I was sitting in our yard with my landlord/neighbor/friend, whil-st our girls ran around playing in the Summer heat. Together we sat in the shade on blankets on the lawn. Our littlest ones scooted around nearby, eating grass and squawking at their siblings. It was a nice day, it was enjoyable company, everyone was having a good time.
Two hours I must have sat there. I probably would have gone inside sooner, but Jane was content to roll around in the grass, and big sister Megan was running circles around the lawn and jumping gleefully into an inflatable kiddie pool. I made anklets for the girls and then one for myself. Eventually the serenity of the afternoon began to wan; Jane was ready for a nap and the shade was overtaking Megan’s fun and causing her to shiver, and so I stretched out my legs and went to stand up.
As I stood, my back immediately screamed in protest. Although my back is an inanimate object in that it is actually incapable of vocalizing, I find it hard to believe that the entire city of Provo didn’t hear the spinal rokus that went down that afternoon. I was hurting, and I was hurting baaaaaaaad.
The pain I felt that afternoon was not altogether a pain that I was unfamiliar with. I had had similar pains during both my pregnancies with Jack and Jane, but in those days, if I rested up and was sure to avoid activities that caused pain, it would ease up on me, and after both pregnancies, went away altogether. But, it’s been six months now since that fateful afternoon out in the lawn, and not one day has gone by since then when I haven’t been in pain. And most days, the pain is excruciating.
I have had countless doctor’s appointments, even harder to count have been the chiropractic adjustments from my brother who so genuinely wanted to help ease my pain. I’ve had an MRI, done physical therapy, seen three doctors including a orthopedic surgeon, taken more medication then I care to admit, laid in bed for days at a time, slept on the floor for weeks, slept on the couch, slept on various beds, tried so many other things, and yet the pain persists.
The problem is a herniated disk, and while the next step in the chain of medical treatment is likely steroid injections and maybe even surgery, I am trying to avoid that by continuing physical therapy and core strengthening excersizes which, let me tell you, are NOT easy to do when the pain is SO constant. It takes everything I have to just do the simplest of stretches or excersizes.
The hardest part about all this is that it keeps me from being the mother I want to be. I can’t sit on the ground and play dolls with Megan, and when Jane was learning to crawl, I could get down on all fours with her and encourage her. Those are just two of dozens and dozens of examples of ways in which I can’t be there for them. I’m not the homemaker and wife I could be either. The house isn’t always clean, and meals aren’t always prepared. I can’t serve people in ways I would like. I can’t offer to watch the young twins of the exhausted pregnant woman I visit teach because the very thought of chasing her boys around sends me into a world if hurt.
Anyway, I am not sure why exactly I am staying up way too late to write this way too long post. I don’t need pity. I don’t need anything from anyone, (Adam is so incredibly supportive and helpful and we’ve got everything worked out so that, regardless of the constant pain I am in, our world is continuing to spin – not quite as smoothly or at the exact angle that it should be – but spinning all the same) tonight I just felt like using my blog as the outlet it was created for. For the support and strength of those who care most about me.
And also…through all of this there has been one lesson that keeps pounding itself in my mind…you know that quote that is so popular, that has made its way round and round the Internet, that has been attributed to Plato and Ghandi and who knows who else, about treating everyone you come in contact with as if they are going through a horrible trial, because they probably are??? Well, my friends, that’s the message. I doubt that most if the people I come in contact with on a daily basis have any idea that I live in pain. I know that Megan’s kindergarten teacher doesn’t know that the reason why I don’t volunteer to help in class is because I am physically incapable. Although not ideal, this is what I am dealing with, and I am trying my darnedest to not let it interfere too much with my responsibilities as a wife, mother, sibling, neighbor, and friend, but it definitely isn’t easy. And likewise, there are people who I come in contact with every single day who are facing their own private battles.
Sometimes I write posts that are totally necessary for me in that they serve as reminders to look outside myself and to just try to work a little harder and to be a little better. Maybe you are one of those people who I see every day who needed to hear that I am aware that in “private heart are hidden, sorrow that the eye can’t see.” I get it, and I’m so sorry.
Well…I guess I better wrap it ip here. I’ll save the story about how not long after this back pain began, I was witness to a freak car accident on the freeway and actually jumped out of my car and into a stranger’s moving vehicle while she lay passed out in the fast lane. I’ll also wait on my awesome story about how I landed myself in the ER one week ago tonight with kidney stone. Oh and I guess you should know that I am on new meds that not only make me cranky and gain weight, but also give me insomnia…so here I am! That’s all I’ve got for you folks tonight G’night.