In the last two weeks I’ve been sick. I’m dealing with chronic pain and it’s no fun.
About two weeks ago I started experiencing migraines on a regular basis. Like every day. By the fourth day, my husband carted me off to the emergency room. I was given two large doses of pain killers – one that I swore was going to do me in instead of getting me better – and was sent home. Two days later I saw my primary doctor. He prescribed steroids for the headaches and sent me home. I suffered through the steroid pack… for those who’ve never had to take these I will say they affect everyone differently. My friend loves to be on them and feels great when she is. For me – not so much. The first day my intestinal tract emptied itself continuously. I suffered through jitters, sweats, insomnia, and extreme irritability. (The fact that my husband is still alive is a testament to how much I really love him because otherwise… )
As I came down off the five days of this drug I realized… it hadn’t done much for my headaches. And now, my jaw hurt too.
After several emails back and forth to my primary doctor he met with me again. Turns out I have a clogged Eustachian tube in my right ear. It has progressed so far that I can’t hear well, the headaches are continuing, and the pressure on my head is so overwhelming that I want to poke something down in there to just let it loose.
Sadly, that’s not an option. So now I’m on decongestants – which continue to make me jittery – and nasal spray. I haven’t slept well in about two weeks. Extreme noises bother me because my ear drum cannot reverberate the way it needs to and I’m still irritable from dealing with the pain for this long.
So where in all this mess, do I begin to find a peaceful place of rest? Minor irritations at work are escalated because I don’t feel well. By the end of the day I’m so frustrated with the pain that I cry myself to sleep. I keep moving in order to avoid thinking about the pain. I keep doing chores in order to be as normal as I can. I’ve found peace… nowhere. I have actually become more frantic in all of this because… well I think it’s mainly the meds, but also because if I just have something to do I don’t think about the pain. Basically I’m avoiding peace because… well I’m not sure I could find it.
I’m praying that God will unclog my ear soon, or that the meds will start to help and not hinder, but in the meantime I need to SEEK peace or this pain is going to wear me down.
So I started doing yoga in the morning. I went to zumba two days in a row just because it took my mind off of it for an hour and it felt good to get out my frustrations by dancing and sweating. I’ve started to just listen to silence when I can and breathe in the peace of those moments. It isn’t easy. As soon as I stop, I feel the pain, I stress about how long will it take to feel well again, I worry, I fret, I cry… but I must mentally stop myself from this and focus instead on peace.
Okay – it hurts. But it will pass. I can do this. God will give me strength. My peace is in Him it says in the Bible. Some days, I won’t lie, I think that’s a load of baloney. But I seek it out. I seek Him out, say a prayer, take a deep breathe, let it out slowly… and make myself relax.
It’s one of the hardest things to do. I’m not a relaxed person and when I’m stressed and in pain – it’s worse. So it’s mentally and physically a task to find peace. But I’m working on it. I have to – the alternative is not pretty: more pain, more medication, and a downward spiral of unhealthy life.
I can’t stop the pain right now. But I can find the peace – I will work to find the peace.
How about you?