I’m not writing this for empathy or sympathy. I need to write because this is my therapy. The longer I keep these thoughts inside, the harder it gets. This might not make sense to you, but this is the way it is. If you’re tired of reading about my broken body and health struggles, then stop reading now. This will not be uplifting or have a positive message at the end. It is what it is.
I look great these days. I look fit. I know this because my friends have been telling me how great I look. This is nice and I really appreciate it. The truth is, I don’t feel great. What you see on the outside is lie.
I feel the opposite of great. With each passing day, my body feels more and more broken. The joint pain that started in early November has not dissipated. I’ve had about five pain-free days since the onset. Yes, five. This is not an exaggeration.
The pain just happens. It doesn’t matter if it’s raining, snowing, windy, or freezing cold outside. It doesn’t matter if I’ve ridden my bike for one hour easy, three hours hard, or taken a rest day. It doesn’t matter if I’ve done yoga or not. It doesn’t matter if I eat super healthy or indulge in my favorites of ice cream, peanut butter, and chocolate.
It simply doesn’t matter what I do or don’t do. The pain is going to make itself known. Sometimes I wake up pain free and the pain builds gradually through-out the day. It might come in my knees, left elbow, fingers on my right hand, right hip, feet, or wrists. Other times I wake up in the middle of the night realizing I can’t bend my knees or use my fingers without searing pain. And other times the pain arrives and simply doesn’t go away.
It’s ever present. A reminder that you can never get too comfortable or take anything for granted.
Even on the days that I’ve been spared the pain, the threat is there. Lingering. Sitting on my shoulder whispering in my ear of an inevitable return. And no manner of positive thought will keep this devil at bay.
So what can I do? What haven’t I done? I’ve been to two doctors. I’m waiting for referrals to specialists and clinics. I’m eating Tylenol like it is Halloween candy. I’m trying not to let it get me down. I’m doing everything I can think of. I wait and trust my doctors that they’ll figure this out. I wonder if it’s something really horribly bad. But then I tell myself to push these fears away.
Of course to add an extra layer of salt to the situation, there is the flare and the bleeding. This is still ongoing. This part of my body has become a science experiment. Try one medication – it fails – try this one – it fails – and keep on trying. Until there is nothing left. Surgery – yes this what I need. But the waiting list is long. Two years I was told on Monday. So I wait. I hope that my ass doesn’t explode in a bloody mess when I’m out in public. No I’m not exaggerating. This is my reality.
This is it. Sometimes I ask myself how and why I was chosen for this. How was I picked to carry this burden. I didn’t ask for this. I’d like to know why.
I do everything I’m told to do – and this is my reward.