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.
I am so grateful that I have never had any health issues.My work as a Para driver keeps me in touch with many of Ottawa’s most challenged people,when I think I am having a bad day my wife’s message rings in my ears.She tells me to be thankful that I drive the bus and I am not taking the bus.Would like to carry some of your burdens for you and also for my good friend David.
Hi Wayne. Thanks so much for your note. I’ll never forget that day you helped me out of the woods on a long run day with Natural Fitness Labs. Happy New Year.
You are an inspiration to never give up, to never give in, to be honest and open, and to be who you are. I only know you tangentially from cross racing, but after reading the last few entries of your blog, I felt compelled to write and let you know how invaluable your words are. I had no idea what you, or anyone with colitis or Crohn’s or any auto-immune disease lived with on a daily basis. Thank you for giving voice to the difficulty and unpredictability of living the life you want in conjunction with a body that fights you the whole time.
The English teacher in me loves that words are your therapy. Never apologize for having a voice–you never know who needs to hear it. Keep on keeping on in all the ways that you have. You are important in ways you may never know.
Meg, I’ve been thinking about your words for a week now. I haven’t known how to respond. As I read them again, my eyes get all blurry. Thank you for taking the time to reach out to me. I have a deep belief that every life has a purpose and a reason. At 45 years old, I’m still struggling to find this purpose – your comment has resonated and reminds me that it’s the small acts that matter most. Thank you.
So sorry to hear about the joint pain. For what its worth you and others have given me inspiration to dig in and fight and try and overcome this illness and maybe one day my story will inspire others just like yours has done.
Like you My biggest fear was having an explosion in public and i have had 2 instances. It made me feel humiliated but luckily for me now I am in a good place, my medication and making my own Kefir seems to have helped. Whether a placebo or not i will keep making it and I have also weened myself off of medication, 4 weeks and not having to use a suppository is a great feeling. Fingers crossed that the next relapse won’t be for a while. Hopefully you and others can overcome this terrible disease.
Thoughts are with you Vicki.