I didn’t want it to be, but it is. Or at least it is partly.
The pain isn’t going anywhere. I didn’t want my next big ‘thing’ to be learning how to deal with pain.
But clearly that is at least one of the lessons that has landed in my lap this summer.
So yes, I have a herniated disc. I’ve tried to ignore it and pretend it wasn’t a big deal. I’ve tried to push through it. I’ve been forced to take on lots of big life stuff–like executing a move mostly by myself–anyway.
I never thought I’d do pain well. I really never did. When I had Tomas, I didn’t have symptoms except a lump in my neck until I had the surgery and then the infection. Those things hurt, but the pain was temporary and meds for the most part, made things livable.
I can’t get away from this pain.
I don’t want life to be about this, but as I process this and as it becomes clear that the pain isn’t going to go away any time soon, it’s equally clear that I have to figure out how to find a place for this thing that … is persistent and gets in the way of life in general.
My husband, who isn’t around much anyway thanks to Chief Induction, and my close friends–the ones I trust with my whining–are tired of hearing about it already. I’m not doing this well.
I really have been whiny. And grumpy. And sad. And mad. I just want it to go away. Instead, it seems like every week brings about a new adventure in pain-land. New ways that pain interferes with things (lack of sleep anyone?), new things I realize I can’t do (exercises that I love, being carefree and easy and physical with my kids).
I’m 31. I never thought I’d feel this old, or this broken at 31.
I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around this. I just am. Thankfully it’s not a mysterious diagnosis or one that evokes fear and trembling in anyone.
But even so, the pain is always there. And I have to figure out how to process that.
I’m moving forward with spinal specialists finally. The next step is an MRI, an epidural injection, and then we’ll see from there if surgery is necessary. All of that, as medical things normally go, will happen slowly as the appointments are made and the doctor’s schedules dictate. Physical therapy has helped some, and yet, the pain continues to intensify and change even when improvements occur.
That leaves me… trying to figure out what coping in a situation like this looks like.
I’ve pretty much sucked at it so far.
This weekend though, a light bulb came on.
The pain has been intense enough to distract and upset me for six months or more. This situation has been here for a while, and the odds are it isn’t going to change anytime soon… Or at least as soon as I’d like.
The only thing that can change in the equation is me.
So starting this weekend I stopped asking God to take the pain away (well… not entirely… I’d still be plenty happy if that would just happen). Instead, I started focusing on the changing of my heart and mind about the situation.
If this situation won’t change, change me.
He doesn’t waste our pain and our suffering. I have no doubt he won’t waste this. Now I guess I’ll just hold on tight and ride out this new adventure.