplating trying to find a knitting group that I could go to and hopefully meet some people in my new city. Social time is something I severely lack. I am either alone in the apartment or here with C. and he is working on something, watching something or is otherwise engaged and uninterested in conversations with me. I just need to get out more. Hell, I just need to get out at all.

I have been rather lazy lately. I sleep about sixteen hours a day and am still tired when I am awake. I haven’t been out for a substantial walk in over a week and I have only been doing the bare minimum of stretch routines to keep me moving. So while on the one hand, I am infused with a new sense of hope, I am still rather depressed. However, at least now I have hope that this depression will end. I have faith that depression is not who I am or where I am meant to remain.

despairhopeAs they say though, I need to take baby steps. I know that once I am confronted with a sense of failing or floundering it will be very easy to slide back down the mountain and find myself in the grips of despair again. I don’t want that to happen. I don’t want to lose hope ever again.

It will be challenging though. My nerve has woken up so three months out of surgery I am in more pain than I have been since the actual surgical pain. I probably don’t need to say that this has been disheartening and rather disappointing. I really just want this issue to resolve so that I can move on. Move on to where, I am not sure but I am determined to try to move somewhere. Being stagnant and stuck in place is certainly not for me.

I will share a small dream with you, one that I hold close to my heart and don’t talk about much. It actually kind of embarasses me because I don’t think I am talented enough to really contemplate going after it. I want to be able to support myself with fibre related things. Knitting, spinning, owning sheep or llama, designing garments – It doesn’t matter what, just that I am immersed in fibre related activities. I know it is an out there dream and I am realistic in my need for a steady income and employment but nonetheless I would be so happy if I could have a career in the fibre arts industry.

My Spinning Wheel

My Spinning Wheel

It is a dream because there are thousands out there like me, who dream of becoming knitwear designers, hand spinners or professional hand knitters and hundreds with more skill, determination and talent. For right now, it makes me happy to seek out patterns, knit for those closest and not so close to me, and spin my fluffy and still slightly uneven yarn on my Ashford Traddy. However I have no one to share this passion with.

I have no one in my family or close to me that really want anything knitted for them so it seems a bit pointless to knit anything. I have been knitting baby hats and blankets for the local children’s hospital and even though I feel good doing it and will continue, there is something about seeing people enjoy your creations that make them so much more special. For Christmas this year I am making C.’s family a variety of knit wear: a hat and scarf for his dad, hat and mitts for his mom and little brother and a hat for his twin. I haven’t had much success knitting things they like so hopefully this year will be different.

Is there anything knitted you have always wanted? I would be absolute thrilled to knit for anyone who would appreciate the garment so if you are reading this and thinking ‘Ooh! I would love a knitted…’ please feel free to request something in the comments. I’ll happily create and knit the article for free but depending on required or desired materials I may need to ask for the yarn to be paid for. If you don’t want to pay anything, or can’t or what have you, please leave a message anyway and we can probably work something out. Accessories are more practical dollars wise as the smaller the finished product the less yarn it requires. Also if you would like to give a pair of handmade mittens or a hat or cowl as a Christmas gift I could get it done by then so ask away and I will get back to you!

Eeek! I really hope someone requests something!! It will give me something to knit in the lull after Christmas. Okay, I will stop trying to solicit patrons! However, as I am doing the creating and knitting for free it is more like asking if I can give you a present than if you will buy my knitwear. I really just wanted to put it out there that I would love to knit for anyone who reads my blog!

Back to hope…

hopeI sometimes wonder if there is something really wrong with me. Outside of the last three years and the injury and such, I have always been a bit of a funny pickle. In high school I never had any really close friends. I just didn’t connect with many people until the end of grade ten when I started hanging out with a group of unsavoury and unpopular girls and a periphery of other shady characters. (‘Started’ may not be the right word as I was friends with these girls in grade school but had lost touch in the first years of high school when I desperately wanted to be ‘cool’ and hang out with those perceived as popular.) It didn’t take me long to become the risk taker, more daring and audacious than the others and therefore the quasi leader of our little group. Grade eleven, or the year I was sixteen was the wildest year of my life, and the freest. It was a year when I had very little care for what others thought of me because I was actually okay with myself. That is not to say that I was all grown up and that I would be okay with being the same person at twenty seven, but at the time I was confident and happy.

Two really bad long term – for my teens – boyfriends, two long-time, if not good, friends and two years later I was no longer as confident in myself or my looks and I definitely wasn’t happy. At eighteen I moved out with a boy who I new for a mere five months and was five year older than me, enrolled in college and began my struggles with my identity, worth and self confidence. Until now I never really believed that my high school years had any impact on me, but I think that it was naive to think so. I believe we are a product of our experiences and choices rather than that we have predetermined ‘decisions made for us so why wouldn’t the experiences and choices I made in high school impact the woman I have become?

So many questions with no answers. But I have a kernel of hope telling me that if I keep asking the answers may become clear.

hope (1)

As always, thank you so much for reading my words!

Best,
xoxo – S.