Motherhood and chronic pain have something very unique in common: neither ever stop. Because I have made a choice to manage my chronic pain naturally I must try to follow a routine that entails: exercise, eating well, sleeping well, meditation, moderation of activities, etc. Anyone who is a parent knows all too well that it is very hard to stick to a certain routine all the time. After coming through a very difficult weekend my family was struck with very sad news last night. My brother in-law’s dog passed away. Once the news reached us there was no way I was going to be able to fall asleep. I love my brother in-law like a brother and to know the pain he was in literally made my heart hurt. A lot of people would say: “It is just a dog!” However, anyone who has ever owned or loved a dog knows they are like children. My brother in-laws dog was his baby and her death was very unexpected. Because of the horrible weekend I had and this awful news we received last night I lost many hours of sleep. Last night I slept about four hour hours, if that. My daughter woke up at four am as she is confused by this day light savings deal. Finally today, the lack of sleep and crying really hit me and I have had a very difficult day both with chronic pain and anxiety. Was I able to follow my “normal” routine of how I manage my pain: no. I have no idea how I had the energy to practice yoga with my one year old this morning but I did. Around six am I just began crying and I could not stop. The exhaustion had finally hit me and I was not crying about any one thing but the gamut of things that have struck me the past four days.
My daughter has her first sinus infection and the antibiotics are helping her but she is having side affects that are causing her pain. This is a picture of me at about nine am this morning driving to try and help my daughter sleep. Yes, she needed sleep but I did as well and was willing to do just about anything. She finally fell asleep and was totally knocked out and just as I was opening the door to our house my neighbor let her two dogs outside. My daughter got so excited at their barking that there was no way she was going to stay asleep. To say I was angry is an understatement: not at my daughter or my neighbor but the situation in general. To be blunt: today has sucked on multiple levels. There is nothing I have faced in my life that is more difficult than chronic pain, but motherhood even without chronic pain can be quite difficult as well.
My dream since I was probably about five years old was to be a mother. It was always my calling. The main reason I decided to give up medication and my search for a cure for chronic pain was to be able to one day fulfill my dream of being a mom and I would not trade that for all the money in the world. The good news is that most days being a mother is the greatest distraction from chronic pain. Days like today juggling chronic pain and motherhood are extremely difficult but as I have written before: a bad day does not make a bad life. If the juggling act of chronic pain and motherhood was something I could not bear I would not want to have more children. Chronic pain will not take away my dreams and the happiness my daughter brings me. Does motherhood make chronic pain more difficult to deal with at times, yes but I would not change being a mother for anything. I will not let my struggle become my identity. Chronic pain is not who I am, it is a part of me but it is not me as a whole.